Big Oil Lied About Creating American Jobs


Just days ago, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act, a proposal that is expected to cost between $300 billion and $400 billion and contain a mix of tax cuts and infrastructure projects.

In an attempt to undercut Obama’s jobs plan, the American Petroleum Institute released a report outlining Big Oil’s own jobs plan: A promise to create over one million jobs in the next decade in exchange for free license to drill for oil anywhere they want, on land or at sea.

Oh, and they’ll need to expand tar sands oil production too.

But a new report by the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee challenges the claim that oil and gas companies are dedicated to American job creation and helping American consumers and the country emerge from its fiscal crisis.

The report, “Profits and Pink Slips: How Big Oil and Gas Companies Are Not Creating U.S. Jobs or Paying Their Fair Share” includes these major findings:

  • Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP combined to reduce their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees over that time.
  • Just in 2010 alone, the top five oil companies (the above four, plus ConocoPhillips) reduced their global workforce by a combined 4,400 employees, while making a combined $73 billion in profits.
  • Even with these job losses, the top five companies paid their senior executives a total of nearly $220 million in 2010.
  • Taxpayers will hand out nearly $100 billion in tax breaks and loopholes to oil and gas companies in the coming decades.

The report reveals the true nature of the fossil fuel industry: selfish. These statistics show that in addition to eliminating jobs in the past few years, Big Oil’s warm and fuzzy proposition would only accomplish one thing: stuffing more taxpayer money into its own already-overflowing pockets.

Instead of ravaging the Earth for the last batch of toxic oil and gas she contains, why not focus on making a product that will help America create a more secure energy future?

Consider these findings from a truly independent economic study published earlier this year:

  • Though modest in size, the clean energy and tech industries already employ more workers than the fossil fuel industry; some 2.7 million jobs spread across a diverse group of industries.
  • Overall, today’s clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 percent.
  • Roughly 26 percent of all clean economy jobs lie in manufacturing establishments, compared to just 9 percent in the broader economy.
  • The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole.

“Obama’s challenge now is to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and its supporters in Congress who are misleading the American public by insisting that regulation kills jobs, and that a clean-energy future isn’t viable. That’s the “race to the bottom” the president mentioned in his speech,” writes Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“In the end, the whole “jobs versus environment/public health” argument is nothing but a rhetorical crutch for polluters.  The sooner we (and the media) call them on their B.S., the sooner we can win the “race to the top” for all Americans,” Brune continues.

I couldn’t agree more.


Image Credit: Flickr -


Robert Redfield
Robert S. R7 years ago

THE "problem" is exactly Obama's ability to stand up to an enormously powerful and corrupt - evil - industry.

Unfortunately, Obama's stand(s) taste of Republican Corporatism: the laise faire of Geithner &Co. and the distortions and enivironmental give aways and betrayals of Salazar and Jackson.

We shall see.

But I don't see much real hope

Claire M.
Claire M7 years ago

The base of the problem is simple. The big oil companies do not want to spend money developing better energy sources The question I have as its become pretty obvious that they do not only want to not move beyond oil but have issues maintaining current safety standards [even though those standards are pathetically weak] is, where does all their money go? Back into the system that keeps them protected from the public and helps them turn laws to help maintain an old dangerous system of energy I think. Its not really about oil in the end , its about the brotherhood and keeping interlopers out of it and protecting their grandfathered power base. If you control the world's energy needs, then you control the world.

Randy A.
Randy A.7 years ago

Here's a novel readers of this site will eat up
SPILL: Big Oil Sex = Game On
in which a fired English teacher scams the political system, gets the girl, the money and a killer skaterboarder video game.

joseph c.
joseph costa7 years ago

Big oil is the the problem for the country. Turn them into state run systems and do away for the profits we have today and watch how America will again rebuid instead of fighting the oil companies and going no where fast.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson7 years ago

Big oil needs to pay big taxes and have LOTS of REGULATION .The waterfowl in the Gulf of Mexico say "DON'T TRUST BIG OIL ! THIS STUFF KILLS US!!!"

Frank Pickens
Frank Pickens7 years ago

Big Oil SUCKS and is continuing to ruin our country. Big Oil needs to be put out of business...they are the biggest lowlifes of all.

Aleksandra Lipka-kadaj

who is for adding a petition a week to our polititians at all levels?

Cesar V.
Cesar Villanueva7 years ago

what a surprise....oil companies lying once again

Becky S.
Becky S7 years ago

Unbelieveable! Who do these guys think they are??!! Of course they're going to need to hire more people to operate all the additional drills they'll be putting in our national parks, on our beaches and everywhere else they have thus far been banned from going. That they think they can have a free pass and go wherever they want just show the level of arrogance they're operating at.

Berny P.
berny p7 years ago

This big oil disease is owned by the Democrats and Republicans both.

Until we admit it and demand more from our politicians, we will never stand a chance of going green.