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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2011
12:52 PM

Big Oil Receives Huge Profits and Taxpayer Subsidies, Maintains High Gasoline Prices at Pump

WASHINGTON - April 28 - This morning, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell followed BP's profit announcement yesterday, reporting $10.65 billion and $6.3 billion in profits respectively, amounting to an increase of 69 percent for Exxon and  30 percent for Royal Dutch Shell. Yesterday, BP reported $5.5 billion in profits, despite causing the worst oil spill in American history just last year, and ConocoPhilips posted $3 billion -- a 44 percent increase. Tomorrow, Chevron will be the last of the big five oil companies to release their numbers. The Center for American Progress will release two new columns—“Pump Pain, Big Oil Gain,” comparing rising oil profits to rising gas prices, and “Oil Roulette: Wall Street Wins, We Lose,” evaluating the consequences of speculation in the oil markets—to shed more light on the current situation driving up gasoline prices at the pump.

As the first quarter profits from the big five oil companies roll in, so do the $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies to these already highly lucrative oil companies through the next decade—preserved in Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget by gutting $30 billion from Medicare. While Big Oil rakes in windfall profit margins, they do nothing to ease the high prices facing American consumers at the pump and slowing our economic recovery. Despite Goldman Sachs’ assertion that every million barrels of oil held by speculators contributed to an 8- to 10-cent-per-barrel rise in the oil price, Republicans proposed eliminating one-third of the funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CTFC—the regulators responsible for policing commodity markets—rather than calling for robust investigations into possible manipulation of the markets.

Please join Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, Center for American Progress; Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform of the Doing What Works Project, Center for American Progress; and Michael Greenberger, Law School Professor, University of Maryland, and former director of the Division of Trading and Markets, Commodity Futures and Trading Commission, to talk about Big Oil’s profitable first quarter, the enormous tax subsidies they receive, the upward trend in retail gas prices, and the conservative push to cut funding for Medicare and the CFTC at a time when we need them most.

What: Press call to discuss the correlation between Big Oil’s 2011 first-quarter profits and prices at the pump, coupled with the need to eliminate tax subsidies to oil companies, reduce speculation, and prioritize Medicare and the CFTC in our budget considerations.

Who:

  • Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, Center for American Progress
     
  • Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform of the Doing What Works Project, Center for American Progress
     
  • Michael Greenberger, Law School Professor, University of Maryland, and former director of the Division of Trading and Markets, Commodity Futures and Trading Commission

When:

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 12:30 p.m. EST

Call info: 877.210.8943

Conference ID: 63055987

RSVP

Please contact Christina DiPasquale at cdipasquale@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8181.

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The Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. We combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.


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