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Record High Gas Prices for Americans, Record High Profits for Big Oil - Top Five Oil Companies Report $44 Billion in 2Q Profits

This summer, American families and businesses have been squeezed by record high energy prices. But at least one industry didn't seem to suffer… this week's quarterly earnings announcements from the top five Big Oil companies show record profits… continuing a five-year trend of record oil profits under the Bush Administration.

In the second quarter of 2008, oil companies reported a whopping $44 billion in profits - 42 percent more than last year. And this year, profits for the top five oil companies are projected to top $160 billion - far exceeding last year's record of $123 billion. [Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/31/08]  Since 2001, the major oil companies have amassed close to $600 billion in profits.

Big Oil Profits for 2Q

Enriching Companies, Not Strengthening American Energy Independence

  • In 2007, ExxonMobil used 70 percent of their earnings to buy back stocks and pay dividends, instead of making real investments in exploration, new production or for renewable energy.   In fact, they spent only $10 million on renewable energy.
  • Over the last three years, Shell has bought back $18 billion in stock - 30 times what the company spent on investments in renewable technologies. [Sen. Schumer and information provided by Chevron to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/2008]

Oil Company Expenditures

 [Source: Senator Chuck Schumer and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/31/08]

The New Direction Congress led by Democrats has offered real solutions to bring down energy costs, promote renewable fuels and energy efficiency, and promote oil production right here in America.

But a majority of Congressional Republicans have voted NO each time.

  • NO to renewable energy
  • NO to the first new vehicle efficiency standards in 32 years--saving $1,000 in fuel costs per car per year
  • NO to reducing transit fares for commuter rail and buses
  • NO to recouping royalties the oil companies failed to pay to taxpayers
  • NO to repealing unnecessary subsidies for the top five oil companies, raking in record profits
  • NO to expanded drilling in Alaska's Energy Reserve
  • NO to requiring oil companies to produce on 68 million acres they already have leased for drilling
  • NO to lowering gas prices immediately by releasing a small portion of the government oil stockpile
  • NO to cracking down on gas price gouging
  • NO to curbing excessive speculation in the energy futures markets

What IS their plan?

  • More public resources going to oil companies that won't or can't drill on the millions of acres they already control
  • A 6th year of bigger profits for oil companies
  • Oil derricks off more of our pristine beaches and in our last wildlife preserves