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Union Boss: Obama Budget Puts ‘Environmental Extremists’ Ahead Of Workers

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A prominent union leader bashed President Barack Obama for proposing a new oil tax which could hurt truck drivers and job creators.

Obama’s proposed transportation budget includes a $10 a barrel oil tax. The proposal is part of a White House initiative to create a cleaner future. The proposal will invest $320 billion over 10 years into agencies working to overhaul national transportation to be more environmentally friendly. The White House argues this will help the economy by increasing the rate in which goods enter the market while also reducing pollution.

Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Union President Terry O’Sullivan denounced the president Tuesday for proposing the tax he argues will hurt truck drivers and job creators.

“Throughout the Highway Bill debate, LIUNA urged Congress and the President to pass an increase in the gas tax in order to ensure funding for the Highway Trust Fund,” O’Sullivan said in a press release Tuesday. “The White House refused to support this common-sense approach to our transportation financing needs.”

“It appears that environmental extremists have convinced the President to tax our energy sector through a $10 oil tax in order to pay for clean transportation investment,” O’Sullivan continued. “It is a poor policy proposal that will cost drivers more without actually doing anything to improve the roads they drive on. The proposal also sidesteps the urgent need to provide sustainable investment for all transportation infrastructure rather than stealing from roads and bridges to invest in transit.”

The proposal is not the first time labor unions and the president fought over environmental policies. The Teamsters condemned the administration for not supporting the Keystone Pipeline. The oil pipeline has the potential of creating many unionized jobs. While unions tends to support Democrats, their main priority is workers, and environmental policies often stifle job growth which means less union members.

“It’s no secret that the Obama administration is out of touch with the plight of blue collar workers,” Republican Rep. Phil Roe told The Washington Free Beacon. “President Obama’s budget proposal further underscores the president’s priorities don’t align with those of the American people, and I hope he’ll finally choose to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy his final year in office.”

Environmental policies has been a priority of the president throughout his administration. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the administration Feb. 9 to stop the implementation of a new rule aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The policy has been criticized as a huge power grab from the Environmental Protection Agency.

LIUNA is a major union representing over a half million workers nationally.

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