LINCOLN, Nebraska -- As Nebraskans continue to endure high gas prices, 24 of the top oil and gas corporations made nearly $174 billion in profits this year, with profits in the past three months alone topping $74 billion, according to a new report by Accountable.US.
Tony Carrk, executive director of the watchdog group, said top executives at Chevron and British Petroleum have privately boasted about redistributing what they view as "excess cash."
"Rather than giving American consumers a break at the pump, they're making all of this money in profits," Carrk asserted. "And they seem to be very happy about taking that money and increasing the value of their stock, and the compensations for their executives."
Eleven companies gave more than $36 billion in payouts to shareholders, while CEOs saw their pay rise by more than $10 million, including a $33 million package for Chevron CEO Michael Wirth.
Oil and gas companies have pointed to the Biden administration's efforts to mitigate climate change as a primary reason they have not been able to increase production.
Carrk pointed out much of the oil and gas industry's millions of acres already under lease for production remain untapped. He admits there are a lot of moving parts involved in gasoline pricing, from supply chain issues to rising demand.
"But what can't be denied is that these higher gas prices, the executives themselves are saying, are helping increase their profits," Carrk argued. "And those profits are not being put to lower gas prices for you, they're going to lining their pockets."
Rising prices linked to profits are not just limited to the oil and gas industry. A recent Bloomberg report found corporate profit margins have hit their highest level since 1950.
Carrk believes corporate greed is a significant factor in what is fueling the nation's rising inflation rate.
"Most Americans see the higher prices at the pump, they see higher prices at the grocery store," Carrk observed. "People should be seeing where the money is going."
Source: Nebraska News Connection