Republicans ask oil firms to “do their part” to ease pain at the pump
Oil companies and their GOP backers in Washington face a somewhat awkward situation: The oil industry is awash in record profits, but Republicans continue to shovel them millions in subsidies. Meanwhile, Americans stagger under the weight of soaring gas prices. This has created some unfavorable “optics,” as the PR professionals put it. A few congressional Democrats are calling for a windfall-profits tax on oil companies to provide consumer relief, but c’mon, let’s not get crazy. Instead, House Republicans opted for … a stern press conference, calling on Big Oil to invest in new pipelines and refineries. “We expect oil companies to do their part to ease the pain,” House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said. He later added, “Oil companies are enjoying record profits. That’s fine. This is America.” And also, “We don’t want to tax more.” No doubt oil companies are quaking in their boots. Those same companies, meanwhile, are ramping up ad campaigns designed to burnish their images. “Yes, our numbers are large,” said the president of the American Petroleum Institute, but “we are half the size of the returns of the financials and pharmaceuticals.” Poor, poor behemoths …
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