• OIL SPILL TAX TO SUNSET THIS MONTH

  • OIL SPILL TAX TO SUNSET THIS MONTH

    The longtime federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund levy of 9cts per barrel expires on Dec. 31, 2017, and there is no known effort to resurrect the fee. The tax goes all the way back to government actions taken in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill in spring 1989. The tax was part of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 with a trust fund dedicated to taking care of expenses beyond the costs that might be covered by the responsible party spilling any oil. There is approximately $5.7 billion in the fund ahead of expiration.

    There is a mixture in how various suppliers treat the oil spill tax on their invoices. Most companies, including the vast majority of major and independent refiners, break out the value as a separate line item. However, a few suppliers simply integrate the fee into their rack prices.

    The 9ct/bbl fee applies only to the hydrocarbons portion of fuels. For example, a clear gasoline blend or 100% ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel has a fee of 0.214cts/gal attached. An E10 blend of gasoline carried a 0.193cts/gal fee as did a B10 biodiesel blend. For most other products, including commercial jet fuel, there is no special line item treatment.

    As it stands today, those fees should disappear on invoices effective Midnight Jan. 1, 2018.

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