Washington, D.C. — Amid widespread fear mongering from Big Oil companies about the Biden’s administration’s environmental policies and their effects on the industry, reports have shown the industry’s CEOs and shareholders are doing better than ever — raking in record profits while attempting to paint the industry as struggling. 

A new report from S&P Global shows that top oil and gas executives saw their personal compensation increase this year, even as they warned that Biden’s policies would hurt the industry. In some cases, CEO pay skyrocketed by triple digit percentages even as employees were furloughed. CNBC also reports that Chevron and Exxon have brought in banner earnings in the second quarter of 2021, with more companies still left to report.  

“Oil and gas executives want people to believe the industry is struggling, but their paychecks tell a very different story,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Big Oil companies try to talk a good game about supporting President Biden’s work to protect the climate, but in reality, they look for any excuse to be hostile to meaningful climate action — even when the numbers don’t back it up. If these executives are looking for reassurance, they should look no further than their own wallets.” 

Big Oil CEOs’ pattern of public fear mongering while privately rejoicing about profits is consistent with their first quarter earnings period. Amid leaders’ public handwringing in the first three months of 2021, they boasted “momentous” profits that far “exceeded our expectations” behind closed doors with investors. ExxonMobil even described their portfolio as “the best we’ve seen in 20 years.”  


  • “Independent producer Continental Resources Inc. occupied the top spot on a list of the 10 top-earning CEOs in the oil, gas and coal industries, S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows, with William Berry raking in $29.2 million even as the company’s stock price plummeted over 50% during the period.” [S&P Global]
  • “Denbury Inc., another independent producer, increased its top executive’s pay 341% to $22.4 million in 2020 before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 30. Oilfield services giant Halliburton Co.’s Jeffrey Allen Miller was the third-highest paid CEO and saw his compensation rise nearly 75% to $22.1 million even as the firm furloughed some employees.” [S&P Global]
  • “Chevron and Exxon on Friday reported profits for the second straight quarter as improving demand for petroleum products and a jump in oil and gas prices boosted operations. Chevron also reinstated its share repurchase program, signaling confidence in its future earnings.” [CNBC]
  • “The good news for oil and gas investors: The long-suffering sector is on course for a repeat of a stellar first quarter by posting blowout earnings, again, in large part due to an increase in oil and gas prices. Three-quarters of energy companies that have reported earnings have exceeded expectations, while half have managed to surpass revenue expectations.” [Oil Price

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