President Barack Obama is set to reveal a plan that would provide for a 21st century clean energy transportation system, according to Politico. This comes as Obama is preparing to deliver a new federal budget to Congress next week.
The proposal, which would be phased in over a five year span and apply to both domestic and imported oil, also calls for a 50 percent increase in solar, wind and other alternative energy infrastructure, according to CBS News.
Obama’s clean transportation plan has the goal to create over 300 billion dollars of investments in mass transit, high-speed rail self-driving cars, and other transportation approaches designed to reduce carbon emissions and congestion, according to Politico, but the price on consumers for oil increases substantially.
Obama’s tax will propose charging 10 dollars per each individual barrel of oil as a way to pay for all of the clean transportation system items.
“The new fee on oil will also encourage American innovation and leadership in clean technologies to help reshape our transportation landscape for the decades ahead,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the plan would reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, encourage investment in “clean” energy technologies and create jobs.
Because of this tax, all United States consumers of gasoline will be paying approximately 25 cents more per gallon if Obama’s new budget plan for a clean transportation system succeeds.
The transportation sector, a major driver of the U.S. economy, accounts for roughly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the White House.
“A new approach to our transportation system can help to speed goods to market, expand transportation options, and integrate new technologies like autonomous – or self-driving – vehicles while at the same time reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, cutting carbon pollution and strengthening our resilience to the impacts of climate change.” the White House said in a statement.
In his January State of the Union address, Obama outlined his goals of improving the country’s transportation system, saying he would “push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”
The plan would need to be approved by a Republican dominated Congress in presidential election year.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called the plan “little more than an election year distraction” by a “lame duck president” who “expects hardworking consumers to pay for his out of touch climate agenda.”
In an interview with USA Today, Ryan also said, “It’s dead on arrival to Congress, because the House Republicans are committed to affordable Americans energy and a strong U.S economy.”
Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, claims that this tax increase on oil will destroy jobs and even reverse America’s emergence as a global energy leader, according to a post from The Hill.
Environmental groups have hailed the proposal. “This is the right move at the right moment,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s the appropriate next step in moving America beyond the dirty fossil fuels that are driving climate change.”
The plan reflects a hard fought war over Congress’s failure to to pay for transportation improvements. The tax would be included in Obama’s last budget proposal as president.
Editor’s Note: Information from Politico, USA Today, CBS News and The Hill were used in this report.