Democrat John Fetterman on Thursday accused the oil industry of making huge profits, arguing that companies are rewarding shareholders rather than aggressively investing in new supply.
“Big Oil has made yet another record profit by preying on Americans with gas pumps,” Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Fetterman said in a statement.
Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, noted that Shell made it clear on Thursday. Quarterly profit more than doubled to $9.5 billion. The British company has repurchased $4 billion in shares and raised its dividend by 15%, promising to put more money into shareholder compensation.
“Instead of investing that money in America’s energy production and lowering costs for families, companies are paying themselves through stock buybacks to keep prices high and feed their own pockets,” Fetterman said. I was. “This practice should be severely restricted.”
The industry’s largest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, responded by pushing back against Mr. Fetterman’s attempt to blame companies for the high prices.
API spokesman Andrea Woods told CNN: “The claim that gasoline prices are determined by market forces rather than individual companies and that prices at pumps are not a function of supply and demand is false.
The oil industry is notorious for going from boom to bust. Earnings have surged alongside prices in recent quarters, allowing the industry to recover some of the severe losses it experienced in 2020 when prices turned negative.
But US oil production hasn’t recovered as fast as profits. This is partly because fossil fuel companies are under intense pressure from Wall Street to return cash to shareholders instead of investing in expensive drilling profits.
ExxonMobil posted net income of $17.9 billion in the second quarter. $2,245.62 per second for each day of the quarterChevron earned $1,462.11 per second. Both Exxon and Chevron are expected to announce results on Friday morning.
“Gasoline still costs about $4 a gallon in Pennsylvania. We need to bring the price down now and we need to take action,” Fetterman said.
statewide average Regular Gasoline in Pennsylvania According to AAA, it is $3.93 per gallon, up from $3.80 a month ago. Gasoline prices rose to a record high of $5.07 a gallon he in June.
Fetterman’s campaign evoked opposition oil industry ties, pointing to campaign donations from oil and gas companies to Dr. Mehmet Oz’s campaign.
“Dr. Oz won’t stand up to Washington’s special interest lobbyists. He has more sympathy for these wealthy CEOs than the average Pennsylvanian,” said Fetterman.
The Oz campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.