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Americans for Democratic Action

FEBRUARY 1, 2006

CONTACT: Americans for Democratic Action
Don Kusler, 202) 785-5980

Windfall Profits Tax Redux
Statement By ADA National Director Amy F. Isaacs

WASHINGTON - February 1 - President Bush's State of the Union speech was delivered following almost two weeks of unremitting reports of record profits from the major oil and gas companies. These reports come even as Americans watch their fuel costs skyrocket. Thus, when President Bush called, not only for the end of dependence on foreign oil, but also for increased research and innovation in the areas of fuel economy and alternative sources of energy, we listened attentively. His goals are worthy, but immediate, serious steps must be taken to ensure lasting success. ADA, therefore, calls on the President to request, and the Congress to enact, a windfall profits tax on oil and refinery companies.

Exxon Mobil is the latest company to report record profits reaping over $10 billion in profits in the fourth quarter of 2005, the largest quarterly profit of any company in U.S. history. Adding in the numbers from Chevron and ConocoPhillips brings the total for the three leading U.S. companies to $18.5 billion in profits for the fourth quarter. These companies are gouging consumers even as they line their own pockets by selling, at exorbitant prices, a product that is essential for everyday life. Company executives and spokespersons have offered a list of excuses, each one more outrageous than the last. A windfall profits tax will force the gluttonous energy industry to share the burden of ordinary working Americans.

Unfortunately, because the energy industry contributed over $50 million in individual and PAC donations to federal candidates and office holders in the 2004 cycle, leadership on this issue might be hard to find. Step one of the President's initiative should be for the President and Congress to end their own dependency on oil money. Then Congress should enact and the President should sign a windfall profits tax.


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