Joe O’Dea Appears More Worried about Big Oil than Working Coloradans, Senator Bennet Schools Him on Need for Anti-Price-Gouging Legislation

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Tonight, in the first and only debate in Colorado’s Senate race, Joe O’Dea repeatedly brought up the alleged “war on energy.” This is a complete and total lie spread by Big Oil, and repeated by their Republican allies, in a desperate attempt to continue lining their corporate coffers at the expense of working Americans. In fact, the United States is producing more energy than ever before. The reason that oil and gas companies are not significantly expanding domestic production is that they are using their record profits to enrich their executives and other wealthy shareholders instead of making capital investments. 

The fact that O’Dea seemed far more concerned about Big Oil than Coloradans says it all. Senator Michael Bennet called O’Dea out on his misguided priorities, saying

“You’ve been crying over and over again about the condition of the oil and gas industry. You started off the debate, saying that today. This week we learned that they […] have got record profits at Exxon, record profits at Shell and they’re using those record profits not to help consumers here in Colorado pay at that pump, not to help on diesel, but to buy back stocks, to do financial engineering. You should join me. I have a bill that says they have to pay a windfall tax.”  

Earlier today, Exxon and Chevron reported more than $30 billion in quarterly profits between the two companies. Exxon reported $19.6 billion for Q3, a 191.26% increase over last year – an all-time record. Chevron reported $11.2 billion for Q3, an 89% increase. Bennet was not being flippant when he called out Big Oil’s greed. All told, in the first three quarters of the year, the oil and gas industry reported enough payments to their wealthy shareholders that they could give every American over $1,300 in cash. In a surprise to no one, they choose to keep this money for themselves, wealthy investors, and shareholders.