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Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With A Higher Gas Bill

By Rebecca Leber  

"Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With A Higher Gas Bill"

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Last year, ExxonMobil, one of the world’s most profitable companies, earned $1,300 in profits per second. As consumers paid record-high springtime gas prices, Exxon posted first quarter profits of $9.45 billion.

This is down slightly from the first quarter of 2011, when Exxon posted $10.65 billion in profits. Exxon benefited from the high price of oil, but analysts expected slightly lower profits due in part to the cheap price of natural gas, which the company is heavily invested in.

A by-the-numbers look shows how Exxon’s executives and Big Oil’s allies are rewarded generously for the company’s billions, while Americans are stuck with rising gas bills:

$9.45 billion profits, or almost $104 million per day in the first three months of the year.

13 percent: The tax rate Exxon paid last year, lower than the average American family.

60 percent of its first quarter earnings, or $5.7 billion, on buying back stock. Became world’s largest dividend payer by increasing dividends 21 percent.

$1,091,000: Political contributions sent to federal politicians for the 2012 election cycle, making it the largest oil and gas spender.

91% of these contributions went to Republicans.

More than $52,000,000: Lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush Administration.

$34.9 million: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s salary for 2011, a 20 percent raise.

$52,300: Political contributions from Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in the 2012 cycle, alone.

No. 2: Fortune 500 list of richest companies and for highest-paid CEO.

Exxon not only used 60 percent of its Q1 profits to buy back its stocks, enriching executives and largest shareholders, but it funnels money through political groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and American Petroleum Institute, to influence legislation in its favor.

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43 Responses to Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With A Higher Gas Bill

  1. Ken Barrows says:

    OK, I’ll repeat myself. ExxonMobil’s profit for dollar is lower per dollar of revenue than Microsoft (and I suspect Apple. And huge gobs of oil are still necessary to run economic life.

    I have no problem, though, with a windfall profits tax. That should reduce oil production, raise prices, and lower carbon emissions overall.

    • Julie says:

      Now that Exxon profits are down and US investors are pouring money into overseas oil companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total,PetroChina,Petrobras, etc., is that better? The price of gas is partially through the roof because of issues with our refining capacity – where we haven’t approved building more than 1 refinery in decades. While we stop US oil companies from piping oil from canada or drilling here, our government has no problem issuing permits to BP (who spilled in the gulf). Noone’s stopping Chinese Oil Company from drilling off the coast of Floriday with Cuba! or US government allocating $2 billion in cheap loans to Petrobras (brazilian oil) to drill offshore at 5 times the depth of the BP platform which spilled trashing our gulf coast.

  2. Lore says:

    I’m not sure where this blog post is headed?

    Yes, big oil is making huge profits on a depleating resource, but that’s the way the open market works.

    • Joseph B. says:

      Lore, you forgot to mention that they receive part of the $4Billion subsides from you and me and millions of tax payers. So this assertion of open market is just another fallacy.

      • Lore says:

        Subsidies are also an argument against alternative energy. The problem is big oil doesn’t need them while the alternatives need them a lot to succeed, but if we get rid of all subsidies, what are the chances we will turn this ship around in time? The fight here is to pick the winner which is the antithesis to how free markets want to operate. Just stating the problem.

        • Cailin says:

          If we had a true capitalistic economy, no picking would need to be done. But we don’t, evidence of the huge subsidies the oil companies have been receiving for nearly a century. The oil companies have done an amazing job convincing a large portion of the population that climate change is a haox, that the EPA is evil, and that they are just businessmen making a living. The truth is climate change is real, the EPA is making air quality better for everyone, and they are greedy multi-billionairs who will never have enough money. The subsidies the oil companies get do nothing to help our country. Investing in alternative energy would. They are making record profits, and we are paying more than ever for gas…that extra money goes into their pockets. Oil companies don’t have interest in the American people, or any people for that matter, they just want money, power and the status that goes with it.

