Bush rejects calls for tax on oil company profits

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Friday rejected calls by some lawmakers for a tax on oil company windfall profits, saying the industry should reinvest its recent gains into finding and producing more energy.

“The temptation in Washington is to tax everything,” Bush said in an exchange with reporters in the White House Rose Garden. “The answer is for there to be strong reinvestment to make this country more secure from an energy perspective.”

With gasoline at over $3 a gallon in some areas, Bush said there was “no evidence” of price-gouging of consumers.

Soaring gas prices have become a top political issue in Congress in this midterm congressional election year. Bush spoke a day after Exxon-Mobil, the nation’s biggest oil company, said its earnings climbed by 7 percent to $8.4 billion during the January-March period.

Bush said energy companies should use their increased cash flows to build more natural gas pipelines, expand refineries, explore “in environmentally friendly ways,” and invest in renewable sources of energy.

“That’s what the American people expect. They also expect to be treated fairly at the pump,” he said. “These oil prices are a wake-up call. We’re dependent on oil. We need to get off oil.”

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