Oil companies’ continued record profits tick off Democrats, consumers
Major oil companies reported ginormous second-quarter profits this week, irking consumers and fueling harsh rhetoric from congressional Democrats. ExxonMobil reported a record-breaking profit of $11.68 billion — the highest of any U.S. company ever — besting its own previous record set in the first quarter of this year. Royal Dutch Shell raked in $11.56 billion, BP hit $9.5 billion, and ConocoPhillips posted $5.44 billion in profits; Chevron will release its earnings on Friday. Consumers are enraged that oil companies are making crazy-high profits while they pay record-high gasoline prices, and Democrats in Congress are trying to stoke that anger, pointing out that oil-company profits rose even as production declined. Democrats have also stressed that a huge proportion of the companies’ profits have been invested in buying back billons of dollars worth of their own stock in order to drive up its value instead of investing in renewable-energy research and development. “It’s the most selfish group of companies that I’ve ever seen,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).