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ASHLAND CHAIRMAN VOICES OPPOSITION TO ENERGY TAXES

 ASHLAND, Ky., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- John R. Hall, chairman and chief executive officer of Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE:ASH), today expressed his preference for a value-added tax over several energy-related tax proposals that have been mentioned as a means to reduce the federal deficit.
 Hall told shareholders at the company's annual meeting that he doesn't believe it is appropriate to attempt to reduce the budget deficit through a large increase in gasoline taxes, an oil import fee, a broad-based energy tax, or a carbon tax.
 "A large increase in gasoline taxes could throw the economy back into recession by increasing transportation costs," said Hall. "We continue to support gasoline taxes that are dedicated to the highway trust fund. We would not oppose and would probably support a modest gasoline tax increase as long as the proceeds are used for infrastructure programs."
 Hall said gasoline taxes have a disproportionate impact on different parts of the country. He used the example of a person who lives in Kansas City and who drives 25 miles one-way to work being hurt more from gasoline taxes than a Wall Street investment analyst. Gasoline taxes also are known to be regressive, which means they have the biggest impact on middle- and lower-income working people.
 Ashland's chairman also expressed concern for an oil import fee. He said it would be felt most heavily by people who live in Northeastern states where people are highly dependent on imported home heating oil.
 Hall said a broad-based energy tax would make U.S. energy more expensive. "As a result, it would raise the cost of producing U.S. goods, thereby making them less competitive in the global marketplace and more difficult to export," he said.
 Hall explained that a carbon tax, which would effect only coal and oil, would fall disproportionately on coal, the United States' most abundant and cheapest source of energy.
 As a solution to the growing deficit problem, Hall suggested value-added taxes (VAT) or other forms of consumption taxes as replacements for existing taxes. More than 50 countries now have VATs, including recent converts Canada and Japan. Twenty-one of 24 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries have VATs. Only the United States, Switzerland and Australia are holdouts. Value-added taxes are aimed at revising the tax system to encourage saving and investment and enhance the international competitiveness of American businesses, Hall concluded.
 Ashland Oil, Inc. is a diversified energy corporation engaged in petroleum refining, transportation and wholesale marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil and lubricant marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production.
 -0- 1/28/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, Inc., 606-329-4061/
 (ASH)


CO: Ashland Oil, Inc. ST: Kentucky IN: OIL SU:

DM -- PG012 -- 0391 01/28/93 15:15 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1993
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