Tag Archives: oil company profits

Oil Companies Taking America for a Ride!

We in Washington State like to think we are pretty smart. So do most Americans. Then why is it that most Americans can’t see that the oil companies consider us suckers?

Maybe it’s because most people can’t see the simple relationship between cause and effect. Record gas prices. Record oil company profits. In a free market economy, oil companies are free to charge whatever they want. And that is what they are doing.

What the oil companies are doing is reminiscent of what ENRON did in raising the price of electricity, causing millions of homeowners and businesses to pay more for the same amount of electricity. Was there an energy crisis? Yes and no. The market was manipulated and artificial shortages were created. An illusion of energy shortages was created.

The average consumer had little recourse but to pay higher electricity bills because they were locked into an electrical grid to meet their basic needs. Electricity is basically a monopoly because you can’t go out in most cases and shop for an electric company like you now can for a cell phone company. And any semblance of consumer protection is more a mirage than reality.

As Consortiumnews.org notes

Bush personally joined the fight against imposing caps on the soaring price of electricity in California at a time when Enron was artificially driving up the price of electricity by manipulating supply. Bush”s resistance to price caps bought Enron extra time to gouge hundreds of millions of dollars from California”s consumers.”

The same thing is happening now regarding gas prices with the Republicans in Congress and Bush. They are supporting the oil industry that has a virtual monopoly on energy. Our economy is run on oil and we are addicted to oil. A transportation system dependent on individual cars and trucks, rather than adequate public transit, dictates a continued use of a commodity controlled by a few companies.

Under Bush and the Republicans, there is no regulation of the oil industry because it is contrary to their free market economy beliefs and against their patrons who put them into office. They say there is no price gouging for gasoline because the oil companies are free to charge as much as they want, as long as consumers are willing to pay. So far consumers have continued to pay. Unfortunately there are no alternatives for most people..

Oil companies have found that Americans are pretty gullible. Bush’s never ending war on “terrorism” is right out of George Orwell’s 1984. Iraq and terrorism get blamed for contributing to higher gas prices.

But many Americans now see that our invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Bush has no plan to end or win the war. He hopes that the continuing war will make those who started it seem legitimate, as terrorist actions continue. Unfortunately the Iraq War has fostered increased recruitment and training for new terrorists. It has not made us any more energy independent or secure.

Would we be in Iraq if not for oil? Would we be in the Middle East if not for oil? Is the tradeoff worth it, oil for increasing terrorist motivation and training.

The bottom line is really about oil and profits, while Bush and Rove insist otherwise. America’s problem is that oilmen in the White House and Congress, who are running our country, have no incentive to find real alternatives to oil, especially when they can rack up record profits. The Iraq War has become an unfortunate consequence of oilmen seeking to keep reaping outrageous profit from an economy dependent on oil.

Bush and his oilmen have no incentive to increase the mileage requirements for cars and trucks. They have no incentives to start a serious switch to energy independence and end our addiction to oil. They have made us the hostages in the process. Why should they care as long as we pay the higher prices?

Unfortunately these same oil companies , in racking up record profits, are taking the nickels and dimes and quarters of America’s low income and minimum wage workers to fuel their profits and growth. They are producing hardship for middle income families in paying bills and providing for heath care and education for their children. And the Iraq War is draining our society of money for basic human needs. The price we are actually paying for a free market economy dependent on oil is horrendous.

And what are the oil companies now doing? They are buying up alternative energy companies and building their own subsidiaries so they can continue their monopoly of America’s energy resources – to continue to reap as many profits as they can from selling energy to America’s citizens.

What American consumer’s need to think about is why they would think that the oil companies who seem to have no problem taking obscene profits now, and not worrying about hurting the lives of average citizens, are going to be any different with any other energy sources they might own in the future.

Americans really need to wake up and rally around ending our addiction to oil and working not just for energy independence from foreign sources , but also energy independence from price gouging energy conglomerates. Americans need to demand much more fuel efficient cars, more decentralized small sources of energy from wind and solar, and increased energy efficiency. These actions will increase America’s security and independence.

