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Obama’s 'European' Energy Agenda

October 11, 2012

“Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.”

That’s Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu and to date the promise of soaring energy prices is one of few promises the Administration is actually fulfilling.

Consider the average price of a gallon of gas on the day of President Obama’s inauguration: $1.83.

Average gas price today: $3.81.  That’s a 108% growth in less than four years.  But still a way to go to hit European levels of $10 a gallon.

Yet, the President is not backing off his Administration’s goal of ‘European level’ energy prices.  The best way to raise prices, yet the worst thing for America’s families, would be raising taxes on energy.

A recent piece by Nixon Administration energy advisor Jack Rafuse writes the Obama Administration is seeking to add an additional $10 billion in taxes; taxes that would simply be passed along to consumers.

Already Nebraskans pay a considerable amount in taxes at the pump.  Each gallon of gas includes 45.5 cents in taxes, when combining federal and state taxes.  Meaning taxes are roughly 12% of the total cost of a gallon of gas, when sold at $3.81.

That’s a massive tax on the sale of gasoline and the Obama Administration’s solution is to increase the burden.

Obama’s plan to significantly increase the tax burden will negatively impact hard working, middle class Americans.  As Jack Rafuse wrote in a recent Reuters piece:

“A change in energy taxes would hurt Americans in other ways too. The oil and gas companies are not owned by an elite few; in fact, only 2.8 percent of their shares are owned by corporate management. The great majority of energy company shares are retail shares owned by individuals and public employees, such as teachers and firefighters who are invested in mutual funds and pension funds for retirement. Higher taxes would, in the end, hurt the value of these investments.”

The policy implications of Obama’s agenda of ‘European level’ energy prices are clear.  Higher energy prices, through raising energy taxes, will not impact Big Oil.  These policies will impact Nebraska’s families and small businesses.

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