ODESSA, Texas — The oil and gas industry is something many West Texans know and love. Recently, the industry has been getting a lot of national attention since gas prices skyrocketed.
Some leaders in Washington D.C. are trying to give Americans relief at the pump by taxing oil and gas companies.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) are the two lawmakers that have introduced the "Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax."
The act would put a 50% tax, on the price difference between the current cost of a barrel of oil and the average cost for a barrel between the years of 2015 and 2019.
Kirk Edwards, former Chairman for the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, said that this tax would not be appropriate because it seems like a one-size-fits-all solution and not focused state by state.
"They think it's easy to say 'let's just put this on the gasoline tax' and increase it, like in California, that is what they have done," said Edwards. "So many of their initiatives in that state are paid by putting it on the gasoline. When you compare, gas is up to $7 a gallon versus $4 a gallon in Texas."
Edwards said gas prices seem to be hurting everyone's wallets lately, but the reason why goes beyond just the oil and gas industry.
"People are seeing high gasoline prices and blaming it on oil and gas companies making huge profits off that," said Edwards. "The oil price is up but what people have to realize is that oil companies sell the oil to refiners, and the refiners are what make it into gasoline. Everybody gets the same prices out of the refinery, but what happens from there is where people take it to their service stations and can mark it up as high as they want."
Edwards told NewsWest 9 that gasoline is not the only thing that is expensive right now.
"We are having inflation in everything," said Edwards. "We are having inflation in everything from refrigerators, to wood, to homes, and in every aspect we see. You can't just blame the oil and gas industry for prices going up when we see it across the board."
It is important to note that as of right now, the bill has only been introduced and it is making its way to the Ways and Means House Committee.