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War profiteers come to Washington

Bears, woodpeckers, and braying jackasses


This morning at 10:30 AM, Rep. Diane DeGette (D-Colo.) is chairing a hearing with six Big Oil CEOs on their pandemic and war profiteering. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices above $100 a barrel, 2021 was a banner year for the oil companies. They are siphoning billions of dollars from working families and pumping them to their investors—a massive wealth transfer to the top one percent.

The very wealthy witnesses:

  • Gretchen Watkins, Shell USA President: $23.1 billion in 2021 profits, $3.5 billion in stock buybacks in 2021

  • Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil Chief Executive Officer: $23 billion in 2021 profits, $14.9 billion in dividends in 2021

  • Michael K. Wirth, Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: $15.6 billion in 2021 profits, $11.6 billion in stock buybacks and dividends in 2021

  • David Lawler, BP America Chairman and President: $7.5 billion in 2021 profits, $4.15 billion in stock buybacks in 2021

  • Richard E. Muncrief, Devon Energy President and Chief Executive Officer: $2.8 billion in 2021 profits

  • Scott D. Sheffield, Pioneer Chief Executive Officer: $2.1 billion in 2021 profits, $1.9 billion to shareholders in 2021

Chevron’s Michael Wirth alone pulls in about $33 million a year, which is about as much money as all of the 18 members of Congress on the Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee and their staff are paid, combined.

Somehow I doubt the oil-subsidized Republican members are going to heed the IPCC’s warning that global oil and gas consumption needs to be cut nearly in half in the next two decades.

RUN FOR CLIMATE: From Saturday, May 14 to Monday, May 16, Lead Locally, working with Friends of the Earth Action and Run For Something, is holding an online candidate training for Green New Dealers across the country. In 2017, I worked with them on a candidate and campaign training for climate activists—I can’t recommend this enough. Whether you’re interested in running for local office, developing campaign skills, or simply want to meet like-minded activists, I encourage you to sign up or nominate a friend. I’m hoping this becomes an annual occurrence!

RUN AGAINST CLIMATE? Retiring Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is throwing his weight behind Val Hoyle, a long-time fan of the planned Jordan Cove natural-gas export plant, to be his successor in Oregon’s Fourth District. DeFazio openly despises progressive climate hawk Doyle Canning, who primaried him in 2020, and helped lead the successful fight against Jordan Cove. Oregon’s congressional primaries will be held on May 17. Doyle deserves your support.


Wtch this: Vera Farmiga, rocking out some Iron Maiden:

Let’s give the last word to Amory Lovins:

“Putin’s war is being financed by those who buy Russian fossil fuels. In the first two weeks the west has paid €8 billion to Russia. We have a new energy crisis, and efficiency is the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest and fastest way to address it.”

Now catch that woodpecker!

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