Sunday, June 22, 2008

Has Anyone Asked The Oil Companies This Question?

[Insert Ranting Here]

Everyone (at least, everyone I know) is staggering over the cost of putting gasoline in their vehicles.

Prices range from $4/gallon - $5/gallon around the country.

The oil companies cry poor mouth, and have 10 different answers, six-ways-from-Sunday, on why they can't lower the price ... That it's out-of-their-hands ... It's a global market, classic supply-and-demand stuff.

And, it just so happens that these companies are recording, through this awful, terrible time, RECORD PROFITS!

Chevron posts record $18.7 billion profit

Soaring oil prices lifted Chevron Corp.'s annual profit to $18.7 billion in 2007, the fourth consecutive year that the San Ramon company made record amounts of money.

Other companies have made even more. Exxon Mobil, the country's largest oil company, reported on Friday that its 2007 profit hit $40.6 billion, a 3 percent increase from 2006, while sales passed $404 billion. No American business has ever scored a higher profit.
ABC News asked a question, fairly recently;

Should the Oil Industry Make a Profit?; As Gas Prices Soar, the Oil Industry Rakes in Billions in Profits
BP yesterday reported a staggering 63 percent surge in first quarter net profit to $7.6 billion, and Royal Dutch Shell posted a 25 percent increase to $9.1 billion. Last week, ConocoPhillips reported a 16 percent rise in net income to $4.1 billion.
I have to speculate, that if the dining rooms and restaurants that are patronized by the politicians (and lobbyists) that populate the Nation's Capital, suddenly jacked up their menu prices by 63%, you'd hear some serious howling, followed by a blizzard of new legislation (or the threat of such).

And for the question I am going to ask, I fully understand that the Oil Companies will have more answers to it than a month of Jeapordy Championships, all in their intricate, byzantine, M.C. Escher-like logic.

So, adopting the Denzel Washington approach, from the movie 'Philadelphia', I ask the Oil Companies "explain it to me like I'm a four-year-old."

If you lower the cost of gasoline, by 50%, to, say $2/gallon, isn't that adequate profit for you?

In the case of Chevron, from above, that would mean they would have $20.3-Billion profit.

Maybe in the the big, my-oil-derrick-is-bigger-than-yours world, a $20.3-Billion profit isn’t much, but I would wager a majority of people would consider it a pretty staggering amount.

How much is a company like BP (as above) going to suffer if they have "only" a 31.5% profit surge?

Something tells me that if this happened organically, naturally, via the classic, supply-and-demand route, the Oil Companies would still be smiling and sucking on big cigars.

So, perhaps Congress should haul in these extremely obese fat cats and put that to them.

Their speeches should be littered with words like "Windfall Profits", "Market Manipulation", and "Price Gouging".

Perhaps, especially with a new President and Congress on the horizon, it can be noted to these extremely obese fat cats that their subsidies and tax breaks are going to disappear ... That they are going to have to fend for themselves much in the manner of the average American citizen.

That the days of baking their cakes, and eating them too - and then shitting all over us are over.

The government, short of nationalizing the industry, can't force them to lower their prices, but they sure-as-hell can hit them in their wallets, much in the same manner they are pulverizing ours.

Bonus Links

You're Kidding ... Bug Shit!

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Exxon Will Celebrate Largest Annual Profit Ever For A U.S. Company

White House Besieged With Would-Be Energy Inventors As Bush Backtracks From Pledge; All Looking To Cash In On President's New Energy Initiative - If Only President Meant It

Top Ten Cloves: Things About The Rocket Scientists' Party, Yuri Night

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