        • Rakesh Malik says:

          “The problem is big oil doesn’t need them while the alternatives need them a lot to succeed, but if we get rid of all subsidies, what are the chances we will turn this ship around in time?”

          A reminder for the clueless: subsidizing NEW business has been a common practice for a long time. The subsidies usually end when the companies become profitable… except that in the case of modern big business, rather than paying back the taxpayers, they used that money to buy the government.

    • RFC says:

      GOOD! Let’s just keep paying more & more for gas? GREED!!!!

  3. flipped54 says:

    It baffles me why then they still need tax breaks…or subsidies, which ever you want to call them. They can make all the money they want in the free market, but why are they still getting billions in tax breaks? At the same time conservatives are against anything that helps the average American. That also baffles me. I guess it boils down to who can afford to buy out Congress.

  4. Mike B says:

    I believe the point of the article is that oil & gas companies need more regulation in the US. It is not right that record profits are being made while prices are at a record high.
    Personally, I wish gasoline was $8/gallon or gone completely. It is frustrating to ride my bicycle on a perfectly nice day and see a 10,000 to 1 car to bike ratio. If you are against gasoline don’t use it!

    • Jen says:

      You must live somewhere were going to work or the supermarket isn’t at least 15 miles away… we need cars in Florida! Plus I can’t ride my bike with my babies. :)

    • Susan K says:

      Although I admire you for doing what you do some of us work over 65 miles away from home. That is a long way to ride a bike at 60 years old. If I worked closer I would walk instead of driving but like I said it would be a long walk.

    • Mike M says:

      And where do you suppose the money would come from to build and maintain roadways if not for the highway tax on vehicle fuels? (Admit that you didn’t consider that did you?)

    • Joe F says:

      Just because you can ride a bicycle to work doesn’t mean the rest of us can. I agree we need to end subsidies and start building renewable energy and mass transportation, however these high-prices are a detriment to ordinary people.

  5. Gas prices are down nationally thanks to President Obama.

    • Jen says:

      Obama has nothing to do with gas prices.

    • Lawrence says:

      Specifially, what exactly did obama do to reduce gas prices? He just came out a month ago and said his hands were tied. He’s done nothing but scratch his arse and pontificate. His energy dept head (whos really in charge) is on record as saying prices need to get on par with Europe. Get ready for European gas prices in 2013 if he gets returned to office. Prices are falling because of market conditions……..nothing more..

      • Ken Letendre says:

        The price of oil these days has nothing to do with supply and demand. It’s driven by oil speculation. The president can’t do anything about that, until congress enacts a bill that would regulate it. The repuglicans know this, but they’ll say anything to try to make him look bad. We had a regulatory system but it was dismantled piece by piece. Without new regulations, count on a depression eventually. That will most likely be the end of us.

      • cher says:

        I believe we are the one’s that deserve tax breaks.I don’t know about you but i dont make millions in profits.How crazy lets drive less to lower their profits.

  6. Cornbear says:

    I remember when the first oil price shock appeared (1974?) after the Yom Kippur war, when pump prices went from 35 cents to 75 cents a gallon. The oil companies all claimed that the price increase had nothing to do with gouging and prices only reflected the increase in the cost of crude. Then, in April, the companys’ public relations flaks seemed slightly embarrassed when they announced the record profits. What’s most noticeable is the f*ck you attitude the companies take nowadays when they announce record profit after record profit.

  7. Ray says:

    Mike B, you said it right. How high does gas need to be before the Right says that’s enough of a tax break? The answer is, it doesn’t matter. They’ll continue to get contributions from big oil and continue to do their bidding in Congress. I’m not against them making money either but how in the hell am I paying 19% in taxes (just sent the IRS $7500) and these jokers are paying 13%. And the Right wants to lower it even more. How can they think that’s right?

  8. Joe Bickner says:

    I believe gas companies have the right to charge what they want for gas, especially with global competition…

    … but for the love of God, make them pay their fair share in taxes! No more tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy oil companies!

