• Business Business

Major oil companies report robust earnings and large payouts to investors: 'They remained enormously profitable'

"Is this the only future left for us?"

"Is this the only future left for us?"

Photo Credit: iStock

While Big Oil cashes out, our planet's health goes up in smoke.

Oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron just reported record profits for fiscal year 2023, raking in their highest earnings in a decade by pumping out fossil fuels at breakneck speed — despite research that demonstrates oil and gas expansion pushes our planet toward catastrophic warming.

The New York Times reported "they remained enormously profitable and have been taking steps to enhance the performance of their core businesses."

What's happening?

"In 2023, we returned more cash to shareholders and produced more oil and natural gas than any year in the company's history," Mike Wirth, CEO of Chevron, said in a statement.

ExxonMobil and Chevron aren't the only companies expanding production. Wael Sawan, CEO of Shell, said his company plans to increase production by half a million barrels of oil a day by 2025.

"They will enable us to continue providing the energy that the world needs while delivering cash flow," he said, per DNYUZ.

Why is this concerning?

Oil and gas account for over 75% of planet-warming pollution and nearly 90% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the United Nations.

The choice to double down on drilling locks us in to a polluted future even though clean energy alternatives already exist. More fossil fuel production means more heat-trapping gases are released into the atmosphere, leading to increased rates of respiratory disease worldwide and extreme weather conditions such as flooding and fires.

Young people worldwide ask, "Is this the only future left for us?"

What's being done?

The price of clean energy from solar and wind drops yearly even as renewables grow more popular across both red and blue states. Shifting our dollars away from oil and gas and toward electric cars and solar panels is a win-win for our wallets and the planet. Our purchases help shape the future.

Cities and states nationwide have committed to 100% clean energy, while countries globally ratchet up commitments under the Paris Agreement. Clean energy jobs are booming, already outnumbering fossil fuel jobs in the United States, according to the World Economic Forum.

What can I do?

We can make our opinions known by using our voices and our wallets. Call on lawmakers to invest in communities transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables, and make the switch yourself: Ride a bike once a week, organize a cleanup in your neighborhood, go solar on your roof.

Building a safe climate future is like playing with Legos: Each small choice adds up to something incredible. Install LED bulbs, buy local food to cut transport pollution, turn off lights when they're not in use. By acting together, we can turn climate anxiety into climate change.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider