Massive corporations raking in huge profits cry foul over being forced to pay their fair share for developing taxpayer-owned resources 

WASHINGTON, DC — Some of the wealthiest companies in the world and their lobbyists and political allies are up in arms over the Biden administration’s changes to force the oil industry to pay their fair share.

Big Oil CEOs are paying themselves handsomely off the massive profits they’re making drilling on public lands. What’s worse is that they've only been paying a pittance for developing public minerals. The Biden administration was right to hold accountable these companies for their rampant exploitation of taxpayers and consumers.”

Chris Marshall, a spokesperson for Accountable.US.

While big oil lobbying groups are decrying the rule, the big oil corporations who lock up the most acres of public lands are showing they can afford the modest increases, announcing billions in new profits and multi-million raises for their wealthy CEOs. 

A 2023 Accountable.US analysis identified for the first time found that just five publicly-traded corporations lock up over a quarter of all public lands leases. Now, as Interior’s final rule is published, each of these companies is bragging to shareholders about massive profits and dividends while giving huge pay increases to their CEOs.


  • ExxonMobil exceeded expectations with a $36 billion profit in 2023. 
  • ExxonMobil gave its CEO Darren Woods a pay boost of more than $1 million over the previous year. 
  • ExxonMobil paid out $14.9 billion in shareholder dividends and bought back $17.2 billion in stocks.


  • ConocoPhillips Made $11 billion in profits in 2023. 
  • ConocoPhillips gave its CEO R.M. Lance a pay boost of $798,000.
  • ConocoPhillips also returned $11 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks. 

Devon Energy

  • Devon Energy exceeded analysts’ expectations by turning a $3.75 billion profit in 2023. 
  • Devon Energy spent $2.1 billion on stock buybacks. 
  • Devon Energy hasn’t published CEO pay increase data yet. 

EOG Resources

  • EOG Resources made $7.59 billion in 2023. 
  • EOG Resources gave its CEO Ezra Yacob a pay increase of $1.9 million in 2023. 
  • EOG Resources spent $3.4 billion on dividends and $1 billion on stock buybacks. 

Occidental Petroleum

  • Occidental Petroleum made $4.69 billion in 2023. 
  • Occidental gave CEO Vicki Hollub a pay increase of $2.7 million. 

Read Accountable.US’s full research report here


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