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PETROLEUM MARKETERS CALL FOR ELIMINATION OF 'ANTI-OIL' BIAS IN ENERGY TAX PROPOSAL

 WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Independent petroleum marketers would likely support a broad-based Btu tax which applies equally to all major fuels, but they strongly oppose the current tax proposal, which would tax oil at more than twice the rate of other fuels, an industry spokesman told the House Ways and Means Committee today.
 "We have historically opposed energy taxes targeted at deficit reduction. However, this year, in recognition of pressing deficit concerns, we agreed to consider a broad-based energy tax that was applicable to all fuels at the same rate, and which was coupled with significant reductions in federal spending," said Doug Woosnam, a Pennsylvania-based petroleum marketer testifying on behalf of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA).
 Woosnam expressed disappointment that oil was singled out for extra taxation. "PMAA strongly believes that the Btu tax should be levied equally on all fuels," he told the committee. At a minimum, he said, heating oil users and fuel used for off-road purposes, such as farming, should be exempt from the extra tax.
 "The best way to improve energy security and the environment is to reduce consumption, and the best way to reduce consumption is through conservation," he said. "PMAA believes an equivalent Btu tax not only will assist in the budget deficit, but will also encourage conservation of all fuels and thereby benefit the environment," he added.
 Woosnam also noted PMAA's concerns with the indexing provision of the tax. If this tax had been imposed 5 years ago, the differential tax on oil would have grown from 34.2 cents per million Btus to 41.2 cents, a 17 percent increase. "This worsens all the inequities of the supplemental tax," he said.
 Woosnam commended Treasury officials for their willingness to consider shifting the point of collection of the tax from crude oil to finished petroleum products leaving the refinery. "This makes much greater sense and lessens our trade and competitiveness concerns," he added.
 PMAA represents nearly 11,000 independent petroleum marketing companies throughout the nation. Collectively those companies sell nearly 50 percent of the gasoline, 75 percent of the home heating oil, and 60 percent of the diesel fuel sold in this country annually. Most of the companies represented by PMAA are small, often family- owned businesses.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: David L. Morehead or Phillip R. Chisholm, both of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, 703-351-8000/


CO: Petroleum Marketers Association of America ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU: LEG

IH-KD -- DC011 -- 8595 03/23/93 10:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 23, 1993
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