Biden to propose windfall tax on excessive oil profits

President Biden will urge Congress to consider new tax penalties for oil and gas companies if they refuse to boost domestic production as the White House seeks to stem soaring fuel prices ahead of the midterm elections.

The President will speak at the White House Monday afternoon on “big oil companies making record-breaking profits despite refusing to lower prices at the pump for the American people,” according to the White House timetable.

The Associated Press reported that Biden would float the idea of ​​imposing an unexpected tax after Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Shell reported record profits last quarter, even as gas prices remain high across the country.

The president is not expected to endorse any particular proposal, but will urge energy companies “to invest their record profits into cutting costs for American families and increasing production,” a White House official said ahead of Biden’s speech. “And if they don’t, he will urge Congress to consider imposing tax penalties on oil companies and confronting other restrictions.”

Biden and the Democrats have sought to blame soaring gas prices on energy giants, which may have helped diminish their chances in next week’s midterm elections, which will be a question of whether the party retains control of Congress.

The administration is grappling with the political fallout from high fuel costs, which rose to a national average of $5 a gallon over the summer as they try to sell voters to Biden’s economic record. According to AAA, the national average at the pump is currently about $3.76 per gallon.

Biden has repeatedly urged energy companies to slash prices at the pump, blaming some for posting record profits amid a global energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. However, the president is expected to sharpen his rhetoric in Monday’s speech, embracing the idea of ​​an unexpected tax, a proposal some progressive Democrats had previously suggested to the White House.

The economy and inflation remain two top priorities among voters heading to the polls on November 8th.

A tax on oil and gas companies is unlikely to garner enough support in Congress, where Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to overcome a Senate filibuster.

The president is the latest Democrat to back proposing a tax on excessive profits. Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a December special legislative session for lawmakers to consider passing a windfall tax in the state, where gas prices average $2.50 higher than the rest of the country.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-10-31/biden-to-support-new-tax-on-energy-companies-if-they-dont-boost-production Biden to propose windfall tax on excessive oil profits

Alley Einstein

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