CEI to Host Congressional Seminar on Windfall Profits Taxes


  • Download a written transcript of the event, complete with PowerPoint slides, here (PDF format). 
  • Listen to a recording of the audio here (WMA).


Date:     Friday, November 18, 2005<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

Time:     12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Place:    Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 406


  • Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer and Member, Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
  • Tom Tanton, Senior Fellow, Institute for Energy Research
  • Veronique de Rugy, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Moderator

Event Description:

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita temporarily shut in approximately one-third of U.S. oil and gas production and one-fourth of U.S. refining capacity at a time when strong global demand for petroleum products had already pushed U.S. gasoline prices to their highest levels since the early 1980s. As gasoline prices rose to record levels, so did oil industry profits. Several Members of Congress and many activists propose to tax away those allegedly “excessive” or “windfall” profits, and reallocate a portion of the revenues to consumers as “rebates.”


Among other issues, the panel will discuss: (1) Are today's high oil industry profits a cause or an effect of high gasoline prices, and what factors determine gasoline prices? (2) What is the oil industry's earnings rate, and how does it compare to those of other industries? (3) How large are oil company profits compared to oil company tax payments and capital investment? (4) Was the oil & gas industry response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita an example of market failure or market success? (5) Do bans on oil & gas exploration and development render America more vulnerable to Katrina-like disruptions and gasoline price spikes? (6) Should supply and demand determine gasoline prices and oil industry profits, or should Congress regulate the industry as a public utility, setting “reasonable rates of return” based on companies' costs of production? (7) What are the likely effects of windfall profits taxes on U.S. energy supply and energy security?


Please join us for a lunch and a panel to discuss windfall profits taxes.


RSVP:  Since we will be serving lunch, please RSVP to [email protected] so we can be sure to order enough food.