Ramos Legislation Puts the Brakes on ‘Big Oil’s’ Runaway Profiteering
June 22, 2008
Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced the Assembly passed a package of energy-related bills designed to offset steadily rising and historically high fuel costs. “High gas prices are hurting working families in Suffolk,” Ramos said. “We need real action. And since President Bush has failed to act and let residents continue to suffer, New York must do what we can to provide relief.” Forcing major oil companies to pay up In 2006, Ramos sponsored the law which capped the state sales tax on gasoline– but the savings never trickled down to consumers. While motorists continued to empty their pockets, ‘Big Oil’ posted record-high profits in 2007. “Big Oil has been taking advantage of working families and lining their pockets with our hard-earned dollars,” Ramos said. “And all the while George Bush has let it happen. It’s time we stood up to Big Oil and took real action to stop the pain at the pump.” The Assembly introduced legislation instituting a recapture and windfall-profit tax provision on “Big Oil” companies with a prohibition on passing the tax on to consumers (A.11590). The revenues would go to a fund that supports energy-savings measures for consumers as well as helping pay home heating bills this winter through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The legislation:
- requires gasoline importers to pay a surcharge equal to 4 percent of the difference between the price of a gallon of gasoline and $2 per gallon; and
- prohibits the pass-through of this surcharge to consumers and provides for a civil penalty of up to $35,000 per day for any violation of this prohibition.
- impose a 2 percent gross-receipts tax on very large oil companies that sell their products in New York State; and
- prohibit big oil companies from passing along the additional costs to customers through increases in the price of gasoline.
- create an excess-profits tax for companies that engage in gouging (K.1987);
- establish additional consumer tax credits to stimulate the creation of innovative, renewable energy technologies (K.1987); and
- provide additional funding for the Low Income HEAP to better serve the families that rely on the program to help meet their energy needs (K.1986).