Louisiana Officials Create Oil Spill Cleanup Tax

A fund to clean up oil spills that calls for a two-cents-per-barrel tax on crude oil transferred from barges or tankers at marine facilities in the state is being created by Louisiana officials.

Estimated at $10 million annually, the fund would be administered by a coordinator within the office of Gov. Buddy Roemer. According to Ron Gomez, Louisiana's secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and chairman of the governor's Oil Spill Task Force, which crafted the tax plan.

The proposal, which will now go to Governor Roemer for inclusion in his legislative package, is expected to be strongly supported by the governor, who created the task force to protect the state's coastline from the threat of oil spills.

Loosely modeled on a similar measure under consideration in Texas, the Louisiana version would allow individuals to seek money from the funds to pay for damages caused by oil spills.

The $10 million level is below the $50 million requested by the state Department of Environmental Quality. To raise $50 million, the tax on oil would have to be nearly 10 cents a barrel.

Other stories from April 1991 issue


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