The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic. Filthy Lucre…How Oil Companies are Profiting off the War on Ukraine
Dear Diary. In light of the atrocities at Bucha, which is a suburb of Kiev in Ukraine, it’s time to pause and look at one aspect of how Putin is funding his rancid war…mainly via the sale of oil and gas. One note…there is no real need for me to continue to repost Twitter pictures of dead chopped up bodies from Bucha or anywhere else in the war theatre. By now, we all get the point that Putin is responsible for war crimes. I’ll continue to add articles at the end of each daily post on the war as long as it lasts, though.
Today’s highlighted article is short but not so sweet. Today it has been reported by Common Dreams that billions are being funneled to fat cat shareholders of oil companies financing Putin’s war. It has been said that everyone has a price. Dear reader, what sum of money would you personally require in order for a now illegal, by international standards, war to continue? Would $1 million, $50 million, or $100 million or more ease your conscience, letting you look the other way? War profiteering has always been a thing, especially since the invention of the gun, but now it is intersecting with the climate crisis. Please take a gander:
For Immediate Release Tuesday April 5, 2022, 12:23pm EDT Public CitizenContact
Phone: (202) 588-1000
Report: Big Oil, Profiting Off of War, Plans to Return $45 billion to Investors in Share Buybacks While Boosting Dividends
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine extends into a second month and consumers continue to suffer at the pump, a new report highlights how the largest U.S. oil and gas companies are profiting. The report draws on oil and gas company securities filings to highlight that the companies have authorized spending a combined $45 billion for purchasing and retiring their own stock, directly enriching insiders and other shareholders.
The analysis comes a day after lawmakers wrote to Big Oil executives demanding a stop to stock repurchases and a day before six Big Oil CEOs are scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Although oil companies have blamed high gas prices on modest environmental reforms by the Biden Administration, the vast majority of oil executives are curtailing production to satisfy demands from Wall Street, according to survey data from the Dallas Federal Reserve.
The report finds:
- In the first two months of 2022, seven companies’ boards authorized the repurchase of $24.35 billion in stock — a 15% increase over all of the buybacks authorized in 2021. Six of those decisions came in February 2022, after Russian warmongering lifted stock prices. The total since the start of 2021 is $45.6 billion.
- More than half the companies boosted their dividends, often extravagantly, in January and February. Of the 11 companies raising their dividends, nine were increases of more than 15% and four were increases of more than 40%. Eleven companies have increased their payouts by at least 100%, some from zero, since the first quarter of 2021.
- Six companies have begun paying additional dividends on top of their routine quarterly payments, including by implementing new variable dividends based on company earnings. So far in 2022, these companies have started paying out an initial $3 billion in special windfall dividends.
“This is a master class in war profiteering. Oil and gas companies are feeding off humanitarian disaster and consumer suffering in order to reward Wall Street,” said Lukas Ross, climate and energy program manager at Friends of the Earth. “Oil companies drove us into a climate crisis and are now price-gouging us to extinction. Congress and President Biden must take action by passing a windfall profits tax to rein in Big Oil’s cash grab.”
“Big Oil is living the second half of their unspoken mantra ‘socialize losses, privatize gains,’” said Chris Kuveke of BailoutWatch. “Two years after winning multi-billion dollar bailouts from the Trump Administration, these newly flush companies are pocketing billions from an international crisis, and they don’t care how it affects regular Americans.”
“Big Oil executives are reaping windfall profits while accelerating the climate crisis and sticking consumers with the bill,” said Alan Zibel, a Public Citizen researcher. “The oil industry and their allies on Capitol Hill falsely claim that the Biden administration’s acceptance of mainstream climate science is stifling investment in the domestic oil industry. But the industry’s actions show that they are intently focused on funneling cash to their shareholders rather than lowering prices for consumers.”
Here are some “ET’s” recorded over the last couple of days:
Here is some more March 2022 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid war on Ukraine:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”