Stabenow Legislation Would Grant Families, Small Business $500 Tax Rebate to Meet Rising Energy Costs
Bill also seeks to expand legal tools to combat energy price-fixing, increase heating assistance for low-income families
To offset the effect of skyrocketing gas and oil prices on family budgets, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow said today she will introduce legislation to provide families and small businesses with a $500 dollar energy tax rebate. The legislation will also press Congress to fully fund the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and will provide important consumer protections, including giving states the authority to take legal action against price gouging.
"Gasoline to commute to work, diesel to power farm equipment and natural gas to heat our homes are not a luxury for Michigan families - they are a necessity," Stabenow said. "Record high prices for gas and oil affect every aspect of life in Michigan and threaten all sectors of Michigan's economy. My Energy Tax Rebate Act will deliver a $500 tax credit to families and small businesses to help ease the pain of this year's high energy costs."
Stabenow noted that one sector of the economy - the petroleum industry itself - didn't seem to be suffering, despite the natural and economic catastrophes striking the nation, from the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma to the bankruptcy of Delphi Corp.
"Today we have learned that Exxon Mobil has posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion, the largest in U.S. corporate history, even as we in Michigan and across the nation are reeling from the Delphi bankruptcy, the largest in U.S. history," Stabenow said. "Corporations have a right to earn a legitimate profit, but public also has a right to know that these profits are legitimate and not the result of any market manipulation or price collusion, particularly when these profits affect every family, every business, every job.
"Congress has already approved my request for in investigation into energy company profits and pricing practices. In addition, my new legislation will give states the power to impose their own civil penalties for price gouging."
Stabenow's Energy Tax Rebate Act will also:
Require price transparency for petroleum products.
Make it unlawful to knowingly provide false information to the federal government related to the prices of petroleum products.
Make geographic price-setting and territorial restrictions imposed by refiners illegal.