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Fridays for Future Vienna: 'People Not Profit'

Fridays for Future climate activists hold up a banner reading "People Not Profit" during a global climate strike on September 23, 2022 in Vienna, Austria. Similar marches took place in cities across the globe with participants demanding an end to fossil fuel consumption. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)

California Gov. Newsom Proposes Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil

Calls for windfall profits taxes have increased globally in recent weeks

Common Dreams staff

California Gov. Gavin Newsom called Friday for a windfall profits tax on oil companies that would go directly back to California residents.

While crude oil prices are down nationally, big oil companies have increased gas prices in California by a record 84 cents per gallon in just the last 10 days. 

“Crude oil prices are down but oil and gas companies have jacked up prices at the pump in California. This doesn’t add up,” said Newsom. “I’m calling for a windfall tax to ensure excess oil profits go back to help millions of Californians who are getting ripped off.”

California lawmakers are not due back in session until January 2023, which would be the earliest Californians could see any movement on this.

Calls for windfall profits taxes have increased globally in recent weeks.

On Friday, the European Union agreed to impose a new windfall profits tax on fossil fuel companies reaping massive profits from the high price of oil and natural gas.

And on September 20th, in his opening remarks to the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on "all developed economies" to tax fossil fuel companies to help those suffering from the climate and cost-of-living crises. 

Guterres’ windfall tax proposal would direct those funds: "to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis; and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices."

Guterres accused oil and gas giants of “feasting on a whole bunch of billions of {dollars} in subsidies and windfall profits whereas family budgets shrink and our planet burns.”

Also last week, a report authored by world-renowned economists and advocates called on governments to enact windfall profit taxes and other "emergency" measures to avert a global recession.

The United Kingdom, meanwhile, approved a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas firms in May—but new right-wing Prime Minister Liz Truss has made clear she opposes windfall taxes and won't support any new ones.


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