Oil and Gas Companies Profit Off of Our Misery

Image credit: Clockwise from top left: Anton Vaganov/Reuters; Mike Blake/Reuters; Frank Augstein/Associated Press; Jim Young/Reuters

Over the last few days, major oil and gas companies released their quarterly earning reports. While most regular people were suffering from unaffordable gas prices, most of the companies reached near or all-time profit records for the second quarter of 2022. BP reported its highest profits in 14 years, a threefold increase from its earnings a year ago. Exxon Mobile made $18 billion in the last three months, while Chevron and Shell each made nearly $12 billion.

While the war in Ukraine has been blamed for record gas prices, the whole time the oil and gas companies have been using this devastating crisis to their advantage. A recent study found that the fossil fuel industry has been making about $2.8 billion in profit every day over the last 50 years. That’s just to say that oil and gas companies were not hurting even before the war.

So why have oil and gas prices been so high? It’s clearly not to recuperate lost income for companies hurt by a global supply chain problem. It’s been an opportunistic ploy by the fossil fuel industry to squeeze as much as they can out of the average person, for the benefit of their executives and shareholders, simply because they can.

So while the rest of us have been struggling to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive world, all while watching the devastating impacts of an unjust war, oil and gas companies have been giddy with joy at their ability to gouge us even more.