This morning, a cloture vote on the Democrats’ scheme to impose a “windfall profits tax” on America’s oil companies failed on a 50-44 vote. The bill would have imposed a 25% surtax on any “unreasonable” profits being earned by the oil companies, among other provisions. The roll call is here. Several of the usual suspects–Corker, Smith and Snowe–voted with the Democrats. Every Democrat who was present voted in favor of the measure, but four Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, didn’t show up; John McCain was absent as well.
What we need, of course, is oil companies with bigger profits, not smaller. Then we need them to invest those profits in drilling for more oil in places like ANWR and the coastal shelf, as well as developing shale oil reserves. The problem with America’s oil companies is not that they’re big, the problem is that they are tiny, as this chart shows; click to enlarge:
Our oil companies control tiny amounts of petroleum (relative to the world’s big players) because they are shackled by Congress, which prohibits them by law from accessing America’s abundant petroleum reserves. If you want gasoline prices to come down, write, call and email your Congressman and Senators and tell them to allow the oil companies to do what only they can do: bring us more oil.
CORRECTION: I linked to the wrong roll call vote; the right one, which hadn’t been posted when I did the link, is here. The vote was 51-43, and the Republicans who joined with the bad guys were Collins, Grassley, Smith, Snowe, Warner and, sadly, Norm Coleman. Mary Landrieu and Harry Reid, interestingly, saw the light.