Big Oil reports massive profits during Sandy cleanup
Grist 2 Nov 2012 2:04 PM
By Philip Bump
Yes! Hallelujah! You’re up and dancing, no doubt, celebrating, doing that Arsenio “woo-woo-woo” thing with your fist. ExxonMobil and Shell and Chevron are rollin’ in the dough! It’s just the best.
ThinkProgress has the wonderful, wonderful numbers. Exxon and Shell:
ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, No. 1 and No. 2 on the Fortune 500 Global companies list, announced their third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Compared to last year’s earnings, both companies’ profits are down slightly — 7 percent for Exxon and 15 percent for Shell — on weaker oil prices. However, ExxonMobil and Shell earned $9.6 billion and $6.1 billion respectively, bringing their total 2012 profits to $35 billion for Exxon and $18.9 billion for Shell. …
Exxon received an estimated $600 million in annual tax breaks. It paid just a 13 percent federal tax rate. …
Shell received a $200 million annual tax break in 2011.
Chevron, the second largest oil company in the United States and eighth largest in the world, earned $5.3 billion in profits in the third-quarter of 2012. This brings their total profits for the first nine months of this year to $19 billion. …
Chevron paid a 19 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011, after making $26.9 billion profit.
You’ll remember that Chevron used part of that massive profit to drop $2.5 million in the lap of a pro-Republican PAC, with the obvious goal of ensuring that it and its competitors continue to operate on the “level playing field” of massive government subsidy and entrenched political and infrastructural interest that fossil fuels enjoy. Good thinking, Chevron!
But again: This is good news. After all, the damage from Sandy is now projected to top $50 billion. And as some of the organizations most responsible for the climate change that whipped the storm into the monster it became, it is good to know that ExxonMobil and Shell and Chevron can cover that bill without having to dip into their earnings that much. Let’s see. $21 billion in profit for the three, and then another billion from the tax breaks that we’ll take away … we’re almost halfway there. Yes, they’ll need to tighten their belts a little, but we know that — good corporate citizens that they are! — they’ll do the right thing.
Just kidding. They’re profiteering assholes. Or, even worse, they aren’t profiteering. Imagine the good they could do by shipping gasoline to the Northeast. But instead, in the midst of a massive disaster that they helped make worse, they’re sitting around in Texas whistling and explaining to investors exactly how much money they made last year.
Americans, your government is subsidizing their business, sacrificing tax dollars that could pay to bolster FEMA so that these companies can make more money drilling up more oil. And they’re making money hand-over-fist.
Of all of the disgraces this week, of all the ridiculous shit we’ve put up with, these profit announcements are near the top.
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.