By Cassidy Depaola

It’s no secret that right now, Plattsburgh families are grappling with rising gas prices. But did you know oil companies are cashing in on record profits?

Big Oil made over $205 billion in profits last year and is raking in billions more because of the war in Ukraine, a crisis they helped create by partnering with Putin for decades. Why should they get to reap enormous profits while the rest of us pay the cost?

High prices have a particularly hard impact on low-income families who’re already struggling to make ends meet, and many of them are shouldering heavy burdens of pollution from these companies, too.

Thankfully, leaders in Congress are standing up for working families by supporting legislation that’ll make Big Oil pay a tax on their windfall wartime profits and provide a check to American taxpayers to help offset high gas prices. It is my hope that our county’s leaders, Representative Stefanik and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, will support this necessary and fair legislation.

The proposed windfall tax legislation would tax Big Oil’s record profits and it’s estimated that it could raise nearly $40 billion a year. That revenue would then go directly to consumers, just like the COVID stimulus checks did, to provide some immediate relief from rising gas prices.

It’s basic fairness: require the fossil fuel companies who are exploiting the crisis in Ukraine to help families who are paying the price for a global crisis they didn’t create. Congress must hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their profiteering and pass a windfall profits tax on Big Oil to offset the economic hardship caused by high gas prices.

Cassidy Depaola, Plattsburgh

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