State of American Polluters
The oil and gas industry’s lobbying arm, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to put on their annual “State of American Energy” presentation for media, political, and opinion leaders in Washington, DC. Every year they paint a rosy picture of America’s corporate oil and gas giants and attempt to greenwash the industry’s environmental impact while laying out a pro-polluter policy agenda. Here are just some of the things that the API won’t be talking about during their presentation.
Raking In Record Profits At Consumers’ Expense
Accountants are still crunching the numbers on the industry’s profits for the full 2022 financial year, but by the end of the third quarter of 2022, oil and gas companies had already reported over $327 billion in profits, a record high. Some early projections indicate that Exxon might announce over $56 billion in annual profits with Chevron potentially bringing in $37 billion in 2022. Oil & gas companies achieved these profits through squeezing Americans at the pump with record-high gas prices.
Big Spending Helped Build Political Power
Oil companies spent over $34 million to elect members of Congress who deny the reality of the climate crisis and support policies that only benefit Big Oil. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has taken $2.68 million in campaign contributions from oil & gas in his career, making him the number one House recipient of Big Oil’s campaign cash. Big Oil also has also given Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers $934 thousand and Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman $417 thousand over their careers. Additionally, the incoming Republican freshman class received over $1 million from the oil & gas industry in the 2022 campaign cycle.
The oil & gas industry also spent $91 million lobbying Congress in 2022. API alone spent over $3 million on lobbying in 2022 and over $6 million to support their chosen candidates in the 2022 election cycle.
House GOP Allies Are Set To Block Clean Energy Progress
House Republicans are poised to act to protect Big Oil. Republicans already committed to ending the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which successfully incorporated climate policy considerations into seemingly unrelated legislation. The Committee on Oversight and Reform will now investigate the Biden Administration’s “war on U.S.-made fossil fuels”, according to Committee Chair James Comer, a complete 180 from the Committee’s previous investigatory work on oil & gas greenwashing. Republican leaders also plan to investigate Department of Energy loan programs expanded under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Beyond Committee actions, Congressional Republicans will prioritize passing legislation to increase domestic oil production and roll back regulations. Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman said an energy package will likely be one of the first pieces of legislation considered, with a bill to limit Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases based on domestic oil & gas productions an early candidate.
In 2022, the oil & gas industry came under fire for greenwashing. A House Oversight Committee report found that oil & gas companies lied to the American public about their work to reduce emissions while taking no real action to address their large contribution to the climate crisis. Internal documents clearly showed company executives’ contempt for climate action, despite pouring millions into advertisements and reports that espouse the “low carbon” investments of oil & gas companies.
Oil & gas companies, including Exxon and Chevron, pledged to increase “clean energy” spending in 2023. However, the proposed increases are still tiny compared to the companies’ planned investments in oil & gas production.
Meanwhile, The Industry Continues To Pollute
The oil & gas industry remains committed to driving the climate crisis. Exxon and Chevron already announced plans to spend more than 80% of their energy spending on traditional oil & gas. BP plans to spend $7.5 billion on oil and gas projects, compared to $3 to $5 billion on green energy. These investments are fully inconsistent with the emission reductions needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Q3 Oil And Gas Profits Explained
Oil and gas companies posted (more!) record high earnings this quarter. Total adjusted earnings of the 20 largest oil companies in the U.S. were $62.672 billion this quarter, bringing total year to date profits to a massive $261 billion.
- Oil and gas companies pushed gas prices 44% higher, driving their profits 151.6% higher than third quarter earnings in 2021.
- Big Oil’s price bonanza isn’t ending anytime soon, with winter heating prices expected to be 28% higher for American households than last year.
And who benefits from this massive increase in prices and profits? Big oil companies, working to enrich their CEOs and stakeholders instead of lowering costs for Americans at the pump.
- Oil companies spent over $43 billion on dividends and stock repurchases last quarter, representing 68% of profits. No matter how much Exxon’s CEO wants us to believe their dividend payments return “some of their profits directly to the American people,” buybacks and dividends fund their billionaire shareholders, not American families.
Excess profits aren’t being invested to increase production, a move which would eventually lower prices. The only priority for oil and gas CEOs is growing their dividends and expanding share buybacks; Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Chesapeake Energy, Marathon Petroleum, Marathon Oil Corp., Phillips 66, and APA Corp. all announced increased dividends or increased stock buybacks for the fourth quarter, clearly illustrating their commitment to shareholder value above all else. One thing oil and gas CEOs are investing in is greenwashing.
