What Five Oil Companies did With Their $375 Million in Daily Profits

Rebecca Leber
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Wednesday 25 July 2012
“In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.”
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The Big Five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – are slated to announce their 2012 second-quarter profits later this week.

We can expect these companies, all of which rank in the top 10 of the “Fortune 500 Global Ranking,” to reveal billions of dollars more in profits, after earning $375 million in profits per day in 2011 ($261,000 per minute), and $368 million per day in the first three-months of 2012 — bringing their combined profits to $1 trillion from 2001 through 2011.

Below is a quick look at just how much these Big Oil companies are making, and where they are spending their billions in profits.

Big Oil’s Big Profits, In 24 Hours

  • In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.
  • These five oil companies received $6.6 million in federal tax breaks every day.
  • In 2011, the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders.
  • The entire oil and gas industry spent on average $400,000 each day lobbying senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks, totaling nearly $150 million.
  • Each CEO of the Big Five companies received an average of $60,110 in compensation per day last year. On average, their pay jumped 55 percent in 2011. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s compensation came close to $100,000 per day last year.

Millions in Political Contributions and Lobbying

  • Despite ranking as some of the most successful companies in the world, big oil and gas companies continue to receive $4 billion in tax breaks each year.
  • Their efforts are paying off. This is the most anti-environment Congress in history, with the House of Representatives averaging one anti-environment vote per day, or a total 247 votes through mid-June. The biggest beneficiary of these votes has been Big Oil. The House voted to enrich the oil and gas industry 109 times, a total 44 percent of its anti-environment votes.
  • The House is on track to collect a record amount of oil industry contributions this cycle, having already reached 2008 and 2010 levels. And these are direct donations only — it does not include Super PAC spending or other campaign assistance.

Outside Interests and Big Oil Allies Spending Tens of Millions More to Influence the Energy Debate

  • Fueled by Koch Industries and other Big Oil interests, the industry is spending hundreds of millions to fund false ads in this year’s elections. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 85 percent of the dollars have funded false ad, during a season where most advertising have focused on energy.
  • Pro-Romney outside interest groups spent $24.6 million on energy ads through June 24, according to Kantar Media CMAG data. This is more than ten-times the amount spent by pro-Obama groups, which spent $2.3 million on energy spots.
  • American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund, and Crossroads GPS – the top outside pro-oil and pro-Romney interest group spenders – have spent a total$24.9 million on deceptive ads, many of them energy-related, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
  • Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has devoted more than 90 percent of its ad spending to energy ads. Two of the Americans for Prosperity ads pushed patently false claims — roundly debunked by fact checkers — that the stimulus funded jobs overseas.
  • Fact checkers have thoroughly debunked these anti-clean energy ads. Both Politifact and the Washington Post Fact Checker have given the ad their worst ratings of “pants on fire” and four Pinocchios, respectively. Politifact found all three examples used to be false, with the ad stringing together “alarming” soundbites that are “ultimately ridiculous.”


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12 comments on "What Five Oil Companies did With Their $375 Million in Daily Profits"

Tony X

July 28, 2012 9:11am

Everything starts at home. Did any of you give any money to your favorite canidate to run for any office? If not then you made them go a whoring after the money. If everybody gave something to the guy they want in office then he wouldn't need their money. The thing that everybody wants to say is "I voted for him." Big deal. But did you give him any money? "No." Then there's your answer. I know you don't have all the money the big oil companies have, but if you gave something he knows you're paying attention. All you have to give is $15, $20, or whatever you can give. Pay by check or money order too. They keep records of those donations. If all the people in a district gave to a canidate of their choice and voted for them then you'll see real change. Until then, they are only talking to or (listening to) the people they gave them some money.

