KCUR News
5:03 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

Slam to Big Oil, Bash on Mileage Tax

KANSAS CITY, MO. – With backing from the Obama Administration, Missouri's senior Senator is fighting a plan to tax motorists on how many miles they drive. At the same time, Claire McCaskill proposes cutting subsidies to big oil companies. She spoke of the separate plans in Kansas City this afternoon.

On a windy corner just off the downtown freeway loop, The Missouri Democrat spoke of taking away tax breaks for the big five in petroleum. The five largest oil companies showed a $32.2 billion profit the first quarter, while taking more than $40 billion from tax breaks over the past decade. To the Senator, those were " giveaways from taxpayers" and unwarranted.

McCaskill says she was able to convince con sponsors that all the savings would have to go to deficit reduction-- " I can't say the deficit is a problem, and the debt is a problem and not continue to do every think I can to bring it down. And that's why I'm supporting this bill. It's the right thing to do."

McCaskill says penalizing drivers for miles-driven in a rural state like Missouri, where it takes long miles to get to work, makes no sense at all. She cited unpredictability of fuel prices and lack of public transportation. The Senator says she has written a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood opposing such a tax.