(Headline USA) Democrats are hoping to lower the price of gas by increasing taxes on oil companies.
A group of congressional Democrats proposed a new tax this week on large oil companies designed to “curb profiteering” by redirecting profits from higher crude oil prices back to taxpayers.
The Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act, introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and co-sponsored by 11 other Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would collect a percentage of the profits oil and gas companies are making, since oil is at its highest premium in more than a decade, and return it to consumers as quarterly rebates.
Under this law, oil companies that produce or import at least 300,000 barrels of oil per day would have to pay a 50% per–barrel tax on the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and the pre-pandemic average price per barrel. So, if oil is priced at $120-per-barrel, the tax would bring in about $45 billion per year, the senators estimated.
That money would then be reallocated to tax filers, depending on their income. Eligible single filers would receive approximately $240 per year, while joint filers would receive about $369 per year.
“We’ve seen this script before, and we cannot allow the fossil fuel industry to once again collect a massive windfall by taking advantage of an international crisis,” Whitehouse said in a statement.
President Joe Biden has also accused oil companies of unethically hiking their prices, even though there is no evidence that they have done so.
“These companies have made billions and used the profits to enrich their own shareholders while average Americans are hurting at the pump,” he said.
Republicans, however, have pointed out that Biden’s own energy policies, which stifled domestic gas and oil production, are to blame for the gas price spike.