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President Biden squares off against Big Oil, proposing a "windfall tax" on the industry's record profits

The president accuses the American oil and gas industry of war profiteering off the conflict in Ukraine.
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Posted at 11:33 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 02:33:51-04

WASHINGTON, DC (KERO) — President Joe Biden is accusing the oil industry of “war profiteering” and threatening to impose new taxes on the industry’s record profits. Oil company executives say such a tax would hurt consumers, a notion Biden scoffed at.

The president is now saying he wants to impose what’s being called a “windfall tax” on oil and gas companies after they reported record profits.

Exxon Mobile posted nearly $20 billion dollars in earning last quarter, which is $4 billion more than forecasted. Valero also saw a 400 percent increase in year-over-year profits.

“Rather than increasing our investments in America, or giving American consumers a break, their excess profits are going back to their shareholders and they’re buying back their stocks, so the executive pays are going to skyrocket,” said the president.

Biden claims the companies are “war profiteering” off the conflict in Ukraine and urges them to use their cash to either expand production or lower consumer prices.

The oil and gas industry dismissed Biden’s statement as “campaign rhetoric.”

“Oil companies do not set prices, global commodities markets do. Increasing taxes on American energy discourages investment in new productuion, whic is the exact opposite of what is needed,” reads a statement from the American Petroleum Institute.

Any new tax levied against the industry would have to come from Congress. The executive branch does not have the power to levy taxes on its own.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has made similar threats, vowing to hold a special session for lawmakers to consider a windfall tax like the one Biden refers to in order to address what Newsom calls the “greed and manipulation” that he says has driven gas prices to “outrageous” levels.