Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,
We urge you to bring windfall profits tax and rebate legislation to the floor to stop Big Oil's wartime profiteering and deliver gas price relief for Americans. President Putin's unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine is raising gas prices and hurting working families. Big Oil has taken advantage of this crisis, using it to increase their already record-breaking profits, spending billions of dollars to enrich executives and investors at the expense of average Americans.
As gas prices soared in 2021, the largest oil and gas companies made a combined $237 billion in record profits by exploiting COVID-related supply chain bottlenecks. They returned this money to their shareholders and executives, giving them $35 billion in stock buybacks and dividends. Big Oil corporations are poised to continue exploiting this period to profiteer off Americans in 2022.
Instead of providing price relief to Americans at the pump, these oil and gas majors have stated that they plan to expand stock buybacks again this year. Exxon and Chevron both pledged up to $10 billion in stock buybacks in 2022. BP announced $4.15 billion in buybacks for this year. Shell announced plans for $8.5 billion in buybacks in the first half of 2022 alone. Contrary to disinformation spread by industry groups, fossil fuel companies overwhelmingly identified investor pressure as the reason to keep prices high so they can continue to benefit from record profits.
A windfall tax combined with a rebate to consumers would curb Big Oil's greed and deliver immediate relief to families struggling with high gas prices. The average price for a gallon of gas is well over four dollars. A rebate delivered back to consumers from the revenue generated by a windfall tax would alleviate the economic pain at the pump. We ask that you work with us to pass a windfall tax and rebate legislation into law to help working families and prevent further profiteering from Big Oil.