Big 5 Oil Corporations Make Collective $27 Billion in Third Quarter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This quarter alone, the top five Big Oil corporations made a combined $27 billion in profits. They have also made it clear that clean energy still isn’t a priority, signaled by Exxon’s deal with Pioneer, Chevron’s merger with Hess, and widespread layoffs in Shell’s ‘low-carbon solutions’ unit. This quarter: 

Exxon’s third quarter profits exceed the GDP of 41 countries, and Chevron’s exceed the GDP of 37 countries. BP’s profits are larger than those of Pfizer and Amgen, two of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Shell reported about $7 billion more in earnings than Pfizer for the quarter, and ConocoPhillips’ third quarter earnings of $2.6 billion exceeds the quarterly profits reported by three of the largest pharmaceutical companies.

“Once again, the largest Big Oil companies reported multi-billions in profits, and their CEOs, executives, and shareholders benefited while the families they’re ripping off struggle to make ends meet,” said Climate Power senior advisor for oil and gas Alex Witt. “These corporations are making more than some countries’ GDPs and topping the profits of the largest pharmaceutical companies. Instead of investing in clean energy, they are doubling down on their commitment to fossil fuels as the climate crisis worsens. Their strategy is baffling – voters by and large support candidates who will crack down on Big Oil’s price gouging and want to elect people who believe in the climate crisis and have a clean energy plan that will help solve it. Big Oil is fueling its own demise, and we’re working to speed up the process.” 

“Big Oil is making billions while doubling down on climate destruction, and vulnerable communities are feeling it first and worst,” said Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus. “Here on the Gulf Coast, we’ve been on the front lines for decades — fighting oil and gas companies that pollute our communities, and often paying the price for them to rake in billions. Now with the climate crisis accelerating, the rest of the country is feeling it too. It’s time to divest from fossil fuels and commit to a future where we all can thrive.”

New polling from Data for Progress, Climate Power, and LCV shows that by a large margin, voters reject the “drill, baby, drill” rhetoric that Donald Trump and other Republicans have been deploying on the campaign trail in favor of strengthening our energy independence by building clean energy that can power homes, businesses, and schools while lowering costs for American families. In addition, voters blame high energy prices on large oil companies and their CEOs and believe these companies have too much power in government. Yet, voters remain optimistic about transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy and, by a 51-point margin, prefer a candidate who will stand up to oil and gas CEOs rather than support them.