Oil Giants, With Billions in Profits, Face Criticism and an Uncertain Outlook

Oct 28, 2022 · 409 comments
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
Why do oil companies permit DECLINES in oil prices, iif as is claimed that they control oil prices? These are bogus claims from economic illiterates!
AutumLeaf (Manhattan)
They should be hanging a very large picture of Joe Biden and kissing his feet in thanks for this record profit year. Joe Biden banned Russian oil, which sent the price of oil to the sky. Following that, the price of gas rose to the moon. The cancellation of Nordstream 1 and 2 removed the Russians from the European gas market, and opened up the door for western oil companies into a market that was once dominated by the Russian's. Joe's mess with the Saudi's got them to reduce oil production. The vacuum is being filled by western oil companies. Seriously, they need to give thanks to Joe for making their wildest dreams come true. Granted, Ukrainians die by the hundreds daily, Europe has no power, and people will freeze. Everything is 8-10% more expensive due to the price of oil, and people have much less now. Europe is burning coal instead of gas, and Biden is begging countries to dig for more oil and the environment is paying the price. But who cares! The stock holders, western oil companies and Joe Biden are happy. We should all be happy for them, right?
KC (Okla)
2.95$ Regular unleaded today. I’m just not feeling that sting our Republicans are telling me to feel?
M (Washington)
Don't get angry. Just buy electric. Use the Bidens IRA to convert your home from gas to electric. Sell the gas guzzling car and buy an electric.
Rob Vukovic (California)
I would hope the Biden haters who've been falsely blaming the high gas prices on the president would read this piece and acknowledge the truth. But that's not going to happen anytime soon in the Trump/GOP bubble. Those folks are willfully ignorant. They don't read the actual news in New York Times, but instead, get the news they want to hear from FOX, Breitbart, and/or, for a very few others, Truth Social.
Will (Texas)
Liberal hypocrisy that is only concerned with elections. Democrats you got us into this mess, now take responsibilty.
bnc (Lowell,MA)
OPEC, Putin and the oil giants are in cahoots. And Republicans still blame Biden.
Martha Vonage (Calif.)
And here we’re told soaring gas proces were due to Ukraine war, shortages, etc. It’s Biden’s fault they say. And In Calif., Newsom is blamed as the high gas price bogeyman. As it turns out it’s much more simple, and far less political; it’s the greed of oil companies and their shareholders that spiked the price.
Yesplease (USA)
Greed. They are raising prices because they can. Shame on them.
Boris (Brooklyn)
The shortsightedness of corporate profiteering is literally killing us.
Niobe (Livermore, CA)
This happens every time there is confusion in the oil supply. The oil companies pretend it is a supply issue and raise prices, but their profits soar, because it is a fake crisis. I have seen this time and time again in my lifetime. Terrible world full of terrible people.
Kahisa (NY)
Re: .. but they are facing political fire Oh gosh , NO No . That would be a 25% windfall profit tax like in the UK Thank you Woof for pointing that out https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/28/business/energy-environment/exxon-chevron-quarterly-earnings.html#commentsContainer&permid=121187770:121187770
northlander (Michigan)
When has this not been the case?
Daren Connor (Portland)
Biden came into office bashing anyone and everyone involved with oil. Kinda laughable to hear him now asking for them to up their production. Must feel really good to tell him to pound sand, much like the Saudis did when he came begging there. What a pathetic “leader”.
Michael (K)
I still find it amazing that F150 owners still vote republican. There representatives argue that the profits are not high enough for the oil companies. I guess you get what you wish for.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
It is being reported that Chevron, in particular, is funding Mehmet Oz and his run for Senate in Pennsylvania. This is oligarchy and it lessens dramatically the voices of ordinary people. The cancer of Citizens United that has been perpetrated upon all of us.
Greg (Boston)
@GeorgeM It's obvious we have to transition from fossil. It's a no brainer! What's infuriating is that during this current situation, for this past year, these companies are putting massive profits from higher prices to their own benefit and not this country's. It's shameful and deserves to be called out. These huge corporations are making their own decisions about long term energy investments for our nation and it's people, and benefit with what will be short term profits in dividends. They know they own the game and could care less about what we pay at the pump--- we need them, after all. We pay for these decisions. They don't now, but will. As a group they have consistently lied or obfuscated. Calling them out is the right thing to do. This, too, is shameful.
Shane (Oregon)
Unbelievable that the price gouging profits ot the oil industry are not taxed doubly, Not even President Biden or any Democrat is calling for that except for one of the few honest politicians, Bernie Sanders. Yet even more unbelievable and unforgivably corrupt is that the oil industry continues to be heavily subsidized by the American taxpayer. We do not live in a democracy we can’t even get antitrust regulators and other to do their jobs. This country is corrupt to its core.
KC (Okla)
And all the Senators scream “you’re price gouging” but tell them how, and they don’t want to know. It’s basis manipulation using electronic signage and no one understands how easy it is to do. In fact they just don’t understand at all. But wouldn’t it seem they would like to know? Certainly this isn’t another Lankford, “Drug Innovation Protection Act?” They say one thing but in reality it’s all about protecting stock prices as best they can.
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
When Biden first accused oil companies, and others, of price gouging, the mainstream media went into attack mode and said he was scapegoating the engines of American freedom and prosperity. I doubt today there is a single person with a functioning brain cell who does not believe price gouging is not the number one reason for inflation. The time limit for blaming the American Recovery Plan is well expired, so that excuse is pretty lame. After all, if excessive emergency spending added to the deficit and caused inflation, then why hasn't a $1.4 trillion reduction in emergency deficit spending cooled inflation? And can anyone tell my why the mainstream media is silent on the fact that in 2021 we EXPORTED 331,000,000 barrels of refined motor fuel gasoline when gas prices here were so high and there were and still are calls for more drilling?
brogeorge (Jackson, Ms)
@Paul "Corporate Media" promotes and supports the right-wing narrative!
Timothy F. (Des Moines)
Greatest dereliction of duty by Congress in our history is their failure to regulate the petroleum industry. It is just too important to let run wild.
jmilovich (Los Angeles County)
Criticising an oil company for soaring profits is like shaming a republican for lying. It's a badge of honor.
DanielEss (Toronto)
The "OIl Giants" priced in your extinction years ago. But first, they take your very last dime. 2050 should buy them enough time to make this happen. Your welcome.
GO (New York)
Its called price-gouging, and it should be illegal.
The Sanity Cruzer (Santa Cruz, CA)
And for all of the ignorant people who think that "if we had energy independence, our gas prices wouldn't be so high", I offer you our oil company's profits as evidence that the price of fuel in this country has virtually nothing to do from whose hole it came out of.
Jeff Kosnett (Dunedin FL)
What frosts me is not oil earnings or gas prices. It is the millions of Americans who think the most important thing we can have in life is cheap gasoline. Democracy, equality, fairness, better health care and education.... none of that matters. Just get me a president who (although he has zero influence over it) somehow magically brings us cheap gas. Like the despots in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.
Judi (North Carolina)
And we’re supposed to be shooting daggers at the Fed for trying to control inflation? There’s plenty of greed to go around - big corporations and investors. If the stock market is making some “adjustments,” maybe it’s because it needs to. The very people who shame big oil companies at cocktail parties will happily invest in their stocks.
Jonathan (Boston)
@Judi Yes they will invest. Of course. And why would oily companies risk investing more to save Biden’s party in the mid-terms when his green acolytes want to put them all out of business and people out of work. Should people just go code?
lzolatrov (Mass)
When will Congress start taxing these windfall profits and put the proceeds into a fund to cover the next climate crisis. I'm tired of my tax dollars going to FEMA to clean up the unnatural disasters that keep coming thanks to the burning of fossil fuel.
Judi (North Carolina)
@lzolatrov When? This probably won’t surprise you, the politician on the stump deriding corporate America happily accepts their donations. Wonder how many former elected officials are now lobbyists or “representatives” for big oil or big whatever?
KC (Okla)
Cash price / basis manipulation using electronic signage, a computer, a marketing guy and spot month futures price price quotes. Like taking candy from a baby, no one understands it and it rakes in billions annually with virtually no overhead costs. Congress doesn’t want to know. Do you actually believe price changes on electronic signage still only happens when the new semi shows up from the wholesaler? Do you ever see them out changing the magnetic numbers on the signs anymore? You don’t. It’s all so simple now to gouge you and you don’t even notice.
Tony (New York City)
@KC Everyone knows it and we finally have a president Calling it out. Look we have had the media making excuses for calling these companies for the greedy Wall Street companies that they are . All of us should be calling all these companies out for being anti democracy and UnAmerican. Now it’s up to all of us to vote for elected officials to call all of these greedy dogs out We have the power we need to use it. Call them out mobilize . They are destroying the planet and like health care bleeding us dry Be educated and realize one party is in love with fossil fuels go after these oil companies the same way we went after the smoking industry Don’t want to do anything for your own lives then do it for your children
Dearson (North Carolina)
The fossil fuel industry has been picking the pockets of consumers almost from it's beginning. Rest assured, the trend will continue since the consumer will remain "drunk" on oil. In addition, the industry owns politicians, mostly Republicans, to keep the consumer in check. This, while the average American struggles to simply live.
One More Time (Georgia, USA)
It is good to know America is strong and healthy with the $billions in profits the oil industry is making while families are borrowing money to provide heat to their homes. And we are thankful the price gouging done by the oil GIANTS as they need that money to pay the members of Congress to insure laws are passed favoring the oil GIANTS. Only in America, no, it happens worldwide. Thank you Biden for not forcing an excessive profits tax on the oil industry. We appreciate your efforts to help Americans financially. And don't be surprisedwhen you are not reelected, as well as losing the House. Soon you'll be able to retire early as you will become even more useless when the GOP takes the House.
Cheryl (Seattle)
I share your frustration but do you seriously think Republicans will bring oil companies to heel? Ha! They worship the "free market" at any cost.
Matt (Michigan)
You must be referring to the gas price gouging bill congress tried to pass? I seem to recall it failed with full GOP opposition…but yeah sure it’s BIDEN who failed the American people.
Richard (USA)
Blame the democrat for republican policies.
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
Wait, climate change warriors, don't high gas prices DISCOURAGE consumption? Don't worry, be happy!
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
@Montalvo The left has been lobbying for higher gas taxes for years! Lowering gas prices, whether through pressure on oil companies, withdrawal from our strategic reserve or market forces, will discourage conservation and making global warming WORSE! There's no free lunch here! You can't have it both ways.
AGideon (Montclair, NJ)
@Montalvo "The left has been lobbying for higher gas taxes for years!" Higher taxes can help those on the edge pay the cost. Higher profits which result in higher prices offer no such support for those on the edge. Details matter. ...Andrew
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
@AGideon "Those on the edge"? Higher prices don't discriminate! EVERYONE pays the same price. Higher prices caused by gas tax increases give the government more income to pay for giveaways to the poor. And higher prices that simply increase oil company profits means that oil companies can afford more production which lowers gas taxes for the poor.
J (Ohio)
I'm not sure why we continue to allow consumers and the planet to be exploited by oil companies when we could just nationalize them.
Truthful Observer (Massachusetts)
@Yup, just like Venezuela. We all know how well that worked.
Mike (outside Chicago)
We always go after the "evil" gas and oil companies. Do we go after Apple for making billions? Food manufacturers? Pharmaceutical companies (maybe a little...). Car makers?
