Obama’s State Of The Union Call For Oil Tax Hikes Ought To Send A Chill Down The Spines Of North Dakotans

During his State of the Union speech tonight Obama called for tax hikes on oil companies. From the transcript:

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Obama also called for America to get 80% of its power from “clean energy” sources by 2035. Right now, America get’s 50% of it’s electricity from coal, and pretty much all of its transportation fuel from oil. To hit 80% in even 25 years, in the absence of an unforeseen technological breakthrough, we’d have to bankrupt ourselves.

It’s worth noting that the only state in the country to have truly thrived despite the national recession is North Dakota. And the only reason North Dakota was able to skip the national recession is because we have an on-going oil boom.

One constant damper on the national economy is the government’s push back against the production of cheap energy from fossil fuels, including oil. Not only does this drive energy prices needlessly higher, it kills all the jobs these oil companies create. Increasing taxes on oil companies is only going to drive fuel and energy prices even higher, and kill more jobs in the energy sector.

Here in North Dakota we are having a statewide debate about simplifying our state-level oil extraction tax. It’s something former Governor Ed Schafer has been touring the state pushing. With Obama clearly intent on pushing for punishing new taxes on the oil industry at the national level, North Dakotans should think long and hard about defending the oil industry in our state and all the job-creation, prosperity and tax revenues it has been driving.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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