Biden’s FTC Blocks Big Oil Price Fixer

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Here’s more on that executive’s history of colluding with OPEC and on Exxon’s practice of using its record profits for executive pay and stock buybacks, not to lower prices at the pump: 

The FTC Found That Scott Sheffield, Pioneer’s Founder, Past CEO, And Board Member “Colluded With OPEC” To Raise Crude Oil Prices. “The FTC said Thursday that Scott Sheffield, who founded Pioneer in 1997, colluded with OPEC and OPEC+ to potentially raise crude oil prices. Sheffield retired from the company in 2016, but he returned as president and CEO in 2019, served as CEO from 2021 to 2023, and continues to serve on the board. Since Jan. 1, he has served as special adviser to the company’s chief executive.” [Associated Press, 05/02/240]

ExxonMobil’s Profits Of $55 Billion Is The Most Any US Or European Oil Corporation Has Ever Made In A Year. ExxonMobil earned nearly $56 billion in profit in 2022, setting an annual record not just for itself but for any U.S. or European oil giant.” [NPR, 01/31/23]

ExxonMobil Used Its Extraordinary Profits To Boost Its CEO’s Total Compensation By $12.3 Million. The compensation package included a $6 million bonus and represented a 52% change over the previous year. [Securities and Exchange Commission, accessed 07/08/23]

ExxonMobil Began A $10B Share Buyback Effort in January 2022 Thanks to Its 2021 Profits. “Cash flow from operating activities increased to $48 billion, the highest since 2012. We used the available cash to restore our balance sheet, essentially paying back what we borrowed in 2020, reducing our debt-to-capital ratio to about 21%. As a result of our restored financial strength, we increased the annual dividend for the 39th consecutive year and announced a $10 billion share repurchase program that started last month.” [Motley Fool, 02/01/22]

CEO Darren Woods Said High Energy Prices Allowed Exxon to Have Capital to Conduct Share Buybacks “We are back on track to deliver the growth and earnings and cash flow we anticipated,” CEO Darren Woods said in an online event organized by the New York Times. Exxon can grow results “with a lot less capital.” Its recent cost cutting coupled with higher energy prices provides “capital that we can put into (share) buybacks,” Woods said. [OE Digital, 11/10/21

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