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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Oil Severance Tax Will Make College Affordable, Protesters Say

At a protest outside Occidental Petroleum, protesters said a proposed oil tax will generate new revenue for higher education.

College students and activists staged a protest outside the global headquarters for Occidental Petroleum on Thursday, calling for the oil industry to stop opposing a tax proposal.

That tax proposal is SB 1017, proposed by State Sen. Noreen Evans, which levies a 9.5 percent tax on oil extracted within the state's borders. According to Evans, the tax will generate about $2 billion in additional revenue, with most of the funds supporting higher education.

Oil companies have consistently opposed efforts to institute a severance tax in California, although similar taxes (at higher rates) exist in other oil-producing states like Texas.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment organized Thursday's protest under the auspices of the Higher Ed, Not Debt Campaign, a multi-year campaign which aims to make college education more affordable.

The Higher Ed, Not Debt Campaign launched Thursday in Washington, D.C. with a keynote address by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.


I love that the oil industry representative left out the fact that an increase in the gas tax is on the table this year and that would do everything they just used as an excuse not to enact the severance tax. Basically, they are not concerned that the costs are being imposed on the consumer so long as they don't have to pay their fair share.....

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