The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nathan White (202)225-5871

Kucinich Plan to Lower Gas Prices: Windfall Profits Tax

Redirect Oil Company Windfall Gains To Efficient Vehicles


As the summer peak driving period begins and as oil companies are expected to announce record profits again while gas prices continue to rise, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) announced today that he will reintroduce the Gas Price Spike Act, which would reduce the price of gasoline.

The bill will address the spike in price of gasoline by placing a windfall profits tax on oil companies; giving tax credits for the purchase of ultra efficient vehicles; and providing federal grants to reduce mass transit fares.

"Consumers are being gouged at the gas pump," stated Kucinich. "The only thing rising faster than the price of gasoline right now is the skyrocketing profits of the oil companies."

As of April 25, 2011, the national average gas price was $3.88, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gas prices in the Cleveland area range from $3.75 to more than $4 per gallon. Early reports of oil company profits for the first quarter of 2011 depict earnings increases as high as 50% over last year.

"Washington can no longer ignore this issue," continued Kucinich. "High gas prices are eating away at consumers' income and could threaten any real economic recovery that might be on the horizon."

Kucinich's bill will:

* Institute a windfall profit tax on gasoline and diesel. Such a tax is to be imposed on all industry profits that are above a reasonable profit level. This proposal would not increase the cost of gasoline because this proposal does not tax the price of gasoline. It only taxes excessive profits of refineries and distributors. Any attempt to increase prices to recover the lost revenue in taxes is simply taxed at 100% making the price increase worthless.

* Transfer the revenue from the windfall profits tax to Americans who would buy ultra efficient cars, made in America, with a tax credit. These will be made directly available to the purchaser of a car that traveled over 65 miles on a single gallon of gas. Today average cars get less than 30 miles per gallon.

* Establish a broad based, far reaching program to promote mass rail transit inter- an intra- city. The bill makes funding available to regional transit authorities to offset significantly reduced mass transit fares during times of gas price spikes.

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.