Exxon Sues EU in Move to Block New Windfall Tax on Oil Companies

ExxonMobil is suing the EU in a bid to force it to scrap the bloc’s new windfall tax on oil groups, arguing Brussels exceeded its legal authority by imposing the levy, the Irish Times reported. The lawsuit is the most significant response yet against the tax from the oil industry, which has been targeted by western governments amid a surge in energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The action threatens the viability of a levy the European Commission said would raise €25 billion “to help bring down energy bills.” Exxon said the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by its German and Dutch subsidiaries at the European General Court in Luxembourg City. It challenges the Council of the EU’s legal authority to impose the new tax — a power historically reserved for sovereign countries — and its use of emergency powers to secure member states’ approval for the measure. Casey Norton, a spokesman for Exxon, said the U.S. supermajor recognized that high energy costs were “weighing heavily on families and businesses,” but argued that the levy was “counterproductive” and would “undermine investor confidence, discourage investment and increase reliance on imported energy.” Exxon had spent $3 billion on European refining projects in the past 10 years, increasing output “at a time when Europe struggles to reduce its energy imports from Russia,” said Norton. Read more.