Big (Bad) Oil

By Shlomo Maital  

     Big Oil had a big year in 2022,  thanks to old friend Vlad.  As crude oil spiked to $120/bbl., later falling to $75,  the Big Five Big Oil companies (Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Total)  had a huge party,  racking up $200 b. in after-tax profits.

     Tax?  Did I say tax?

     “Nearly one-third (29 of 92) of ExxonMobil’s foreign subsidiaries are registered in tax-haven nations that impose little to no tax on corporate profits. ExxonMobil had a three-year US federal income tax rate of just 15%, less than half the official 35% corporate tax rate.”

    15%?  Less than what nurses pay, and truck drivers, as President Biden just noted. 

     In the US Congress, there is strong sentiment to impose an excess profits tax on Big Oil and on corporate profits in general.  It is blocked by a handful of radical Republicans – the same ones who scream about Biden “deficits”. 

     What is Big Oil doing with this windfall?  Investing in infrastructure, exploration,  renewable energy?  Actually —  no. 

       “Chevron announced a $75 billion stock buyback and raised its dividend to 3.44%, while ExxonMobil paid $30 billion in dividends and buybacks in 2022.”  

       They are buying back their stock and paying large dividends to shareholders. 

        Think of a pipeline.  It leads right from your pocketbook, at the gas station, to Big Oil. 

           This must change.