BEND, OR -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) met with a local farmer, student and nonprofit organizer in Bend Monday, rallying support for a new effort he says will reduce fuel prices.
He introduced the “Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act” last week, and says it’s different from the “Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax” proposed by a group of Democrats earlier this year, "The tax is based on profit margins, not oil prices. Then, we close some accounting loopholes. For example, there’s one that allows big oil companies to game the value of their inventory. And then, we have a very significant stock buyback penalty." He tells KBND News the bill applies applies a 21% additional tax on excess profits of oil and gas companies with more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. Wyden says normal profits, money used to invest in workers and green energy would be exempt, "But if you’re profiteering rather than taking steps to help people in Central Oregon with efficiency, more productivity and improvements in terms of environment, like the carbon capture, then you’re going to face the tax."
"This is a chance to get more stability when you’re going to a gas station," says Wyden, adding that the outcome of the bill sends a message, "For example, in Central Oregon, who do you care about? Do you care about the farmer? Do you care about mill owners in Central and Eastern Oregon and moms trying to afford gas to take their kid to childcare? Or do you want to see money just sent to wealthy executives for stock buybacks?"