The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Oil Company Profits, Directly from Our Pockets

Aug 1, 2022

The world’s oil companies just announced record profits in the second quarter of this year—after making record profits in the first quarter.

Exxon Mobil pulled in nearly 18 billion dollars—in the second quarter alone. Chevron made 11.62 billion dollars. BP has yet to announce their profit windfall for the second quarter, but they also had record profits in the first quarter.

It’s a 235% increase in profits over this time last year. Meanwhile, gas prices at the pump have skyrocketed to record amounts of over five or six dollars a gallon.

Major companies—oil companies, food companies, and others—are using this supposedly uncontrollable inflation crisis to jack up their prices and make even more profits from the goods and services we are forced to buy. They act as if it is just the way of the world, an act of nature, unstoppable. And yet, THEY make record profits from it, paid for by the higher prices we pay.

It’s obscene! So much for the lie that higher prices are due to the war in Ukraine, or Covid supply chain issues, or whatever excuses they try to use. It’s profit, pure and simple! Were they “forced” to accept those profits? Come on! It’s obvious that they are inventing excuses for what was a planned raid on our bank accounts! Gouging is what they’re doing. Pure and simple.

The companies are not investing in further drilling and refining capacity. Instead, the profits go directly to their shareholders. Exxon paid its shareholders $4.21 a share, exceeding analyst expectations of $4.02 a share. Chevron paid out $5.95 a share, exceeding expectations of $5.16 a share. And, beyond dividends, the oil companies have used their profits to buy back shares at premium prices, further rewarding shareholders.

From our pockets to theirs! Their wealth is coming directly from working people here AND around the world. Their record billions in profits are taken directly from our labor—while we struggle to pay to drive to work, and beyond that to feed our families and do anything else. Their record profits are directly hitting our standard of living.

The heads of the oil companies have proven that they will not run industry in the interests of the public. They’re destroying our lives and destroying the planet.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden grumbled last month that the oil companies have more money than God. Did he do anything to stop their price gouging, or to take their profits and put them at the service of the population? Of course not. He just complained and threw up his hands.

There’s also been no peep from Congress about this issue. Clearly, we can’t count on any of them to address the problem. The politicians all accept that companies can set their prices and make whatever profit they can.

Working people created this wealth. Our labor makes this whole society run. WE can shut down this society; and beyond that, our key position in the very center of the productive economy means we could come together to run it, for the benefit of all of humanity—not for the benefit of these profit-greedy billionaires.