Senate Finance Committee Chair Calls for 25% Tax on Big Oil Stock Buybacks

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In a move that is sure to spark controversy, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyde is proposing a 25% tax on stock buybacks by big oil companies. This comes in the wake of Chevron’s recent announcement of a $75 billion stock buyback. Wyden says that this move will “put a check on the price gouging and the windfall for wealthy shareholders.” Critics are likely to argue that such a tax would discourage investment in the oil industry.

“There were a lot of people who had to cut back on things like food, medicine, and travel with family when oil companies jacked up prices at the pump while pulling in record profits. It’s insulting when those Americans see Big Oil’s record profits turned around so quickly into these huge rewards for corporate executives and wealthy shareholders,” said Wyden.

“This is exactly why Democrats passed legislation I wrote with Senator Brown in the Inflation Reduction Act creating a one percent excise tax on corporate stock buybacks. Given [this] news Congress clearly needs to go further. I’ve proposed legislation called the Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act, which would raise the tax on Big Oil’s stock buybacks to 25 percent.

“It’s important to put a check on the price gouging and the windfall for wealthy shareholders, and in contrast, companies that refocus on cutting prices or investing in their workers or lower-carbon technologies won’t be affected.”

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