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“Their Profits Are a Windfall of War”: Biden Suggests New Tax on Big Oil

HeadlineNov 01, 2022

President Biden has accused oil and gas companies of war profiteering, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to high energy prices and surging profits for companies like Shell and ExxonMobil. On Monday, Biden said the oil industry should pass profits on to consumers and lower the cost of fuel. If not, he said, they may soon face a higher tax rate on windfall profits. 

President Joe Biden: “Give me a break. Enough is enough. Look, I’m a capitalist. You’ve heard me say this before. I have no problem with corporations turning a fair profit and getting a return on their investment and innovation. But this isn’t remotely what’s happening. Oil companies’ record profits today are not because they’re doing something new or innovative. Their profits are a windfall of war.”

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, called a windfall profits tax long overdue, but said it should not be made dependent on more oil and gas drilling. Weissman added, “more investment in oil drilling will deepen our dependence on fossil fuels when the worsening climate catastrophe demands we speed the transition away from fossil fuels.”

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