Obama shelves oil company tax after price fall: aide

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama is not planning to implement a windfall profit tax on oil companies because prices have dropped below $80 a barrel, an aide said on Tuesday.

"President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel," an aide on Obama's transition team said. "They are currently below that now and expected to stay below that."

Oil prices have fallen from a record $147 a barrel in July to under $50 this week.

Obama, who signaled early in his campaign for the White House that he would take an active approach to oil markets as president, had planned to use the revenue from a windfall profits tax to fund a tax rebate for low- and middle-income families struggling with high energy prices.

But the aide said Obama's presidential campaign had already taken the price drop into account six weeks ago. When Obama laid out his economic plan for the middle class in mid-October, revenue from a windfall profit tax was not included because of the price change, he said.

Oil companies steadfastly opposed a tax, saying it would stifle exploration and innovation.

The switch drew applause from industry.

"The judgment to withdraw the concept of a windfall profits tax is an important recognition that developing America's oil and natural gas would be seriously damaged by such a tax policy," said Lee Fuller, vice president of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents independent oil and gas producers.

"A windfall profits tax is bad policy at any price," said Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, calling the move "a heartening development -- both for consumers and an economy struggling to claw its way out of recession."

Many energy experts warned that imposing a windfall profits tax would discourage energy companies from drilling for oil in the United States, which would exacerbate U.S. reliance on foreign suppliers.

But environmentalists support a tax and want oil companies to invest more in renewable fuels.

Obama has made revamping U.S. energy policy a key priority of his upcoming presidency, promising to increase production of renewable energy sources and start a carbon trading system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He said recently that the fall in gasoline prices was not an excuse to put off tackling U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who met with Obama during the campaign to discuss energy policy, said he was against a windfall profits tax but did not believe the decision not to implement one would affect domestic oil production.

"The windfall profits tax won't have anything to do with killing any oil projects," Pickens told reporters in Washington.

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Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin is facing several charges for his role in the death of George Floyd. But attorney Andrew Branca, who specializes in self-defense law, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain exactly what must be proven in order for those charges to stand.

Did Chauvin act reasonably in the context of the entire situation? Were his actions directly responsible for Floyd's death, or could it be blamed on factors beyond Chauvin's control?

Branca also argued that the prosecutor committed misconduct serious enough for a potential appeal, how political tension makes it "impossible" for a fair trial, why he would vote not guilty, and what sentence Chauvin is facing if the actual jury disagrees.

Watch the video below for more details:

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From food and job shortages to the prices of building materials "skyrocketing," the world is currently moving into what could be the "perfect storm" for politicians to push for a universal basic income, explained Glenn Beck on the radio program.

"We really need to look at the economy and be prepared for what is coming," Glenn said. "I feel like my job is to warn you of the things that are coming and, when I can, give you ways to navigate around. But at least so you can hear the warning and decide yourself what you're going to do with that."

Glenn explained that now, for the first time, there is a shortage of starter homes and building supplies just as increasing numbers of millennials are in the market. Also, analysts are predicting that shortages of food items and products such as pork, polystyrene, and chlorine could send prices soaring. Then there's the matter of unemployment, kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic and likely to worsen because of the technological revolution, there are going to be fewer and fewer jobs for people to do.

"We are creating this perfect storm, right now, where universal basic income is going to be embraced by people," Glenn warned. "It's just this nasty cycle that we're beginning, and we're watching it unfold right in front of us."

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More than 100 business leaders and CEOs from some of the world's largest corporations recently met during a Zoom meeting to discuss how they can band together to fight "election integrity laws," like the voting law recently passed in Georgia.

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck explained how this government-corporation partnership is not only proof of fascism, but it is also demonstrative of how our lives will be under The Great Reset: government and large corporations will work together to set the rules, and the freedoms of the individual American will be squashed.

"I want you to understand ... everything that they have ever said about, 'oh, it's a conspiracy theory' about The Great Reset, you can throw that in the garbage now," Glenn began. "Something happened this weekend that is absolutely unprecedented. I have done this job, for ... I don't even know how many years, almost 50 years, and I've never seen anything like this.

"People that were on the [Zoom] call, they talked about potential ways to show how they opposed the legislation, including ... delaying investments in states. That's blackmail," Glenn continued.

"So these corporations, they're going to act as a — what? A secondary government? ... I don't know. I didn't elect the CEO of Merck. Did you?" he said.

"Corporations [are] openly meeting and coordinating efforts to change laws," Glenn added. "This is fascism, guys! Fascism is when government and corporations work hand in hand. That is fascism."

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A virus has escaped the university labs and is super-spreading through our culture. It's called Critical Race THEORY and what used to be a fringe topic in the academic world is now a dangerous Marxist REALITY infecting our public schools where students are taught the U.S. is a "parasitic system" based on the "invasion" of "white male settlers."

On Glenn TV this week, Glenn Beck exposes how some teachers are being instructed to "cash in on kids' inherent empathy" in order to train them to become "activist intellectuals," starting as early as first grade.

CRT is an absolute toxin to America and Glenn warns that in just one generation the Constitution, freedom, and true equality will be totally destroyed. Yet, any opposition to the spread of this disease is shouted down as racism and bigotry. If Critical Race Theory is not already in your local school curriculum, it will be soon.

Joined by Asra Nomani, Vice President for Strategy and Investigations at Parents Defending Education, Glenn arms you with the facts about CRT so you can stand up to this tyranny in your community.

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