Exxon Mobil Corporation is the the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly and – along with BP, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total S.A. – one of the five global oil and gas ‘supermajors’.
“Over the past two years [2009-2010], ExxonMobil reported $9.91 billion in pretax U.S. profits. But it enjoyed so many tax subsidies that its federal income tax bill was only $39 million – a tax rate of only 0.4 percent.”
“Even when Exxon Mobil had a record profit of $40 billion in 2008 due to record oil prices it had only a 31 percent effective tax rate. That’s 13 percent lower than the maximum 35 percent despite being Exxon Mobil’s fifth year as the top corporate earner in Fortune 500’s annual listing. The company paid NO TAXES AT ALL to the U.S. federal government in 2009 on its domestic profits of nearly $2.6 billion. It appears that they avoided the tax man that year by legally funneling their profits through wholly owned subsidiaries in countries like the Cayman Islands, and reinvesting their earnings overseas… More striking still is the discrepancy between Exxon Mobil’s rates and those of most American breadwinners. The company’s effective rate of 17.6 percent is nearly 16 percent below the average individual federal tax rate, which according to the Congressional Budget Office was 20.4 percent as of 2007.”
It is not by accident that one of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations gets to keep so much of its earnings. In 2010 alone, Exxon Mobil spent $12.45 million keeping an army of 50 mostly ‘revolving-door’ lobbyists marching up and down the halls of Congress maximizing its federal income tax loopholes while minimizing all those pesky environmental protection and anti-trust regulations:
This of course leaves them with plenty of cash for PR propaganda campaigns aimed at whitewashing their corporate image to not only wipe away unpleasant memories of the Exxon Valdez oil spill but also distract attention from inconvenient truths like their #2 ranking among the Toxic 100 Air Polluters in the U.S.:
That disclosure of course tags Exxon Mobil as a key contributor to the larger “Inconvenient Truth” of Global Warming, and the response of their spinmeisters has been to flood our corporate-controlled media with authoritative-sounding denials that such a thing even exists. And while Wikipedia entries are often incomplete, inaccurate or subjectively skewed, in this case the supporting references that follow indicate they got it right:
“A recent analysis by Carbon Brief from 2011 concluded that 9 out of 10 climate scientists who claim that climate change is not happening have ties to ExxonMobil. The results showed that out of the 938 papers cited by climate sceptics, 186 of them were written by only ten men, and foremost among them was Dr Craig D. Idso, who personally authored 67 of them. Idso is the president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, an ExxonMobil funded think tank. The second most prolific was Dr Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who receives roughly 40% of his funding from the oil industry.”
* “Two days after [this report] was published, [Philip] Cooney resigned his position as chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and got a job at ExxonMobil. However, his resignation was planned months before the memo was leaked and he had already accepted the position at ExxonMobil.”
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