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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma

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Rep. Russell: Proposed oil tax "has no chance"

February 5, 2016
In The News

President Obama is opening up about his proposal to add a $10 per barrel oil tax when he presents his budget to congress next week.

"It's right to do it right now when gas prices are low," he said at the White House on Friday. "They'll be low for quite some time to come."

The plan, which would be phased in over a five-year period, would generate $20 billion a year.

"Some of that revenue can be used for transportation and some of the revenue for investments in basic research needed for the energy sources of the future," the president said.

Fox 25 spoke with Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) about the idea.

"Why are you taxing [the people] for some ideological agenda?" he asked. "This is not something oil companies will bear the burden on."

And when we stopped by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, that's exactly what they told us.

"Any tax you place somewhere in the chain is going to, unfortunately, have an effect somewhere else down the line," OIPA's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, A.J. Ferate said.

Ferate says it would be a 15-percent tax, costing consumers about $.25 a gallon.

"Fast forward that if we're getting back to the $3 or $4 range again, and it's a significant burden you're placing on people that isn't reasonable."

As for the likelihood of the proposal gaining any traction, Rep. Russell chuckled at the thought.

"It has no chance," he said. "Not with the current congress."