Christopher Prandoni

Furthermore, it is worth asking who profits when oil companies prosper. Apart from the 9.2 million people the industry employs, 27 percent of oil companies are owned by pension funds, 23 percent by individual investors, 30 percent by mutual funds, and 14 percent by IRAs. Only 1.5 percent of oil stocks are held by corporate management. This means that if you or your employer has been saving for retirement, well, you are likely part of Big Oil. Gasp!

And then there’s the matter of gasoline prices. As a commodity, oil prices are subject to speculation from investors who access global supply and demand. When you spend a dollar on gasoline, 68 cents from that dollar go towards purchasing the crude oil and 18 cents is used for refining and retailing. The remaining 14 cents is forked over to the government in excise taxes.

If Democrats really wanted to alleviate Americans’ pain at the pump, they could reduce the gasoline excise tax. Revealing their true intention, more revenue, Democrats are arguing for higher taxes on oil and natural gas companies—it is hard to imagine how further taxing oil and natural gas companies would bring down the cost of gasoline.

The truth is Democrats would rather demonize oil and natural gas companies than make necessary spending cuts. Leadership is making tough decisions about which programs to cut, bolster, or eliminate, not which companies to tax.

Christopher Prandoni

Christopher Prandoni serves as a Federal Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).