I think we should go further, instead of taxing profits only when they become excessive, we should recognise that oil reserves are a gift of nature. The distribution of the wealth derived from their exploitation should reflect this and be spread among all citizens, not disproportionately in favour a minority of the already wealthy. A large proportion of Shell\’s profits arise because oil companies are allowed cheap and sometimes free access to oil reserves when they should be paying the rest of us for the privilege.
Can we try and drag ourselves into the 20 th century at least, if the 21 st is proving too difficult? Are you not aware that everyone already does this? Petroleum royalties? Special rates of corporation tax?
The UK appears to have charged the oil companies some £ 63 billion for precisely that, the gift of nature, distributing that wealth amongst all citizens. (That number may well be off as the tax regime ain\’t that simple, see here.)
It\’s one thing to insist upon higher taxation, quite another to insist that we immediately need to bring in a system which has already been extant since, ooh, say, the Petroleum (Production) Act of 1934.