April 19, 2024
In 'brazen wealth transfer', Exxon and Chevron paid out record sums to shareholders

US oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron on Friday announced their second-highest profits in a decade, with both companies paying record amounts to shareholders in 2023, the hottest year on record due to massive fossil fuel burning. Was.

Chevron Chief Executive Mike Wirth claimed in a statement, “In 2023, we returned more cash to shareholders and produced more oil and natural gas than any year in the company’s history.”

Exxon also said it processed record amounts of oil and gas through its refineries. Exxon CEO Darren Woods said both companies are facing a decline in profits compared to their record revenues in 2022.CNBC’“We have more than doubled our earnings power from 2019 to 2023,” Squawk Box said Friday.

Exxon reported profits totaling $36 billion, with a payout of $32.4 billion to shareholders, while Chevron took home $21.4 billion and paid out $26.3 billion, making them second only to Apple, Inc. in terms of total payout from a US company. Microsoft and Google lagged behind parent Alphabet. A wall Streetmagazine Analysis. Shareholder payout far exceeds what any company plans to spend on climate solutions magazine Said.

“While millions of Americans face extreme weather events in 2023, Exxon and Chevron reap huge profits from the fossil fuels that cause those disasters,” Alice Harrison, head of Global Witness strategy, said in a statement. “They are now preferring to reward their shareholders by transferring wealth from energy consumers to big oil shareholders rather than investing in clean energy.”

The nearly $59 billion the two companies combined paid to shareholders is equal to the amount every household in California and Texas paid in energy bills last year, Global Witness said, and the worst of the year. About two-thirds of the loss would be enough to pay the loss. Weather disasters in America

“This greedy company drains our wallets, drills in our neighborhoods, and poisons our air, all the while locking us into a future filled with climate-induced disasters.”

Both companies also have major mergers planned for 2024: Chevron with Hess and Exxon with Pioneer Natural Resources. If these mergers go through, greenhouse gas emissions from both companies would increase by more than 20% this year, Global Witness calculated based on Rystad Energy data. So both companies will emit more climate pollution in 2024 than Australia, Brazil and Spain combined.

“These companies are in open rebellion against scientists, energy consumers and life on planet Earth, with their emissions set to rise as rapidly as 20% in 2024,” Harrison said. “This means more devastating weather events, more deaths around the world, more hardship and more suffering.”

Greenpeace USA focused on the harm that Chevron has caused to communities in California, where it is headquartered.

Zachary Norris, director of Greenpeace USA’s California climate campaign, said in a statement, “This greedy company drains our wallets, drills in our neighborhoods, and poisons our air, all of which sets us up for climate-induced disasters. ”

In California, Norris said, fossil fuels increase local pollution and climate disasters like floods and wildfires. Chevron is one of three companies that own two-thirds of the state’s orphan oil wells, which release both greenhouse gases and carcinogens and cost $10 billion to cap and clean up, according to a Sierra Club analysis. would cost. Often these wells are located near low-income communities of color.

Norris said, “Chevron needs to confront its destructive legacy: stop drilling, start paying to clean up its mess, and start funding the transition to a clean energy economy.”

Source: www.commondreams.org

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