Environment

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Oil companies pulled in record profits in 2022, as oil prices skyrocketed.

Revenues for the biggest integrated European and American oil companies nearly doubled during 2021. Profits soared.

But that has also spurred backlash from consumer advocates and political leaders.

“Oil companies’ record profits today are not because they’re doing something new or innovative,” President Joe Biden said Oct. 31. “Their profits are a windfall of war — the windfall from the brutal conflict that’s ravaging Ukraine and hurting tens of millions of people around the globe.”

The industry has said the depiction of oil companies as greedy war profiteers is false.

“You continue to hear this administration talk about the need for more supply, but they propose windfall profits, taxes or price gouging, or they lock up federal lands for oil and gas development,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics, and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute. “They talk about the need for permitting reform and more infrastructure, but then they turn around and cancel pipeline projects.”

And while oil companies raked in cash in 2022, their fates are closely tied to the price of oil — when it falls, they lose. They are also bracing for a world where the demand for oil is expected to decline. They are predicting that decline themselves.

Watch the video to learn more.

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