Shane (Oregon)
@ Mike….Apple and the tech industry are not subsidized by American taxpayers like the oil industry is. See the difference?
Philippe Egalité (Le Monde)
Tax corporate profits. Tax the rich. Inflation will recede to normal levels once the pirates robbing the economy are reined in.
D Ryan (California)
@Philippe Egalité try China. USA LIOLI.
Jaco (Nevada)
As an oil and gas investor I am opposed to new development until the federal government halts it's war on conventional energy. Investments in US new oil and gas development is just too risky as Biden's first day in office very clearly demonstrated.
Karen (Bay Area)
@Jaco you have it backwards. The oil and gas industry has declared war on us: all consumers and the democratic administration. Their excess profits are spoils of that war.
TeriDk (Western US)
Where is the windfall tax for the US? The EU past one within days.
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
Where are the windfall PAYMENTS from the nanny state to cover "windfall LOSSES" at oil companies?
GO (New York)
These companies should pay back every cent of their billion-dollar subsidies before they are able to make any profits!!
Whole Grains (USA)
It is apparent that oil company executives still operate in accordance with the musings of Gordon Gekko: "The point is that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit."
Michael (Westchester County)
Nobody likes an oil company whether they make money or not. We instead prefer technology companies who track us without our knowledge, use our data, and generally violate our privacy. Unfortunately, the technology companies won't keep you warm in winter, or take you from point A to point B. There is more than one kind of pollution in this world. some fouls the air and water and some fouls the soul.
Jack (Georgia)
@Michael I agree. We need to get rid of BOTH
J (Ohio)
@Michael pure whataboutism
Jonathan (USA)
It's not like this is a surprise to anyone. Pretty much the entire world knows that the rise in gas prices was due to oil industry profiteering, and had nothing to do with inflation.
Daren Connor (Portland)
Proof?
Montalvo (Puerto Vallarta)
Unfounded, just like Trump's claim of election fraud. Where ls your EVIDENCE?
JG (NYC)
Many commenters here seem to believe that if we increase the taxes on a product we will get more of it. I'm not sure if that is ever the case.
Jonathan (USA)
@JG I'm not sure if your claim about the commenters is ever the case either.
Mark Sprecher (Los Angeles)
The record-breaking price of gasoline serves the oil companies on two fronts: 1. Record profits; and 2. Since this industry heavily favors the GOP with its anti-regulatory policies, the higher the price at the pump the more frustrated voters focus their ire on Biden and the Democrats and then proceed to put the GOP back in power. This is a win win for the oil industry and a huge loss for the country.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
@Mark Sprecher Both the GOP and the petrol billionaires rely upon the stupidity of a significant portion of the American electorate....thanks to the right wing media empire that they own.
Linda Hoquist (Topsham Maine)
Wait, wasn’t the gas price increase due to Joe Biden? I guess these companies accidentally price gouged.
Jonathan (USA)
@Linda Hoquist Since you brought it up, it could be reasonably said that the gas price increases were due to the Republican Party
AutumLeaf (Manhattan)
@Jonathan 'the gas price increases were due to the Republican Party' Joe Biden banned Russian oil, which created scarcity and sent the price of oil, gas and gasoline to the moon. He is a Democrat. But do go ahead and blame the GOP for Joe's accomplishments.
Jonathan (USA)
@AutumLeaf Banning Russian oil had NOTHING to do with the increase in gas prices. The oil industry would love people to blame Democrats for the oil industry's price gouging, so Republicans can come in and allow more price-gouging with no regulations.
Linda (Delaware)
How is it possible to believe companies are in dire straits and must raise prices when they also can make staggering profits? If you believe it is possible, then I have a bridge I would like to sell you.
Jonathan (USA)
@Linda And it's not jut oil companies. Health insurance companies follow exactly the same strategy.
Metrojournalist (New York Area)
@Linda Hospitals are always soliciting money and then buying out other hospitals and doctors' practices. I would NEVER volunteer for a hospital. They can afford to pay people.
joes1960 (Commack NY)
& nothing will change & the upward trajectory will continue.
TeriDk (Western US)
@joes1960 until it doesn’t.
Ricardo Duarte (Houston)
As you read about these record profits from oil companies, consider that worldwide coal, oil, and natural gas received $5.9 trillion in subsidies in 2020 according to a new analysis from the International Monetary Fund. Explicit subsidies accounted for only 8 percent of the total. The remaining 92 percent were implicit subsidies, which took the form of tax breaks or, to a much larger degree, health and environmental damages that were not priced into the cost of fossil fuels, according to the analysis. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2021/09/23/Still-Not-Getting-Energy-Prices-Right-A-Global-and-Country-Update-of-Fossil-Fuel-Subsidies-466004
Lee (Arizona)
@Ricardo Duarte, nearly $6T in one year! I was aware of the issue but not the amount. Thanks for sharing the info. My aunt died of lung disease although she never smoked. She did live in a polluted area all her life, mostly pre-EPA. Needless deaths of our loved ones are collateral damage to the mining industry looters.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
@Ricardo Duarte And we have trump and all republicans to thank for this sickness.
John McCoy (Long Beach, CA)
Let’s hear it for “effective monopolies”! Not so long ago, such businesses were regulated, in the public interest. Deregulation was sold to the public as a good thing, but we know by now it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Nelson Cabello (California)
Any doubts the oil companies have been taking advantage for decades?
George M (US)
"I would transition from the oil industry, yes," Biden answered. "Why would you do that?" the moderator asked. "Because the oil industry pollutes significantly" ---- I can't imagine why oil companies are hesitant to make long term investments
Renee M (CA)
@George M What Biden said is true, but oil companies count on their trolls to help keep them in the business of price gouging and wrecking world economies.
Dave (New Jersey)
Nobody expressed any sympathy for oil companies when profits were way down in 2020. Everybody should be ecstatic that oil companies are finally turning a profit. Our leaders should stand up to the alarmists and encourage more domestic oil and gas exploration and production. The green revolution is not yet ready for prime time and nobody likes rolling blackouts and $5 a gallon gas.
Renee M (CA)
@Dave Really? Oil companies are finally turning a profit? Their profits were down, but hardly non-existent , in 2020. That doesn’t justify their current record profits due to price gouging. Oil companies have used every, single natural or manmade disaster as an excuse to cut supplies, raise prices, and enjoy ever-increasing record profits.
james (USA)
@Dave Exactly liberals were all gloating when their profits were down but now that their profits are back up because oil is back up not necessarily because of anything they did liberals are howling with outrage.
MassBear (Boston, MA)
And remember, Exxon was the company that proved to itself that burning fossil fuels would drive atmospheric warming - back in the 70s. Then it hid its own studies (including its own determination that a carbon tax could prevent such a catastrophe). Then it funded years of false science and politicians that stated the opposite (like the cigarette companies did). People still believe the disinformation. Now we face the results of this gaslighting and fraud, in terms of weather extremes, crop failures, population dislocation, flooding and Exxon and its kind just make more money. The BODs should be in prison for life, not enjoying these profits...
james (USA)
@MassBear The oil companies just pump oil they don't make people burn it or consume it. Instead of blaming the oil companies why don't you blame the businesses that use it or the consumers that use it to heat their homes or fuel their cars? We all know why and that's because companies are easy targets for liberals to blame for every problem.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
@james Stock holder, I see. “they just make fentanyl”. They do nothing wrong - when speaking of cartels
Paul T (Boulder)
I'm not a fan of oil companies but you do need to look at it from their perspective as well. If you compare how well their stock has done compared to the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average none of the large oil companies have performed nearly as well over the last 10 years (including all the profit that they made the last 2 years). And only Chevron has barely out performed the stock market over the last 20 years. I'm not for price gouging but frankly America was drunk on cheap oil at the expense of oil company and their investors the last decade. It's poor analysis to only look at the last 2 years and exclude the previous 8.
DanielEss (Toronto)
@Paul T You lost me at "but".
Garloo (CA)
Now that domestic oil and gas production exceeds domestic demand, domestic demand is peaking due to competition from renewables, and domestic refining capacity remains underfunded perhaps it’s time to nationalize the oil companies so that the domestic oil and gas industry can be sunsetted with the best interests of the people in mind. Otherwise, we’ll continue to live under the knife of an indifferent global market.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Garloo I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but we consume about 19 million barrels per day and produce about 12 million barrels per day. That's why we still import oil.
AutumLeaf (Manhattan)
@Garloo 'Now that domestic oil and gas production exceeds domestic demand' It did, under Trump It doesn't under Biden.
shstl (MO)
Perhaps this is naive, but does President Biden have any extra leverage over the fossil fuel industry given that the US government is a very large (if not the largest) consumer of their products? Like...he's not going to buy from any company that inflates prices and hoards profits?
James Brotherton (DC)
@shstl Prices are set by NYMEX and other mercantile exchanges. Those prices are driven by large traders like 401k, IRA and pension fund managers. President Biden and the US government have no say in the matter, nor do oil companies.
Hank (Idaho)
The War in the Ukraine was just an excuse to rise prices. If the actual cost of Oil went up as much as the Oil Companies said it did, their profits would not be so obscene.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Hank The price of oil is not just based on the cost of production; it's a commodity traded on mercantile exchanges. Boards like NYMEX set the price based on trading. Big traders like 401k and pension fund managers drive the price of oil.
jwgibbs (Cleveland, Ohio)
Nobody cared much just a few years ago when Exxon and Chevron couldn’t get rid of oil when the price per barrel almost went negative and Exxon lost 20 billion dollars. If you want price controls, or “ profit “ control than you don’t want a “free” “capitalist “ economy.
Ardyth SHAW (San Diego)
This is an abomination. Gas prices in San Diego are still more than $6 a gallon. The governor is even giving rebates to consumers from our tax dollars even though I've yet to see one.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Ardyth SHAW That's because California has special blends that are only found in California, along with the highest gasoline taxes in the country. Those are things controlled by your governor and legislature.
Albert D'Alligator (Lake Alice)
@James Brotherton: Nice try Jimmy. The taxes are fixed cost per gallon, except for the sales tax. So almost all of the price increase is adding to gross revenues of the oil companies, not state tax coffers.
Renee M (CA)
@James Brotherton And those taxes pay for roads and bridges. Other states use other taxes.
Ed (seattle)
I just saw Cruz denouncing the dems b/c of inflation- blaming spending- but alas he's from texas- and the real culprit is? It's exhausting to have these people as so called leaders.
james (USA)
@Ed The real culprit is the Biden administration handing out money like a drunken teenager. Not to mention the fact that the Biden administration tried to ignore inflation and tell everyone that didn't exist until they couldn't.
Robert Callely (New York)
The oil companies are War Profiteers plain and simple and should have to pay a huge penalty for ripping off the public.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Robert Callely I'm sure you realize any cost you impose will be passed along to consumers, like all the other costs.
sarah (oakland)
Do you know what the most serious cause of inflation is? Corporate America raising prices on everything so they not only don't lose money, their earnings increase. Personally I think there should be a cap on prices when inflation takes hold in the economy.
Harley (Houston)
@sarah There are places in the world where that is possible. Maybe relocation should be on your to do list.
Ben (NJ)
Windfall Taxes ? In 2008 Houston based ConocoPhillips lost $32 billion due to low oil prices . Why should windfall gains be taxed by society while windfall losses are theirs alone ?
Evan (Williamsburg)
@Ben Would you prefer that their losses are socialized and their profits are privatized, like the airline industry with its constant bailouts?
