In a May 17 column, The Washington Times' Emily Miller wrote that Senate Democrats' attempt to end tax breaks for oil companies "would only increase prices at the pump this summer." In fact, as Media Matters has noted, energy experts have explained that cutting the tax incentives would have little to no effect on prices at the pump. Further, as Miller herself even acknowledged, a recent Congressional Research Service report stated that eliminating the tax breaks would have a negligible impact on gas prices.
From Miller's column:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempt to raise taxes on U.S. oil companies Tuesday night would not have lowered the $4 price tag on a gallon of gasoline. The political stunt fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage, but Mr. Reid vowed to bring back the attack on "big oil" before any final deal on next year's budget or the debt ceiling could be reached.
At a press conference just prior to the vote, Mr. Reid read notes from a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that concluded the Democratic bill would not raise gas prices. I asked Mr. Reid if his legislation would lower the price at the pump, and Mr. Reid said no: "I think that it's not going to have any effect on the price of gasoline."
Although Mr. Reid insists that raising taxes on oil producers would not increase the cost of gasoline, Republicans beg to differ. The Democratic bill "will raise the price of gasoline at the pump," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Increasing domestic production, keeping taxes low and cutting out bureaucracy is exactly what is needed to tackle high gas prices. Unfortunately, Democrats appear more interested in scoring political points than helping American families. Mr. Reid's continued fight to push through a $20 billion tax hike on oil companies would only increase prices at the pump this summer.