Warnock accuses big oil of price gouging, introduces new taxation bill

Pump prices continue declining, with Georgia among states with cheapest gas
Senador Warnock se reúne con miembros de la comunidad latina en Gwinnett
Senador Warnock se reúne con miembros de la comunidad latina en Gwinnett
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Even as gas prices fall, Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said big oil companies continue engaging in price gouging, and has introduced legislation raising taxes on their profits.

“Georgians have been paying record prices at the pump while oil and gas companies have seen record profits,” Warnock told CBS46 Wednesday morning. “This bill makes an adjustment to our nation’s tax code and incentivizes oil and gas companies to pass their profits onto consumers.”

The Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act would use the Internal Revenue Services as an enforcement arm.

On Wednesday, GasBuddy reported gas prices had declined for 12 consecutive weeks, the longest streak of declines since 2018. The national average price of gas has fallen to $3.75, down 29.5 cents from a month ago but is still 57.6 cents higher than a year ago.

Gas analysis experts are hopeful the decrease in gas prices will continue into the fall but could be contingent upon what happens in the tropics.

“According to weather analysts, it’s the first time in 25 years that a named Atlantic storm did not develop in August. That’s the good news,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But we still have another month of peak hurricane season, and these storms can affect gas prices by disrupting oil production and refining.”

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan noted that the switch to winter gasoline will happen in just over a week and should provide some additional relief at the pumps.

Most of the country’s least expensive markets fall in the southern region and include states like Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia.

Warnock, along with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced the bill last month. Warnock’s office said the bill would corporate tax rate on oil and gas companies’ “excess profits” by taxing large oil and gas stock buybacks. It would also eliminate an accounting loophole utilized by large oil and gas companies to reduce their tax bills.

This bill only apply to the richest oil and gas companies that have, on average, revenue of at least $1 billion over the prior three years.