Today’s (final) Chart of the Year is from the Center for American Progress, and it shows the relationship between oil prices, gasoline prices, and oil company profits.
What does this chart mean?
Big oil companies make larger profits when oil and gasoline prices are high. These revenues come from the pockets of everyday Americans. The five biggest oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – have already made $100 billion in profits during the first three quarters of 2011 due to high oil prices. Yet they and other big oil companies have fought tooth and nail this year to retain tax breaks worth $4 billion annually. — Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow, Center for American Progress