Sanders on Big Oil's Big Profits

WASHINGTON, April 29 - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today called for a windfall tax on oil profits as Royal Dutch Shell and BP posted first-quarter profits of a combined $17 billion. Analysts expected industry-wide record profits to be posted later this week for the year's first quarter.

"While Vermonters continue to get ripped off at the gas pump, the five largest oil companies have made a record-breaking $595 billion in profits since George W. Bush has been president. These outrageous profits continue to soar. Just today, BP announced a 63 percent increase in profits and Shell's first-quarter profits jumped by 25 percent to more than $9 billion. Meanwhile, the price of gas at the pump continues to soar, averaging over $3.60 a gallon, more than double since 2001.

"With the price of oil and gas skyrocketing, and the big oil companies continuing to enjoy record-breaking profits the time has come, among other things, to impose a windfall profits tax on the oil companies so that consumers don't get gouged at the pump. Congress and the president must say ‘no' to the $213 million in campaign contributions that the oil industry has given to them since 1990 and ‘yes' to consumers by taking this important step."

Sanders also has backed other measures to bring down gasoline prices.