Shell CEO says governments need to tax energy firms to help poor

Natural gas valve Source: iStock

Governments need to tax energy producers to help the poorest people deal with the soaring cost of fuel, said the boss of Shell Plc. 

“One way or another there needs to be government intervention,” Shell chief executive officer Ben van Beurden said at the Energy Intelligence Forum, a major conference for oil and gas producers in London on Tuesday. “Protecting the poorest, that probably may then mean that governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it.”

Europe Union ministers reached an agreement last week on an initial energy package, setting a goal to reduce power consumption and agreeing to tap windfall profits of companies and redirect them to customers and businesses. The bloc has also discussed capping the price of natural gas and power in a bid to protect consumers. 

Van Beurden criticized the latter approach, saying that companies like Shell would struggle to bring extra supplies of natural gas to Europe if a price incentive wasn’t there. 

“We will do our best to bring gas to Europe where it’s needed, but if the market signal is not there it’s going to be really challenging,” van Beurden said. 

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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