There's only a very tiny difference between the two in meaning, and both are correct grammatically, so to some degree the choice comes down to ease of expression, style, etc; e.g formal vs chatty tone, simple vs longer expression. But I would generally prefer the second sentence.
Difference in meaning
There's a very subtle semantic difference, to do with when the action happens.
"We are helping" and "we are ruining" are verbs using the present continuous tense, whereas "we help" and "we ruin" are simple present tense. Present continuous typically signifies something happening concurrently or in an ongoing sense, whereas simple present is used for an activity that takes place habitually.
[Technically, this reflects the grammatical aspect of the verb, although it would be rare for a native speaker to learn this at school - they're more likely to simply learn what "sounds right"].
The word "whenever", on the other hand, suggests a degree of timelessness: it could be now, or in the future, or even in the past. "Whenever" is a bit like saying "when always" (though we never say "when always"!). For this reason, using the simple present tense makes a bit more sense.
Whenever we drive, we help the automobile company and basically ruin
Equivalent to: "Each time we drive, we help the automobile company..." or "when we drive, we always help the automobile company...".
Ease of expression
The first expression includes the word combination "and are basically", where the subject ("we") is implied. There's nothing wrong with this formulation, and in spoken English we cut corners like this all the time, but when it's written down it looks slightly awkward, and we would therefore tend to avoid it by adding the implied subject:
Whenever we drive, we are helping the automobile company and we are
basically ruining the environment.
However, this is sounding a bit wordy; in fact there are now four extra words compared to the simple present tense version. Again, the latter version wins because it's shorter and simpler.