Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exxon: Earns billions in second quarter, spends millions to kill climate and energy legislation

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company announced their second quarter profits today and the numbers are astounding. During these past three months, the corporation's income nearly doubled to $7.56 billion. Revenue increased 24 percent to $92.5 billion. The Irving, Texas based company also found time in Q2 to grow its energy-sector empire, acquiring natural gas producer XTO Energy. The deal, valued at $29 billion, immediately makes Exxon the largest natural gas company in the U.S.

Ok, maybe the numbers aren't that shocking when you consider the state of its competitors (see: BP's rightful loss of $49.2 billion in Q2). But what truly boggles the mind, what absolutely confounds, is how much Exxon and its other colleagues spent on lobbying during this period .

Amidst the single worst oil catastrophe in our nation's history, big oil companies made humongous profit; that's enough to stoke one's ire. Simultaneously, however, these companies spent millions to kill comprehensive climate and energy legislation. Consider the following chart from Progressive Media:


1st quarter profit

2nd quarter profit

1st quarter lobby spending

2nd quarter lobby spending

2010 Political Spending

ConocoPhillips

$2,100,000,000

$4,200,000,000

$6,408,978

$5,523,001

$234,947

ExxonMobil

$6,300,000,000

$7,560,000,000

$3,390,000

$2,520,000

$584,479

Shell

$4,900,000,000

$4,500,000,000

$2,270,000

$4,000,000

$10,099


The fact that Exxon spent nearly $6 million in the past two quarters is more shocking when viewed in this context (via Yahoo! News):
Exxon earned the majority of its income from producing oil and natural gas in foreign waters, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
So, Exxon invested loads of resources in killing efforts to break America's addiction to oil and set us on the path towards a clean energy future, yet the majority of their profit comes from endeavors abroad?!

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