Thanks to Sen. Angus King for calling out the gas lobbyist who testified before the Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee recently, saying fossil fuel companies are “profiteering amid economic pain felt by many Americans.”

Oil and gas producers made close to $100 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to The Guardian. Shell had its strongest quarterly profit ever, with Exon Mobil doubling its record from last year.

Rather than investing their handsome profits in renewables or climate change mitigation strategies, these companies are passing those profits along to shareholders and/or engaging in stock buybacks that artificially raise share prices, all the while complaining that the federal government should issue more leases on public lands. Never mind that thousands of existing permits remain unused.

And if all this weren’t bad enough, we still, 100 years on, subsidize the fossil fuel industry at approximately $20 billion per year, according to an October 2021 article in Flip the Script.

We could take a lesson from Great Britain’s Conservative Party, which just instituted a 25% windfall profits tax with $19 billion earmarked for assistance to families who are struggling.

That won’t happen here, as Republicans are allergic to any form of tax increase, regardless of the pain Americans experience. They’ll go to great lengths to keep you focused on gender issues, critical race theory or gun rights, hoping you won’t notice their refusal to deal with the pocketbook issues that most Americans care about: crumbling roads, the cost of prescription drugs, lack of affordable housing, child care, etc.

Power and greed rule the day.

Mary Ann Larson

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