This isn’t going to happen as long as oilmen run the White House and Republicans control the House and the Senate. Our only hope is to boot the oil loving Republicans out of office and put Democrats in control. And then we will have to make sure they do the right thing for America.

Bush and Republicans Panic, Ask if They Can Buy Your Love (Vote) for $100

The lowest grade of gas in Seattle has now moved above $3.00 a gallon. Meanwhile oil companies profits move into the stratosphere. And the Republicans propose the answer is to further cut funding from already depleted government programs by giving you a $100 so you can buy more gas.

A Seattle PI editorial today calls it “Buying Votes“. Their weblink calls it “gasgimmicked”. And here I thought I was going to be the first to claim on my blog that it was a pretty blatant attempt by the Republicans to buy some love for themselves, at least until the November election is over. Well you know brilliant minds sometimes do think alike.

Anyway, just a couple of days ago Bush was not so subtly trying to blame rising gas prices on the environmentalists by saying it was those damn clean air laws doing it and maybe we should suspend them. After all, Bush is thinking to himself, all we need to do is call our effort something like the “new and revised healthy air initiative” and people would surely just take our word for it. You know, like a healthy forest is one where we cut trees down. They believed that.

Bush also tried to blame it on environmentalists by shedding tears that he couldn’t play oil magnate and drill for more oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. But think about it, where would the $100 come from?

One proposal circulating is to give you back some of your Federal gas taxes, for several months.
As the PI editorial notes, that does nothing to reduce demand for oil.It will merely cut money for other things our Federal Government does, like pay for education and health care. So in essence this proposal is true Republicanthink. Cut taxes and cut government. It does nothing to solve America’s addiction to oil.

Bush and his Republican cronies represent Corporate America and Corporate America is all about profits. And the oil industry is doing gangbusters there.

A Seattle PI business headline today says “Chevron earnings soar 49 percent to $4 Billion

“…the performance marked the fourth consecutive quarter that Chevron has earned at least $3.6 billion as the company continued to capitalize on oil prices that have climbed above $70 per barrel since the first quarter ended.”

So do you think Bush will go after Chevron profits. Bob Herbert in another article in todays PI entitled “Bush drives nation even closer to cliff” notes that Condoleezza Rice was “a former Chevron director, even had an oil tanker named after her.”
Meanwhile as posted in the Washington Post yesterday,

 “Exxon Mobil Corp.reported $8.4 billion in first-quarter profit.”

The earnings outstripped the oil giant’s profit in the first quarter of last year. Given current oil market conditions, analysts said, that puts Exxon Mobil on track to break the $36 billion record profit it made last year.

The Washington Post on Wed. noted that for ConocoPhillips, the U.S.’s third largest oil company, that:


“The Houston-based oil and gas giant said first-quarter net income rose 13% to $3.29 billion, or $2.34 a share, up from a year-ago profit of $2.91 billion, or $2.05 a share. Total revenue grew 23% in the latest three months to $47.9 billion from $38.9 billion in the same period a year earlier. ”

Altogether, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Conoco Philips 1st quarter 2006 profits topped $15 billion. O.K. One guess. Whose pockets do you think that $15 billion dollars came from.

So in this land of Republican free enterprise isn’t this what you would expect You are allowed to take as much as you want, charge as much as you want and do as you want with what you get. It’s part of the Corporate Republican agenda.

You are allowed to soak the public for as much as you can because we don’t need regulation of any sort. Did you ever hear Bush speak out against his buddies at Enron as they soaked the public, you and me, with preposterous electricity bills.

Why would you expect Bush and the Republicans to go against their own businesses, that helped put them into office? Don’t complain about high gas prices, those of you that voted for Bush.

Did you really think he had compassion? What he has is passion for corporations making money. Don’t you remember after 9/11. His speeches to the American public weren’t about energy independence, no they were about urging you to continue to buy and consume, to keep the corporations in business. Think about it.