Chevron CEO: Let us drill everywhere, and we’ll hire a million workers

If only there were examples of how Big Oil, and Chevron specifically, failed to stay out of trouble when drilling everywhere. Hmm…

But of course, there’s that little $18 billion problem in Ecuador:

Chevron Corp has filed an appeal with Ecuador’s Supreme Court to review a judgment that the U.S. oil company pay $18 billion in damages for polluting the Amazon jungle. An Ecuadorian judge ordered the U.S. major to pay the damages after a fraught legal battle that has lasted nearly two decades and looks like it will run even longer.

And then the more recent drilling problem in Brazil.

A Brazilian prosecutor plans to file criminal charges against Chevron Corp and some of its local managers within weeks, adding the threat of prison sentences to an $11 billion civil lawsuit as punishment for a November offshore oil spill.

But besides a few multi-billion dollar lawsuits for massive oil spills, everything with Chevron is peachy and they promise to try harder next time.

But to be completely fair to the Chevron CEO, he didn’t say what type of jobs Chevron could create. Cleanup workers are still workers, right?

CNBC:

In the U.S., if more areas are opened to exploration, “there is an opportunity across public and private lands to create a million jobs a decade in this country,” Watson said. “There is opportunity to create trillions of dollars in tax revenue and make us energy self-sufficient.”

He also cautioned that imposing punitive taxes on the industry could curtail investment.

Chevron also has $22 billion on its balance sheet that it will continue to invest and return to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks. “We have plans to continue our strategy of increasing dividends as the pattern of earnings and cash flow permit,” Watson said.

BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig sinking

BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig sinking

And curiously, despite having a spare $22 billion – who doesn’t, really? – he’s warning about the threats of taxes on Big Oil.

The most profitable industry on the planet receives $4 billion every year in tax subsidies. It’s difficult to see how this highly profitable industry that has been around for a century is still struggling with its business model.

In the case of Big Oil, there must be a leadership problem if they can’t figure out how to be profitable after this many years. Even their fracking business is funded by taxpayers. It’s understandable to help an industry during the early years but in the case of Big Oil, justifying handouts after this long is puzzling.

So just for fun, change “Big Oil” to “unemployed welfare recipient” and see how the GOP would react. Isn’t it the GOP who is always promoting new plans to get welfare recipients off of welfare? Why is it different when it’s the most profitable industry ever who can’t ween themselves off of government help?

In light of this, why would anyone want to throw more money at Chevron and Big Oil?


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • lynchie

    What about all the capped wells in the gulf, in the Arctic and across the country. This is how they keep the prices up. We are basically giving them OUR natural resources and they are holding us hostage. The same with Fracking. The gas is going where exactly? What royalties are they paying and why is the price of natural gas not declining?

  • A reader in Colorado

    Well, when Romney’s criticism of Obama is that he didn’t let the oil companies drill enough on federal land, and Obama’s basic defense to this charge was, to paraphrase “we let them drill all they want, just use their drilling rights” there really is no conversation about anything except how generous to be to big oil, and the only argument in Washington is whether people are being generous enough to Big Oil.

  • lynchie

    Interesting little video on You tube on changing beliefs on Climate Change.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzw1dZNWiL8&feature=player_embedded

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    ^This, exactly.

    The oil companies aren’t even extracting the reserves they’ve already licensed and drilled. No doubt it’s because they’re trying to keep prices high, artificially, and to gain control over as much of the remaining world reserves as possible.

    What I’d like to know is how many thousands of Gulf coast fishermen were put out of business by the BP blowout spill. How many whose livelihoods were ruined by all the tar, oil, and toxic cover-up chemicals dumped into the water.

  • Naja pallida

    We already know this is complete and utter bullshit, because there are thousands of wells in the Gulf of Mexico alone, that were tapped and capped (like Deepwater Horizon was attempting to do), and sit there abandoned, without a rig pumping out the oil. Some have been abandoned for decades, even though there’s oil to be drilled there, because there is more profit to be made continuously starting new sites and getting access to new areas, instead of taking advantage of the ones they already have. They’re not even hiring extra inspectors to make sure those caps are holding properly, so many are degrading and leaking, mainly because there are no regulations requiring them to do so. Not to mention, they have leases on millions of acres of land where they haven’t even bothered to do the exploration on to see if they should bother drilling there.

    If the oil industry was going to hire more people, there’s no reason why they couldn’t now. There’s plenty of places for them to drill. They could put hundreds of thousands of people to work tomorrow if they actually took advantage of what they already have, but instead, they would rather do all they can to keep oil prices high, and keep raking in record profits.

  • nicho

    Big oil doesn’t want to drill. Big oil just wants the right to drill, so they can keep other people from drilling. If they start producing more oil, then the price goes down. If the price goes down, then their profits go down. That’s not going to happen!

  • Sally

    Yeah, just turn the entire US over to the oil companies. Hey, let’s thrown in anoth billion in subsidies for these poor struggling companies? Jobs? Ha. The only people getting rich on oil are the CEOs. In return for getting tax refunds and taking more and more subsidies, their WORKERS pay taxes on their incomes, while endangering their lives, ruining land and water and air, and always wanting to drill more. We already have more oil than we can use or export. Fracking will tear this nation apart, in more ways than one. But sure, GOP, keep whining and rallying for big oil. I guess the debt doesn’t matter when you realize we won’t even be here in 20 years.

  • Drew2u

    What the heck is the http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/ ?

    And how can it be ‘new’ when it was founded 15 years ago?

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