The President accused oil companies of wartime profiteering.
Energy prices are still on the rise all over the world as countries continue to sanction Russia for their ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Due to the lack of Russian oil exports, domestic oil producers have had to pick up the slack. However, in the eyes of United States President Joe Biden, their current efforts are not sufficient.
During a public speech at the White House on Monday, Biden chastised American oil companies for raising prices without proportionately increasing production, accusing them of wartime profiteering. “They have a responsibility to act in the interest of their consumers, their community and their country, to invest in America by increasing production and refining capacity,” Biden said.
Biden conceded that the rising cost of fuel is largely on the shoulders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that domestic oil producers still need to do their part to keep up with the demand. As such, the President warned that, should energy prices continue to rise, he is considering enacting a hefty tax hike on oil companies to make up the difference.
In the last six months, 6 of the largest oil companies made over $100 billion in profits.
$100 billion in less than 200 days.
If these companies were taking average profits on refining, instead of the profits they’re making today, gas prices would come down around 50 cents.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 1, 2022
This is not the first time Biden has made such a threat, but western oil producers have countered that higher taxes would only disincentivize them further. ““Increasing taxes on American energy discourages investment in new production, which is the exact opposite of what is needed. American families and businesses are looking to lawmakers for solutions, not campaign rhetoric,” American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers said in an interview with The Hill.