  9. Steve says:

    I have no love for ExxonMobil, believe me.

    But I do know that beginning with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s,
    Western Europe and the United States systematically carved up access to the most inexpensively accessible crude oil reserves in the world to underwrite their 20th Century progress as well as their two “great wars” (and the rebuilding that followed). ExxonMobil is a beneficiary of that history, along with being a beneficiary of recent US involvement in Iraq. ExxonMobil is therefore going to make money and, for other reasons good and bad, so is Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Walmart, Facebook… etc. etc.

    What IS reassuring about the earnings report and the photo CP displays on this post in that, in some small part, ExxonMobil’s decision NOT to radically cut downstream margins on the logic that it can more than make up for those cuts with its upstream profitability means that gasoline is hitting $5.00/gallon in some places (at whatever time the photo was taken) and the soft Americans who excessively drive big bold vehicles are actually starting to rethink their fuel consumption habits and their new vehicle purchase decisions…

    …and, like it or not (because, yes, Big Oil is making money and paying dividends to pension funds and IRAs and, yes, others who are unfortunately disgustingly wealthy already), the little boys and girls who will be getting on and off that school bus in the background will have a slightly better chance of inheriting a liveable planet someday because Americans who burn less gasoline FOR WHATEVER REASON WHATSOEVER put less CO2 in the atmosphere.

  10. Elle Nelson says:

    Increase taxes for wealthy corporations!!!!!!!

  11. Jen says:

    It is ridiculous that we have to pay so much for gas! And to everyone saying its better without it please be practical gas is a necesity in most places.

    • Landbeyond says:

      Gas is actually very cheap when you consider what it enables you to do.

      “gas is a necesity in most places”

      And that has to change, and will change. We are at or very close to peak oil. See the “jobless recovery”? Same thing in Europe. Please be practical. ;)

  12. Marc says:

    Keep raising prices, Exxon and I’m going to be buying a new car next year. I’m looking at and liking the Prius C for under $20,000. The $70 a month payment increase over my current car will be more than offset by the money I save on gas each month.

  13. TheInternetizen says:

    They export fuel to the world market to sell it at higher prices. The US fuel consumption has gone down, and fuel production has gone up, but that doesn’t matter because American fuel is being exported we are paying locally at world market rates.

    We are not paying high costs for a “depleating resource”, and to think such a thing is ignorant as hell. We are paying high costs for a commodity being exported to a world market that is jacking up its price.

    Our national resource, fuel, which American’s are paying too much for, and should be conserving for when the resources actually do start depleting, is instead being sold by private corporations to a world market to reap record profits that they largely keep all to themselves. You are being fleeced and you take it because you somehow think it is good for you. It is comical really, that you justify your own being taken advantage of because you are so partisan that you are willing to look the other way.

    President’s don’t effect gas prices in any significant way, get over that goddamned meme.

    Oh, and don’t worry about the low natural gas prices. They will soon be inflated as well, as soon as the energy companies begin exporting that out as fast as they can, as well

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/14/news/economy/sabine-pass-natural-gas/

    Stop being willfully ignorant and connect the obvious dots. You are nothing but ants in the way of profits, and you will be ignored until you bite back.

  14. icechilled says:

    The president has no control over gas prices: The companies supplying it do. They’re making billions a quarter off of the american people because we just accept that gasoline is pricey. We can tax these corporations more but that directly hurts the average consumer as a price hike is inevitable to maintain profits. Regulate the consumer market. Stop gasoline prices from rising.

  15. TheInternetizen says:

    Ignore my apostrophes in the wrong place and print this page out to read it in the next decade. Then, if things go as they are planned by those controlling the money and economy, you might actually start to realize the counterproductive beliefs you hold that cause you to act against your own interest.

    Enron turned out to be an obvious bad thing. Just because this is a different and more drawn out version of manipulation doesn’t make it any better.

