All year, the price of gasoline has been rising quickly throughout the entire United States of America. With the national average already over four dollars per gallon of gasoline, it is becoming less and less reasonable of an explanation for the rising cost to be blamed on the tensions in the Middle East as oil rich states face political revolutions.
Thursday, oil executives were brought in to speak with the United States Congress to explain themselves. In addition, the oil company leaders were also there to fight off a plan to stop giving them tax breaks due to their high profits.
The oil and gas executives that came to speak to Congress did admit that they increased the price of gasoline.
However, they spent much more of their time in front of the men and women of the American government talking about how they should not lose their tax breaks.
The bill, which is being called, The Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, would, if passed, get rid of the tax subsidies that are given to the five biggest oil corporations. The money saved would be used to decrease the national deficit by a projected $21 billion over the course of the next decade.
The bill was called “discriminatory” by Exxon Mobil CEO, Rex Tillerson.
Marvin Odum, the president of Shell, said, “It can be tempting to assume that there is something to gain by taking more from a few. However, one must also balance the potential implications of increase industry costs on both supply and price.”
Odum also spoke of how oil companies do not actually control gasoline pricing. He said, “Everything from the weather to politics and the global economy determines the price of oil and the fuels made from it. No one person, organization, or industry can set the price for crude oil.”
Chevron’s CEO John Watson, ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva, and BP America’s Lamar McKay were also brought to speak in front of Congress.
While it is arguable that it is unfair and unethical to take away tax breaks from a company based on their high profitability, this is a special situation.
Gas companies supply a product that is essential. American citizens often have very little choice but to purchase gasoline. And while crude oil costs have risen, gas prices continue to grow despite the fact that crude oil stabilized long ago.
At a time of economic struggle, gas companies have continued to make record profits at the expense of the citizens of the United States of America. The bill in front of Congress intends to balance things out and give back to the American citizens.