A. (NJ)
@Evan It needn't be one or the other.
Ben (NJ)
@Evan What I am suggesting is that, if we as a society consider windfall losses theirs alone , then we are not justified to tax them when there are windfall gains .
magicisnotreal (earth)
PROFITEERING.
S Nguyen (New York)
Capitalism at work with profit first in global sense. It is a continuation from the day of Rockefeller Standard Oil of New Jersey more than a hundred years ago. "The more things change the more they stay the same". Bon Jovi
James Brotherton (DC)
@S Nguyen There were no antitrust laws back then. There are plenty of antitrust laws now.
Linda (Delaware)
@James Brotherton The antitrust laws just don't seem to work very well, now, do they? It seems that the European Union finds it easier to bat down bad corporate behavior than we do...it appears to me that extreme money can buy extreme behavior in the US to the detriment of the rest of us because extreme money pretty much gets to write the laws and find the loopholes. It also knows how to manipulate public opinion to get what it wants in elections.
erwan (berkeley)
@S Nguyen “plus ça change, et plus c’est la même chose”. I did not know Bon Jovi was French.
Oisin (USA)
Biden and the Democrats will be blamed for this heist. It's way too complicated for the American people to connect the dots. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are licking their chops.
Linda (Delaware)
Agreed!
JT (NM)
"Face political fire"? Oil and gas own the GOP and they may take over Congress soon. The GOP will fight to protect these robber barons at all costs.
James Brotherton (DC)
@JT Being that Democrats control Congress and the White House, how has the GOP led to these higher profits?
JT (NM)
@James Brotherton You probably don't know this, but the overwhelming majority of the laws and policies that affect oil and gas companies weren't passed or instituted in the last two years.
Renee M (CA)
@James Brotherton Not what JT said, and what he did say is absolutely correct.
Worker (Wisconsin)
Who benefits from blowing up that Germany-Russia pipeline?
Marcia (Washington)
This news should have been the lead story on the front page of the NYT. But no NYT had to go with the robber baron.
Brian Barrett (New jersey)
Really stupid. Yes, they have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits, but the focus has become too short-term. Corporate management has become slave to the next 3 months. They can earn a secure and luxurious lifetime in just one or two years and then retire when the bill comes due. It will come due. They will have no reservoir of public goodwill to draw on when climate change efforts really cut into their profits. They kicked us when we were down. They instead should be thinking longer term, investing in renewables and being a positive force in enabling the inevitable move away from fossil fuels as the primary energy source.
Independent American (USA)
They don't call the GOPs the Grand Oil Party for nothing..
AutumLeaf (Manhattan)
@Independent American Democrat president, Senate and Congress for two years, price of oil and gas sky rocketed after we stuck our foot into Ukraine this year. But let's blame the GOP
Emily Rasmussen (Santa Monica, CA)
Adam McKay's ad is the only perfect response here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCkAU9wYlKI
John O (Texas)
This isn't news. It's happened before and it will happen again. We all see it we all say it and nothing is ever done to prevent it from happening again. IF they are fined for gouging the cost never matches the amount of money they made which usually causes the stock to skyrocket the next day. Why? Because they got away with it again!
Philip Cafaro (Fort Collins, CO)
Why is Biden asking the oil companies to invest in more production? I thought we wanted to limit climate change. Tax their windfall profits and invest them in more solar power.
Harley (Houston)
@Philip Cafaro Yeah, that's the ticket, tax them more - the next whine will be why is my gas price going up. Econ 101 for you.
M Ford (USA)
I liked it when Trump was president better. Biden and the Democrats have no power to do anything. They run an excuse mill while continuing to blame Trump and the Republicans for anything they can. If the oil companies, Donald Trump and the Supreme Court really are running the country, we should put them in charge.
John O (Texas)
@M Ford Was this a reaction to the story or a political ad?
DM (Here)
@M Ford Nope-Trumps and his band of incompetents can’t do anything to stop oil companies from gouging us. But here is just a short sampling of what Biden and the Dems accomplished in the first 2 years (compare to the Republicans the first two years of Trump) ✔️Infrastructure Passed ✔️Medicare can now negotiate drug prices ✔️Medicare recipients will have drug -prescription cost capped at $2,000/year ✔️Type 1 diabetics-those who require insulin to live, will now pay no more than $35 a vial ✔️CHIP law passed-now our chip Manufacturing is protected and brought back to US ✔️Veterans Protected -healthcare and support for veterans exposed to burn pits ✔️First major fun safety law in decades PS The Infrastructure law includes the largest-ever investments -in clean drinking water -the largest-ever investment in public transit, -the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, -the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in U.S. history Now tell me why I would vote for any Republican ? And since they will not protect Women’s health…there is nothing here to support!
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
We must move aggressively away from fossil fuels to electric vehicles - not only to save this planet, but it takes away the legalized bribery that the oil and gas industry use to payoff and control the entire Republican Party which prevents the United States from leading the way in renewable technologies.
Harley (Houston)
@Rubber Soul Which we have to buy from enemies, makes perfect sense.
The End Is Where We Start From (Little Gidding)
I guess I have another reason to hit the Costco gas lines early in the morning before the line builds. I’m seeing those $.40 deductions at the pump that Biden said we’d see when I go to Costco.
Look Ahead (WA)
Soaring profits aren’t about crude prices, which have fallen from $120 a barrel to around $85 lately. Its about high markups on refined products, especially gasoline and diesel. The last time crude prices were at $85 in 2014, gas prices were 25% lower than today. The only path to lower refined prices will be through a slowdown in driving, which was fueled in part by pandemic wanderlust and epic cross country drives. Less demand will cause refinery storage facilities to fill up, a sure fire way to see lower prices quickly. The good news is that high gas prices make EVs all the more attractive, just as car makers are launching many new models, competing for share of the biggest thing since the Model T. A pandemic shortfall of about 10 million new car sales will be closed with more EVs and fuel efficient ICEs, not exactly what the oil companies want.
Robert (USA)
The heads of the oil companies are the new Robber Barons from days of yore.
David (Florida)
@Robert They actually are and have always been one and the same thing. Every red white and blue logo of gasoline brand is a direct offspring of Standard oil.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
Not only are they gouging the American people, but they are one of the primary funders for the anti democratic GOP to take back the House and the Senate. It is totally disgusting....Citizens United has destroyed this nation and is killing democracy...it MUST be repealed if we will have any chance to survive.
Linda (Delaware)
@Rubber Soul problem: how to change anything when the fox is in the hen house (and the Supreme Court and the Congress)?
worldsgreatest ⛽️ (fetus)
And how many of you have up transportation that runs on fossil fuels? Lots of talking going on these days. Talk is cheap. First examine the person in the mirror before complaining and demanding.
Carl LaFong (New York)
fetus...how else do you expect people to get around without using fossil fuel? Biking can't get you everywhere. Public transportation uses fossil fuel. Electric cars use fossil fuel. Don't be so self righteous.
Renee M (CA)
@worldsgreatest ⛽️ The right always ignores the fact that they have fought against renewable energy and electric cars since the Reagan regime.
worldsgreatest ⛽️🤑🤡🛢️ (fetus)
@Carl The reality is that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you must continue to use that which will destroy the earth, then obviously the earth will perish… Basic logic.
Purity of (Essence)
Record profits for oil, gas, and defense companies while the rest of the economy is in ruins. The Democrats touted Buden as the next FDR but in reality Biden is Bush 3.0.
Renee M (CA)
@Purity of If you only engage with right-wing “news” you would think that. Try looking up all that Biden and the Democratic House and Senate have actually done, the things right-stream media never mentions.
Rich (Bay area)
Republican apologists have no shame. Of course Big Oil continues their gouging of consumer’s. Trumps cult has me frightened of my government for the first time! As a Christian I am ashamed that I truly look down my nose at these MAGA miscreants.
Wang An Shih (Savannah)
The GOP loves Big Oil and yet blames Biden for rising fuel costs. Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds
John (Colorado)
Visit Norway. You'll learn that 80 percent of oil profits go to the people to fund public education through college; retirement; healthcare. Norway decided the oil belonged not to the companies, but the people. Oil companies are very happy with the 20 percent of profits which are still immense. We should decide to do the same. So should the rest of the world.
worldsgreatest 🤖 (fetus)
@ John And lottery proceeds in America go to public schools.
David (Florida)
@worldsgreatest 🤖 They rarely do so, most states have moved on to using only a fraction of the funds if anything directly or putting the proceeds in a general fund and then they spend what they spend on education regardless of lottery money. And that is neglecting the fact that all of lottery proceeds are coming from the public and extract money from peoples pockets while oil revenue would be providing extra money to the economy. So lottery basically taxes people for schools while Norway sells public oil in partnership with private companies and provides money that would otherwise be a tax on citizens.
Renee M (CA)
@worldsgreatest 🤖 Lotteries are a thinly disguised tax on the poor. Hardly the same thing.
David J (So Eastern PA)
One upon a time, a big oil company (Standard Oil) was divided into more than 30 pieces. Over the years, some of these re-combined to be bigger (Standard Oil of NJ + Standard Oil of NY, aka Exxon Mobil is one example. Chevron includes what used to be Texaco & Gulf Oil.) They control prices from wellhead to pump, and can set the price we all pay, at will. (As proof, consider the price increases that followed announcement of the OPEC+ production cutback--some prices jumped 10 over even 20 cents/gal BEFORE a single drop of crude could be shipped and refined.) Price increases seem to occur when it merely looks like a storm might hit on the Gulf of Mexico. Big Oil are opportunists. And now, all of them show record profits that border on the obscene. When it costs more to drive a car, or ship everything via truck or train, prices on EVERYTHING increase. Inflation is not just Biden's fault. Big Oil is greedy, the seek new drilling rights--when they are not even using drilling rights they already have. And as Big Oil makes record profits, US taxpayers are actually underwriting subsidies to these companies. That's insane. Big Oil not only produces the products that foul our air, they produce the feedstock for every piece of the non-biodegradable, non-recyclable plastic already choking out planet to death. It's time for oversight. On prices, on activity, and even checking the veracity of what they say they are doing. We largely did it with tobacco. These guys are much worse.
The End Is Where We Start From (Little Gidding)
But I thought it’s just inflation causing gas prices to be so high… And then, those higher fuel and transportation costs are passed on as higher prices for groceries and dry goods to the consumer. What a convenient coincidence for the oil companies and their shareholders! And what a burden for the consumer!
GLO (SoCal)
Oil and gas are assets are natural resources that come from the land. Long ago when we allowed these assets to be held in private hands, we let the cat out of the bag. Then, our politicians supported large government subsidies, which continue to this day, making this industry almost impervious from public oversight. As a society we have not yet been able to accurately assess the negative impacts that this industry has and continues to lay off on the public. This industry should be nationalized.
J C Pope (UK)
Record profits known as gouging and a key driver of inflation. But of course the oil companies support the GOP that continues to con the working class into thinking they are helping them when they are profiting from oil.
FinianT (LA,CA)
@J C Pope Well said. Price hike is not about Covid or lockdown or Ukraine (news has it they had ordered so much oil and gas that boats sit and wait for days on end for their turn at the ports) .... nothing the like. Just the business cycle and the greed of the very few.
J (USA)
Thank goodness the Republicans voted to protect price gougers making record profits on the backs of working Americans. It would be shameful for the CEOs and upper management of these predatory companies to have to live like the rest of us. Let's all pray that gas prices hit $15 a gallon at the pump and it is no longer is financially possible for Americans to go to work.
apparatchick (Kennesaw GA)
Covid was a windfall for businesses. Small businesses were shoved aside when the relief funding was distributed. The Trump administration saw to that. Then, big corporations blamed the global supply chain. It was a perfect storm. They used every excuse to price gouge. And the media reported it just like the big boys told them. If you think they will ever bring prices back down, you are hallucinating.
dba (nyc)
Time for a windfall profits tax. But the Republicans will never pass it. Dems should campaign on this. Take off the gloves.
James Brotherton (DC)
@dba Do you realize that tax will be passed along to consumers, making fuel even more expensive?
Dolly Patterson (Silicon Valley)
@dba Governor Newsom in California has just initiated a windfall tax on gas and oil but we're paying a boatload more than the rest of the nation.
Dashpointdreamer (Puget Sound)
@dba WHo defines a "windfall?" You? Elizabeth Warren? AOC? Come on. This isn't Denmark.
Ockham9 (Norman, OK)
These record profits hurt the nation in multiple ways. Obviously, price at the pump, remaining artificially high in the face of these profits, hurts workers who depend on their cars to get to work or conduct their business. It filters into virtually every area of the economy, fueling inflation generally, since our economy still runs predominantly on fossil fuel energy. It looks like a great time to invest in oil and gas stocks. But that too is tilted against the vast majority of Americans. The wealthiest 10% of American households now own 89% of all U.S. stocks, so they, not the workers of the nation, are reaping the benefits. In view of that, why are Americans still supporting Republicans, who are bound to oil and gas interests in every conceivable way?
JCAZ (Arizona)
Perhaps it is time for these CEOs to make an appearance before the Congressional Commerce or Oversight committees.
James Brotherton (DC)
@JCAZ They have, many times, including recently.
AGideon (Montclair, NJ)
@JCAZ 4 "Perhaps it is time for these CEOs to make an appearance before the Congressional Commerce or Oversight committees." Why? To shop for even more GOP representatives of the petrol industry for the next congress? ...Andrew
J.r. (Wa)
What a wonderful way to put your toadies back into power positions while also racking up huge profits. Why aren't there any U.S. anti trust powers being put to work to mitigate this ploy? Oh yeah, they are bought off ,too.
Thomas (California)
Reminds me of the newspaper headline when US Steel reported profits while it’s workers were on strike: OBSCENE PROFIT!
Nathaniel Brown (Edmonds, Washington)
"Exxon and Chevron Rack Up Giant Profits," and we pick up the tab.
Underdog (Virginia Beach, VA)
What's the nexus between high and unnecessary profits in the oil and gas industry and inflation? It seems like corporations' desire for more profits actually causes inflation. The corporations benefit and the working population suffers. Inflation follows excessive corporate profits. We need price controls to stop this theft. It's also peculiar that this surge in inflation comes at the time that the Democrats are being falsely accused of causing it.
Justice4America (The abyss)
This proves they are price gouging. Will anyone actually step up to put an end to it?
Sheila Riedy (Houston, TX)
@Justice4America The economy is like voodoo for many of us. I am valiantly trying to understand. Recently, I tweeted that we should boycot something. Obviously, it can't be gas. I suggested Cheerios. Looking at 2nd and 3rd quarter numbers for Nestle, they are making money and continuing to raise prices.
Dolly Patterson (Silicon Valley)
I've made good buy this past year on VDE and XLE.
Renee M (CA)
@Dolly Patterson So don’t complain about gas prices, if you are profiting from them.
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
This is not the result of inflation but rather the cause of inflation. And, it is not just oil and natural gas industries.
James (CO)
Notice how oil companies quickly pass along price hikes in crude to the consumer but are slow to pass along price cuts in crude. Good business if you are a stockholder, tough luck for everyone else.
James Brotherton (DC)
@James A significant reason for the lag in drop of gasoline prices is because it takes time to distribute and sell the higher-priced gas that was already purchased by distributors and gas stations. That's why you'll see oil prices drop, then the following week gasoline prices.
yulia (MO)
yeah, sure, that's how the oil companies get their record-high profits for last three months.
AGideon (Montclair, NJ)
@James Brotherton "A significant reason for the lag in drop of gasoline prices is because it takes time to distribute and sell the higher-priced gas that was already purchased by distributors and gas stations. " Yet this doesn't seem to create a lag in price increases. ...Andrew
Larry C (N California)
This is nothing new. Every time there is an inflationary increase, it is exploited by Big Oil and other big and small companies who see an opportunity to get a windfall profit in a stealthy manner. It seems we have grown to accept this, much to the delight of the gouging merchants. We may complain, but little is done to prevent it.
Stony Hill (Wisconsin)
@Larry C well the GOP would not allow a anti-gouging bill to get a vote in the Senate. The GOP can then blame the Democrats for the high pumps prices. That is how it goes when capitalism and politics combine. We all pay the price, want to blame the Democrats when the majority of blame lies at the feet of the GOP. There could be something done about this and we the people could be the benefactor of that.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Larry C Oil is bought and sold on NYMEX, the price of which is driven by large, institutional investors like 401k, IRA and pension fund managers. If oil companies really had control over prices, they wouldn't have lost billions in three of the past ten years.
Dashpointdreamer (Puget Sound)
@James Brotherton I've been trying to explain this simple concept to the "corporations are evil" crowd for a while now. They aren't interested in data or evidence. At this point, the Bernie/Warren crowd is a faith-based movement.
MAC (NC)
Yes, and what other companies are racking up huge profits during our pre-election “inflation”? The focus of the news media has been entirely on Biden, blaming Democrats and consumer stress. Isn’t this really about big companies retaliating for meager wage increases and trying to influence an election so they can keep low tax rates and further deregulation? If you follow the pattern, in recent decades gas prices always go up before an election when Democrats are incumbent. Also, an older relative has seem the co-pay on one medication go up 30% in the last two months. Why? Can we expect any real answers from corporate-owned, publicly traded media?
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
Capitalism = Exploitation
Moe (BC)
What patriots! Their lack of common decency is disgusting.
Kris Matheney (Los Angeles)
This story should be the NYT main headline. Every day.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
Well this is a shocker
Lemur (Somewhere)
Price controls now. Once more, for the people in the back, PRICE CONTROLS NOW.
ss (Boston)
I have no problem with that, yes, no problem. Why? Because this govt is very much involved into the crisis which led to very high prices of fossils which in turn led to such profits. The war is not the reason gas is so expensive here, but is an excellent excuse. No one is currently even trying for peace in UKR. On the contrary, there is probably a clear interest, at least in USA, that that war continues and bleeds dry RUS, UKR never really mattered in that context. I am not trying to excuse RUS aggression by saying this. We can be energy sufficient but we chose not to be, or the govt decided to pursue paths of energy dependence, not independence. No one here shed any tears for fossil companies with oil at 15$, or -15$ during the pandemics. Their current 'gargantuan' profits may substantially drop, which will cheer everybody here. Fossil business may badly flop from one quarter to another.
Mickey (Princeton, NJ)
@ss Except they seem to be doing fine every quarter. Time to turn the lights on their profits instead of blaming Biden.
Dashpointdreamer (Puget Sound)
No one is even trying for peace in Ukraine? What??? That’s precisely what the Ukrainian military and its allies are doing (successfully). It is immoral to expect a nation to seek peace on the terms of its aggressor. How is this even remotely controversial?
Stony Hill (Wisconsin)
@ss - you imply there are people who want the war to go on, for many more people to die? I don’t understand your thought process. Trump’s administration removed the ban on US crude sales so it is now sold on the market at the highest bids. We could be independent but is is easier to refine Saudi sweet crude then ours. Biden has put up 9000 permits to drill but very little work was done. You have to remember those companies are not Government owned or run. They could lower their prices, but that would cause stock holder issues, as they are traded on the market. Capitalism rules you know. Now blame government and the Democrats. You would be wrong to do so.
Greg (Lyon, France)
The Chevron - Saudi relationship should be an embarrassment to every American. Money trumps morality.
Anon (WY)
It's a telling sign of the ignorance taking hold of our country that people would believe a sticker on a gas pump over a headline like this.
David (Seattle)
Ban Putin. He gets rich while the EU and Ukraine suffer. Claim to end fossil fuels like Biden did. They make record profits. Lockdown production and the economy. The small business and people suffer while the biggest corporations get richer than ever. Ban drugs. Get fentanyl deaths nearly 100% by accident because we have black markets with no concern for ingredients, tampering or who is sold to. High regulate and control banks and financial institutions. They get massive bailouts. One day people will realize they are chumps of elite rulers who make you think you have power with your nearly worthless vote, while your wealth and prospects are diminished and those government loves more get rich.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Exxon and Chevron are making hay while the sun shines because the future does not look bright for the fossil fuel industry, politically speaking.
Soto (student of the obvious) (Mahwah, N.J.)
Driving my Toyota Corolla 38 city, 52, highway 5 yrs. young. Don't have place to plug in, just drove roundtrip to Miami from NJ on 95 couldn't do that in an electric car. Teaching kids to drive who own jeeps parents own Escalades and Range Rovers in the garage is Dad's latest Tesla for Saturday fun... They live in big houses, heating and air conditioning when no ones home. No one recycles... Bulls make money, Bears make money, pigs get their beach houses washed away.
Thick Brick (Glen Cove, NY)
This should be featured in every political add. Record profits, idled wells, and Putin waging war on our economy.
Gemutlich (Oak Park Il)
Trains are the most humane (by comparison) way to travel. Why is there no “freedom of choice” for transportation in this country? Another loaded question…….
William Green (New York)
@Gemutlich Part of the answer may be found in recent NYT articles about the fate of the long-awaited (and likely never to be completed) bullet train connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Alex (NE Michigan)
Sickening. Thankfully, I seldom need gasoline, having chosen not to drive more than a couple of miles per month -- both a protest and a luxury, afforded by my living situation in a very small town. Watching the wheels go round & round yet usually avoiding articles like these, while observing the usual stream of uncaring passers-by, tourists and summertime folk in their fuel-guzzling SUVs. Nothing changes...
Joe from Lansing (Lansing)
Windfall Profit tax on war profiteering. Kind of gets you wondering if Congress shouldn't be looking into the big supermarket chains, also.
Dabney L (Brooklyn)
Welcome to late stage capitalism and the new gilded age, where corporate profiteering runs wild, c-suite compensations are in the stratosphere while average employee salary increases grossly lag inflation, and our toothless, gutless government does nothing to stop the destruction of our democracy due to economic inequality. Tax the rich, tax the profits of oil and gas companies and stop subsidizing dirty energy with taxpayer money.
Eddie Torial (State of Mind)
Three words: Windfall profits tax.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Eddie Torial Which will be passed along to the consumer just like all other corporate taxes.
Eddie Torial (State of Mind)
@James Brotherton And creating an even larger tax burden if the dare.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
And to think of all the people across this country who are angry at Biden and the Democrats for rising gas prices. Do they seriously believe the Republicans will go after the hand that feeds them and chastise the oil companies? HAH!
Matt Warburg (Seattle)
So why aren't Democrats highlighting this in their campaign ads????? Instead they are letting the GOP blame them for high gas prices, when in reality it's the fault of greedy corporations.
Justice4America (The abyss)
@Matt Warburg Because they feel they need oil and gas to work with them. This has been the 40 year Shane if Democrats. They rarely take a real stand about anything. They are still courting MAGA types and ignoring their base. It’s bad leadership and has been for decades.
John Ondespot (Ohio)
"Exxon and Chevron Rack Up Giant Profits" Yes... "Freedom" in America is license to kill, pervert, steal. A guarantee no outrageous crime, however lethal, will be considred let alone punished so long as it originates among the rich and the corporate. It's the law. It's policy. It is the only option left us, as if we get to choose. It's the defining characteristic of life in America. That and the Antichrist and anyy weapon you can imagine... so the little people have things to do. Full stop.
Breathing (New York)
The ghouls in business reporting have rosing wages in the “trouble” column for the big headline and record petroleum profit hidden in a tiny headline. Many of the things driving inflation stem from high petroleum prices (the ones driving record profits)! We have to have higher wages because half of the country lives paycheck to paycheck and we can barely stay afloat. We also need price controls for rent and universal healthcare and childcare (like every other wealthy country). Stop blaming a small bump in working conditions for society’s I’ll while greedy companies rob us blind and permanently wreck our stable climate!
Greg L. (Brewster NY)
So, gas prices are obviously independent to a degree from the vagaries of the oil market, and these companies clearly take advantage of these situations to jack their prices up willy-nilly. The government should really look into this.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Greg L. If you go to this graph, which uses data from EIA, you'll see that oil and gasoline prices track pretty closely together over time. https://www.macrotrends.net/2501/crude-oil-vs-gasoline-prices-chart
QuercusRubra (Tacoma, Wash.)
Exxon lost $22 billion in 2020. Now the professional left is demanding that they don't recoup that massive loss, despite the relative scarcity of their product. Never mind, too, that the same politicos want Exxon to increase production now (to save face for their $5 trillion spending spree) but then fold up their tent once inflation is under control to make way for green tech. Finally, the Sanders/Warren axis wants people to hate on "corporations" and their profits, despite those profits accounting for much needed gains in retired peoples' IRAs and government pension funds. When they try to undercut corporate profit, they are really just undermining the financial stability of those on fixed incomes.
David (Seattle)
@QuercusRubra The tyrant rules are the problem for the people and create the uber rich via crony capitalism, massive debt spending and money printing. They drive division by rejecting our right to be a free person in a free market with free association. They make people afraid while they steal and destroy. They reject economics because it would reject their command authoritarianism. Government educated mental slaves actually vote for this, actually write these sorts of articles, and actually want less free markets and more government control. The neo-American is just a sad figment of the once proud and brave and free American ideal.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
@QuercusRubra I doubt they lost 22 billion. They just didn't make that much in profits
Misterbianco (PA)
Good news! Toyota is working with the Chinese to improve electric vehicle battery technology. Once those developments reach our shores the oil industry will have a big assist in solving its product scarcity dilemma. A win-win all around.
RMH (Houston)
International demand has resulted in larger amounts of refined products being sold at higher prices internationally. This reduces inventory domestically and drives up US prices even more. Of course, the fact that this is all happening just before elections benefits the Republican Party. Time for emergency export controls to halt this greedy and irresponsible practice.
Greg (Lyon, France)
Better to look at how many millions the two giants spend in lobbying members of Congress. They have contributed greatly to the demise of the American democracy.
David (Seattle)
@Greg Yes, Biden saying he's going to end the fossil fuel industry is because of massive donations by the fossil fuel industry. One day you will stop believing government lies that always magically give them more power and control and spend ever more of your labor.
David (Short Hills, NJ)
High prices have accelerated the transition to cleaner energy while reducing our reliance on countries that are not good partners and do not share our human rights ideals. A bit painful and it's further enriching individuals and corporations that are already too rich, but in the end this is not a bad thing, in fact it's imperative.
TK (Californian)
@David good for the long term, sure, and only a bit of pain for those of us who can (relatively) easily weather the prices. But for many, it’s quite literally painful — making deeper cuts to a harder life. Heat or cooling, gas to go to work or food (or just cutting the last few comforts) are real concerns for many now. As we shift to a better future, we need to do a lot more to ensure the burden isn’t constantly pushed down to those who are least able to weather it, as has been the case especially in these last years.
Michael (North Carolina)
Pay particular attention to these companies' gross profit margin percentages, not the dollars. That's the profit after the cost of products sold Is deducted from gross revenue, expressed as a percentage of revenue. That primarily indicates the impact of higher prices, which are clearly increasing more rapidly than the cost of the products being sold. In other words, profit margins are expanding. Draw your own conclusions.
Pablo (Down The Street)
An exercise in comparison: 11 billion in profits in a quarter = 22,000 $500k homes for 3 months of work.
James Bowen (Lancaster County, Pa.)
Capitalism 101 says supply and demand dictate prices. As a shareholder in both of these excellent companies I have no qualms about how they are run, and the profits they make for me. Especially the Christmas time dividends coming around this year!
TK (Californian)
@James Bowen and this is why we’re so doomed. Yes, it’s wonderful that those of us who can afford to invest get a better return but at what price? People having to cut off their heat? The workers who enable our lives struggling and eventually either quitting or rising against the tide? I assure you, unless you are truly wealthy, uncontrolled capitalism is not what you actually want and certainly not what you should actually, ethically, advocate. But perhaps you’ll have to wait till you have a serious need and someone chooses to gouge beyond what you can afford to see that.
Browne (AZ)
@James Bowen Typical self-centered American thinking. Ever stop to consider all the people who can't afford to own stock in companies reaping windfall profits while still needing to purchase their products? Of course not.
Michael Fremer (Wyckoff NJ)
Scrooge from PA will enjoy Christmas and probably also enjoy how Republicans use Capitalism to blame Biden and Dems for it. And how gullible Americans buy into the lies.
Twain's Ghost (Rocky Mountains)
What more proof is needed that the true source of inflation is price gouging and profiteering? Biden, Congress and the Justice Dept. need to step in now and deal with this problem instead of passively allowing the Fed to deal with it. It's not the majority of Americans causing this problem, so why are we being made to bear the pain with higher interest rates? You know who does love inflation though? The oligarchy, the ones who have bought and paid for our leaders to do their bidding, and that's why there's no improvement.
Dashpointdreamer (Puget Sound)
@Twain's Ghost This trope Bernie Sanders is perniciously false. You're telling me "greedy corporations" just decided to get greedy last year? What about the 30 years prior when the Fed was actually concerned about too LITTLE inflation? And how can you even suggest price gouging when the CPI increases are LOWER than the PPI increases? Once again: these corporate earnings and profits are the retirement portfolios for every single person with an IRA or a pension. Warren is likely smart enough to know this, so her flogging of this lie is worse than Bernie's (who I suspect doesn't understand even the most basic bit of economic theory).
Deirdre (New Jersey)
Inflation is clearly manufactured and driven by energy companies that want republicans to win and lower their taxes.
John (OR)
@Deirdre Wait, are you saying there's a pattern where their words and actions following the election of a Democrat can cause said Democrat to force them to raise their prices to cover 'marketplace realities,' while 'not profiting off the surge in retail prices'? That would be shocking.
Steve Hunter (seattle,wa)
So the gas companies are ripping us off, this is not new. President Biden we need price controls, now.
Anon Partisan (oil patch)
Folks, I am truly astounded by the comments on price gouging, corporate greed, etc. from an educated NYT audience. In 2020, oil went negative $38/bbl and almost every oil company lost money. Additionally, until 6 months ago, the public/politicians/investors have been--literally--demanding companies produce less. OPEC is decreasing supply and Russian oil is coming off the market. Demand has rebounded. The continued bogeyman of greedy US oil companies jacking up prices is a conspiracy theory akin to birtherism or Ted Cruz's dad killing JFK. Transitional energy policy is complicated, huge in scale, and will require oil and gas for the foreseeable future. We can act rationally and demand the same of our political and corporate leaders, or everyone can go in their corners and demonize the "others" as a scapegoat. Unfortunately, two weeks before an election, I think I know which direction this is headed.
JC (West Coast)
Unfortunately there is a segment of the pop that hear the economy is failing and when the see gas prices rise just vote against whom ever is in power. We have a very uninterested electorate that vote with their feelings and their wallets versus their long term best interests or their minds.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
@Anon Partisan I doubt very much any oil company lost money. They just didn't make as much. In todays world that is now considered losing money if you didn't make as much as the year before.
James Brotherton (DC)
@Tino Volpe It's a fact that they lost money. It's in the public record and has been reported in the NYT.
Luxembourg (Santa Barbara)
Large profits reported by Exxon and Chevron today. Still, their combined income is well below the $35 billion reported by Apple last December. Exxon’s earnings are still below what Apple just reported, and Chevron’s are below Googles.
Les (SW Florida)
@Luxembourg iPhones don't run on oil. Apple and oranges.
Bill (SF)
Windfall Profit Tax! It doesn't even have to pass; I'm sure advocating for it could peel some voters away from the Repubs.
Luxembourg (Santa Barbara)
@Bill Not from seniors. We are old enough to remember how miserable price controls were in the 1970s. How, at the butcher section in the grocery store, there were just empty shelves.
John (OR)
@Luxembourg Exactly. Far better to keep subsidizing the corn and beef producers so they can claim poverty and hardship.
Mike (Independent From CT)
No, it’s better to let the free market do it’s thing without government intervention. Price caps today result in shortages tomorrow.
LIChef (East Coast)
And yet the knuckle-draggers in their gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups will continue to blame Joe Biden. It’s a win-win for the fossil fuel industry as it takes in billions and helps to drive Democrats from office.
Woof (NY)
Re: Exxon and Chevron Rack Up Giant Profits Why is there no US windfall tax ? The UK has one, and its new PM will extend it The Telegraph, UK , yesterday “Rishi Sunak plans to expand windfall tax grab” “The Prime Minister could target energy firms as he tries to raise billions of pounds to balance the books By Daniel Martin, Deputy Political Editor ; Rachel Millard and Laura Donnelly, Health Editor 27 October 2022 • 9:54pm Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans to expand the windfall tax on energy giants as he attempts to raise billions to help balance the books. At present the energy profits levy on oil and gas firms - known as the windfall tax - is set at 25 per cent and, according to law, will expire in December 2025.” The Telegraph , UK , yesterday US energy company have record profits but there is no windfall tax, yet In March, 2022: H.R.7061 - Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act117th Congress (2021-2022) | Get alerts Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17] (Introduced 03/11/2022) Committees: House - Ways and Means Latest Action: House - 03/11/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.  (All Actions) This bill has the status Introduced Here are the steps for Status of Legislation still required Passed House Passed Senate To President Became Law The US windfall tax bill is 'stuck' since 3/11/2022 in the D controlled House in the Ways and Means Committee. Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) Why ?
Kahisa (NY)
@Woof Words are cheap (Biden talks about windfall profits) but dealing with a powerful industry and major campaign contributor is difficult To quote Paul Volcker at age 91 The NY Times: “There is no force on earth that can stand up effectively, year after year, against the thousands of individuals and hundreds of millions of dollars in the Washington swamp aimed at influencing the legislative and electoral process,” Paul Volcker https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/business/dealbook/paul-volcker-federal-reserve.html
John (Bristol)
@Woof A very, very good question. The NY Times should investigate
James Brotherton (DC)
@Woof Why? Because it will get passed down to the consumer just like it will in the UK, which already has much higher prices than the US.