- A study of five major international oil and gas companies – BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies – found they spent just 12% of their capital expenditure budgets on low-carbon or renewable investments last year, despite 60% of their messaging containing claims the company was going green. These greenwashing companies made over $57 billion last quarter.
Despite a focus on green messaging in public, oil and gas companies aren’t politically putting their money where their mouth is either.
- The industry spent over $90 million on lobbying so far this year, trying to convince Congress to lift restrictions on fossil fuel development and weaken methane leak regulations.
- Beyond directly lobbying, the industry spent $24 million working to elect their Republican allies to Congress.
- Over 80% of that money went toward Republican candidates who campaigned on increasing domestic oil and gas production.
Big Oil is putting profit above planetary survival. The industry and its products are one of the largest drivers of climate change, which is fueling extreme weather events globally.
- At the same time, Big Oil companies’ profits this quarter were 8.7 times higher than the cost of extreme weather events over the same time period.
- The profits are enough to cover 90% of estimated damage from Hurricane Ian.
- Globally, profits from the six largest oil companies so far this year are enough to offset the cost of climate-intensified extreme weather events over the same period, with some left over.
Let’s be clear: Big Oil is profiting off planetary destruction and padding billionaire executives’ bottom lines while the fuels they sell drive extreme weather globally.
Table 1: Year-To-Date Profits Of Major Oil Companies
Amounts in millions. Hyperlinks go to earnings announcement filings.
|Company||Q1 2022 Adjusted Non-GAAP Earnings||Q2 2022 Adjusted Non-GAAP Earnings||Q3 2022 Adjusted Non-GAAP Earnings||Year-To-Date Adjusted Non-GAAP Earnings|
|APA Corp||$ 668||$ 811||$ 651||$ 2,130|
|Cheniere Energy Inc||$ 3,153||$ 2,529||$ 2,782||$ 8,464|
|Chesapeake Energy||$ 436||$ 729||$ 730||$ 1,895|
|Chevron||$ 6,543||$ 11,365||$ 10,784||$ 28,692|
|ConocoPhillips||$ 4,289||$ 5,086||$ 4,590||$ 13,965|
|Coterra Energy Inc||$ 818||$ 1,083||$ 1,126||$ 3,027|
|Diamondback Energy Inc||$ 929||$ 1,309||$ 1,142||$ 3,380|
|Devon Energy||$ 1,255||$ 1,707||$ 1,429||$ 4,391|
|EOG Resources||$ 2,346||$ 1,614||$ 2,179||$ 6,139|
|EQT Corporation||$ 334||$ 340||$ 522||$ 1,196|
|ExxonMobil||$ 8,833||$ 17,551||$ 19,660||$ 46,044|
|Halliburton||$ 314||$ 442||$ 544||$ 1,300|
|Hess||$ 404||$ 667||$ 583||$ 1,654|
|Marathon Oil Corp||$ 749||$ 934||$ 832||$ 2,515|
|Marathon Petroleum||$ 2,639||$ 5,687||$ 3,857||$ 12,183|
|Murphy Oil||$ 361||$ 647||$ 637||$ 1,645|
|Occidental Petroleum||$ 2,127||$ 3,240||$ 2,465||$ 7,832|
|Ovintiv Inc||$ 559||$ 629||$ 369||$ 1,557|
|Phillips 66||$ 595||$ 3,285||$ 3,122||$ 7,002|
|Pioneer Natural Resources||$ 1,982||$ 2,401||$ 1,872||$ 6,255|
|Valero Energy||$ 944||$ 4,609||$ 2,796||$ 8,349|
|BP||$ 6,245||$ 8,451||$ 8,150||$ 22,846|
|Enbridge||$ 1,705||$ 1,350||$ 1,366||$ 4,421|
|Equinor||$ 17,991||$ 17,590||$ 24,301||$ 59,882|
|Shell||$ 9,130||$ 11,472||$ 9,454||$ 30,056|
|TC Energy||$ 1,103||$ 979||$ 1,068||$ 3,150|
|TechnipFMC||$ (13)||$ 8||$ 13||$ 8|
|TotalEnergies SE||$ 17,424||$ 9,796||$ 9,863||$ 37,083|
|Totals||$ 93,863||$ 116,311||$ 116,887||$ 327,061|
Table 2: Year-To-Date Dividend Spending Of Major Oil Companies
Amounts in millions. Hyperlinks go to quarterly reports
|Company||Q1 2022 Dividend Spending||Q2 2022 Dividend Spending||Q3 2022 Dividend Spending||Year-To-Date Dividend Spending|
|APA Corp||$ 43||$ 43||$ 41||$ 127|
|Cheniere Energy Inc||$ 86||$ 565||$ 251||$ 902|
|Chesapeake Energy||$ 210||$ 298||$ 280||$ 788|
|Chevron||$ 2,700||$ 2,800||$ 2,700||$ 8,200|
|ConocoPhillips||$ 864||$ 988||$ 1,484||$ 3,336|
|Coterra Energy Inc||$ 456||$ 484||$ 519||$ 1,459|
|Diamondback Energy Inc||$ 107||$ 541||$ 526||$ 1,174|
|Devon Energy||$ 667||$ 830||$ 1,007||$ 2,504|
|EOG Resources||$ 1,023||$ 1,486||$ 1,312||$ 3,821|
|EQT Corporation||$ 47||$ 93||$ 149||$ 289|
|ExxonMobil||$ 3,760||$ 3,727||$ 3,685||$ 11,172|
|Halliburton||$ 108||$ 217||$ 327||$ 652|
|Hess||$ 119||$ 116||$ 115||$ 350|
|Marathon Oil Corp||$ 52||$ 56||$ 106||$ 214|
|Marathon Petroleum||$ 330||$ 643||$ 285||$ 1,258|
|Murphy Oil||$ 23||$ 27||$ 39||$ 89|
|Occidental Petroleum||$ 216||$ 323||$ 324||$ 863|
|Ovintiv Inc||$ 52||$ –||$ 62||$ 114|
|Phillips 66||$ 404||$ 467||$ 1,337||$ 2,208|
|Pioneer Natural Resources||$ 1,073||$ 1,788||$ 2,052||$ 4,913|
|Valero Energy||$ 401||$ 800||$ 1,186||$ 2,387|
|BP||$ 1,068||$ 1,062||$ 1,140||$ 3,270|
|Enbridge||$ 1,742||$ 1,743||$ 1,741||$ 5,226|
|Equinor||$ 582||$ 1,310||$ 1,256||$ 3,148|
|Shell||$ 1,950||$ 1,851||$ 1,818||$ 5,619|
|TC Energy||$ 853||$ 885||$ 885||$ 2,623|
|TechnipFMC||$ –||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|TotalEnergies SE||$ 1,928||$ 1,825||$ 5,630||$ 9,383|
|Totals||$ 20,864||$ 24,968||$ 30,257||$ 76,089|
Table 3: Year-To-Date Stock Buyback Spending Of Major Oil Companies
Amounts in millions. Hyperlinks go to quarterly reports
|Company||Q1 Stock Buyback Spending||Q2 Stock Buyback Spending||Q3 Stock Buyback Spending||Year-To-Date Stock Buyback Spending|
|APA Corp||$ 261||$ 291||$ 332||$ 884|
|Cheniere Energy Inc||$ 25||$ 170||$ 640||$ 835|
|Chesapeake Energy||$ 83||$ 475||$ 109||$ 667|
|Chevron||$ 1,300||$ 2,500||$ 3,800||$ 7,600|
|ConocoPhillips||$ 1,425||$ 2,300||$ 2,799||$ 6,524|
|Coterra Energy Inc||$ 184||$ 303||$ 253||$ 740|
|Diamondback Energy Inc||$ 7||$ 303||$ 472||$ 782|
|Devon Energy||$ 211||$ 324||$ 126||$ 661|
|EOG Resources||$ 43||$ 15||$ 37||$ 95|
|EQT Corporation||$ 216||$ 216||$ 270||$ 703|
|ExxonMobil||$ 2,067||$ 3,919||$ 4,494||$ 10,480|
|Halliburton||$ –||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|Hess||$ –||$ 190||$ 150||$ 340|
|Marathon Oil Corp||$ 592||$ 760||$ 1,714||$ 3,066|
|Marathon Petroleum||$ 2,846||$ 6,177||$ 3,908||$ 12,931|
|Murphy Oil||$ –||$ –||$ –||$ –|
|Occidental Petroleum||$ 36||$ 532||$ 1,899||$ 2,467|
|Ovintiv Inc||$ 71||$ 135||$ 325||$ 531|
|Phillips 66||$ –||$ 66||$ 760||$ 826|
|Pioneer Natural Resources||$ 276||$ 499||$ 511||$ 1,286|
|Valero Energy||$ 144||$ 1,892||$ 2,769||$ 4,805|
|BP||$ 1,592||$ 2,288||$ 2,876||$ 6,756|
|Enbridge||$ 50||$ 101||$ –||$ 151|
|Equinor||$ 439||$ 304||$ 1,996||$ 2,739|
|Shell||$ 3,472||$ 5,541||$ 4,950||$ 13,963|
|TC Energy||$ –||$ 1,000||$ –||$ 1,000|
|TechnipFMC||$ –||$ –||$ 50||$ 50|
|TotalEnergies SE||$ –||$ 1,988||$ 5,160||$ 7,148|
|Totals||$ 15,340||$ 32,289||$ 40,400||$ 88,030|
Climate Change Driving Rapid Hurricane Intensification
Hurricanes Are Strengthening Faster Because Of Climate Change
Hurricane Ian’s wind speeds increased from 120 to 155 miles per hour in the 24 hours before it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, a textbook definition of rapid intensification. According to the National Hurricane Center, rapid intensification is an increase in the maximum sustained wind speed of a tropical cyclone of at least 35 miles per hour in a 24 hour period. Ian is one of many devastating hurricanes, including Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017, Hurricane Michael in 2018, and Hurricane Ida in 2021, that experienced rapid intensification before making landfall.
Rapid intensification is particularly dangerous for coastal communities. Stronger storms are a larger threat to coastal areas, as soaring wind speeds exponentially increase storm damage. Additionally, rapid intensification means coastal communities have less time to prepare for stronger storms. For example, Hurricane Ida jumped from a Category 2 to a Category 4 storm in less than 24 hours, preventing officials from calling for mandatory evacuations because there was not sufficient time for the millions in the storm’s path to get off roads before the storm hit.
Unfortunately, rapid intensification is becoming more common because of climate change. The oceans absorb over 90% of excess atmospheric heat, which is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. These warming waters act as fuel for hurricanes, increasing the amount of energy released through winds and storm surges. Hurricane Ian’s rapid intensification occurred over Caribbean waters that are nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. Scientific studies of rapid intensification found a “highly unusual” upward trend between 1982 and 2009, indicating climate change is a large contributing factor.
Hurricanes will become stronger, faster, without climate action. A recent study found intensifications of 70 miles per hour or more within 24 hours of landfall used to be a 1 in 100 year event, but could happen every 5 to 10 years by 2100 without aggressive climate action. Major metropolitan areas, including Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Miami are all at risk. Another paper found that climate-driven changes to Atlantic wind patterns could allow storms to intensify closer to shore, magnifying the threat from rapid intensification.
Q2 Q&A On Oil & Gas Profits
Our Research Team Answers Your Questions About Big Oil’s Big Profits.
While Americans were struggling with record high gas prices, oil and gas giants were raking in billions of dollars. Climate Power Education Fund’s research staff tracked the quarterly earnings announcements, financial statements, and other public records for 28 publicly traded oil and gas companies to see where all of those hard earned dollars that were spent at the pump ended up. We’ve got the receipts on Big Oil’s profiteering, and we’re here to answer your questions.
Q: How Much Money Did Oil Companies Make Last Quarter?
A: According to President Biden, “more money than God”
That actually checks out if you consider that donations to religious charities bring in about $128 billion per year (that’s the full year, not just a single quarter).
The 28 companies that Climate Power Education Fund tracked brought in a combined $116.3 billion in adjusted earnings (Table 1), or $120.6 billion in net income under U.S. GAAP accounting rules (Table 2). At an annualized rate, these companies booked more in earnings than the projected 2022 GDP of 158 countries.
On average, these companies saw their quarterly profits increase 231% year-over-year (Table 1).
Q: Where did all the money go?
A: Stock buybacks and dividends, mostly.
