President Biden revoked TC Energy Corp.’s license on the controversial pipeline projects, Keystone XL, as part of his first official acts. In 2008, soon after TC proposed the pipeline, the project ran into trouble with environmental groups, mainly citing the threat of spills. Many were also keen on reducing the amount of oil extracted from Canada’s oil sands. It is widely regarded as one of the worst polluters among oil-producing regions around the world.
The bill for spills aims to impose an excise tax that could amount to a 5.5 U.S. cents tax on each barrel of oil sand crude to be paid into a fund to clean up oil spills. It is a 180-degree reversal on a 2011 ruling by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. It said that crude oil sand is not technically considered crude and is not subject to an excise tax.
Blumenauer wants the tax code changed to specifically label oilsands products as crude oil. According to him, the United States is in a climate emergency and needs to take action by holding fossil fuel polluters accountable. He also says that the excise tax will generate almost US$665 million in additional taxes for the government over a decade.