MacManus condemns disingenuous Exxon lawsuit on windfall profit taxes
Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has criticised ExxonMobil’s move to sue the European Commission for its windfall tax on the profits of energy companies. The Commission proposed the tax in an effort to redistribute the massive windfall taxes of fossil fuel companies, and was agreed on by national governments in September. This ‘solidarity contribution’ is expected to raise €25 bn, to be used by national governments to offset the burden of the cost of living crisis on households, and to invest in renewable energies.
“Exxon’s move against the solidarity contribution is disingenuous, cynical and shows complete disdain for the harships so many people are experiencing today. Fossil fuel companies are experiencing windfall profits not through their own business acumen, but as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The solidarity contribution is a way to redistribute some of those excess profits to help those experiencing energy poverty and the cost of living crisis.”
The US-based oil and gas company made around $58 bn in 2022, more than double their profits for the previous year. Exxon and other fossil fuel companies BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Total earned $100bn more in the second half of 2022 than they did in all of 2021. By Exxon’s own estimates, the solidarity contribution would cost the company $2bn in 2023.
“Exxon’s claims that the solidarity contribution will disincentivise investment in energy infrastructure are absurd,” said MacManus. “The contribution applies to profits that are grossly in excess of normal profits over the past four years – not to sums that would form a part of companies’ planned investment strategies. And despite ostensibly having a climate plan, Exxon has made no concrete pledges towards renewable energy production and we have no information as to how much the fossil fuel giant has actually invested in renewable energies. We would be unwise to believe that windfall profits, left in the hands of fossil fuel companies, will go towards the renewable energy investments we need to ensure real energy security.”
“Exxon’s insidious lawsuit could delay the imposition of the solidarity contribution and the redistribution of much-needed funds to support those struggling with their energy bills,”
MacManus concluded. “While the decision now rests with the Court of Justice of the EU, Exxon’s actions are yet another warning to all EU policymakers to be on their guard against the self-serving priorities of the fossil fuel industry.” ENDS