Report Shows Oil Companies Using War-Time Profits to Enrich Investors, Keep Gas Prices High The news comes as House Democrats demand that oil executives answer for pain at the pump: “Big Oil must immediately stop profiteering off the crisis in Ukraine.”
By Main Street Sentinel Staff
US oil and gas companies are using their surging profits to enrich investors rather than lower sky-high gasoline prices, according to a newly released report. The report comes as House Democrats use congressional hearings to demand that US oil and gas companies answer for American consumers’ pain at the pump.
Analysis shows that as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent crude oil and gasoline prices soaring in recent months, US oil and gas companies significantly stepped up stock buybacks and dividends, the two main methods for rewarding investors. Seven oil and gas companies have authorized a combined total of $45.6 billion in stock buybacks; 11 have at least doubled their quarterly dividends; and six have begun paying out additional dividends based on company earnings.
An expert told the Washington Post: ”This is a master class in war profiteering. Humanitarian disaster and consumer pain are being turned into Wall Street profits in real time.”
Amid evidence of price-gouging, Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone and Diana DeGette called six major energy company executives to testify before Congress about how their business practices are affecting gas prices. Meanwhile, top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to executives ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron, and Shell demanding they stop directing their record profits to investors and instead use the money to help bring down gas prices.
Wrote Democratic Representatives Carolyn Carolyn Maloney and Ro Khanna: “Big Oil must immediately stop profiteering off the crisis in Ukraine.”