The price of crude oil is the biggest determiner of what consumers pay at the pump for gasoline and diesel. It’s also a major contributor to petrochemical manufacturing costs. Right now, members of Congress are debating a series of taxes as part of the multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation package that could make the crude oil that runs through U.S. refineries more expensive. They are also exploring a 20-cent-per-pound tax on American-made plastics. Can you think of a worse time to be doing this?
Taxes undermine the President’s promise
President Biden says he opposes gas taxes and pledged not to raise taxes on working families. Just a few weeks ago he asked OPEC to increase oil production to ease prices at the pump. With the President so intent on keeping costs down for consumers, Congress should not be undermining his efforts with taxes that would have the opposite effect.
Working families will pay a price
Adding new taxes to plastics and any barrel of oil that runs through an American refinery is the same as raising taxes on American families. Instead of feeling that pain on April 15, families will experience it year-round at the pump and in the prices of everyday goods made with plastic.
China benefits from new taxes on American-refined energy and plastics
The taxes Congress is considering won’t stop with consumer pain. They will also give a leg up to China’s fuel and petrochemical companies. Refining and petrochemical manufacturing are global industries. If taxes here lead to higher operational costs for U.S. facilities, it will be a challenge to remain competitive with countries that don’t face the same expenses. China is investing billions in new refineries and petrochemical sites. Our elected officials should not be advocating for taxes that could shut American facilities down, and make it harder to manufacture here at home.
In this midst of our economic recovery, costly new taxes on American-refined energy and plastics should be a non-starter. This is not the time to be raising prices for consumers, sacrificing high-paying American jobs and compromising our energy security.
(Courtesy American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers)