Climate and Economic Justice Advocates Urge FTC to Block Big Oil Consolidation

November 8, 2023 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, the American Economic Liberties Project, along with Climate Power, Demand Progress, Sierra Club and eighteen additional signatories—a coalition of advocates for economic and climate justice—sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to investigate and block recently proposed mega-acquisitions by Big Oil firms ExxonMobil and Chevron.

“These acquisitions mark a dangerous escalation in Big Oil’s dominance, threatening to raise prices at the pump and stifle innovative energy solutions,” said Erik Peinert, Research Manager at American Economic Liberties Project. “Our nation’s antitrust laws were originally designed to break the stranglehold that powerful companies like Standard Oil had on the nation’s economic and democratic life. Now, the FTC must use its authority to prevent already dominant firms like Exxon or Chevron from consolidating their power to block the growth of competitive and renewable energy sources. These deals carry grave consequences for our economy, our democracy, and the future of our planet — which is why we, and so many others, are calling on them to be stopped.”

Exxon, the largest global non-state-owned fossil fuel corporation, is proposing a $59.5 billion takeover of Pioneer Natural Resources, an acquisition that would provide it access to significant U.S. reserves in Texas. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is proposing a $53 billion purchase of Hess. The proposed acquisitions are two of the largest M&A deals this year and some of the largest in the history of the oil and gas industry. This follows a letter to the FTC sent last week by 23 Senators, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, expressing concerns about consolidation in the industry and its effects on oil prices.

The full list of signs on to the letter includes Accountable.US, American Economic Liberties Project, Center for Climate Integrity, Climate Power, Demand Progress, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, Indivisible Civics, League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn, NC Alliance to Protect Our People and the Places We Live (NC-APPPL), NextGen America, Oil Change International, Open Markets Institute, Other98,, Progressive Change Institute, Revolving Door Project, Sierra Club, and Unrig Our Economy.

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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.