Oil industry groups react to President Joe Biden on Monday threatening potential windfall tax or other repercussions if oil companies don’t invest in boosting U.S. production and lowering prices to the consumption.
The president, arguing in remarks on Monday that oil companies’ recent profits were a “windfall from war” in Ukraine, urged them to devote part of their profits to increasing their production and refining capacity in United States and the lower gas prices that Americans are seeing at the pump. He said he believes they have a “responsibility to act in the interest of their consumers, their community and their country.”
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“If they don’t, they’ll pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions,” Biden said. “My team will work with Congress to review these options for us and others. It’s time these companies stop profiting from war.”
In a statement on Monday, American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers said American families and businesses are “looking to lawmakers for solutions, not campaign rhetoric.” “.
Sommers also accused the Biden administration of taking credit ‘for every penny that gas prices drop, but when prices go the other way, the pointing finger begins’ during a call with reporters. Tuesday morning.
He argued that “raising U.S. energy taxes are discouraging investment in new generation” both in the statement and in the call to reporters, saying global markets determine gasoline prices . He also told reporters that “bad policies matter.”
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As he appeared on “Kudlow” in the afternoon, Sommers pushed back on Biden’s “war profiteering” comment.
“The accusation they made against this industry – an industry that incidentally sanctioned itself and refused to take more Russian crude at the start of this terrible war that is going on in Europe, an industry that is pulled out of Russia alone without band-aids from the federal government – that they say that this industry, the most patriotic industry I know of in our country, would be a war profit is an absolutely outrageous comment,” he said. declared.
Chet Thompson, CEO and chairman of U.S. fuel and petrochemical makers, accused Biden of being “more concerned with political posturing” ahead of midterms than “advancing energy policies that will actually benefit the American people.” .
“A windfall tax might make some good claims, but as a policy it’s bad for consumers,” he said in a statement. “This is likely to discourage fuel production and make things worse for drivers.”
White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan made a statement to FOX Business on Tuesday.
“That’s rich coming from an industry that uses record profits to line shareholders’ pockets instead of expanding production and refining capacity so families can pay less for gas,” he said. declared.
Hasan, echoing some of Biden’s comments on Monday, said “six of the biggest oil companies have made over $100 billion in profits in the past six months alone,” before going on to say that they spent more than $50 billion on dividends and stock buybacks.
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“Of course they want to continue enjoying a period of war with impunity,” he continued. “But the president has been clear: if they don’t change their behavior, he will hold them accountable to protect the interests of American families.”
Biden said Monday that people will “hear more” on the issue “when Congress returns.”
At press time, the national average price for regular gas was $3,758, down from $3,800 a month ago and $3,402 a year ago, according to AAA. In mid-June, AAA reported that the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline hit an all-time high of $5,016.
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