As fossil fuel giants this week reported record profits for the second quarter, an analysis out Friday highlighted how eight oil companies have raked in nearly $52 billion over the past three months \u0022while Americans continue to struggle at the pump.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe review by the watchdog group Accountable.US revealed that from April through June, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Hess Corp, Phillips 66, Shell, and TechnipFMC \u0022saw their profits skyrocket from the same time period last year, with income shooting up 235%.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe analysis also pointed out that leaders at Equinor, Halliburton, Hess Corp, and TechnipFMC have boasted \u0022about excellent quarters while dismissing high prices for consumers.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJordan Schreiber of Accountable.US called the companies\u0026#039; collective profit boost \u0022eye-popping\u0022 but also unsurprising \u0022after spending the past three months price gouging consumers by raising gas prices to unprecedentedly high levels.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Make no mistake; these profits mark a large transfer of wealth from working- and middle-class people to wealthy oil executives and shareholders,\u0022 she said. \u0022While many consumers were feeling the heavy burden of a life necessity suddenly doubling in price, oil executives were keeping prices high to maximize their profits.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Q2 profits of U.S. energy giants Chevron and Exxon—$11.62 billion and $17.85 billion, respectively—along with that of Europe\u0026#039;s largest oil company, Shell—$11.47 billion—drew widespread criticism along with calls for action by lawmakers and President Joe Biden.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Big Oil companies are making a killing and pouring fuel on the climate fire while communities pay for more and deadlier climate disasters. It\u0026#039;s outrageous,\u0022 said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, in a statement Friday.\r\n\r\n\u0022Exxon and other oil and gas corporations lobbied and lied for decades to keep the world addicted to fossil fuels, making billions while hardworking families pay for higher gas prices and costlier heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, and floods,\u0022 he continued. \u0022Now Exxon is once again using its record profits to line the pockets of executives and shareholders.\u0022\r\n\r\nWiles asserted that \u0022elected officials cannot remain silent in the face of this injustice. Whether it\u0026#039;s taxing these companies\u0026#039; record profits, or taking them to court to make polluters pay for climate damages they knowingly caused, it\u0026#039;s time to stand up to Big Oil.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPublic Citizen president Robert Weissman declared that \u0022Big Oil is laughing all the way to the bank—and the joke\u0026#039;s on us.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We don\u0026#039;t have to be suckers,\u0022 he argued. \u0022A windfall profits tax with rebates to taxpayers would offset the pain at the pump and end Big Oil\u0026#039;s profiteering. Banning U.S. oil exports would actually lower prices for American consumers.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to Weissman, \u0022It\u0026#039;s time for Congress and the Biden administration to stop complaining about Big Oil\u0026#039;s rip-off and start doing something about it.\u0022\r\n\r\nSome lawmakers agree. While Republicans \u0022will continue to play politics and blame Biden for gas prices,\u0022 Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said of the fossil fuel giants\u0026#039; quarterly profits, \u0022we need to crack down on Big Oil.\u0022\r\n\r\nSen. Bernie Sanders concurred, tweeting that \u0022it\u0026#039;s time for a windfall profits tax.\u0022\r\n\r\nWhile some of his colleagues have introduced legislation focused on Big Oil, Sanders has put forth a broader tax proposal that would target price gouging by a range of companies.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAmid rising fears of recession in recent weeks, calls have been mounting for federal lawmakers to more forcefully take on corporate greed. The Inflation Reduction Act unveiled Wednesday features some related policies, but climate activists have also sounded the alarm about its energy provisions. The bill—negotiated with fossil fuel ally Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)—contains major handouts that are reportedly \u0022delighting\u0022 the oil and gas industry.\r\n\r\nThe fossil fuel industry has not only used its record profits to enrich shareholders; it\u0026#039;s also dumped money into influencing officials on Capitol Hill. As Common Dreams reported exclusively on Thursday, an analysis from Climate Power shows that since last year, the sector has poured over $200 million into sabotaging climate action.