Washington, Feb 5 (IANS) U.S. President Barack Obama will require oil companies to pay $10 for every barrel of oil in his budget plan to be released next week, as part of efforts to create a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system, the White House said on Thursday.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress reacted promptly to Obama’s proposal for the oil tax, vowing to kill what they called an “absurd” idea, Xinhua reported.
According to the White House, Obama’s plan “would increase American investments in clean transportation infrastructure by roughly 50 percent while reforming the investments we already make to help reduce carbon pollution, cut oil consumption, and create new jobs.”
The new oil fee, if approved by the Congress, would be gradually phased in over five years, the White House said in a statement.
The so-called 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan included a proposal of spending nearly $20 billion per year above current funding levels to “enhance transportation options for American families.”
That would include making high-speed rail a viable alternative to flying in major regional corridors and invest in new rail technologies, the White House said.
Obama’s plan also proposed $10 billion per year to encourage local and state governments to plan, design and build smarter, cleaner, more resilient transportation systems.
Finally, Obama called for more than $2 billion in annual investments in clean transportation research and development, including efforts to launch pilot deployments of safe and climate smart autonomous vehicles, create regional fuelling infrastructure for low-carbon vehicles, and integrate new and changing technologies into U.S. transportation system.