The companies that we tracked spent $35.27 billion on stock buybacks and $31.56 billion on dividends, for a total of $66.87 billion funneled to shareholders (Table 3). This has been a bonanza for billionaire investors and executives whose compensation is tied to stock values.
We won’t get the full picture of just how big of a deal this was to CEOs and major investors, but the data from 2021 gives us a pretty clear picture. According to the Forbes billionaires list, American billionaires whose wealth came primarily from oil saw their personal wealth increase by another billion dollars on average in 2021.
With compensation packages often tied to stock performance and options, CEOs and executives do far better when the company’s focus is on making their stocks attractive to investors, rather than the actual productivity of the company. In fact, when we reviewed 2021 CEO compensation data, we saw CEOs making anywhere from 50 times the median worker income to as high as 291 times the median worker’s income (Table 4).
Q: Did they reinvest money back into raising production to help lower prices?
A: Not significantly.
In a competitive market economy, high prices should incentivize companies to reinvest capital to increase production, eventually bringing prices back down.
The thing is, oil company executives made it clear earlier this spring that they have no intention to reinvest their massive cash surpluses, and they clearly don’t feel any pressure to change course because they know that they’ll still be able to sell their product at any price, and higher prices bring in more money.
Check out what they had to say in their own words:
- “The first financial priority is to grow the dividend. We’ve done that for 35 consecutive years, increased it 6% earlier this year. It’s up 20% since right before COVID, and it’s doubled since 2010.” – Chevron CFO Pierre Breber, 7/29/2022
- “I think we’ve accomplished a mindset shift in Chevron, and this is throughout our workforce, being very focused on returns, not chasing a production target, but continuing to run this as a business and thinking about the returns we can get.” – Chevron Executive Vice President Jay Johnson, 7/29/2022
- “So what we are seeing is significantly lower production, but we’re really the value over volume coming through and it’s really working.” – Shell CFO Sinead Gorman, 7/28/2022
- “People have asked me at $100 oil at $150 oil are you going to grow more than 5% and the answer is no. We’re just going to return more cash back to the investor, so I just don’t think we have an obligation to grow production, because we’ve done it twice. We’ve added too much oil several different times over the last ten years and we’ve had a price collapse.” – Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield, 12/7/2021
Q: Do these oil companies at least pay taxes on all of their enormous profits?
A: LOL, no.
Again, data for the current quarter is limited, but for the full year in 2021, we identified 19 U.S. based companies that paid an average effective tax rate of 2.86% on current U.S. federal income tax. Six of these companies paid nothing (Table 5).
Going forward into 2022, we can reasonably expect that business as usual for these oil and gas companies means they will continue paying far lower income tax rates than ordinary Americans unless Congress closes tax loopholes.
We estimate that they managed to avoid $8.5 billion in federal income taxes versus what they would have paid if they actually paid the full 21% corporate tax rate. A 15% corporate minimum tax like the one being considered in the Inflation Reduction Act would have forced them to pay $6 billion more than what they paid last year (Table 6).
Another provision in the Inflation Reduction Act would make corporations pay a 1% surtax on stock buybacks. If these oil companies kept spending money on stock buybacks at the rate they spent this last quarter for an entire year, they would owe $1.4 billion in taxes under the proposed stock buyback tax (Table 7).
Q: Who else benefited from Big Oil’s cash surplus?
A: Republicans in Congress.
Thanks to data provided by the Center For Responsive Politics, we know that the oil and gas industry has given at least $18.2 million in campaign contributions so far in the 2022 cycle, with more than 40% of that total coming in just the last quarter alone. $14.1 million, or 77% of that total went to Republicans.
With plenty of money to throw around in elections, the oil and gas industry is able to get access that helps them influence things like the Trump tax cuts and coronavirus aid packages that gave them billions in handouts. They’re also able to use that influence to block action on climate change.
Q: Are you telling me that they’re just throwing a bunch of money at politicians and getting what they want?
A: Yup, pretty much.
So far, the oil and gas industry overall has spent at least $63.5 million on lobbying efforts this year, after a whopping $119.4 million in 2021.
Check The Stats
Table 1: Adjusted Earnings
Table 2: GAAP Net Income
Table 3: Stock Buybacks & Dividends
Table 4: CEO Pay
Table 5: Effective Tax Rates
Table 6: Hypothetical Taxes Avoided
Table 7: Hypothetical Stock Buyback Surtax
ICYMI: CBO Budget Outlook Warns Of GDP Losses From Climate Change
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office warns that climate change will reduce GDP as well as output on labor productivity. However, successful investments in mitigating climate change are expected to produce federal budget savings and benefit the private sector.
Source: Congressional Budget Office, “The 2022 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” July 2022
- CBO determined that “climate change will reduce GDP,” with real GDP in 2052 being 1% lower than it would have been if climatic conditions from 2022 – 2052 were the same as they were at the end of the 20th century.
- Climate change is expected to reduce output on labor productivity, labor supply, and the private sector’s production costs:
- Total factor productivity (TFP) is set to grow more slowly over the next 30 years than it did in the past 30 years, in part, due to climate change.
- CBO estimates TFP growth over the 2022–2052 period will be lower by on average 0.02 percentage points per year due to climate change. As a result, TFP will be about 0.7% less and GDP about 0.5% less in 2052 than would have been without the effects of climate change.
- The report noted that “though CBO’s extended baseline projections incorporate some effects of climate change, unexpected and significant changes to the climate still pose a sizable risk to the federal budget.”
- Increased frequency and severity of climate disasters could require increased funding, in the form of emergency disaster relief or infrastructure protection, for example, above amounts projected by the CBO.
- CBO determined that successful investments in mitigation or adaptation are expected to produce federal budget savings by reducing physical damage, increasing land and outdoor labor productivity, and lowering health care costs.
- Efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change could provide long-lasting budgetary savings, as well as deliver benefits to the private sector and other governments. Ineffective policies could impose costs on all levels of government without yielding budgetary savings or other benefits.
What You Need To Know About The Oak Fire
The Oak Fire in Mariposa County, near Yosemite National Park, has quickly become California’s largest wildfire this year at more than 17,241 acres. The fire has destroyed homes, forced thousands to evacuate, and closed roads in the area. Fire officials said the fire is displaying “unprecedented” behavior, with the blaze’s “extremely fast” growth limiting the time authorities have to warn residents to evacuate. CalFire Chief Jon Heggie noted the fire “is a direct result” of climate change, with a combination of rising temperatures, megadroughts, and an abundance of dry vegetation leaving forests vulnerable to fire. California is projected to have an above-normal wildfire season this year.
- The Oak Fire has burned 17,241 acres in Mariposa County near Yosemite National Park. The blaze is California’s largest wildfire this year and is only 16% contained as of Monday evening.
- The fire started on Friday near the town of Midpines and exploded in size over the weekend due to gusty winds, drought conditions, and temperatures that reached 100 degrees. Officials have not determined the cause of the fire.
- The area has seen nearly two weeks of triple digit temperatures and low humidity, and vegetation is at almost record levels of dryness. Officials reported last month that vegetation was already as dry early in the summer as it would typically be in October.
- The fire is burning through an area of Mariposa County that hasn’t seen wildfires since 1924.
- The Oak Fire is the third blaze to burn near Yosemite in recent weeks, and is far larger than the Washburn Fire, which threatened ancient giant sequoias.
- The fire has destroyed at least 55 structures, forced several thousand residents to flee, and caused numerous road closures, including the closure of a stretch of State Route 140, one of the main routes into Yosemite National Park.
- Parts of the Sierra National Forest, which partially overlaps with Mariposa County, were closed to the public due to the fire on Sunday.
- The Oak Fire is threatening multiple mountain communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills west of Yosemite National Park, including Lushmeadows, Midpines, Jerseydale, and Bootjack, from which about 6,062 people had been evacuated as of Saturday afternoon.
- As of Sunday, about 3,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders and nearly 2,000 more were warned they may need to leave soon.
- As of Monday, Pacific Gas & Electric reported about 2,676 homes and businesses in Mariposa County have lost power due to the blaze.
- On Saturday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County, allowing the deployment of additional emergency personnel. More than 2,500 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Monday.
- Smoke from the Oak Fire traveled as far as the Bay Area on Monday, with an air quality advisory for the area extended through Wednesday. On Sunday, smoke had already drifted nearly 200 miles north to South Lake Tahoe, where air quality was considered “hazardous to unhealthy.”
- Currently, 100% Mariposa County is affected by drought, and 2022 is the driest year to date for the county.
- As well as the Oak Fire, 4 additional large wildfires are burning in California.