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Obama Drops Windfall Profits Tax for Oil and Gas Industry

Obama Backs Down from Promise to Institute Windfall Profits Tax

December 2, 2008

Petaluma, Calif. – President-elect Barack Obama has removed any reference of his promise to implement a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry from the Obama-Biden Transition Team website, www.change.gov.

During the course of the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign called for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry as a means of subsidizing a $1,000 "emergency" rebate for consumers struggling with surging gas prices.  However www.change.gov, which houses the Obama-Biden transition agenda, was recently cleansed of any mention of such a tax. 

The promise was displayed prominently at the top of the “economy” section of Obama’s campaign website.  That same information was transferred to Obama’s transition website, www.change.gov, when it was launched on Thursday, November 6th.  However, the language regarding the windfall profits tax was removed on Saturday, November 8th in an unceremonious and abrupt manner. (pre-change, http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf ; post-change, http://change.gov/agenda/economy_agenda/ )

While on the campaign trail, Obama made provocative statements regarding the cost of energy and its respective negative impact on American families.  On May 6, 2008, Obama stated, “It isn't right that oil companies are making record profits at a time when ordinary Americans are going into debt trying to pay rising energy costs. That's why we'll put a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use it to help Indiana families pay their heating and cooling bills and reduce energy costs.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/25/barackobama.uselections20081)

With the election behind him, President-elect Obama has failed to justify the removal of the windfall profits tax from his tax plan.  The subtle and unexplained elimination of this issue from the Obama-Biden agenda should concern Americans from every background.  The American Small Business League (ASBL) questions whether the sudden elimination of this issue is a further indication that large corporations are already demonstrating their ability to influence the Obama Administration. (www.asbl.com)

“This is not the only campaign promise the Obama-Biden Transition Team has removed from change.gov; I believe that President-elect Obama owes the American people an explanation as to why these campaign promises have been pulled from his agenda.”  American Small Business League President Lloyd Chapman said.  “With that in mind, someone from the mainstream media needs to ask President-elect Obama why these policies have been dropped.”

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