WASHINGTON — Fossil fuel behemoth Chevron announced annual earnings of $35.5 billion and that it would triple its stock buyback plan to $75 billion. Meanwhile, Exxon will announce earnings next week. 2022 total profits for the oil behemoths are expected to near $100 billion. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:
“We now have 100 billion reasons that a windfall profits tax should have been imposed on Big Oil.
“That Chevron feels free to spend $75 billion of its windfall profits on stock buybacks signals its belief that it is immune from accountability. It has price gouged consumers in plain sight and it’s going to get away with it.
“Once oil prices spiked after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a government not compromised and captured by Big Oil would have done the common-sense thing of taxing Big Oil’s windfall profits and returning the proceeds to consumers. The failure to impose a windfall profits tax reflects Big Oil’s raw political power, not any principled policy dispute.
“There’s no reason for We the People to tolerate Big Oil’s system of private taxation and wealth concentration. We need a windfall profits tax to mitigate future oil price spikes. Even more, we need much more public investment and much more aggressive policy to force the long-delayed transition away from dirty fossil fuels to a clean energy future. It’s not just consumers’ wallets, but our very future at stake.”