Biden’s Green Budget Threatens Americans’ Access to Affordable Energy: Senate Republicans

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and 21 of his colleagues denounced what they described as the Biden administration’s most recent attempt to use the tax code as a weapon against American energy producers.

The March 16 letter is in response to President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request and concentrates on the $100 billion in targeted tax increases on energy, including coal, gas, and oil extraction.

The senators drew attention to the ways in which these taxes would destroy jobs, drive up energy costs for U.S. households, and give American adversaries like Russia an advantage in international energy markets.

In the letter lawmakers expressed grave concerns, arguing that the administration’s hostility towards American energy production is harming working families and small businesses facing high energy prices.

The letter highlights the Treasury Department’s general explanations of the administration’s 2024 revenue proposals, which suggested $4.7 trillion in new tax increases, including more than $100 billion in targeted tax increases on fossil fuels.

The authors argue that the proposals are neither policy neutral nor consider the high tax rates already paid by the fossil fuel industry.

“Unbelievably, the administration would willingly suppress domestic energy production knowing it means fewer jobs and higher prices for the American people.

“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 senators wrote.

“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.”

The letter also points out that many of the proposed tax hikes would repeal cost recovery provisions and deny necessary deductions for energy producers.

Examples include the proposed repeal of expensing for Intangible Drilling Costs and the elimination of Percentage Depletion. Critics say these provisions are essential for independent and family-owned production companies, as well as farmers and ranchers who rely on small royalty payments.

Yellen made headlines just days before the letter was sent when she said that higher corporate taxes are needed for investing in the economy.

The treasury secretary’s comments came the day after Biden unveiled the fiscal year 2024 budget on March 9.

The budget proposes a 28 percent corporate tax rate, up from the current 21 percent. The administration estimates that it would generate $1.32 trillion in revenues.

If enacted, the United States would have one of the highest corporate tax rates among advanced economies, only behind Japan (30.62 percent), Australia (30 percent), and Germany (30 percent). It would also be higher than China’s 25 percent level.

The Department of Treasury declined to comment on the letter.

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