Oil Companies Making Huge Profits
Why are gas prices hurting you and not the gas companies? If the problem is Russia, wouldn’t big oil feel the sting just as much as consumers?
The fact is, they’re not. Big oil companies stand to close out 2021 with a record $200 billion in profits. Prices were skyrocketing long before Russian sanctions were put in place.
The White House briefed TikTok stars on this matter, telling them that gas prices are due to the Russian war, which they then repeated on their platforms. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling this “Putin’s gas hike.” It sounds good but it rings hollow given that shares of Chevron, Shell and their brethren are at record highs.
Big oil backers say that now is the time to turn back on pipelines that were paused for environmental concerns and ramp up fracking. Environment be damned.
Big oil may face litigation for decisions such as these though. In the UK, a group called ClientEarth has notified Shell that it intends to hold the company’s directors personally liable for a failure to shift to sustainable energy. There is a precedent for this type of case. A judge in Denmark held Shell responsible for the climate crisis and ordered them to shift to clean energy faster.
So are the questions: Can big oil use the Russian conflict as an excuse to ramp up fossil fuel production instead of down? Will gas prices go down if we let them? Do we trust their talking points that we can blame this on Putin? Can we also buy the Brooklyn Bridge?