Saturday, March 8, 2008

Black Gold Looks Greener as Exxon Drills Deeper into our Pockets

If you missed the breaking news about Exxon’s $40.6 billion profit, I don’t blame you! I guess you were hypnotized by the gas pump meter as it was drilling a hole your pocket. Here is the math for those who like numbers: if you break down $ 40.6 billion that’s $1287 each second nonstop 24/7. 2007 was Exxon’s best year ever, and the company is predicting even more profit for the 2008 fiscal year.
Now, I realize that companies need to make a profit, but this number is ridiculous, and it’s only going to get worse for the consumer. Imagine paying $5/per gallon at the pump… yes that is in the near future.
So how do big companies make huge profit? One word comes to mind MONOPOLY! The big oil companies own the refineries that control the output of the gas. 99 cent of each dollar spent on a gallon of gas goes to those refineries.
In 2005 Exxon Mobil was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission on allegations of price manipulation in the post-Katrina gasoline prices increase. The FTC found no evidence that Exxon was artificially manipulating the price of gas, and that the situation was part of the business cycle in the petroleum industry. According to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, “price gouging laws that have the effect of controlling prices likely will do consumers more harm than good.” “While no consumers like price increases, in fact, price increases lower demand and help make the shortage shorter-lived than it otherwise would have been," she added at the conclusion of her team’s investigation in 2005. How far from the truth is that?!? Especially as we see how gas prices have risen in the past couple of years.
Petroleum companies are very powerful entities, they have lobbyist working 24/7 to solicit politician to vote against any piece of legislature that will try to regulate their business. They even have the Vice President on their side.
So it all comes down then to “supply and demand” since the demand is so high and the refineries that are making the gas can’t keep up with this high demand end up raising the gas price. They own the refineries, the oil and the whole nine yards. In other words we are totally in deep shit and the government can’t do anything to help us out. And if things keep going this way I think I will be moving down south; way south all the way to Caracas, Venezuela where the gallon of gas is only 14 cents. Yup! You read it right! Only 14 God Damn Cents a Gallon!


Rex345 said...

The fact that Exxon has Dick Cheney in its hip pocket is exactly the reason why lobbyists are tearing apart the integrity of our politics. This monopoly that the oil companies have and are exploiting has been detrimental to the working class; some can no longer afford to own cars because of the outrageous gas prices. This is also why I support Barack Obama's decision not to use lobbyist money for his campaign. Now, once in office, he has no loyalties to price gouging companies like Exxon.

Daniel Tola said...

supply/demand economics should have no say over the gas situation. Let's face it, gas is perfectly elastic for americans unless you're in complete poverty. Everyone needs to get to work or run their next errand and our abysmal public transportation doesn't leave us an alternative. If the refineries can't keep up then maybe exxon should take their $40 billion in profit and make some more.