CorPARAnoid

July 26, 2012 8:34pm

Why pay taxes, when it's cheaper to buy off most Congressman, so THEY
see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.
Why support your country when you are an elite global entity.
Why tell the truth in Advertising, when lying has paid off so
well and besides too many AMerICANs actually do not do their
own HOME work to check the facts or read articles like this.
Why, you get ALL you can get when nothing stops you.
Why, because you've got the same elite BOD spreading themselves
around other corp industries to sign-off on these money payouts.
Why, because GOLDEN parachutes are not just for when you
leave in 3-4 years, but now DAILY usury?
Why, because you & your cohorts own the Energy Commision.
Why, because a majority of AMerICANs think you're Really a
Good Guy for industry, for their country, for their world,
for their children.
Why, because you think Lady Justice is Blind.

The answer to all the above, is KARMA is a BITCH and ...you'll
learn when 'enough' is really 'enough'. UNIVERSAL LAWS are
EQUAL & Getting Yours will have NEW Meaning.

teabagged2Death

July 26, 2012 5:07am

We, the Real Taxpayers, must also bear the excessive burden of billions more in So-Called "Philanthropic Donations" that are written off every year, as well as having to pay the Bloated Salaries and Expense Accounts of our Alleged Public Servants. No wonder these Koch-Heads call AmeriKKKa the Greatest Value For Dollar!

Welcome to the USA, LLC. All praise the Almighty D' Allah !!!

rdalmas

July 25, 2012 6:48pm

What does not make any sense, is why this oil that nature has placed no name of ownership upon, is owned by a few who are just like us, that we all collectively allow to believe they can own this oil!
If this unconditionally given oil were not owned, and seen for what it is, a substance of this earth that some man has signed his name to and built an army to "back up," might stop such practices that naturally will not develop best practices as what is least invasive creates autonomy and cannot be owned!
The only way out is to change this profit system, to stop centralized regimes - and they have ALL been centralized regimes, to a system that supports all, where support for all would allow COMMON SENSE to exist.
The media ( meteroric- lol) broadcasters present a fairy tale of potent "bliss/bling" and we all stand in awe of this "maybe" that is actually the illusion.
This scenario exists because we vote for a system that supports this. Change what we vote for, and change the system.
Profit works against earth not with it.

luxartisan

July 25, 2012 6:01pm

So...let's say Romney become the POTUS. When the middle class is no more, health care is unaffordable for all, seniors start dying at the ripe old age of 68 because they have no Social Security or Medicare, infant mortality rates along with teen pregnancies skyrocket and the American Dream is just to survive...do you think those who vote for him will finally wake up??? Nah. They're already brain dead.

Ronni85

July 25, 2012 3:38pm

Kochroach Industries and the rest of the oil cartel should be very proud to display their unmitigated greed. Our GOP representatives should be just as proud to display their acceptance of the purchase price for them and their votes.

Ronni85

July 25, 2012 3:38pm

Kochroach Industries and the rest of the oil cartel should be very proud to display their unmitigated greed. Our GOP representatives should be just as proud to display their acceptance of the purchase price for them and their votes.

Ron in NM

July 25, 2012 2:36pm

All this is sad, but apparently true. And the Democratic Party expects to fight against the Big Lies by hounding retired progressives on fixed incomes for "$25" here, there, and tomorrow again? If I was younger, I'd move to Canada or even New Zealand. This country's going down the plutocratic sewer, but what will be their customer base when we're all out-sourced or de-funded and left to hang out on street corners with cardboard signs? It was a grand experiment, this American democracy, but it's been sold down the river by the Good Old Plutocrats (GOP) who distracted us with non-issues like gay marriage and "family values."

Great, we can all be pious in our poverty, thanks to the Guardians of their wealth and our propriety.

Jeffrey Hill

July 25, 2012 11:08am

Investing in political whores pays much bigger dividends by far than investing in stocks, bonds, or any other financial instrument.

DocJack

July 25, 2012 11:03am

Just think, we're paying for their lobbying through subsidies they get from our tax money. Gives a whole new meaning to "acting in our own best interest" doesn't it?

skingk

July 25, 2012 10:51am

Buying all our politicians must be expensive, tho. Then again, maybe not.

Dave Moff

July 25, 2012 10:19am

Presumably all this while evading most if not all income taxes as well. Certain entities, strangely, seem fond of buying the government, but not nearly so fond of paying for it.