Biden Spars With Oil Executives Over Industry’s Record Profits

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Politics

President Joe Biden on Friday chided the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies after he argued that the fossil fuel giant was providing relief to everyday Americans by using its surging profits to boost dividends for investors.“Can’t believe I have to say this but giving profits to shareholders is not the same as bringing prices down for American families,” Biden wrote in a post on Twitter.AdvertisementCan’t believe I have to say this but giving profits to shareholders is not the same as bringing prices down for American families.— President Biden (@POTUS) October 28, 2022

Biden was responding to remarks that Exxon Mobil Corp.’s CEO Darren Woods made during an earnings call after the company announced it raked in a stunning $19.66 billion in third-quarter profits — the most of any quarter in the company’s 152-year history.“There has been discussion in the US about our industry returning some of our profits directly to the American people,” Woods said on the call, according to Bloomberg. “That’s exactly what we’re doing in the form of our quarterly dividend.”Biden has repeatedly slammed oil companies for using their skyrocketing profits to buy back stock and reward shareholders instead of boosting production in order to provide consumers relief at the pump. He furthered that attack ahead of the third-quarter earnings blitz.Advertisement“My message to the American energy companies is this: You should not be using your profits to buy back stock or for dividends,” Biden said during a speech last week at the White House. “Not now. Not while a war is raging. You should use those record-breaking profits to increase production and refining. Invest in America for the American people.”As of Friday, four of the world’s five largest oil companies — Exxon, Chevron, Shell and Total — had reported nearly $50 billion in combined third-quarter profits, driven by elevated gas and fuel prices. Along with $9.5 billion in profits, Shell raised its dividend and announced plans to buy back $4 billion in stock in the fourth quarter.For months, oil majors have resisted calls to reduce stock buybacks and dividends. And when the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas surveyed 139 industry executives earlier this year, a majority — 59% — cited investor pressure as the main reason producers have not ramped up production.During a speech in Syracuse, New York, on Thursday, Bi …

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