AOC Demands Accountability for High Gas Prices as Crude Oil Price Drops

As crude oil prices fall, gas prices remain high, progressive lawmakers are calling for accountability for “profiteering” fossil fuel companies, pointing out the deterministic power that such corporations hold over the country.

The crude oil price has risen roughly every week for the past week have been dropping after they spiked in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Crude oil prices are now less than they were before the invasion. Despite the fact that prices at the pump rose with rising crude oil prices, they have remained high despite falling crude oil prices. according to AAAAlthough prices could still rise, they seem to be at an average of $4.30 per gallon.

Lawmakers believe that companies taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis and pandemic are the reasons why pump prices have remained high. As Big Oil’s profits Have climbed, dropping crude oil prices have only highlighted the oil industry’s greed and price gouging, progressives argue.

“Big oil CEOs need to be held accountable for profiteering, this can’t stand,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar(D-Minnesota), as a result of crude oil prices falling on Monday.

Oil companies are “profiteering,” wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York). “And there should be consequences for it.”

Ocasio Cortez expressed further frustration at the fact that right-wingers, self-proclaimed capitalists, are being portrayed as complaining about gas pricesWhile it may seem like they don’t understand, capitalism is what has driven gas prices to where we are today.

“Many folks run around claiming to be ‘free-market’ capitalists, but what they actually are is captured market capitalists, using subsidies and restrictive policy to hold us hostage to fossil fuels, for-profit healthcare/housing, etc. that many wouldn’t choose if they had the choice,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Monday.

“If you think gas is expensive now, imagine if we actually had to pay the true price without” the billionsOcasio-Cortez said that the U.S. has spent billions of dollars on fossil fuel subsidies. “If fossil fuel companies didn’t have such tipped scales for them it’s very likely we’d be much further along with cheaper alternatives.” The same price-gouging methods go for prescription drug prices and housing, the lawmaker said.

Democrats have been looking for legislative solutions to current gas price problems. Last week, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse(D-Rhode Island), presented legislative solutions to current gas prices. Legislation was introduced to tax oil and gas companies’ windfall profits as oil prices reach record highs.

The legislation would impose a tax on the difference in current barrel prices and average prepandemic prices. This would discourage oil companies from keeping prices high to increase their profits and please large investors. The revenue from that tax would go to the public. It would gradually be phased out for those who earn $75,000 annually.

“Why is the price of oil LOWER today than it was in 2014 while the average price for a gallon of gas nationwide is 80 cents a gallon HIGHER than it was eight years ago? Answer: Corporate greed,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Tuesday. “Now is no time for profiteering. Now is the time for a windfall profits tax.”

Over the past year, oil companies have been under scrutiny because customers have You had to pay more for the pumpProfits for companies like Exxon or Chevron have increased while they have been falling. While corporations blame inflation for high prices, a report last years found that the top 24 oil-and-gas companies made $174 billion profits in the first nine months 2021. Spending money$44 billion for stock buybacks or dividends

Experts concur that part of the reason whyThe reason gas prices are so high, is that oil companies are reducing their drilling to reduce supply and raising prices. “This is the moment the oil and gas industry has been waiting for,” Clark Williams-Derry, energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told Earther. “They don’t want to spoil the dividend party. They’re finally generating the cash their investors have expected them to do all along.”