Louisiana delegation responds to Obama’s oil tax proposal

Members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation are responding to President Barack Obama’s plan to call for a $10-per-barrel tax hike on oil to fund new transportation upgrades.

Here’s what they have to say about the proposal: 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, swiftly deemed Obama’s proposal as “dead on arrival.”

“From day one of President Obama’s Administration, he has waged open warfare on American energy and his radical policies have cost jobs while increasing costs on hard-working families. Washington spending is already too high, and the best way to create more jobs and get our economy back on track is by cutting taxes and controlling spending. The House will kill this absurd proposal, and instead focus on lowering costs and growing our economy,” Scalise said in a statement.

Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, called the plan an “absurd attack on American energy.”

“This President has relentlessly attacked the American oil & gas industry and the working families who depend on these jobs. Today, oil prices are at their lowest point in over a decade, and the workforce is hurting. But the President is proposing a tax hike that will be passed on at the pump to these same families who are trying to make ends meet. I will personally see to it this new tax never sees the light of day.”

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R): “President Obama is clearly using this outrageous tax proposal to continue his war on the oil and gas industry, which – to be frank – is currently on less-than-firm ground. In Louisiana a huge percentage of our jobs are related to the energy industry, ‎which is why I am committed to fighting the President’s unfair and unnecessary tax increase.”

Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto: “The President’s proposal is nothing more than a plan to raise taxes on our families. Gas prices will immediately spike by 25 cents per gallon. That means a family could be paying as much as $7 or $8 more each time they fill up the family van. President Obama is clearly willing to subject our struggling poor and middle class families to greater financial burdens for the sole purpose of appeasing radical environmental activists. An additional tax burden on hard-working Americans is not the answer, and I will never vote to support such an irresponsible tax increase.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R), who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee: “The president throws out a variety of proposals designed to please his base. His advisers know and admit these proposals have no chance of becoming law. We need a serious conversation about energy policy and transportation. Protecting Louisiana jobs and our energy economy is and will continue to be my priority,”

Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden: “President Obama hasn’t been able to raise gas prices through his climate agenda, so he’s trying the direct route of raising taxes. At a time when burdensome government regulations are pushing us towards recession, he thinks raising gas prices and building expensive high-speed rail makes sense? Let’s get the wet blanket of government off our economy, not bury it completely.”

This post will be updated as more members respond to requests from The Advocate for comment.

The Associated Press reports Obama will formalize his proposal on Tuesday when he submits his budget plan to Congress. The plan is likely dead-on-arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress.