While the majority of Americans are fueling their cars with expired fermented Capri Suns and spray-on tanner because they can’t afford gasoline, the richest people in the world are jacking up prices in order to get richer.
New data has just come out showing BP extracted $29 billion in profits out of consumers in the U.S. last year, while executives vowed to give $2.75 billion back to wealthy shareholders.
That’s the American way! Steal from the poor, give to the rich.
This is one of the largest oil companies in the world in a time when fossil fuels need to be stopped completely if we want to survive on this planet! Is survival something you’re into? If you’re the average American, you’re into photos of the sourdough bread you made yourself, some new workout that involves jumping with your feet behind your head, and, of course, competitive slap fights.
But planetary survival? Maybe on the weekends.
BP’s $29 billion last year was a 110 percent increase in profit compared to 2021, when a majority (58 percent) said it’s difficult to afford gas.
BP is not alone among the fossil fuel giants.
Shell’s profits are up 110 percent, ConocoPhilips’s profits are up 131 percent, and ExxonMobil’s profits are up 144 percent. I haven’t seen that kind of exponential growth since I got that green fungus on my face from licking the underside of Bam Margera on a dare.
Here’s how Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable.US, put it:
In 2022, Big Oil barons like BP waged an all-out war on American consumers, ruthlessly squeezing every last dime out of working and middle-class people… Make no mistake, Big Oil’s never-ending greed was the central force driving the industry’s obscene price gouging, forcing families to pay artificially high prices for months on end.”
Basically, while the planet heats up and people suffer, the big oil companies are richer than ever and polluting more than ever.
A large 2017 study found that just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of all global emissions since 1988. Toward the top of that list are all of the big oil companies.
So how does this happen? How, during a global climate crisis that’s pushing us toward extinction, do you have the cause of said crisis selling more and getting richer than ever?
To begin with – as covered on a previous episode of this show – the fossil fuel industry is subsidized at a rate of $11 million per minute.
That’s per minute! All the externalities of the fossil fuel industry are paid for by you and me.
What does that mean? Well, let me pick an example that’s more relatable.
Let’s say you had to murder your middle school gym coach. Not when you’re in middle school – like 30 years later. We’ve all been there. You don’t just have to buy the knife. You have to buy a plastic tarp, a shovel, a ton of bleach, and one of those industrial-grade deli slicers. Maybe you have to hire a guy to help carry the body. Maybe you have to rent a truck. Maybe you have to pay another guy to promise to give you an alibi when the cops come knocking on his door. And maybe he realizes if he speaks up, you’re fucked, so he keeps raising the price of his alibi. Before you know it, you’re out tens of thousands of dollars to take out one coach. Those are all the externalities of the actual murder.
What was my point again? If you want to take out your gym coach from 30 years ago, start a GoFundMe. Do it early. Think ahead, kids. Wait, that wasn’t my point.
My point is nearly every cost associated with fossil fuel use is paid for by us – average citizens. The companies themselves do not pay for it.
Eleven million dollars a minute! That’s the only way they can take home so much profit.
Watch the full report above.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.