With prices at the pump shooting toward $3 per gallon and no signs of
stopping there, Democrats in the Michigan House are pushing a package of bills
intended to drive down the cost of diesel and gasoline by decreasing the
state’s reliance on foreign fuel.
“Relying on foreign oil is bad for consumers, bad for the environment
and bad for our wallets,” Rep. Gary McDowell, D-Rudyard, said in a written
statement. “Right now, consumers are stuck in a foreign oil barrel, and we’re
heading over the edge of the falls. We need to develop the fuels of the future
right here in Michigan.”
House Democrats are expected to draft and introduce the six-bill
package within weeks.
Their bills would: give tax incentives to
fuel stations in the state who buy equipment that enables them to sell
biodiesel or fuel ethanol; require that all fuel stations to offer fuel with at
least 10 percent ethanol content; require biodiesel to comprise 5 percent of
diesel fuel; and encourage the state fleet of vehicles to use biodiesel
“We need to take serious steps to relieve the pain at the pump we’re
all feeling,” Rep. John Espinoza, D-Croswell, said in a written statement.
“We’re in the middle of the biggest run-up in oil and gasoline prices we’ve
ever seen. It’s time to take action to address the problem and ensure our
long-term energy needs are met.”
A House Republican has offered his own plan to ease the pain at the pump.
Rep. Robert Gosselin, R-Troy, has proposed a measure to drop the
state’s sales tax on gasoline – but only after a certain point.
The bill – HB4841 – would drop the 6 percent sales tax if the price
pushes above $2.30 a gallon for regular unleaded.
However, Gosselin said the move would save motorists only a few cents
According to The Detroit News,
the tax would cost Michigan $3 million a year in sales tax revenue for every
penny that gas prices rise above $2.30.
The bill is in the House Tax Policy Committee.