Warnock accuses big oil companies of price gouging, introduces new tax bill

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Even as gas prices fall, Georgia U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock said big oil companies continue to price gouging and have introduced legislation increasing taxes on their profits.

“Georgians paid record prices at the pumps while oil and gas companies posted record profits,” Warnock told CBS46 on Wednesday morning. “This bill makes an adjustment to our country’s tax code and encourages oil and gas companies to pass their profits on to consumers.”

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

Wednesday, GasBuddy gasoline prices reported had fallen for 12 straight weeks, the longest streak of declines since 2018. The national average gasoline price fell to $3.75, down 29.5 cents from the month previous year, but it is still 57.6 cents higher than a year ago.

Gas analysis experts are hopeful that lower gas prices will continue into the fall, but could depend on what happens in the tropics.

“According to weather analysts, this is the first time in 25 years that a named Atlantic storm hasn’t developed in August. That’s the good news,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But we have yet 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 bring further relief to pumps.

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

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

This bill only applies to the wealthiest oil and gas companies that have, on average, revenues of at least $1 billion over the previous three years.

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