Big Oil Reports At Least $116 Billion in Profits for Q2, Demonstrating Need for the Inflation Reduction Act and Placing Target on WI GOP Allies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: August 4, 2022
CONTACT: Meghan Schneider, [email protected]
Washington, D.C. – The numbers are in and they’re huge. New filings from the oil majors show the industry has raked in record profits at a time when Wisconsin families were paying skyrocketing gas and energy prices. All told, oil and gas companies reported at least $116 billion in profits for Q2, returning at least $66.7 billion to their executives and wealthy shareholders through stock buybacks and dividend payments. The earnings likely represent the most profitable quarter in the industry’s history, with virtually every company reporting a massive increase in profits over both Q1 and the same period last year. This all comes as the Senate debates the Inflation Reduction Act and highlights the political importance of passing this historic legislation.
ConocoPhillips, the last of the Big Five oil producers to report its Q2 earnings, reported a Q2 profit margin higher than any in its history – a 196% increase in profits, over the same period last year. The profits, which totaled $5 billion, were collected. Over the past week, Shell (11.5 bn), Chevron (11.4 bn), Exxon (17.6 bn), BP (8.45bn), and Marathon (5.69bn) released record profits, proving that the industry is profiteering across the board.
The new earnings report comes as the Senate is on the verge of passing a cost-saving plan that ramps up the production of American-made clean energy, lowers energy bills, and takes on climate change. It shows without a shadow of a doubt that Wisconsinites struggled under the crushing weight of historic gas prices thanks to price gouging oil companies:
- ConocoPhillips gouged consumers at the pump and shoveled the money to their wealthy shareholders. In Q2 alone, ConocoPhillips paid out $2.3 billion in stock buybacks and $988 million in dividends, for a total of almost $3.28 billion on rewarding shareholders.
- Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips spent $5.9 million lobbying Congress thus far this year to help ensure they can continue to reap massive profits from consumers.
This profiteering is a major problem for Republicans, who have spent months attempting to pin the blame for high energy prices on Joe Biden while acting as mouthpieces for the fossil fuel industry.
As you see Republicans object to the historic legislation moving through the Senate, remember that in the 2022 electoral cycle alone, the oil and gas industry gave more than $13.2 million to federal Republican candidates, which represents 77% of their giving. Now that bill is coming due.
One of the biggest recipients of Big Oil’s greed is Senator Ron Johnson, who has received more than $165,000 in campaign contributions from the industry since 2017. Johnson, despite claiming he’s not a climate denier, is a notorious mouthpiece for Big Oil — just last year, he was caught on tape calling climate change ‘bulls—.’
Even as the climate crisis intensifies in Wisconsin and energy prices soar, Johnson, like many of his fellow Republicans, has not offered any meaningful solutions to stop the price-gouging or lower costs for Wisconsin families. This could be a major misstep as key elections in Wisconsin ramp up – recent polling shows strong support for clean energy, and a majority of voters blaming high energy prices on price gouging by fossil fuel companies. Republican leaders have also announced strong opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act, which is extremely popular among all sectors of the electorate. New polling from Data For Progress shows that 73 percent of likely voters nationwide support the bill, including 95 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Republicans.
It’s time to hold these fossil fuel-bought Republicans accountable for doing nothing to protect consumers or lower costs for families. Please let me know how I can be a resource to you as you’re covering this.