At a press conference today in Atwater Village, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced new legislation to lower gas prices and bring immediate relief to Americans struggling to pay the out-of-control prices at the pump by instituting a suspension of the federal gas tax.
“For months now, a combination of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, ongoing supply chain issues, and price gouging by the oil companies have been steadily driving up the price of gasoline, to more than $4.50 a gallon nationwide and more than $6 a gallon here in Los Angeles. Yet in spite of this volatility, one thing has remained the same: Big Oil’s skyrocketing profits. This is exploitation, plain and simple, and it’s unacceptable to all of the people who are having to spend hundreds of dollars more every month just to go about their daily lives, at a time when so many are already struggling to make ends meet,” said Schiff.
The Federal Gas Tax Suspension and Windfall Profits Tax Act would suspend the federal gas tax – which currently stands at 18.3 cents per gallon – through December 31, 2023. To ensure the Highway Trust Fund is still robustly funded, the suspension would be paid for through a new 50% tax on Big Oil’s windfall profits.
“We can help bring down the cost of oil by suspending the gas tax and paying for it with a windfall profits tax on oil companies. This will provide immediate financial relief for consumers and do so in a revenue-neutral way, that will ensure the transportation projects people also rely on continue to move forward. At the end of the day, Congress needs to choose between the interests of commuters and those of Big Oil. I know what side I’m on,” Schiff added.
As Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and ongoing supply chain issues have caused major disruptions to the global oil market, the five biggest oil companies — Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP — have increased their profits by over 300 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to 2021, amassing $35 billion in just three months. Even at times when oil prices have fallen, gas prices have hit new highs, proof that Big Oil is profiteering off of the volatility while exploiting American workers and families.
To read the full bill text, click here.