Democrats unveil new push to punish oil and gas giants for high prices

Lawmakers hope to ease Americans’ financial burdens — or at least create contrast with Republicans over a major issue for voters

The Washington Post By Tony Romm, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Mike DeBonis

April 27, 2022

Top congressional Democrats on Thursday pledged to penalize oil and gas giants that they say are unfairly raising prices at the pump, part of a broader effort to blunt the financial and political fallout from soaring inflation. The new legislative push reflects a growing sense of urgency among party lawmakers, who returned to Washington this week after hearing from voters who have seen the costs of housing, groceries and other goods rise at their highest rate in roughly four decades.

To ease the strain on Americans’ wallets, Democratic leaders have focused their efforts on price gouging, arguing that oil and gas conglomerates have manipulated markets to pad their bottom lines. Companies including BP, Shell and ExxonMobil have posted massive profits in the past two quarters, dazzling investors and infuriating party lawmakers, who say drivers are being squeezed to produce those profits.

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