The big 3 oil companies have reported a combined profit of $44 billion for 2012. The New York Times reported that these earnings have actually dropped based on stated expectations earlier this year. They are attributing it to the lower gas prices. They also note that the top five oil companies receive a total of $2.4 billion in tax breaks each year.
According to Republicans, in order to balance our budget, they want to cut tax credits and programs that benefit the middle class, i.e., education funding for Pell Grants and public universities, tax credits like the earned income tax credit and mortgage deductions, Meals on Wheels and food subsidies for low-income families, but they absolutely refuse to end these oil and gas industry subsidies.
The Center for American Progress Action has analyzed Romney’s tax plan and it would actually lower the top five oil and gas companies yearly tax rates by another $2.3 billion. They say this would double what they already receive in tax breaks.
Think Progress wrote on this subject and they actually listed some of the ways these oil companies are spending their money.
– Exxon spent 42 percent — or $10.7 billion — of its 2012 profits buying back its stock, which enriches executives and largest shareholders.
– Exxon has spent $17 million lobbying for the past 18 months, making it the top spender in the oil and gas industry. It has spent more than $52 million lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush administration.
– Exxon is sitting on $18 billion in cash reserves.
– Exxon send federal candidates $1.3 million in campaign contributions so far this campaign cycle, sending 91 percent to Republicans.
– Exxon paid just 13 percent in federal taxes last year, lower than the average American family. Right after Mitt Romney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the top recipient of Exxon federal contributions.
– Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson received $24.7 million total compensation.
Royal Dutch Shell:
– Shell will start drilling in the Arctic this summer, but its oil spill response plan is still behind schedule. It’s off to an inauspicious start in the Arctic, recently losing control of an Arctic drilling rig.
– Shell has more than $17.3 billion in cash reserves.
– Shell bought back 15 percent of its second-quarter profits, or $900 million.
– Shell CEO Peter Voser’s compensation more than doubled in 2011 to $15.3 million. His salary increased (in euros) by 113 percent.
– In its annual report, Shell noted that the number of oil spills increased from 195 in 2010 to 207 during 2011.