Apr 27, 2022
A video out this week urges passage of the Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax, which would provide some measure of relief to Americans feeling pain at the pump while fuel companies rake in billions in profits.
Shared on social media Tuesday by Stop the Oil Profiteering, a project of Fossil Free Media, the roughly one-minute video accuses Big Oil of exploiting the global energy crisis fueled by Russia's war on Ukraine to fatten industry pockets--an accusation only furthered by analyses of recent and projected oil and gas CEO compensations.
"There's a simple way to help working people struggling to pay high gas prices and bills right now. Here's the proposal," the narrator in the video says. "Let's send every American a check funded by a tax on Big Oil windfall profits."
\u201cA Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax can stop war profiteering + provide immediate relief to working people struggling with high gas prices. \n\nIt's time to hold Big Oil accountable for the damage they are doing to our planet and wallets. RT and help us share this message!\ud83d\udcfd\ufe0f #StopBigOil\u201d— Stop The Oil Profiteering (@Stop The Oil Profiteering) 1650981601
" ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP made $75 billion in profits last year" and are "using these record profits to pad the pockets of their CEOs and wealthy shareholders with some $80 billion in stock buybacks," the video states.
"Big Oil is making these billions by intentionally restricting supply as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine disrupts international markets. The result? You pay high prices while they make massive profits," the narrator adds.
The proposed legislation, the narrator says, "would level the playing field by putting a tax on Big Oil's undue profits and using the revenue to send a check to every American struggling with high prices."
"Tell your member of Congress it's time to stop the oil profiteering," the video urges.
Introduced in March by Democrats in both chambers, the legislation would impose a per-barrel tax equal to 50% of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and the average price per barrel between 2015 and 2019.
That proposal is "a simple way to help everyday Americans by making Big Oil pay their fair share" and countering its "war profiteering," said Cassidy DiPaola, a spokesperson for Stop the Oil Profiteering.
Jamie Henn, also a spokesperson for Stop the Oil Profiteering, noted that the Windfall Tax on Big Oil is overwhelmingly popular and framed its passage as urgent.
"Right now, the public is getting battered at the pump so that oil and gas billionaires can boost their portfolios and buy new mansions and super yachts. They exploited the war in Ukraine to raise prices and drill more, and now they won't lift a finger to help the public," Henn said in a statement to Common Dreams.
"Big Oil simply cannot be trusted to do anything but put their profits first," added Henn, urging Congress to "act on this common-sense policy to tax the extreme profiteering of this handful of billionaires to bring some direct relief to the public now."
The campaign's latest push for the legislative proposal followed a letter earlier this month from more than 120 advocacy groups to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging their support for the windfall tax.
"We need solutions that will provide communities the relief they need now," they wrote, "and we must hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their profiteering."
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