As Gas Prices Rise, Senator Markey Releases New Plan to Address President Trump’s “Oil Risk Tax”


Since President Trump took office, gas prices have risen 25%, with average U.S. consumer now paying roughly $350 more/year to fill up


Trump oil risk tax wipes out the benefits that low-incomes families will see from recently-passed GOP tax scam


Washington (May 21, 2018) – With gas nearing $3/gallon nationally, today Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released a new report outlining how President Donald Trump’s incoherent foreign policy is exacerbating geopolitical uncertainty around the globe and roiling oil markets, resulting in higher gas prices for American drivers. The impacts of the Trump “oil risk tax” on consumers is worsened when combined with rising U.S. exports of American crude, making American consumers more vulnerable to supply disruptions and international oil price increases. As a result of the lifting of the 40-year old ban on exporting American crude oil, historic amounts of U.S. oil are now going to foreign nations rather than staying here to benefit American consumers. Senator Markey’s report, “The Trump Oil Risk Tax: Driving Up Prices for America’s Drivers” also criticizes Congressional Republican legislation passed over recent years that will drain nearly 40 percent of the oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), America’s number one protection against price spikes and market volatility. Senator Markey will be introducing legislation today to reinstate the oil export ban.


“President Trump loves having his name on things – towers, steak, universities – and now his name is associated with higher gas prices,” said Senator Markey. “President Trump’s incoherent foreign policy has been driving up prices for America’s drivers by increasing risk and roiling markets. This increase in oil and gas prices is a ‘Trump oil risk tax’ and Americans are paying the price at the pump. President Trump says his agenda is ‘America First’, but the policies he and Republicans are pursuing put Big Oil first and American consumers last.”


A copy of Senator Markey’s report, “The Trump Oil Risk Tax: Driving Up Prices for America’s Drivers” can be found HERE.


A copy of the BAN Oil Exports Act can be found HERE.


Main findings of Senator Markey’s report include:

  • U.S. gasoline prices have increased nearly 25 percent since President Trump took office (more than 50 cents/gallon).
  • The average consumer is now paying roughly $350 more per year to fill up at the pump than when President Trump took office.
  • The lowest 40 percent of earners could see a “tax cut” of a little more than $200 per person from the recently passed GOP tax plan – those savings will be eclipsed by the Trump oil risk tax.
  • U.S. crude oil exports reached 2.3 million barrels per day in April 2018, even as the U.S. still imported nearly 3.5 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products per day.
  • The coordinated effort by OPEC to drive down oil supplies makes the U.S. even more susceptible to geopolitical risk premiums that drive up prices.
  • Since the passage in 2015 of the Bipartisan Budget Act – which also lifted the oil export ban – Republicans in Congress have mandated the sale of more than a third of the SPR oil to pay for unrelated measures. At the end of 2017, the SPR held 662.8 million barrels of crude oil. However, 266 million barrels have now been obligated for sale through legislation).
  • Lowering fuel economy emissions standards, along with higher gasoline prices, will also dramatically impact consumers.


Additionally, Senator Markey and Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) are calling on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to complete a review and report on the effects of crude oil exports on American consumers and the economy. A copy of their letter to GAO can be found HERE.


Senator Markey is also querying the Department of Energy (DOE) about the current status of the SPR, including any analysis the agency is conducting of further SPR reductions, our international obligations, and ability to replenish stocks in case of emergency, among other issues. A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to DOE can be found HERE.