President Barack Obama proposed a tax Thursday of $10 for every barrel of oil produced in the U.S. to fund new spending on “green” infrastructure programs. Republican Governor of Ohio and current presidential candidate John Kasich, however, beat him to the punch by a year.
In February 2015, Kasich attempted to levy a tax of 6.5 percent on oil production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, activity in Ohio. The total tax would have amounted to $3.25 per barrel of oil, which was a lot more than the $0.20 tax per barrel the state already utilized. Kasich believed the tax would bring in $260 million over two years, and was so convinced of these high revenues, he previously attempted to implement a similar tax on oil in March 2014.
The only real differences between Obama and Kasich’s oil tax plans are Ohio’s marginally lower rates and Obama’s plan to use the revenues to subsidize green transportation programs. Both oil tax programs would likely hurt poor people the most, since energy bills eat up a higher percentage of their income.
“The president is proposing a nearly 24 cent per gallon tax on the very energy source that keeps Americans and our economy moving,” Thomas Pyle, the president of the Institute for Energy Research, said in a press statement. “This is a tax on every American driver, and it would have the harshest impact on those who can least afford it. For a president who claims to care about helping the poor, he sure doesn’t show it in his policies.”
The poor are the demographic hardest hit by energy taxes. Such hardships were documented in a 2015 study by the Pacific Research Institute looking at energy prices in Ohio. The study showed that low-income black communities can spend up to 26 percent of their household income on energy.
Kasich’s campaign didn’t not respond to a comment request from The Daily Caller News Foundation.