Biden urges oil companies to stop "war profiteering", or suffer taxes
The Biden administration works to clean up before midterm elections.
US President Joe Biden on Monday called on oil and gas companies to use their record profits to lower energy costs for US citizens and increase production - or, pay a higher tax rate. Biden is dealing with midterm elections and crippling energy prices.
Biden has recently criticized major oil corporations reeling in heaps of profit while Americans are paying substantial numbers to fill their vehicles with fuel.
The US president's urgency comes after failed talks to get Saudi Arabia to increase oil production rather than cut it, with Biden warning Riyadh that he will have to reconsider his relationship with Riyadh after its decision.
Read more: Biden threatens KSA with 'consequences' over OPEC oil output cut
The oil industry “has not met its commitment to invest in America and support the American people,” he said, adding they're not just making a “fair return”, they’re making “profits so high it is hard to believe."
“Their profits are a windfall of war,” he declared. “I think it’s outrageous."
“If they don’t, they’re going to pay a higher tax on their excess profits, and face other restrictions,” he said. “It’s time for these companies to stop war profiteering.”
He stressed that if the companies pass profits on to consumers, gasoline prices would be down by 50%.
According to Biden, oil and gas companies should invest their profits in cooling down prices for citizens and increasing oil production. If they do not, Biden will be urging the US Congress to force oil companies to pay tax penalties and face other restrictions.
Last month, Biden announced his intention to put a final 15 million barrels on the market from a record release of US strategic oil reserves, with more releases possible if energy prices spike, a senior US official said.
Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp posted another round of huge quarterly profits as they had been benefitting from the increase in natural gas and fuel prices, essentially boosting inflation. Experts believe that regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans take control of Congress, getting oil corporations to pay taxes will be difficult.
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