Zeus: Oil’s up. Here come the windfall tax arguments

Source: KevinCass / iStock via Getty Images

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(David Callaway is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Callaway Climate Insights. He is the former president of the World Editors Forum, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and MarketWatch, and CEO of TheStreet Inc.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Callaway Climate Insights) — Like spring cherry blossoms and April showers, as soon as oil prices rise enough to hit the broadcast news leads, the inevitable arguments for taxing oil companies on their profit windfalls make the rounds.

Oil’s rise this spring has been especially uncomfortable, and some economists predict it could rise to more than $200 a barrel from $114 a barrel this week, yielding tens of billions in profit to the oil companies just as climate change agendas in Europe and the U.S. succumb to the war in Ukraine.

But as dangerous as oil companies are to global warming, and with our timelines to move from oil to renewable energy shrinking by the month, slapping a tax on windfall profits is as misguided now as it would have been to subsidize oil companies back when oil went negative two years ago. . . .

To read the full column, all our insights, news and in-depth interviews, please subscribe and support our great climate finance journalism.

Callaway Climate Insights Newsletter