Big Oil: Profits and Taxes

Big Oil.

We love, LOVE, to hate Big Oil.

As we’re paying more and more at the pump, and as we continue to flounder in this post recession economy, it’s hard to look at the Big Oil companies , their profits and think anything other than greed.

But is that fair?  Let’s check.

Recently, the big oil companies announced their profits for the first quarter of 2011.  And they are impressive numbers to be sure:

  • Exxon Mobile – $10.7 billion
  • Chevron – $6.2 billion
  • ConocoPhilips – $3.0 billion

THAT is a lot of billions.  A LOT!  But is it really as big as we’re making it out to be?  For example, consider two investment vehicles that I would like to offer you.  You may choose which of the two you would prefer to invest in:

  1. This investment will take your money and place it in stocks and bonds.  After 1 year, you will receive $100.00.
  2. This investment will take your money and place it in stocks and bonds.  After 1 year, you will receive $125.00.

Which do you choose?

If you are today’s media you’ll take option 2 every time.  After all, $125 is more money than $100.  And that, as they say, is that.  But is it?

When we talk about profit MARGIN and not sheer profit, things look a little different:

Not nearly as impressive.  In fact, as a group, Big Oil ranks 114th out of 215 industries by profit margin.  One Hundred Fourteenth!  There are 113 OTHER industries that make more money, as described by margin, as oil.

To say that the profits being “raked in” by Big Oil are excessive is rather ridiculous.

However, there is even more to the story.  The taxes.  How much does Big Oil pay in taxes?

Again, from their links above:

  • Exxon Mobile – $21,561,000,000
  • Chevron – $12,919,000,000
  • ConocoPhillips – $8,333,000,000

That’s a grand total of $42,700,000,000.  $42 billion from just 3 companies.  In one year.  For some perspective, in 2008 -most recent year available- the first 34,172,692 tax payers paid only $29,244,370,000 in taxes.  In fact, if we DO use the 2008 figures, those three oil companies paid:

  • Exxon Mobile – $36,530,000,000
  • Chevron – $19,026,000,000
  • ConocoPhillips $13,405,000,000

For a total of $68.9 billion!  That’s more than the first 48 million tax payers paid in 2008.  And THAT represents nearly half of all American tax payers!   In other words, those three companies alone, ALONE, pair more in taxes than half the American’s did.

And if that isn’t enough, if even those numbers are enough to convince you that these companies aren’t getting by scott free, consider this:

Exxon is reporting that they are making a $0.07 profit on each gallon of gasoline and other finished product sold here in the US.  Government?  $0.48.  That’s 700% MORE than the folks doing the work!

Don’t fall for it folks.  These guys aren’t ripping us off; it’s a story being sold to us by the Leftists!

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Categories: Energy

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Good post, informative. Having grown up in a oil patch of west Texas, my experience is some folks make money, some folks make a living and some folks go broke. Having watched the companies in our patch disappear to be taken by another company, it is a hard industry with a very public product, thus getting more scrutiny.

    • some folks make money, some folks make a living and some folks go broke.

      Such is the nature of capitalism. What we hope is that the resources find thier way into the hands of the most able.

  2. You guys over at the CC are one smart group of guys. Thanks for the insight. It is the left playing class warfare. The blacks fall for it even more than the rest.

    I will be reposting your blog in its entirety over on Rants and Rage.
    John Wilder


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