President Joe Biden has lashed out at American oil companies that are making “windfall” profits without lowering prices for consumers at the pump.
He called on the companies to increase production and refining capacity, failing which, “they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions.”
Biden said his team will work with Congress to look at these options.
“It’s time for these companies to stop war profiteering, meet their responsibilities in this country and give the American people a break and still do very well,” he added, while delivering remarks at the White House on recent reports of major oil companies making record-setting profits.
Biden singled out the third quarter profits of Exxon and Shell.
“Last week, Shell announced that it made $9.5 billion in profits for the third quarter. That’s almost twice as much as it made in the third quarter of last year. Exxon’s profits for the third quarter were at $18.7 billion — nearly triple what Exxon made last year and the most in its 152-year history”.
Biden said that in the last six months, six of the largest oil companies have made more than $100 billion, calling the size of the profit “outrageous”.
Biden noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine set gas prices soaring but because of the action that his administration has taken since then, including releasing crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, gas prices have come down.
He alleged that at a difficult time, when Americans across the country have stepped up, the oil industry has not met its commitment to invest in America and support the American people.
“If these companies were making average profits they’ve been making by refining oil over the last 20 years instead of the outrageous profits they’re making today and if they passed the rest on to the consumers, the price of gas would come down around an additional 50 cents,” according to Biden.
“If they’re investing their profits at historic rates in their U.S. operations, then America would be producing more oil today and prices would be down even further. But rather than increasing their investments in America or giving American consumers a break, their excess profits are going back to their shareholders and to buying back their stock, so the executive pay is going to skyrocket,” Biden said.
“The oil industry has not met its commitment to invest in America and support the American people,” Biden said Monday. He called the industry’s profits “a windfall of war.”
The price of gasoline is down more than $1.20 since their peak this summer. It has fallen to $3.76 on average after Biden’s administration released 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Gas price and high inflation are two key issues that will influence the mid-term election, which is just one week away.
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