SACRAMENTO – Oil company profit reports for 2022 are rolling in and the numbers tell the story we’ve suspected all along: Big Oil reaped record amounts as California families were fleeced at the pump.
Five major oil companies have reported their 2022 profits, smashing last year’s highs:
- Exxon: $55.7 billion — setting a company record and bringing in $6.3 million an hour
- Chevron: $36.5 billion – doubling their 2021 profits, with executives flaunting their “outstanding results” in an earnings call
- Marathon: $14.5 billion — Q4 profit of $3.32 billion surged 331% from previous year
- Valero: $11.6 billion – 866% higher than the previous year
- Phillips 66: $11 billion — Q4 profit of $1.9 billion up 46% over Q4 2021
“While Californians were being ripped off at the pump last year, Big Oil’s bottom line ballooned to levels never seen before in history – making record profits off the backs of hard-working families. Then they flaunt it to their investors while refusing to even answer Californians’ questions about high prices. They’re ripping you off. That’s why, with the Legislature, we’re going to pass a price gouging penalty to hold Big Oil accountable,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Governor took on Big Oil’s top lies in a new video. Watch here.
Gas prices reached a high of $6.42 per gallon last fall, a record $2.61 more per gallon than the national average. Last fall’s spike occurred while crude oil prices dropped, state taxes and fees remained unchanged and gas prices did not increase outside the western U.S., so the high prices went straight to the industry’s bottom line.
This spike in gasoline prices resulted in record refiner profits of $63 billion in just 90 days, disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income families, driving inflation higher and making it harder for California families to make ends meet.
Taking action to lower prices at the pump, Governor Newsom in September ordered the switch to winter-blend gasoline and demanded accountability from oil companies and refiners that do business in California.
The Governor convened a special session of the Legislature in December to pass a gas price gouging penalty to keep oil refiner profits in check. Also in December, five major oil refiners refused to attend a state hearing to investigate the unprecedented spike in gas prices.
The Governor’s price gouging penalty would discourage oil refiners from fleecing Californians by making it unlawful to charge excessive profits. Excessive refiner margins would be punishable by a civil penalty issued by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Any penalties collected will go to a new Price Gouging Penalty Fund and then sent back to Californians as a rebate.