LIChef (East Coast)
If you are old enough, you’ll remember there was talk of price controls in the ‘70s. But you don’t hear a peep about that now since most members of Congress are bought and paid for by the capitalists.
Browne (AZ)
@LIChef While that is true there is also the fact that price controls don't work.
James Brotherton (DC)
@LIChef I remember when the government tried to intervene it resulted in shortages and long lines.
P Moore (Cleveland OH)
Long past time to repeal oil company federal subsidies, and raise fees for development on federal (US citizen's) land.
James Brotherton (DC)
@P Moore Which will raise gas prices even further because those costs will be passed down to the consumer. By the way, subsidies are payments made by the government to a company. There are no subsidies in the federal budget for oil and gas.
PDM (MA.)
Capitalism 101. Profits for the Corporation and Shareholders. They don’t mention profiteering during War…..and World Inflation.
Nathan Simpson (Chicago)
If one were perusing history, searching for moments and groups of people on which the use of the guillotine were completely justified, one’s eyebrows might begin to raise in excitement at headlines like these.
meltyman (NJ)
If you're really mad at this, don't just sit there. Go out and get an EV and kiss Chevron et al. goodbye. Many NYT readers can afford a modest model -- Hyundai Kona Electric, for example -- but still prefer to drive a gas-burning Subaru, Audi, etc
Luxembourg (Santa Barbara)
@meltyman Are you referring to buyimg a car that receives large purchase subsidies from both the feds and state, and ongoing subsidies since they do. Ot pay their fair share of road taxes?
Browne (AZ)
@meltyman Most electricity is generated through the use of fossil fuels. Yes, large power plants producing electricity are more efficient than internal combustion transportation but you make it sound like EVs are the free lunch they aren't.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
We have a chance to do something about this in November. The republicans will NEVER institute a windfall tax on their beloved donors, the fossil fuel industry. The democrats can and will! Vote blue if you are tired of price gouging and inflation.
James Brotherton (DC)
@2manyhorsez And that tax will be passed to consumers, making gasoline even more expensive. The idea that you can tax your way out of a problem is what's hampered the Democrats for decades. It sounds good on paper, but rarely works in the real world.
Gary (Halifax)
Perhaps "robust" is not quite the word. But then the more appropriate adjectives would probably not be admissible.
JPLA (Pasadena)
Terrorism by other means is still terrorism.
Lauri Tenney (Worcester MA)
not a good look--given inflation, price at the pump, etc.
DrLin (Berkeley)
These companies provide a necessary commodity that should be regulated. These companies with their greed cause inflation and drive the class divides which will eventually lead to the end of Democracy.
oso (planet earth)
The fossil fuel industry is a tremendous burden to the planet. Their profit-seeking is creating the lion's share of the inflationary pressure on the global economy and their product is the primary cause of climate change. We need to accelerate the move away from the industry to clean energy. It starts with the November election. Are there any "pro-green" GOP members who publicly speak about it? I haven't heard a one. VOTE!!!
Cap’n Dan Mathews (Sunny California)
Don’t you see? If you are dependent on these firms with no alternative, they will stick it to you. That’s just good business. After all, their purpose is enhancing shareholder value, not safeguarding the country. Just ask them, or read their writing of their guru, Milton Friedman, the rabbi of that train of thought. And furthermore, the tax code and other direct subsidies just piles it on. Such subsidies include maintenance of a standing army in that garden spot, the mid east, just so their oil can make it here. Well?
Milton fan (Alliance, OH)
Since Republicans will not push to slow global warming or create windfall taxes, big oil companies can protect themselves from Democrats and make more profits at the same time by keeping gas prices high. Some decisions are so easy.
Bill (SF)
We broke-up Standard Oil a century ago, it sure seems that America would benefit by breaking-up these behemoths once again.
Jill H (Pacific Grove)
Let's see the amount of political contributions our elected officials receive from these big oil companies. Will that help awaken Americans to why we are paying so much at the pump? Don't hold your breath...
View from the front porch (Illinois)
Oil and gas companies need to be treated as public utilities so they can make profits, but not obscene ones. They have monopolistic control over prices and because they favor Republicans, prices always rise before elections when Democrats hold the Whitehouse and Congress.
Keith (Merced)
“The investments we’ve made, even through the pandemic, enabled us to increase production to address the needs of consumers,” Darren Woods, the chief executive, said in a statement. If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with nonsense. Price gouging is the only reason supplies and prices are up at the same time. Americans need to rise up against these oligarchs and get rid of politicians who admire private greed over the public good. We must reign in this greed.
NBE (06840)
And people wonder why gas prices are so high...
RickW (Bay Area, CA)
This is capitalism at work, the thing that most right-wingers cherish so much. The democrats, if they want to win some races, need to shout this information everywhere, repeatedly: “Record production” “double last year’s profits”
Lyndsey Marie Shanley (Puget Sound WA)
I use a Chevron/Texaco credit card for all my gas and pay it off each month. My bill used to be about $135-$140 a month. Now it is closer to $180 or more. I try to take care of business whenever I go into town from the island I live on. I limit my trips. Eventually gas prices will go down, we just have to wait it out. This is not Biden’s fault. Inflation is a world wide problem, and these big oil companies are taking advantage of us all.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
Time for a windfall profits tax on all the large corporations responsible for inflation due to price gouging. This is obscene.
Paul (New Jersey)
In the end these companies are making huge profits on a natural resource that belongs to all Americans. I don't begrudge oil companies making a profit for providing what the modern world needs, but these are American natural resources and we have a right to tax their profits, put strong regulations on their methods and control the price they sell Americans gas. if they still want to use OUR resources for profit. We should do at least that. Some nations nationalize their oil industry.
Lynne (Texas)
And you wonder why oil companies are keeping gas prices high. They care more about profits and shareholders than everyday Americans.
Beth (Colorado)
This should have been the top story since rising gas prices often were given that position
Cripsy critter (Puna)
It would be informative to provide the math on what Americans are gifting, per person, these companies.
'us' vs them! (nyc)
The US.. is the worlds largest producer of oil. not Russia, not the Saudis, the U.S. Fossil fuel companies own the U.S. govt; doesn't matter if it's blue team or red team. Remember when we were going to 'force' a price cap on Russian and Gas; and the world laughed? because we can tell everybody else what to do, but not do it ourselves?- most U.S. oil is sold internationally at the highest prices. We created a war to drive massive profits for oil, arms, and then the govt contractors will sweep in for 'reconstruction' deals; and then the IMF will start breaking off and selling Ukraine assets to international corporations because they will never be able to service their loan debt. Business as usual.
BK (Cold spring ny)
This is where we can clearly see that part of the inflation problem is that every time it happens, people and businesses seem to add on charges with inflation as an excuse (ever see a surcharge on your restaurant bill at the same time the meal price went up too?). Why? Because they can. The oil companies can get away with this as well because we are all hostages to them. So, inflation is part real commodity increases due to various reasons and psychological reasons due to greed. Not an advocate of taxing, but somehow the excessive profits of oil companies, as compared to only a year or two ago, are shameful and they should be called out for that by our politicians -but we never hear a word. Why? That would dry up their contributions to re-election! Vicious cycle.
DGP (Maine)
Annualized, that is approximately 5% or the US government budget, for Exxon alone. When your profits are 1/20 the size of the overall government, you can have your way with pretty much anything.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Exxon and Chevron, among other villains, are enriching themselves at our expense, a deeply flawed system that allows that, bereft of healthy regulations and public supervision. This is what happens, especially in a capitalistic system, when 'ethics' is sent packing...so that 'selfishness and greed' may triumph,get a 'free' hand to deal and wheel. We human beings, usually trying to protect each other, do fail when the profits keep calling to cheat on the rest. Corruptibility seems to run through our 'veins'...when the price to sell ouselves seems "right". So, why tempt us?!!
Al T (Portland)
Nationalize all the oil companies. They have had decades to profit off the public. That should end.
Beth (Colorado)
@Al T No need for that. Investors are shunning them more and more in favor of cleaner energies.
Lynne (Texas)
@Al T. I think we’re getting to the point we don’t need to subsidize the fossil fuel industries anymore when they have record breaking profits like this.
Steve (Oregon)
Even the UK can manage to tax windfall profits. Let’s hope R’s get trounced in a couple of weeks and adults can be allowed back in the room here in the US. Otherwise, banana republic, here we come.
RichG (Kansas)
Do any of those giant go to the employees?
Beth (Colorado)
@RichG No. Fossil fuel workers just get layoffs, which then are blamed on Dems.
Joe (New York)
When are Americans going to wake up? The gouging by these American oil companies, taking advantage of Putin's slaughter, taking advantage of the despicable greed of the Saudis, racking up all the profits they can on the backs of working Americans at every gas pump is beyond belief. On top of that, they are partnering with Putin and Saudi Arabia to hurt Democrats in the midterms and beyond. It's disgusting beyond belief. I have seen the enemy, and he is truly us.
Someone (Somewhere)
The video below is a parody Chevron ad: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S2XTGteritE
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Someone Excellent.
JS (Charlotte, VT)
Obscene.
AM (PNW)
Disgusting! Shame on them. Real people are impacted by their endless greed.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@AM They couldn't care less. That's how the game of capitalism is played when the GQP has thrown out all regulations and keeps the corporate welfare flowing.
Steve J (California)
Exxon on track to earn almost $1 trillion in profits in a year? Setting aside the brutality of end game capitalism for the average schmo, does anyone really think Exxon and all the other highly profitable extraction industries will walk away from this kind of money to save the planet from irreversible climate damage? I think not.
Sheri (Ca Central Valley)
Biden is to blame for gas prices? Greed is to blame for oil/gas prices and it is not Biden’s greed. It’s corporate and GOP greed. Vote BLUE. Don’t believe the lies.
A (Denver)
@Sheri SUVs, rising demand in developing nations that combined have more than 20x the population of the U.S. and investor hesitation to put more money into U.S. production when it is already at record levels and profits. Just like OPEC, U.S. producers make more money when supply is slightly constrained. If supply is hugely constrained demand plunges which happened twice in the last 20 years while abundant supply keep prices low and the Saudis only did it to delay the move to renewable until demand from the developing world increased enough to allow 20-30% of energy use in developed nations to come from renewables. Getting past 50% energy from renewables will take another 20 years at current rates and it is in carbon energy producers best interests to maximize profits in that interval in order to then buyout renewable companies when that moment comes.
Scott Cole (Talent, OR)
Everyone drives massive trucks in Oregon; seldom are they hauling or pulling anything (and those cool, off-road-ready gnarly increase fuel consumption too). Too many people tool around all summer in obscenely monstrous RVs. I had an Uber driver with a gigantic SUV. I asked him, “doesn’t this thing use a lot of fuel?” He said he needs it to tow his boat once a year. Everyone wants to fly and travel to exotic places. Everyone wants their stuff delivered yesterday. Every facet of our lives needs oil: carpet, clothing, sports equipment, food, you name it. Every country aspires to live like us, and we prodigiously waste just about everything. We can blame politicians and oil companies—what about ourselves?
James (CO)
@Scott Cole. Absolutely. Oil and gas companies gladly sell fossil fuels and we gladly buy and burn them. Pogo hit the nail on the head: "We have met the enemy and he is us"
Independent American (USA)
HELLO Republicans! This is called price gouging consumers by the OIL Companies not due to current wh administration. Why don't Republicans ever cut this industry off from continuing to STEAL millions of dollars of taxpayer monies' in annual subsidies!? Could it be Republican politicians are just as guilty of sponging off American taxpayers as well?! Turns out many Republicans, especially maga rinos, do not have any of those morals or patriotic inclinations they're always claiming to be all about...
