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

ExxonMobil and Chevron Go Shopping

Oct 30, 2023

In mid-October, the two biggest U.S. oil companies went on a spending spree. First out of the deal gate, ExxonMobil announced it was buying the fracking giant Pioneer Resources for a “modest” 60 billion dollars. This acquisition would make Exxon the dominant oil and gas producer in the Permian Basin, which straddles West Texas and New Mexico and is among the lowest-cost and most profitable oil fields in the world.

Not to be outdone, Chevron rushed to announce that it was buying up Hess Corporation, another big oil company, for “only” $53 billion. By buying Hess, Chevron expects to gain a stranglehold on oil and gas production in Guyana, the South American country that is one of the world’s biggest new oil producers.

These mergers show these companies’ real intentions for the future: to continue to produce huge amounts of oil and gas, no matter what the consequences are for the people and the planet.

This is hardly a surprise. Internal documents from both companies recently published revealed that as far back as the 1970s, both companies’ scientists knew that the burning of fossil fuels contributed to the warming of the planet. Exxon scientists’ predictions of how fast the climate was warming turned out to be even more accurate than those of U.S. government scientists!

But that didn’t stop both companies from saying the exact opposite publicly and financing disinformation campaigns. Former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond said in 2000: "We do not have sufficient scientific understanding of climate change to make reasonable predictions." In 2013, the CEO at the time, Rex Tillerson, who later became secretary of state under Donald Trump, affirmed that there were “uncertainties” around the “main drivers of climate change."

These companies’ incredibly high prices impoverish consumers every time they fill up at the pump or turn on the heat. Their high prices fuel the inflationary spiral and economic chaos worldwide. And their continued production poses a grave danger to the environment and the planet.

No, these companies’ only priority is profits, no matter the cost. No government or law will stop this. But the working class can, by expropriating these companies and putting them under workers’ control. That way, the enormous productive capacity and resources that have been built up by the working class will finally be able to benefit all of humanity.