Thursday, May 08, 2008

Senate Dems urge windfall-profits tax on oil companies

Senate Democrats on Wednesday called for a windfall-profits tax on oil companies and a rollback of $17 billion in oil industry tax breaks as part of an energy package. The proposal also would impose federal penalties on energy price gouging and calls for stopping oil deliveries into the government's emergency reserve.
The proposed 25 percent profits tax would apply only to windfall oil company earnings above what would be considered reasonable and only if those profits are not reinvested in refinery capacity expansion or renewable energy sources, according to a summary of the proposal.

via SFGate

First question that pops up is, who determines what a "windfall-profit" is?

I agree, the Congress needs to repeal the $17 million tax break we give to the oil companies - clearly, they do not need a tax break - not that they ever did to begin with.

I don't mind a company making a profit, so to punish a company for making profits seems to me a bit counter-productive - the wind-fall profit idea seems like pandering on the part of the Dems. We should use this time to change our policies on the environment and fuel efficiency, not pander with blame the oil company "solutions". Now, if there is price-gouging, that's a different set of problems.

I understand the pain ("I understand you pain"--Bill Clinton) people are feeling by having to pay for $4.00/gallon gas, but this seems to be the only way our country will get serious about fuel efficiency standards and our environmental laws changing. I used to live in San Diego where if you didn't have a car, you were pretty much out of luck - I hear from my family all the time about the price of gas, but if the U.S. just goes about trying to artifically turn back the clock, we will never get out of the problems we are in. The fact is, the U.S. only ever changes when we have to change - maybe the rise in fuel prices will make us take fuel efficiecny and environment seriously.

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