House GOP hits back at gas tax proposal

More energy access would lower prices at the pump, House leader says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 20, 2014 at 9:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Members of the House of Representatives said U.S. consumers would pay less at the pump if a bill in support of expanded domestic energy production passed.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and 12 other House Republicans introduced legislation they say would lower U.S. retail gasoline prices.

"By unlocking our nation's own resources we can put over a million Americans back to work, breathe new life into our economy, and lower gasoline prices for American families and businesses," he said in a statement Thursday.

Hastings' measure calls for access to energy reserves off the Atlantic coast, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and aims to do away with what he says are unnecessary delays in the bidding process for oil and gas acreage.

The House measure follows a bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., that would raise the federal gasoline tax, which has remained static since 1993.

Gasoline is taxed at 18.4 cents per gallon, and diesel is taxed at 24.4 cents per gallon. The Senate proposal would increase both rates by six cents in each of two years for a total of 12 cents on the gallon.

Their measure aims to generate revenue for the federal highway system.

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