Briefing: The Executives Meeting With Trump About Oil Industry ‘Relief’ Raked in a Combined $100 Million in 2018

by Ryan Schleeter

April 2, 2020

Between salaries, bonuses, stock options, and other compensation, these seven executives earned at least a combined $100 million in 2018 alone. But they’re in Washington to ask for relief after oil prices plummeted to around $20 per barrel this week.

Washington, DC — Tomorrow, executives from at least seven oil companies will meet with Donald Trump at the White House to discuss relief for the fossil fuel industry as oil prices crashed to nearly $20 per barrel this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, the meeting will include ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, Occidental Petroleum CEO Vicki Hollub, and former Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm. CNBC has reported that the meeting will also include Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren, Phillips66 CEO Greg Garland (also chair of the American Petroleum Institute), and Devon Energy CEO David Hager [1].

Greenpeace USA has compiled a briefing detailing each of those executives’ net worths, annual compensation, and political contributions, as well as each company’s lobbying expenditures and notable ties to the Trump administration. Between salaries, bonuses, stock options, and other compensation, these seven executives earned at least a combined $100 million in 2018 alone. 

Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said:

“Where the rest of the world sees a global health and economic crisis, fossil fuel CEOs see an opportunity to line their pockets. We cannot let our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic be driven by corporate executives looking to exploit a crisis for their own gain instead of supporting healthcare providers and working families. Nurses need masks. Hospitals need ventilators. Workers need paychecks. People need help all over this country. And what is Trump doing? He’s making sure oil executives have golden pandemic parachutes. It’s disgraceful.”

“As the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic rises, Trump is choosing to spend his time behind closed doors with people who made millions off destroying our planet. The best support we can give to workers and communities who depend on the fossil fuel industry isn’t a no-strings-attached corporate bailout, it’s a just transition to jobs in the sustainable industries of the future. That means guaranteeing pensions, benefits, and wage insurance; investing in job retraining opportunities; strengthening unions; and supporting community tax bases for an economy that will restore our environment rather than destroy it.”

Read the full briefing here.

Tomorrow’s meeting will come one week after Trump signed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package responding to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic [2]. The deal includes $500 billion in funding for corporate interests to be allocated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with minimal congressional oversight. Despite significant pushback from activists and progressive lawmakers, there are multiple pathways for fossil fuel corporations to access those funds without guaranteeing the money would go to protecting workers and not enriching shareholders. In a letter sent to Mnuchin yesterday, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) requested that federal funds be made available to oil and gas companies through the CARES Act [3].

Congress is expected to begin negotiations on a phase four stimulus package later this month, which could include additional Green New Deal-style investments in renewable energy job creation, low-carbon public transportation, energy-efficient and affordable housing, and a just transition away from fossil fuels.

ENDS

Notes: 

Read the full briefing here: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/meet-the-oil-executives-visiting-the-white-house-to-discuss-relief-for-the-industry-with-trump/

[1] While the meeting itself was confirmed by the American Petroleum Institute and sources close to the matter, the specific participants have not yet been named by the White House. These executives are reported by the Wall Street Journal and CNBC to be in attendance and have a history of attempting to influence the Trump administration on energy and financial policy.

[2] The full text of the CARES Act stimulus package is available at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3548/text

[3] Senator Murkowski’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin is available here: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=files.serve&File_id=9CF3FD9E-DF7B-4B4F-931D-E5B9C0AE7829

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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