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?
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.
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?