A government watchdog group on Monday published a new briefing analyzing fossil fuel corporations’ continued price gouging—even as crude oil prices fall to their lowest levels since January.
Accountable.US noted in its analysis that although crude oil prices have fallen below $80 per barrel, “prices for consumers are still 13% higher than they were last time oil was this cheap.”
“Why are gas prices still failing to match lower oil prices? Corporate greed,” the group asserted. “Big Oil is boasting record profits and dragging their feet to pass any lower costs onto consumers in order to keep padding investors’ pockets.”
Jordan Schreiber, director of energy and environment at Accountable.US, said in a statement that “as crude oil prices plummet, Big Oil’s thinly veiled excuses for price gouging break down.”
“Instead of passing the savings down to consumers trying to financially recover from the industry’s unprecedentedly high prices at the pump this summer, Big Oil decided to further line the pockets of its wealthy shareholders and executives with more of everyday consumers’ hard-earned money,” Schreiber added. “Given this is all after Big Oil raked in a record-shattering $138 billion profits last quarter, it’s clear their greed knows no bounds.”
Common Dreams reported in July that eight fossil fuel giants raked in $52 billion in record second-quarter profits, a 235% increase over the previous year.
Earlier this year, the advocacy group Public Citizen accused Big Oil of intentionally inflicting “pain at the pump” in order to boost profits at consumers’ literal expense.
Activists, progressive U.S. lawmakers, and Democratic leaders at the state and local levels have been pushing for a windfall profits tax on Big Oil as a means of combatting both corporate greed and the worsening climate crisis.