Biden urges oil and gas companies to halt ‘war profits’ and threatens windfall taxes

Biden urges oil and gas companies to halt ‘war profits’ and threatens windfall taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday urged oil and gas companies to use their record profits to cut costs to Americans and increase production, or pay a higher tax rate while he’s with the upcoming elections against high pump prices fights in a week.

In statements in the White House, Biden criticized large oil companies that are getting involved big wins while Americans, tired of inflation, pay a tidy sum to fill their cars.

The oil industry “has failed in its commitment to invest in America and to support the American people,” he said. Not only are they making a “fair return,” he said, they are making “profits so big it’s hard to believe,” Biden said.

“Their gains are a boon of war,” he said of the conflict ravaging Ukraine, and they have a responsibility to act.

“I think it’s outrageous,” he said. If they passed those profits on to consumers, gasoline prices would drop about 50 cents, he said.

“If they don’t, they pay a higher tax on their excess profits and face other restrictions,” he said. The White House will work with Congress to consider these and other options. “It’s time these companies stopped war profiteering.”

Biden said oil and gas companies should invest their profits in reducing costs for Americans and increasing production, and if they don’t do that, he will ask Congress to consider demanding tax penalties from oil companies and face other limitations.

The President held the event a week early, until Americans decide whether his Democrats will retain control of the US Congress. Republicans are preferred to take command of the House of Representatives, while the Senate is viewed as a toss-up.

Global energy giants like Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) Posted another round of huge quarterly gains that have benefited from rising natural gas and fuel prices that have fueled inflation around the world and sparked renewed calls for further taxation of the sector.

Regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans take control of Congress, passing legislation taxing energy companies for excessive profits would likely be difficult, energy experts believe.

The White House for months in view of Congressional proposals that could tax oil and gas producers’ profits while consumers grapple with higher energy prices.

British lawmakers in July approved a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas producers in Britain’s North Sea that should bring in £5 billion ($5.95 billion) in a year to help people struggling with soaring energy bills.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Andrea Shalal and Katherine Jackson; writing from Steve Holland; Edited by Caitlin Webber, Heather Timmons and Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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