Joe Biden threatens to tax oil giants' 'war profits' | War in Ukraine
President Joe Biden speaking at the White House on Monday
President Joe Biden on Monday threatened, in strong language, to tax oil giants' 'war profits' in what appears to be more of a political proclamation than a concrete fiscal promise a week away from the election. crucial midterms.
Citing the recently announced sky-high profits of ExxonMobil and Chevron – more than US$30 billion between them in a single quarter – he said: It's time for these companies to stop profiting from war and take responsibility. in this country. The American people will judge who is on their side and who cares only about their profits.
He called third quarter earnings reports by oil companies outrageous during a speech at the White House. He lamented that these profits are returned to shareholders and that executive compensation is exploding while prices at the pump remain high.
“Too much is too much!
—Joe Biden, President of the United States
The 79-year-old Democrat said he believes that these gigantic profits are mostly war profits, due to rising oil prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
If companies don't lower prices at the pump, they will pay a higher tax on excess profits, he said, indicating that his teams will work with Congress to do so.
This statement does not commit President Biden to much since in just one week, on November 8, there will be crucial midterm elections that could completely change the face of the said two chambers. Congress.
The midterms, which renew the entire House of Representatives and more than a third of the seats in the Senate, are traditionally difficult for the power in place.
According to the latest polls, to Take it with a grain of salt, the Democratic Party could retain a slim majority in the Senate but lose control of the House to the Republican opposition, making any oil superprofit legislation highly unlikely.
The Republican Party has already criticized in a press release the dishonest speech, according to it, of Joe Biden, whom it accuses of having curbed oil production in the United States and of ;being therefore the main culprit for the increase in prices at the pump.
The White House calculated that together, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and TotalEnergies made more than US$100 billion in third-quarter profits. She also accuses the companies of having inflated their margins on gasoline.
The prices at the pump have a very strong impact in the United States on the trust of leaders. For months, Joe Biden has therefore multiplied statements and actions in an attempt to temper them.
The Democratic administration has thus dumped on the market some 180 million barrels of oil drawn, in an unprecedented move, from US strategic reserves.
Debates over superprofits in the energy sector are not uniquely American.
The European Commission, for example, indicated at the end of September that it wanted to request a temporary solidarity contribution from producers and distributors of gas, coal and oil.
This contribution must be set at 33% of the share of 2022 superprofits, i.e. profits more than 20% higher than the average for the years 2019-2021 .