FIRST ON FOX: The No. 3 Republican in the Senate is accusing the Biden administration of “throwing away” the U.S. energy sector in his recently unveiled budget proposal that would punish fossil fuels with higher taxes and award “lavish subsidies” to green energy initiatives.
“America is fortunate to have abundant energy resources. Our nation needs to be focused on unleashing American energy and innovation instead of throwing away one of our biggest economic and geopolitical advantages,” Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo., wrote in a Thursday letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“There are more than a dozen… energy tax provisions in the crosshairs of the administration’s tax plan, all of which pale in comparison to the lavish subsidies afforded to the renewable energy industry,” Barrasso wrote of Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget plan.
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The president’s budget proposal would strip traditional U.S. energy industries of $31 billion worth of “special tax treatment for oil and gas company investments, as well as other fossil fuel tax preferences,” according to the White House. That’s less than the $45 billion in fossil fuel subsidies his previous budget proposal sought to end, but is still enough to alarm Republicans.
“Instead of increasing U.S. energy production, the administration is focused on increasing energy taxes. The administration has once again doubled down on weaponizing the tax code against U.S. energy producers,” Barrasso wrote.
Biden’s budget plan seeks to invest billions into renewable energy. Among the president’s proposals are $300 million for public housing to improve energy efficiency and withstand the effects of climate change. A White House fact sheet touts a $4.5 billion investment “in clean energy across America.”
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In his Thursday letter, signed by 21 other Republican senators, Barrasso said Biden’s “hostility” toward fossil fuels would not only result in Americans paying more at home, but also make it more difficult for U.S. allies to stop depending on Russian oil and gas.
“Currently, working families and small businesses are facing immense challenges, including high energy prices,” he wrote. “At the same time, our allies and partners across the globe are asking for reliable American energy resources to escape their dependence on Russian energy and to deal with the energy crisis.”
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“These crushing tax proposals, paired with the administration’s heavy-handed regulations and mandates, would threaten American families’ access to affordable and reliable energy, while giving our adversaries the upper-hand in the global energy markets,” the letter said.
The letter was sent to Yellen just before she’s set to defend Biden’s budget proposal on Capitol Hill before the Senate Finance Committee.