Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director, Washington, D.C.
By now you have probably seen the interview with House Speaker Boehner on ABC about the need to look at tax policy towards oil companies at a time when “we need to have revenues to keep the government moving.” If you haven’t, check out this article from The Hill, which includes a link to it at the end.
It’s worth a look, and I think it shows there’s an opening for agreement on this issue, in spite of the pains the Speaker’s office took to pull back from his words. The President and the House Democratic Leader certainly saw an opening, and consequently sent letters to the Speaker about it.
This policy change would be welcome, with a large majority of Americans supportive of removing the tax breaks, a former major oil company CEO agreeing, and oil company profit reports coming in at astronomical levels this week. Groups, such as Taxpayers for Common Sense, interested in eliminating wasteful government spending agree as well.
Let’s just say, after years of debating whether or not this extremely mature and profitable industry can do without these tax breaks, that they are removed. Where should the resultant revenues be directed?
Deficit reduction is of course an attractive possibility, as the President’s economic adviser Gene Sperling pointed out.
There are a few other possibilities, including vehicle electrification and infrastructure.