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The Democratic Party of Wisconsin: Doyle Administration Responds to Shell Oil

Contact:  Carla Vigue, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
Company’s Complaints of “Discrimination” Hard to Swallow, Morgan Says

MADISON – The Doyle administration today responded to complaints by Shell Oil that it is unfair to ask oil companies to give relief to taxpayers and help pay for transportation needs.

Instead of raising taxes on consumers or forcing residents to pay tolls, Governor Doyle has proposed an oil company assessment of 2.5 percent per barrel, with criminal penalties if oil companies try to pass along the fee to consumers.  This morning, speaking at a forum on energy issues, Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister said that the Governor’s proposal amounts to “corporate discrimination.” (Wispolitics.com News Summary) 

Shell Oil reported corporate profits of $25.4 billion last year, while Wisconsin consumers paid near-record prices to fill up their tanks. 

Department of Administration Secretary Michael Morgan made the following statement:

“The fact that the oil companies are attacking the Governor’s proposal tells me we’re doing something right.  Governor Doyle is simply asking the oil companies – for once – to pay their fair share and give consumers a break.  If anyone has been discriminated against, it’s consumers, not a company that made $25 billion last year by charging the public exorbitant prices at the pump. 

“The Governor’s proposal is fair, reasonable, and enforceable.  It protects consumers with anti-pass through provisions that have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and includes criminal penalties on the oil companies if they break the law.  Most importantly, it helps the state create thousands of jobs and build a sound transportation infrastructure without forcing taxpayers to pay more.

“I hope the Legislature will show the courage to stand up to this special interest, and do what’s right for taxpayers and consumers who have already paid their fair share.  Wisconsin can turn the tables on Big Oil.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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