Big Oil gets even more record profits, and one lawmaker says they should not be let off the hook for gas gouging.

State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) cites Exxon Mobile Corporation's second-quarter net income of $10.26-billion, which he says is the fourth-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.

"Their profits are obscene, but so are the prices Wisconsin consumers are paying. I think the least that we should be able to do is have some sort of assessment so that we could have Big Oil companies help pay for some of the transportation costs in Wisconsin."

Governor Doyle had proposed a 2.5% assessment on gross receipts for oil companies, but, defending their "no-tax increase budget," the Republican-controlled Assembly eliminated the gas tax from their version of the budget. (Reality Check) Pocan says that amounts to a reduction of $247.6-million in revenue from the Governor's budget plan, which would translate into cuts to education, and local aid for police and fire services. The GOP believes that any tax on Big Oil would simply be turned around and put right back on the consumer. Pocan (pronounce) believes the Democrats will prevail.

"I think the Democrats are trying to stand with the public on this issue and I think ultimately we will prevail because public opinion certain feels that companies that have record profits should be paying their fare share and we shouldn't be burdened with those costs."

Pocan says he's not worried about a court challenge, because he's very confident that it's not only legal, but also the appropriate thing to do.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:34 MP3)

Share the News