Edward Allen (Spokane Valley)
This isn't right. Something needs to change.
G Pecos (Los Angeles)
Who's responsible for inflation? Joe Biden and the Democrats? Or Russia and the corporate executives funding his opponents in upcoming elections...
Independent American (USA)
Lack of supplies with high consumer demand caused by the pandemic resulted in high GLOBAL inflation. Putin's unprovoked war in Ukraine has added to the lack of supplies, as well.
Johninnapa (Napa, Ca)
I thought republicans blamed Joe Biden for high gas prices? Does he run Exxon and Chevron too?
mjbarr (Burdett, NY)
So are the Republicans going to blame this on Biden? These companies are gouging the public and making obscene profits!
John (Massachusetts)
People blame politicians rather than look at these Greed Monsters who go for record profits while regular people struggle with groceries & gas. It is disgusting to witness the greed of the 1% and it will in time leave us a fully have & have not nation, a large middle class is best for a nation but this greed is destroying it.
Clearwater (Oregon)
Keep in mind these are companies that Bret Stephens think offer the cure for human caused Climate Change. Or so his op-ed states today a couple columns over.
John (Stowe, PA)
Gas prices are high because of price gouging Democrats in the House passed a bill to stop price gouging Republicans in the senate blocked it because they WANT high gas prices Republicans are why gas prices are high. Vote ONLY for Democrats so we can fix this. Republicans have no solutions
Andy (Minneapolis)
Hope it gets much higher.
pegidi (Hotchkiss, CO)
Windfall-Profits-Tax...
Brez (Spring Hill, TN)
Tax the rich, especially the greedy corporations and their defacto criminal executives, stomping on the American public in order to multiply their billions.
Viktor (Left Coast)
The GOP voted against price gouging laws. Dems should be running that with this story on every GOP hateful media.
Viv (SoCal)
It’s absolutely disgusting that they are bringing in piles of money while people who have to work for a living are gouged by their corporate greed daily.
Steven G (NYC)
Shock, utter shock. NOT.
Linda (Chatham Ma.)
Because they steal.
CA John (Grass Valley, CA)
Traveling through CA this week I noticed a $1.10 differential in gas prices.
J R (Chicago)
The fossil fuel industry is fighting for its financial health in the era of climate change.  So couldn’t it be that they’re gouging their customers in order to create a negative environment in the run up to the midterms? After all, the oil companies would much prefer the pro-oil industry party in power over the one who cares about climate change.
Duck (Portland, OR)
These companies basically act like a coordinated monopoly. Isn't it drilled into us that more supply decrease prices? Chevron sets a production record. Prices don't budge. Or they marginally decrease to where they were already artificially too high. Biden calls on the companies to produce more, Chevron does. Nothing changes. Prevailing economic strictures are decades out of date in the land of corporate consolidation, super PACs, and "tepid" company responses toward the citizens they share a country with. None of these dollars "trickle down". They stay in the pockets of those who already have everything.
Michael (Los Angeles)
Here in CA in 2020, while Prop 22, was being considered, our governor, Newsom, was neutral on it. it contained no escalation Clause to pay drivers more in the event that gas prices rose. every single Uber and Lyft driver and food delivery driver has taken an arbitrary pay cut because of this proposition. if you think for one minute Gavin Newsom would be a good president, here is irrefutable proof that he is an enemy of Labor and the poor person. you would be voting for a socially liberal version of Reagan. don't do it.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Michael Anything beats a MAGA election denier.
Liz (LA)
Couldn’t we tax oil companies’ profits heavily to disincentivize them from price-gouging? Seems like that might do a lot to rein in inflation.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Liz It's called a windfall profits tax and the Dems have proposed one, but the GQP voted it down. The fossil fuel industry is the darling and donor base of the GQP and they will make sure the industry stays deregulated and the corporate welfare keeps flowing. Guess who pays for lots of GQP ads? Don't like it, vote BLUE!
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
Price gouging much? How many times in recent weeks has there been an article about inflation followed almost immediately by an article about some giant company's record profits? Here in Minneapolis, the paper recently listed CEO pay that is also out of control--$119 million for the CEO of Brite Health, a division of United Health, in one year! When are Americans going to wake up and realize our capitalist system has grown toxic and that corporations are now running the show, along with uber-rich oligarchs like Elon Musk? We are like the snake that is devoting itself. Record profits should inspire increased pay for workers, and a strong economy, not massive price increases. This is toxic capitalism, and I say that as a very moderate Democrat, not as a far left progressive socialist. Looks like large companies want it all. Greed. It's as simple as that.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@Eva Lockhart --and it's devouring itself, not devoting...sigh...if only I proofread more seriously!
Greg (Lyon, France)
Venezuela has lots of oil with nationalized oil companies. The US has lots of oil with for-profit oil companies. The people in Venezuela have very low oil prices. The people in the US have very high oil prices. Shows what uncontrolled capitalism can do.
James (CO)
@Greg. All things considered, I'll stay in the US.
Peter (New York)
@Greg hahahahahahaha please tell me you're joking. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world and still was importing oil recently because nationalizing the oil companies ruined their productive capacity as socialism does. We're doomed if all these "educated" readers of the New York Times don't have a clue how markets work.
JBB (San Francisco)
Why did it take media so long to cover two obvious facts (that seem to be lost on millions of Americans): (1) prices and wages are controlled by the private sector, not any government officials unless they impose wage and price controls and/or excess profits taxes (which Republicans won’t allow), and (2) the constant media drumbeat of “inflation” has given corporations and businesses cover for price gouging far in excess of actual cost increases? Oil company price gouging is being aided by blatant Putin-Saudi oil market manipulation to help their corrupt authoritarian buddies in the GOP. Big payoffs expected by Saudi Arabia (arms) and Putin (GOP abandoning Ukraine). Consumer goods corporations are price gouging as well, as are any businesses and contractors who can. “But…but…her emails” was the distorted media obsession in 2016. “But…but…Democrats and President Biden and inflation” is the distorted Republican narrative media has amplified in 2022. President Biden and Democrats have little say in the capitalist profit motive that surpasses all other factors. And Republicans want to give their corporate benefactors freer rein with no taxes.
Oliver (Alameda CA)
The maga sheep will never believe this because they don’t want to and it’s easier to believe the lies.
Bob Wilson (Athol, Idaho)
@JBB You make a good point. What I don't understand is how Republicans can advocate reducing regulations and cutting taxes for corporations, essentially giving them even more control over the economy, then claim that Democrats are to blame for our economic woes and that they alone can fix it.
lizannes (Corvallis, OR)
But the cure for inflation is definitely raising interest rates and creating job loses, nothing to do with corporate profits.
Scott Emery (Oak Park, IL)
I challenge the weak-hearted and capital-favoring New York Times to analyze the causes of inflation in an above-the-fold article, present for one full day, that includes fuel cost manipulation and other types of price gouging as one of the reasons for the inflation of the last year or more. But they won't do it, preferring not to do the work of informing and educating. It is easier and more amenable to investors to just rely on glib and dubious vagaries such as "supply-side issues caused by the pandemic" and "the sprawling and excessive Biden pandemic relief plan". This paper, which I have read for more than twenty years, is really starting to suck in many ways.
George in Bushwick (NYC)
Good to see our subsidizing hard at work sucking money out of America. Great job, fellows!
Pete (Portland)
We know how they made their big profits: we were charged a huge price at the gas pumps. It was price gouging. The oil companies should bring down the price of gas, not use predatory pricing.
TB (Atlanta)
Well I'm just glad that Biden brought gas prices down from $5/gallon when he came into office. Imagine what these oil company profits would have been if not for the president's great work.
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
"the net income (PROFITS) for the world’s oil and natural gas producers is set to double in 2022 from 2021, to a record $4 trillion." $4 TRILLION in pure profits. Part of that number is an honest profit. Part of that number is dishonest profit, corporate and oligopoly supply fixing, price fixing and systemic exploitation of consumers. The federal government needs to regulate these bad actors for their economic crimes and price-fixing schemes. And Republicans will NEVER investigate these crimes against consumers. D for decency and democracy; R for Reverse Robin Hoods.
Nolapdog (Australia)
All the talk in the world will achieve nothing. It's time the people held their employees (the politicians) to account; they are the ones allowing this to happen. Don't let the politicians distract you with what is happening in other countries.
Lon Zo (Boston)
As long as people need gas, oil companies will gouge them.
Mark (IA)
Oil has been and always will be a commodity and represents the basic principles of an open marketplace (at least to the extent of the impact of 1000's of government regulations). If the government wants more oil & gas produced then their words and actions should support that. It is tiring to listen to the same rhetoric. This is a politically motivated issue and that should open the eyes of everyone to how government can be very disruptive in the everyday lives of the people that it is supposed to be representing.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
@Mark Wrong. Oil is a prime example of price manipulation, not a free market. The price of oil is largely determined by the collusion of members of a cartel, OPEC.
Concerned (Massachusetts)
Well these oil companies are sitting pretty. Big profits, influencing inflation, grabbing government incentives for "green" tech while pooh poohing real green tech, casting doubt on climate change etc. All that lobbying pays off. Under the Trump administration many oil and gas companies were hurting. Many of the big companies are multinationals - only government regulation will force them to cooperate. Government you know the organization that answers to the people?
Adam Stoler (Bronx Urban Warrior)
tax them. confiscatory taxes for rapacious profits. Make them wire the funds immediately. It's long past time .
Sharon (L.A.)
@Adam Stoler sure…thats what the repubs will do when the ill informed vote them back into office.
Mike L (South Carolina)
Big oil is laughing in our faces. Just a coincidence that higher gas prices led to record corporate profits. It’s time to get off oil.
Robert (Red Bank NJ)
Good forbid people buy stocks in these companies as they are hugely unpopular to the woke and virtue signal crowd. Your profits and dividends would have more than made up for your increased prices. Don't get mad get even.
Scott Emery (Oak Park, IL)
@Robert Few people can afford to buy these stocks Robert. These companies are cashing in on a resource that will - at least should - diminish in value due to its external costs over the ensuing decades. The companies should be taxed on a temporary basis and the money should be redistributed to everyone below a certain income level and invested in community renewable energy programs.
Adam Stoler (Bronx Urban Warrior)
@Robert investors typically invest for the long run. As we get off oil,, I'd live to see your portfolio. Btw, that race has already started. Electric cars are but a blip of a down payment on what is certain to be a real market based reply to your and their rapaciousness. you can't spend the money in the doom, said Bob Dylan, How true.
James Stevens (Hamburg, Germany)
If people’s budgets are tight enough that an extra buck or more per gallon makes the difference between pasta (again) or the “luxury” of a delivered pizza, do you really think there’s enough disposable income around to invest a few grand in the market on a gamble? Seriously? But at least you were able to get off an extra jab at people you obviously don’t like… 🙄
Sherry (Arizona)
It’s criminal that Great Britain is allowing oil companies to avoid paying taxes on windfall profits based on capitol investments in oil and gas! Thats the last thing the world needs.
tLown (Sacramento)
The price of a barrel of oil less than $90 for weeks and we're still paying almost $6 a gallon here in California. The market is being manipulated to get Republicans elected. Period.