  16. Mike M says:

    Federal government gets about 40% of oil profits as income tax revenue so you won’t hear Obama talking about increasing competition from smaller companies to increase supply and lower prices. Federal government shouldn’t tax ANY energy profits at all – they should tax only on a unit energy produced basis. (It doesn’t matter where the tax occurs because ONLY the consumers get stuck paying taxes – not companies.)

    Then you would see a total 180 on the issue with them opening up more and more off-shore reserves for drilling and make US a leader in energy production.

    • Lore says:

      Except the U.S. doesn’t have enough conventional oil to be the world’s leader in energy production and the unconventional oil side show can never ultimately satisfy the math of EROEI?

      All we’re accomplishing is putting a few more nails in our environmental coffin.

      • Landbeyond says:

        EROEI = energy returned on energy invested.

        A vital concept that affects the lives of all of us. And yes, everything Lore said there is factual.

  17. WTF!!! says:

    oh yea buyh a prius thatl teach them smfh. The point is this needs to stop and be regulated. As anericans and equal citizens we should not bend over and accept this, this is wrong!! Stand up for yourselves not only as citizens but human beings. It’s complete bs that they profit this much while the rest of us slave away 5-7 days a week for most of our lives. All the while they enjoy life the way it should be lived while we dont get shit. The people in this country need to grow a pair and start standing up against our corrupt government.

  18. Dan Mitchell says:

    I do not begrudge them making a fair profit. But $10,000,000,000 a quarter is not a fair profit.

    • Lore says:

      Apple made $11.6 billion this quarter. The only way to prevent big oil and Apple from making huge profits is to stop buying their products. The two are actually very much related.

  19. supertamsf says:

    Does Exxon get subsidies ?

  20. Keenanjay says:

    Oil companies are important to our economy, but when they are making obscene profits it makes no sense whatsoever to provide them with tax cuts. Oil companies only profit when people have jobs, buy cars, heat and cool their homes, drive to work, the list goes on endlessly because the economy is an interpendent SYSTEM! And the system flourishes only because we live in a stable democracy free of the fear of coups, foreign invasion or loss of property rights at a whim.
    Taxes are the cost of admission. And for the privilege of extracting huge wealth from the economy we are justified in asking those who benefit the most to pay to lion’s share of its costs.

  21. Jonsi says:

    While I too would like to end oil subsidies, I have never read a rebuttal of these two points:

    (1) The subsidies they receive are a tax code provision to ALL US industrial businesses, the same a steel foundry, a lawnmower factory, and a pharmaceutical company would receive.

    (2) The proposed legislation to remove the tax breaks only targeted ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, and the US branches of BP and Shell. 5 companies. But what about Murphy, Anadarko, Devon, Chesapeake Noble, Energy 21, Statoil, Hess, Marathon, ENI, Total, Suncor, and BHP Billiton? Those companies are not targeted because their volumes are less, thus their profits are less. The obscene profits of the targeted 5 is solely because the volumes of their business is enormous. Their profits aren’t outrageous in comparison to the size and costs of their business.

    Of course we should be giving tax breaks to things we want more of (clean tech) and not mature companies and industries, but that does not explain why only the oil companies should be immune from tax codes that apply to ALL industrial manufacturing and if so, only for the 5 largest. There is no compelling argument that ExxonMobil should have the tax code altered so they pay more, but not Anadarko.

    Closing loopholes, enforcing regulations, and taxing negative externalities is different than punitively targeting a handful of large companies but not their competitors and benchmarked companies in other industies.

  22. turbofroggy says:

    I take a simple philosphy: stop sending money to oil companies, or at least keep as much away from them as possible. With two EVs (Nisssan Leaf, Ford Ranger EV), all cordless electric lawn equipment, geothermal heating, and a large 7KW solar array, our energy bills are zero (in fact we get paid a few $100 at the end of the year) and NONE of our immediate energy needs goes to these fat cats. FU Exxon, the SUN powers my drive to work.