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Press Release

Obama's Tax-and-Spend Energy Plan Revives Failed Carter-Era Policies, Taxpayer Group Says

For Immediate Release August 6, 2008
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, VA) -- The phrase "stump speech" originated when Presidential candidates would stand on tree stumps to address voters, but the counterproductive measures Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) trumpeted this week on the campaign trail have left taxpayers "stumped" and confused, according to the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

"Sen. Obama has been campaigning on an energy platform supposedly focused on providing relief to struggling American families, but in reality, his proposals would achieve the exact opposite," NTU Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan said. "A closer look at his energy plan -- and at the nation's history with similar measures -- shows what economists, policy experts, and most importantly, hard-working Americans already know: Higher taxes mean higher prices."

Obama has advocated a windfall profits tax on oil companies to provide $1,000 "energy rebates" for low- and middle-income families -- a move that would simultaneously decrease supply and increase demand, invariably leading to skyrocketing prices for consumers. "Windfall profits taxes led to less domestic oil production in the 1980s, while 'rebates' would only boost demand for oil at a time when it is least available," Moylan said. "Economics 101 tells us that this is a formula that will worsen the price squeeze."

A vengeful windfall profits tax would also lead to higher prices for consumers because they ultimately bear the burden of any tax increase.

Obama also has called for throwing $150 billion in taxpayer money at development of so-called "alternative energy" over the next 10 years. "The path to today's energy challenges is littered with failed alternative energy programs that benefited from billions in taxpayers subsidies," Moylan noted.

Instead, Congress should allow the energy exploration moratorium to expire at the end of September and make available more than 80 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- calming market volatility and eventually bringing down energy prices. "With gasoline almost $4 a gallon and food costs rising nationwide, families can ill afford more misguided energy policy that echoes the failures of the Jimmy Carter era," Moylan concluded.

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU's energy policy, visit or