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Energy and Environment – Democrats Consider Raising Oil Profits Tax After Record Quarter

Democrats are once again eyeing oil company profits after the companies recently posted record profits. Meanwhile, scientists are linking a type of PFAS to liver cancer.

It’s the night of energy and the environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we are Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Wyden introduces ‘excess’ oil profits bill

Legislation introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) would double taxes on excess profits for oil companies that earn more than $1 billion a year.

The bill, the Taxing Big Oil Profits Act, would impose a 21% tax on the excess profits of oil and gas companies that earn more than $1 billion a year. Excess earnings are determined by current earnings less a normal return on investment of 10%.

  • “Our broken tax code works for big oil companies, not for American families. As Americans pay more to fill their gas tanks, big oil companies reap record profits, rewarding their CEOs and wealthy shareholders with massive stock buybacks and using special loopholes in the tax code to not pay next to nothing in taxes,” Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said in a statement.
  • The legislation would also impose a 25% excise tax on shares of oil and gas companies acquired by the company. The bill specifically cites ExxonMobil’s recent announcement that it will repurchase $30 billion of stock in 2023 and Chevron’s announcement that it will repurchase $10 billion of stock by the end of this year.

Additional context: The announcement comes after major oil companies announced record profits between April and June – when petrol prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) co-sponsored the bill, along with several other Democrats.

A bit like a exceptional tax? Congressional Democrats introduced similar legislation earlier this year as gas prices hit record highs following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, Wyden’s office clarified that contrary to these proposals, Wyden is tied to profit margins rather than the price of oil. Although gas prices have now been trending lower for several weeks, Democrats were quick to point to both the Russian invasion and the industry’s record profits, often citing the several thousand unused leases currently held. by the oil and gas industry on public lands.

Learn more about the bill here.

Study links ‘forever chemical’ to liver cancer

Scientists in a new study have identified a link between “lifelong chemical” exposure and the development of the most common type of liver cancer.

A specific type of forever chemical, called perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), may have a particularly strong link to the outbreak of this deadly disease, according to the study.

  • PFOS is one of thousands of man-made per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is found widely in the environment.
  • Famous for their presence in jet fuel fire-fighting foam and industrial releases, PFAS are a collection of toxic chemicals found in a variety of household products, including non-stick pans, rainwear and cosmetics.

While previous animal research has suggested that exposure to PFAS increases the risk of liver cancer, Monday’s study – published in JHEP Reports – is the first to confirm a link in human samples.

“Liver cancer is one of the most serious effects of liver disease and this is the first human study to show that PFAS are associated with this disease,” said the lead author. Jesse Goodrich, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck. School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Scientists demonstrated a “probable link” between PFAS and six conditions – high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension – in 2012, as part of a settlement in West Virginia.

But over the past decade, researchers around the world have conducted a plethora of studies identifying both potential and more definitive links between PFAS and other diseases.

Read more here, from Sharon Udasin of The Hill.

GASOLINE PRICES CAN BE BELOW $4 NATIONWIDE: GASBUDDY

By at least one point, the national average gasoline price fell below $4 on Tuesday for the first time since March.

Gas price website GasBuddy reported the national average was $3.99. Another price aggregator, the American Automobile Association, said the average price was slightly higher on Tuesday at $4.03 a gallon.

Gasoline prices have been falling for weeks after peaking in June. The drop will likely bring respite to consumers and Democrats — as the GOP has sought to make high prices a big campaign issue ahead of midterms.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, predicted in a video accompanying the announcement that prices could fall between another 10 and 25 cents per gallon in the coming weeks.

FEEL CHIPPER?

President Biden on Tuesday signed into law bipartisan legislation aimed at providing billions of dollars in incentives to the domestic semiconductor industry and funding scientific research that supporters say will help boost U.S. competitiveness and solve challenges. supply chain issues.

“Today is a day for builders. Today America delivers,” Biden said at the White House bill signing event. “And I, honest to God , I believe that in 50, 75, 100 years, people who think back to this week, they will know that we met in this moment.”

The bill — officially known as the CHIPS and Science Act — passed the Senate and House in late July, after more than a year of work on Capitol Hill and several iterations of the legislation.

The bill includes more than $50 billion in incentives for semiconductor, or chip, makers to build national semiconductor factories. It also includes more than $80 billion for the National Science Foundation authorized over five years to support innovation and research.

Read more here from Morgan Chalfant and Alex Gangitano of The Hill.

WHAT WE READ

  • ‘The Zone of Sacrifice’: Myanmar bears the cost of green energy (The Associated Press)
  • As temperatures rise, industries battle heat protections for workers (The Washington Post)
  • Biden wants minerals, but mine permits are behind schedule (E&E News)
  • Ford raises price of electric F-150 Lightning up to $8,500 due to ‘significant’ increase in battery cost (CNBC)
  • Russian oil flows halted via pipeline to central Europe (Bloomberg)

💻 Lighter click: A new meme has just dropped.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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