'There should be consequences': Ocasio-Cortez slams big oil price gouging
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sits on a stoop (Facebook)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday took aim at corporate profiteers, calling for "consequences" for those who price gouge under the pretext of record inflation and international crises.

Responding to a tweet from MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle, who asked "what's going on" with gas prices averaging $4.43 a gallon nationwide, Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) replied: "Profiteering. And there should be consequences for it."

Echoing Ocasio-Cortez, fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted that "Big Oil CEOs need to be held accountable for profiteering."

Last week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax to target fossil fuel companies profiteering amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The measure is co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) simultaneously introduced a House version.

In a separate tweet Monday, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted a failure by lawmakers to hold fossil fuel companies accountable—especially those who take money from the industry.

Targeting Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)—who opposes government funding for electric vehicle infrastructure while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from carbon polluters and profiting handsomely from his family's coal business—Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that it is "truly bizarre" how such conflicts of interest are "totally allowed" but "what's not acceptable is raising that fact and questioning the connection."

Last week, Common Dreams reported that 82% of respondents to a survey conducted by the advocacy group Fight Corporate Monopolies believe that inflation—which recently reached a 40-year high—is fueled by corporations hiking prices in pursuit of profit.