Citing the opportunities in addressing climate change, the President's budget proposal will include
a $10 per barrel fee on oil that will be used to build a sustainable national transportation
As the fact sheet points out, the
transportation sector is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US. Obama's
proposal would invest $10 billion per year in the transformation of regional transportation
systems, and $2 billion per year for a new generation of smart, clean vehicles and aircraft. Three
competitive grant programs will implement regional transportation and land-use strategies, expanded
transportation choices for cities and towns, and encourage private investment in climate
resilience. An additional $400 million per year will ensure that new technologies are safely
In the short term, revenues from pro-growth business tax will encourage a
surge in investment. “This transition tax would mean that companies have to pay US tax right now on
the $2 trillion they already have overseas, rather than being able to delay paying any US tax
indefinitely,” the White House stated.
The plan will also help families cope with the
economic impact of energy costs.
Overall, the benefits of the plan include reduced
pollution, an increase in clean energy jobs, and a reduction in the seven billion hours Americans
waste in traffic every year.
Of course, given the Republican Congressional majorities,
passage of a budget imposing such a fee on oil companies will be hard sledding. But major
environmental organizations have spoken with enthusiasm about the plan.