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Leber reports: "With just BP left to announce 2012 earnings, Big Oil earned well over $100 billion in profits last year, while the companies benefit from continued taxpayer subsidies. Average gas prices also hit a record high last year, showing how a drilling boom may help oil companies' profit margins, but not consumers' wallets."


Exxon, Chevron Made $71 Billion Profit in 2012 As Consumers Paid Record Gas Prices

By Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress

02 February 13


hile 2012 might not be a banner year for Big Oil profits, it wasn't a bad one either. With just BP left to announce 2012 earnings, Big Oil earned well over $100 billion in profits last year, while the companies benefit from continued taxpayer subsidies. Average gas prices also hit a record high last year, showing how a drilling boom may help oil companies' profit margins, but not consumers' wallets.

ExxonMobil - now the most valuable company in the world, passing Apple - earned $45 billion profit in 2012, a 9 percent jump over 2011. Meanwhile, Chevron earned $26.2 billion for the year. In the final three months of the year, the companies earned $9.95 billion and $7.2 billion respectively.

Here are the highlights of how Exxon and Chevron spend their earnings:


Exxon received $600 million annual tax breaks. In 2011, Exxon paid just 13 percent in taxes. The company paid no taxes to the U.S. federal government in 2009, despite 45.2 billion record profits. It paid $15 billion in taxes, but none in federal income tax.

Exxon's oil production was down 6 percent from 2011.

In fourth quarter, Exxon bought back $5.3 billion of its stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives of the company.

Exxon's federal campaign contributions totaled $2.77 million for the 2012 cycle, sending 89 percent to Republicans.

The company spent $12.97 million lobbying in 2012 to protect low tax rates and block pollution controls and safeguards for public health.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson received $24.7 million total compensation.

Exxon is moving ahead with a project to develop the tar sands in Canada.


In October, Chevron made the single-largest corporate donation in history. Chevron dropped $2.5 million with the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC to elect House Republicans.

The bulk of Chevron's federal contributions came from the super PAC donation, for a total of $3.87 million for the 2012 cycle. 85 percent went to Republicans.

Chevron spent $9.55 million lobbying Congress in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Chevron paid 19 percent U.S. taxes last year (half of the top corporate tax rate of 35 percent), and received an estimated $700 million in annual tax breaks last year.

Chevron was fined $1 million for a refinery fire that sent 15,000 Richmond, California residents to the hospital. Though the company faces $10 million in medical expenses, Chevron earns it back in a couple of hours.

With Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips reporting $35 billion in combined profit in 2012, BP is the last company left to announce its profits for the year. your social media marketing partner


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-9 # MidwestTom 2013-02-02 22:41
There is no market for "green: cars if the price of gasoline is $1.50 per gallon. Oil is an international commodity and the rest of the world is dictating the price as the US dollar falls in value.Cushing OK, our largest storage facility is full and has been for over two years. Supply and demand are not driving the price of fuel, Think no electric cars if gasoline is c heap, and the oil companies are certainly not the one pushing electric cars. Do you suppose that our government might be supporting the higher prtces?
-5 # 2013-02-03 06:07

Correct. Oil company profits average about six percent of the price of oil -- this is much less than many high-tech industries and about average for conventional companies.

The real beneficiaries of gasoline sales are government entities. Federal gasoline taxes are at 18.4 centers per gallon (at $4 retail prices, that works out to 4.6 percent). And state gasoline taxes range up to 49 cents per gallon (in New York) which equates to 10.2 percent of the cost.

Thus in New York, government makes more than three times as much from gasoline sales as the oil companies do. Other states do not rip off consumers so much but all states earn more money from gasoline than the producers of the gasoline earn.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+6 # Doubter 2013-02-03 13:25
But the oil companies suck up and sell our valuable hydrocarbons as fast as they can and we burn them up likewise instead of husbanding the resource for future generations for use as plastics, medicines, and everything in between.
The real crime is not having a "Manhattan Project" on alternative energy sources, as we'll find out sooner rather than later.
+4 # dick 2013-02-03 00:40
So tell me, why do people buy BP, Shell, EXXON, Chevron. They destroy OUR habitat & overcharge. DON'T GO THERE. Jeez.
+13 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-02-03 01:30
Time to seriously develop mass movement to boycott all BIG OIL and fossil fuel companies. Record profits while millions are starving and dying from the pollution these oil monsters leave behind--are they flipping serious? And Drill-baby-dril l Tillerson needs to donate all his bonus money to efforts to absolutely ban further raping of the land, poisoning of the sea, air, and Earth by companies like his.

We can do it, people!
+12 # Smokey 2013-02-03 05:30
Hmmmm.... I remember the high gasoline prices in the year 2008. Everybody claimed to be ignorant about the reason about the reasons for the high prices.

Then, the economy collapsed and the gasoline prices went spinning into decline. End of high prices.

The big conservation groups ran around shouting, "Raise the price of fossil fuels!" "Save the polar bears!" However, after 2008, the average American wasn't interested. "Vanity Fair" magazine stopped publishing cover stories about the environment. By 2012, the top leaders in the big political parties seldom mentioned energy and climate change.

America needs a new energy policy. A policy that will address economic justice concerns, corporate power in politics, the needs of low-income people, safety issues, world peace issues, and a long list of related concerns, including climate change.

All of the energy issues are connected.

Occupy energy!
+8 # RnR 2013-02-03 06:00
Good thing they're subsidized by us (in addition to the record gas prices). They might have had to compete in a capitalistic world...oh, the horror!
+6 # dick 2013-02-03 10:12
I think Rockefeller senior said something like, Every capitalist in his right mind seeks monopoly. That's the END of competition.
+7 # rockieball 2013-02-03 10:42
And the Republicans still fight to let them keep their Government Welfare.
+5 # reiverpacific 2013-02-03 11:35
See, Socialism works in the US too: -Corporate that is!
The fact that, like BP (British Polluters), they can brush off what would be massive, crippling fines to other companies and still get away with destruction and degradation of the planet on OUR dollar, says more about their evil back-door lobbying and omnipresent ownership of the government than anything else.
It's not oil you're buying, it's the death of out mother planet -and I'm no woo-woo.
+5 # Byronator 2013-02-03 11:36
Boycott Big Oil -- how? The independent retailers buy their gas from them. Drop oil stocks from your retirement fund? Great ethical move, but a drop in the bucket for a global monopoly. Bicycle 40 miles to work each day? Who's being punished there? How about taxing these bastards at the rate they should be paying and redirect their subsidies to fund public transit, remove their corporate "personhood" by revoking Citizens United, shop locally and cut gas consumption/emi ssions.
+2 # Abigail 2013-02-03 13:08
What are the options? Electric cars must get charged- the charge ultimately comes from oil. Drive a manual transmission car? I get 48 mpg hwy, 38 mpg city in my Toyota Corolla.
Let's shift for ourselves!

+3 # Vardoz 2013-02-03 16:14
This is what happens when big oil and big money own our reps. All gains go to the top.

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