In a move that should have come decades earlier, the Obama administration proposed on Thursday a tax on every barrel of oil produced by companies in the U.S—$10 a pop.
According to The New York Times, the president’s budget request to Congress is slated to include the fee, which if implemented will rake in $32 billion in federal revenue every year. From the Times:
The proposal to further increase costs for fossil fuel production is part of a broader effort by Mr. Obama to fight climate change. The goal is to make it more expensive to produce and consume energy sources that emit planet-warming greenhouse gases while stoking the market for clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.
A statement released by the White House says that the funds will be spent on research devoted to developing more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as better highway infrastructure. The move comes at a time when the price of oil in the U.S. is incredibly low—also a time when consumers may be more amenable to paying the tax.
Interestingly, the noted climate denier and conservative Republican chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe, has voiced support for the measure.
“It’s not a tax. It’s a user fee,” he told the Times. “Nothing is off the table.”
Despite Inhofe’s blessing, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that the proposal would be “dead on arrival in Congress.”
The tax is a long time coming, for a presidential candidate who in 2008 promised that the U.S. would “ end our dependence on oil from the Middle East” in a decade.