Infrastructure groups see Biden’s gas tax holiday hurt

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Business groups believe President Joe Biden’s proposed federal gas tax exemption could do more harm than good.

Lobbyists representing manufacturers, building contractors and civil engineers criticized the president’s plan announced Wednesday, arguing that consumer relief from rising gas prices will pale in comparison to potential delays and resulting costs. stalled infrastructure programs paid for through the Highway Trust Fund and funded by these gas taxes.

“Our nation has made historic progress with the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, but this decision risks derailing its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to the competitiveness of manufacturers,” said the president and director of the National Association of Manufacturers. CEO Jay Timmons wrote in a statement.

“Since the start of this administration, we have provided specific solutions and recommendations to improve energy security and take a comprehensive approach: restart and expand oil and gas leases on federal lands, prioritize funding and expedite issuance. traditional permits and emerging energy options, expanding the mining and processing of critical minerals, strengthening and diversifying clean energy supply chains, promoting regulatory predictability by refraining from revising atmospheric standards until previous ones are met, compliance with the Federal Infrastructure Act Single Decision Policy and more.

“We would be in a better position now if these and other measures had already been taken, and the need to act has only become more urgent.”

Biden called on Congress to pass a three-month pause on the $0.184-per-gallon federal gasoline tax and the $0.244-per-gallon federal diesel tax, while urging states to do the same with their gasoline taxes.

“With tax revenues up this year and our deficit down by more than $1.6 trillion this year alone, we will still be able to fix our highways and bring gas prices down,” he said. Biden during Wednesday’s press conference. “We can do both at the same time.

A consortium of infrastructure lobbyists denounced Biden’s plans in a letter to the president on Wednesday, saying freezing “gas taxes” would “undermine recent and historic investments in infrastructure.”

“U.S. consumers are facing significant economic concerns brought about by record inflation, ongoing supply chain issues, high energy prices, labor shortages, and lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19,” the letter read. “These economic headwinds demand your administration’s full attention and prompt action, but suspending the gasoline tax would have no significant impact on addressing these issues.

“However, it would most likely undermine efforts to improve the safety and condition of our roads, bridges and public transit systems. It would also undermine efforts to create jobs and make the one-time infrastructure investments of our country. by the historic and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).”

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