‘Hero of the Taxpayers’ Working to Raise Energy Taxes in the Form of an LCFS

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has a long record of fighting for American taxpayers. In fact, on his website, under “The Senator’s Awards,” he lists several accolades from the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The title is called the “Hero of the Taxpayer,” and it is awarded to members of Congress that gain high marks from ATR by supporting legislation that does not increase the tax burden and cost of living on Americans.

Recently, ATR highlighted an energy proposal called a low-carbon fuel standard, or an LCFS. The non-partisan, non-profit tax experts wrote this in a position paper:

The United States’ largest oil supplier, Canada, gets most of its oil from oil sands. These oil sands, like the oil shale in the western US, have a high carbon lifecycle. A LCFS would restrict our access to the Canadian oil sands, which provided about 18 percent of the oil to the US in 2007. The US consumes nearly all of the Canadian oil exports.

A LCFS would likely increase biofuel use from corn-ethanol, thus increasing the cost of food. Costs of reaching a 90% LCFS using ethanol would range between $65.5 billion and $760 billion annually; which are $570 and $6520 per year per household. These LCFS would increase subsidies to corn ethanol, costing taxpayers between $1 billion and $17 billion.

The 10% reduction in fuel greenhouse gas emissions mandated by a LCFS would increase the cost of ethanol by 46%; from $2.01 per gallon to $2.93 per gallon. The price of gasoline would also increase by $0.61 per gallon.

The experts at ATR closed with this:

An LCFS will:

  • Increase transportation costs and taxes.
  • Increase food costs around the world because of increased corn-ethanol use.
  • Cut off oil supplies from Canada and the western US, making the US more dependent on less secure sources of energy.
  • So, if an LCFS will increase transportation costs and taxes, and ban Canadian energy from reaching American consumers while only adding to our dependence on oil from unstable regions of the world, why does Senator Alexander maintain support for such a scheme?

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