President Joe Biden, who was accused by many voters of still high gasoline prices, blamed Big Oil on Monday. The American driver’s wallet was exhausted.
“I’m a financier. I have no problem with companies making a fair profit. But that’s not what’s happening,” Biden said at the White House, adding that Shell and ExxonMobil will be trading in the third quarter of this year.
Instead of using record profits to lower pump costs, companies are handing out cash, such as $19.7 billion reported by ExxonMobil, to shareholders to buy back shares.
Biden said, “Wait a minute, that’s enough. During ‘wartime’ when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine led to higher gas prices, oil companies were ‘beyond their narrow self-interest to management and shareholders.’ The president said we should move.
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Biden said he has directed his team to consider establishing a new tax on excess earnings, commonly referred to as the windfall profits tax.
“It’s time for these corporations to stop profiting from war,” Biden said, without explicitly endorsing the idea of a casual profits tax.
Taxes are unlikely to go anywhere in a Congress that has bogged down with such ideas in the past. But a combination of high oil company profits and soaring gasoline prices gave the president an opportunity to shift the blame ahead of the midterm elections.
In a background note, the White House said: Last year, he more than doubled the earnings he earned in the same quarter of 2021. ”
Biden said if oil companies passed some of their profits back to consumers, gasoline prices would drop by 50 cents a gallon.
The president has been warning oil companies for months about policies he says are at least partially responsible for rising gas prices. The president has complained for months that it did not reduce the
The president also complained that industry was not using government leases to produce more oil and that this would help reduce the cost of gas, arguing that the solution to rising gas prices was It refuted Republican accusations that it was more U.S.-based production.
Polls show Americans are unhappy with rising gasoline prices and believe Democrats won’t do more to cut costs. A CBS/YouGuv poll last week found that 53% of voters (including 86% of Republicans and 16% of Democrats) believe gas prices will go up if Democrats take control of Congress next year. rice field. In contrast, 21% (including 7% of Republicans and 42% of Democrats) believe it will cost more to fill a gas tank if Republicans are in charge.
Republicans have blamed Biden and Democrats for gasoline prices, which have averaged $3.76 nationwide from highs of about $5 in June, but are higher than $3.39 a year ago. Putin and oil company executives.
Democrats are watching what ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods has to say. Woods said on last week’s earnings call that giving back to the company’s shareholders is tantamount to posting record profits to the public.
“There has been some debate in America about our industry returning some of our profits directly to the American public,” Woods said. He added, “That’s exactly what we do” by paying dividends to shareholders. Woods said the windfall tax has hit European customers and will do the same for American consumers.