Mark Leno and Noreen Evans Bring Back Oil Extraction Tax

Brian Leubitzbyline‚ Feb. 14‚ 2013

When you ask California voters about things that we can do about the California budget, one of the more popular items that is usually floated is an oil extraction tax. California is the only major energy producing state without a tax, and it just makes zero sense.

Yet when it comes down to brass tacks and ballot boxes, hordes of oil cash usually swoops in to kill the measure. But Senators Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) are looking to bring the topic back.
"California is the largest -- and only -- oil producing state in the nation that does not tax its vast oil resources," said Evans in a written statement.

The proposal, a 9.9 percent tax on oil drilled both on land and off the California coast, could generate some $2 billion a year in new state revenue (depending, of course, on the price of a barrel of oil and on in-state oil production). SB 241 says the money would be earmarked for all three branches of higher education -- the University of California, the California State University, and community colleges -- as well as state parks. Most of the money (93 percent, according to the legislative authors) would go to higher ed. (News10)

If you look back to the Prop 87 campaign half a decade ago or so, what you see is that the oil companies try to scare voters into thinking that somehow all of this will fall back down upon the consumer. Yet, in reality, sheer economics says that simply cannot be.