G Pecos (Los Angeles)
Agree completely. The oil industry and others in Corporate America are clearly in league with Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China in their efforts to get fellow autocrats in power in the US. It's win-win for many in corporate America: high profits and bonuses now, reduced taxes and regulations later.
KPS (OH)
@tLown But don't you know that on Nov 9 gas prices will magically drop if Congress turns red? That is what people believe and are voting on. No consideration for the environment, no consideration for women's rights or LGBTQ rights or health care or the outcome in Ukraine or the findings of the Jan 6 committee. Our congress is being voted on based on the price of gas. And no matter what is wrong - no matter how complex or if the rest of the world is going through the same thing - it is all the fault of the Democrats. Far too many Americans are not thoughtful and forward thinking in voting. Far too many think that when corporate taxes are reduced, the companies will share the profits in trickledown economic spending. We don't see them doing that now, we will NOT see them do that in the future.
Michael (Los Angeles)
Yes and the fact we control capacity by not having built a refinery since 1976. California policies of only made driving more expensive but hasn't persuaded drivers to give up their cars. public transportation is the most expensive and cruelest joke out there here in California. it's all a ruse to make more money. plain and simple.
Sherry (Arizona)
There used to be a windfall profits tax that was used to help people pay their energy bills. I worked on that program in South Dakota. We desperately need a new tax. Please elect Democrats who dare pass one. Republicans are spineless while oil companies are eating us alive.
Melissa McCullough (Austin)
Chevron needs to pay the settlement it owes the people in the Amazon region.
MJ (Boston)
So…the uniformed want to vote out Democrats because of gas prices. Look for the real villains - rapacious oil companies! We cannot get on alternative fuels fast enough. No longer should we have the boot of amoral corporations, amoral foreign dictatorships and amoral Republicans on the neck of democracy.
Lennyway (Austin, TX)
Gas is Ground Zero for inflation. They tell us inflation is causing the rising fuel prices yet they rack in record profits. Maybe, its not as much inflation as it is price gouging, profiteering and just a plain old fashioned ripoff. This is why we need to eliminate oil from everything we can. Full electric in 10 years. Then we can say goodbye to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the oil profiteers. This addresses the profiteering, the environmental damage and national security all at the same time.
Carolyn (California)
Something smells like rotten fish here. Why are Americans suffering from high oil and gas prices? Why is our government still paying these companies massive subsidies when their profits are so high? Are oil and gas lobbyists so powerful that nothing can touch them and Congress continues to protect them? And even after reading this article I still wonder why their profits are so high right now and why the federal government has so little influence over them? And my questions don’t even address how these companies have a major role in the temperature rise on the planet that will change life as we know it.
Stephanie (Pennsylvania)
And yet we continue to subsidize the oil and gas industries not just with our taxes but also with our health, the quality of our air, water, and soil, the stability of our climate and the fabric of our natural habitat
Patty (CT)
Not at all surprising. Brazen price-gouging is all the rage. But still, so utterly disgusting.
JD (New York, NY)
Now is the time to nationalize all oil companies. Enough is enough.
Gene (Bradenton, Florida)
What what WHAT! You mean there's someone else to blame about high gas prices than Biden? Now let's talk about Corporate Profits at a 50 year high ...
FinianT (LA,CA)
@Gene President Biden is not n° 1 power in the US. Try being in his shoes and dealing with foxes, hyenas, lions, weasels, etc.
Gus (Santa Barbara)
And...both companies are still receiving government subsidies and massive tax credits. How about an article on how much taxes these companies, respectively, have paid in the last several years? Excessive greed on the backs of Americans and tax dodging...let's get the entire picture.
James (CO)
@Gus In 2021 ExxonMobil paid 2.8 percent fed tax on earnings, and Chevron paid 1.8 percent.
Michelle (Detroit)
Perhaps this article should have been on page 1, above the fold! With all of the hand wringing about gas prices it’s past time to follow the money.
NYC Former Resident (The South)
I’m glad they are making good profits. Hopefully this will result in further investment in US domestic oil production — notwithstanding everything Biden and the Dems are doing to strangle our own US oil and gas industry (and yet go grovel to Saudis and Venezuelans!).
KPS (OH)
@NYC Former Resident Surely you jest - it's ALL going in their pockets.
Joe S. (California)
What was that people have been saying about price gouging...??
Geezer (rural USA)
Sent this to my Republican Congressman, who wants us to blame Biden for fuel prices. Bets on whether he'll read it?
Johninnapa (Napa, Ca)
He already knows this. But it is a better narrative to blame high gas prices on your opponent. Better to ask him his plan for legislating that us sourced oil all be sold ONLY in the us. He’ll ignore that for sure.
Gordon Hastings (CT)
All based on an obscene speculative crude oil market. Nothing to do with supply and demand.
John Colby (Rhode Is.)
In an article on the same page of the N Y Times, a rise in wages is said to cause worry for the Fed. Ah, the little guy, always the problem. Exxon's prodigious windfall profits, not so much.
math365 (CA)
It wasn't so long ago that the price of oil on the spot market was less than zero and The Big guy was fist-bumping MBS.
birdman (texas)
"The omnibus spending bill enacted into law in December 201 lifted the 40 year old ban that restricted exporting U.S. oil overseas. Since the ban was lifted , historic amounts of U.S. oil have gone to foreign nations."
George S (New York, NY)
Odd, I thought that Joe Biden had personally "shut off" the oil spigots and stopped all drilling and the whole industry by his regal edicts, something the GOP promises to undo the moment they regain power. Yet somehow the oil companies are raking in vast wealth from it all.
momb (Bloomington)
@George S No sitting president can hoop jump for private enterprise, excepting now, the coming Republican dictator. Discover who the oil industry supports and very few Dems are among them.
Paul T (Boulder)
@George S Fwiw, I think you misunderstand the relationship between supply and pricing.
Chris (Socal)
@George S this is exactly why prices are high. Constrain supply, with no change in demand, and prices will go up. In this case we have constrained supply and increased demand, exacerbating the price increase even further.
MHW (Raleigh, NC)
These companies profit from exploration of the land, including the land under the sea. They should have to pay some fraction of profits to the American people for money made from resources extracted from American territory.
Christy (WA)
Everyone in the oil pipeline, from the corporate heads in Houston to the neighborhood pump, keep reassuring Biden they're not gouging, and everyone keeps racking up giant profits. If they are really not gouging wouldn't they be content with smaller profits?
micha (new jersey)
Why is there not a tax surcharge on oil and gas companies? The money could be rebated to consumers to offset rising prices or put to other good uses.
s.khan (Providence, RI)
Rapid switching to renewable energy would cause oil prices to fall. Profit of these companies would plummet. Although Exxon Mobil made huge profit, it still less than Apple's.
MHW (Raleigh, NC)
@s.khan Rapid switching cannot be done. It is happening, but the infrastructure must be assembled. It takes time and investment.
Ken M (New Hampshire)
Exxon and Chevron executives aren’t about to give up any opportunity to make profits…we live in a capitalist nation folks. In the oil business…doing the right thing doesn’t seem to count.
Johninnapa (Napa, Ca)
The right thing is to increase shareholder value. Check. If you don’t like high gas prices buy Exxon stock. That is the message here.
Kristen (Montana)
@Johninnapa unless you’re like many people just struggling to afford gas …
Kent Rhodes (NC)
@Ken M Depends on your definition of the right thing. We are in uncharted times to an extent. One could say crisis given the war and economic hardship. So why isn’t the right thing to do what’s best for the greater good, like not inflicting high gas prices on those who are struggling to make ends meet. The oil company actions smack of days of the robber barons.
Jeanne Brooks (Harpswell, Maine)
Here, in Maine, a local small oil delivery company was interviewed on TV yesterday. The deliverer said he expected "a long hard winter" especially for those who will struggle to buy heating oil. He suggested they may need to rely on electric heaters among other means to decrease the usual amount of fuel. He said he's never seen the cost per gallon increase so rapidly within a week. He expects it could go as high as $7-$8 per gallon - and that's IF they can find enough oil!
Mark L. (Wisconsin)
Don't we have a Commerce Department to investigate profiteering?
Grove (California)
@Mark L. The oil companies bought the Commerce Department.
Sheila Bolton (Chicago, Illinois)
@Grove And all the other Departments, Agencies, Congress, and SCOTUS…
SLY3 (parts unknown)
@Mark L. because they're in on it.
Sandra Palmer (Albuquerque, NM)
The steady drumbeat from the Republicans and media, “inflation, inflation, inflation” gave corporate America an excuse to pile on and jack up prices. Republicans would rather crash the economy than win over voters with an actual PLAN to do anything and media keeps fanning the flame, because an election horse race is good for business.
FinianT (LA,CA)
@Sandra Palmer They bombarded folks with fake news while operating from behind... Typical isn't it? Problem is we, the people, can tray and stand up to them but ... not much may come of it. Most of those in congress and senate have investments in these companies, and many others. It should be illegal. As Jimmy Carter said, "they obliged me to sell my family business before moving into the white house, but Trump and other can do as they like". Scoundrels! But then, just think how many cities, places, were built with dirty money.
M (Asheville)
It is unacceptable for a heavily subsidized industry to make more profit than double inflation, let alone an industry fueling global extinction. Inflation is at 8 percent. Fossil fuel companies should have all excessive profits (more than double inflation) taxed at 80 percent and invested in clean energy unless they demonstrate they are investing the same amount into green energy internally.
Marc (NorCal)
Right! Don’t fossil fuels get like 700 billion a year from govt
meltyman (NJ)
Seconded! They don't get to gaslight us with their greenwashing -- we need action now, not "net zero by 2050, we promise!".
FinianT (LA,CA)
@M Oh they are reaping not only subsidies but also eating up funds in the name of "sustainable development" and environment protection. What a joke. What do you sustain? Their pockets? Yes, most likely. Not only is the industry destructive and poisonous, but they also neglect their policy of rewilding the environment they've destroyed, etc.
JS (NY, NY)
All the more to invest in campaign contributions and control the pace of tackling climate change.
SLY3 (parts unknown)
@JS And why wouldn't they? There's a whole lot of Boomers at the helm who are in the "bucket list" portion of their lives. They don't care about global heating, which they'll never see the results of. All they care about is strutting around the country club and outpacing the neighbors of their gated communities. Their early GenX spawn are cut from the same mold, conditioned on zero-sum Reagan-era capitalism, and are probably less empathetic because they're even more insulated from the economic consequences thanks to decades of broken GOP tax policy.
Mike (Monroe, NY)
These companies are lucky because people have been trained to blame the politicians, not the rapacity of these companies.
James (Tacoma WA)
@Mike Those people who blame the politicians are uninformed mindless dolts, incapable of critical thinking. And there are so many of them in this country it is frightening.
E.L. (Bklyn)
@Mike Yes, and many reputable news sources, including the NY Times, have long been complicit. See Climate Town for solid reporting on how the ad sections of the Times, Washington Post, and others have helped oil companies to greenwash their public image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkhGJUTW3ag&t=5s&ab_channel=ClimateTown
Tom (Hudson Valley)
@Mike Why haven’t Biden and our congressional Democrats done a better job of enlightening Americans to these record profits? How difficult would it be to show charts demonstrating these record profits over the last five years? As usual, when it comes to messaging, the Democratic Party is awful. This is an example of where their inability to reach Americans on this issue, has come back and bit them in the back.
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