One month after dumping 500,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in Arkansas, the mostvaluable and profitable corporation in the world ExxonMobil announced higher first quarter profits. Exxon earned $9.5 billion in the first quarter, compared to $9.45 billion last year, and Exxon’s total oil and natural gas production declined 3.5 percent.
Meanwhile, Exxon is exempt from paying taxes toward the oil spill liability fund that helps clean up spills like in Arkansas, where wildlife have been killed and covered by oil. The 1980 law exemption applies to diluted bitumen so companies escape paying the 8-cents-per-barrel fee to the fund that helps clean up hundreds of spills each year. At the federal level, Exxon’s tax rate comes to only 13 percent.
Here is how else Exxon spends its dollars, and what it receives in return:
– Exxon spent $12,970,000 on lobbying in 2012 to protect low tax rates and block pollution controls and safeguards for public health. In the first three months of 2013, Exxon spent $4.84 million lobbying.
– The company sent $3.6 million in total political contributions to PACs, candidates, and outside groups for the 2012 election cycle, and 89 percent of contributions went to Republicans. It has spent over $76,000for the 2014 cycle so far.
– Exxon receives an estimated $600 million in annual federal tax breaks. In 2011, Exxon paid just 13 percent in taxes. The company paid no federal income tax in 2009, despite $45.2 billion record profits.
– In the first quarter, Exxon bought back $5.6 billion of its stock, or 59 percent of its profit, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives of the company.
– This year, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson received a 15 percent raise to a $40.3 million salary.