ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, No. 1 and No. 2 on the Fortune 500 Global companies list, announced their third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Compared to last year’s earnings, both companies’ profits are down slightly — 7 percent for Exxon and 15 percent for Shell — on weaker oil prices. However, ExxonMobil and Shell earned $9.6 billion and $6.1 billion respectively, bringing their total 2012 profits to $35 billion for Exxon and $18.9 billion for Shell.
These two companies, along with the rest of the Big Five, continue to receive century-old annual tax breaks. At the same time, Exxon and Shell funnel a portion of their dollars toward lobbying against environment and public health protections, while also funding climate denier candidates. This summer, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said that he recognized carbon pollution causes warming, but minimized the full impact saying “those consequences are manageable.” Meanwhile, extreme weather damages in the U.S. alone have potentially cost up to $144 billion since 2011.