Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Democrats' Effort to Increase Taxes on Oil and Gas Defeated Third Time in a Year
Proponents Admitted Bill Would Do Nothing to Address Rising Cost of Gas at the Pump
Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today voted against a Democratic proposal to increase energy taxes. The bill, S. 940, was defeated by a bipartisan vote of 52 to 48. The bill required 60 votes to proceed to full consideration. This is the third time in one year that similar legislation has been defeated, and Senator Inhofe has been a leading voice in opposition.
"For the third time in less than a year, the United States Senate rejected a Democratic proposal to increase energy taxes," Senator Inhofe said. "Today's effort was purely an attempt to distract the public from what has become abundantly clear: Democrats have no solution to high gas prices. Even sponsors of the bill admitted from the start that, ‘Nobody has made the claim that this bill is about reducing gas prices.' But they do have a plan to make prices go higher. In fact, the Democrats' regulatory agenda is specifically designed to make gas and energy more expensive for American consumers.
"There is a simple solution to bringing down prices at the pump-we must develop our own resources. We certainly have plenty of them: according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), America's combined supply of oil, coal, and natural gas is the largest on Earth. In fact, we have enough supply to make us independent of the Middle East. It's just that this Administration and the Democrats don't want us to get to it.
"With no answers on gas prices, the Democrats claim their bill is about deficit reduction-a tough sell coming from supporters of an Administration that adds $4 billion a day to the nation's deficit. They say that this energy tax will cut the deficit by $2 billion-that's worth one half day of deficit for this Administration. So not only would this bill have destroyed jobs and raised energy prices, it would have done nothing to solve our deficit problem.
"It's clear that Senate Democrats have no plan to cut the deficit or reduce gas prices. It's time to overturn the Obama Administration's regulatory obstacles to new production and start developing more of America's abundant resources. Doing so will mean more jobs, a stronger economy, and lower prices at the pump."