The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Cassidy DiPaola,

Big Oil Executives Fail to Defend War Profiteering In Congress, Making the Clear Case for Windfall Profits Tax


Today, in a hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, six big oil executives were grilled about their role in price-gouging the American public at the pump and making record profits by exploiting the crisis in Ukraine. On the heels of Big Oil's long record of collaborating with the Putin regime, executives from Shell, BP, Devon Energy, Chevron, Pioneer, and ExxonMobil were pressed on why consumers are paying record high prices at the pump as Big Oil anticipates unprecedented record profits and their "best quarter ever." Each executive refused to commit to reducing share buybacks and dividends. They also failed to provide acceptable answers for why they are demanding to drill more on public lands despite the fact that it would have no impact on gas prices, all while being coddled by Republican committee members who took more than $11.5 million in contributions from oil and gas companies.

Prior to the hearing, activists conducted a visibility action outside the Rayburn House Office Building highlighting the massive profits Big Oil is raking in during the war in Ukraine. You can view photos of the action here and here.

The hearing provides a clear illustration of the need for a windfall profits tax on big oil that would provide relief to consumers right now - a policy that is continuing to gain momentum. The latest polling finds that 80 percent of voters support the enactment of a windfall profits tax, while 126 organizations pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to support the policy in a letter yesterday.

In response, Jamie Henn, spokesperson for STOP (Stop the Oil Profiteering) released the following statement:

"There is nothing these Big Oil executives said today that justifies their ongoing war profiteering that is making them billions while Americans struggle to pay high gas prices. These Big Oil companies are raking in obscene profits after collaborating with Putin for years, yet they still have the gall to stick their hands out and ask for more from American taxpayers. Big Oil executives clearly won't hold themselves accountable, so it is time Congress does by listening to the vast majority of American voters and passing a windfall profits tax that gives consumers immediate relief from high prices and makes Big Oil pay for a crisis they helped create at home and abroad."

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