BISMARCK, N.D. – Congress should temporarily suspend the federal tax on gasoline to cut fuel prices, North Dakota’s Republican U.S. House candidate believes, along with encouraging more oil drilling and refinery construction.
The federal tax on gasoline, which finances road building, repairs and mass transit projects, is now 18.4 cents per gallon. Mechtel said Tuesday that it should be suspended until the price of gasoline, which is now close to $3 a gallon for regular unleaded, declines to about $2.50 per gallon.
North Dakota’s state gasoline tax is 23 cents a gallon. Mechtel’s proposal would not affect the state tax. He said money elsewhere in the federal budget could make up the road-repair funds lost by suspending the fuel tax.
“We need all-out drilling for increased supplies,” Mechtel said. “We need to drill along the coasts, and in the ocean. We need to drill (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and other areas. As long as petroleum is the energy use of choice, we need to get as much as we can, as fast as we can get it.”
“We have to acknowledge that Congress and the executive branch of our government have not, thus far, made any real headway to secure our energy future,” he said. “In fact, we are far more vulnerable today than we were decades ago.”
Matt Mechtel: Suspend the Federal Gas Tax