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How Oil Companies Spend Their $375 Million In Daily Profits

How Oil Companies Spend Their $375 Million In Daily Profits
Wed, 7/25/2012 - by Rebecca Leber
This article originally appeared on Think Progress

The Big Five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – are slated to announce their 2012 second-quarter profits later this week.

We can expect these companies, all of which rank in the top 10 of the Fortune 500 Global Ranking, to announce billions of dollars more in profits, after earning $375 million in profits per day in 2011 ($261,000 per minute), and $368 million per day in the first three-months of 2012 — bringing their combined profits to $1 trillion from 2001 through 2011.

Below is a quick look at just how much these Big Oil companies are making, and where they are spending their billions in profits.

Big Oil’s Big Profits, In 24 Hours

The five biggest oil companies earned a combined profit of $375 million per day, or a record $137 billion profit for the year, in 2011, despite reducing their oil production.

In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.

These five oil companies received $6.6 million in federal tax breaks every day.

In 2011, the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders.

The entire oil and gas industry spent on average $400,000 each day lobbying senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks, totaling nearly $150 million.

Each CEO of the Big Five companies received an average of $60,110 in compensation per day last year. On average, their pay jumped 55 percent in 2011. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s compensation came close to $100,000 per day last year.

Millions in Political Contributions and Lobbying

Despite ranking as some of the most successful companies in the world, big oil and gas companies continue to receive $4 billion in tax breaks each year.

The oil and gas industry has already given more than $30.5 million in federal campaign contributions this year, with a whopping 88 percent going to Republicans.

Big Oil has spent an additional $37 million on lobbying Congress this year, with the top spenders being Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Koch Industries and BP.

Their efforts are paying off. This is the most anti-environment Congress in history, with the House of Representatives averaging one anti-environment vote per day, or a total 247 votes through mid-June. The biggest beneficiary of these votes has been Big Oil. The House voted to enrich the oil and gas industry 109 times, a total 44 percent of its anti-environment votes.

The House is on track to collect a record amount of oil industry contributions this cycle, having already reached 2008 and 2010 levels. And these are direct donations only — it does not include Super PAC spending or other campaign assistance.

Outside Interests and Big Oil Allies Spending Tens of Millions More to Influence the Energy Debate

Fueled by Koch Industries and other Big Oil interests, the industry is spending hundreds of millions to fund false ads in this year’s elections. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 85 percent of the dollars have funded false ads, during a season where most advertising have focused on energy.

Pro-Romney outside interest groups spent $24.6 million on energy ads through June 24, according to Kantar Media CMAG data. This is more than ten times the amount spent by pro-Obama groups, which spent $2.3 million on energy spots.

American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund, and Crossroads GPS – the top outside pro-oil and pro-Romney interest group spenders – have spent a total $24.9 million on deceptive ads, many of them energy-related, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has devoted more than 90 percent of its ad spending to energy ads. Two of the Americans for Prosperity ads pushed patently false claims — roundly debunked by fact checkers — that the stimulus funded jobs overseas.

Fact checkers have thoroughly debunked these anti-clean energy ads. Both Politifact and the Washington Post Fact Checker have given the ad their worst ratings of “pants on fire” and four Pinocchios, respectively. Politifact found all three examples used to be false, with the ad stringing together “alarming” soundbites that are “ultimately ridiculous.”

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