Low and middle income Americans could receive $240 payments every three months for gas relief.
Six democratic senators have teamed up to provided energy relief to Americans.
Who teamed up?
The average price as of March 16th for a gallon of gas was $4.30. The group of senators introduced the bill shortly before that on March 10th.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Representative Ro Khanna of California introduced the bill. The bill is also co-sponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, and Sherrod Brown. Read more here.
The ban on Russian oil imports after the invasion of Ukraine is just part of the reason gas prices are rising. The six senators who proposed the bill believe that oil companies are taking advantage of the market.
How will this be funded?
Energy relief for Americans would come from a new tax on oil companies. The tax would be fifty percent of the difference between the cost of a barrel of oil today versus the average price of a barrel between 2015 and 2019.
This previous week the price of a barrel of oil reached as high as $125. This tax will only be set on large companies like Exxon Mobil because their imports and inventory is over 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Smaller oil companies will be exempt.
Who will qualify for the payments?
The money for gas relief will be given to individuals whose income is under $75,000, and for married couples whose total income combined is under $150,000. Individuals will receive $240 in relief per year, while married couples will receive $360.