Exxon Quarterly Profits Reach Second Highest Level In History As Consumers Pay More
Exxon earned nearly $11 billion in the first quarter of 2011, a performance likely to land the company in the center of the national debate over high gasoline prices. –Associated Press
While BP and the US Government still are cleaning up the Gulf Oil Spill and US gasoline prices average $4.00 per gallon, Exxon defends its near record profits. Exxon stated it has no control over high oil prices. The oil giant said it is one of the highest tax payers in the US. The company cast federal subsidies as “legitimate tax provisions” that keep jobs at home. Exxon in turn cast itself as a victim of Washington scapegoating.
“They feel they have to demonize our industry,” said Ken Cohen, Exxon’s vice president for public affairs. What’s more, the company argued, it doesn’t even make that much money selling gasoline. Exxon’s profit of $10.65 billion for the first quarter was the highest since it made $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008, a record for a publicly traded company. That was also a time of $4.00 per gallon plus gasoline prices. Meanwhile, Shell announced $6.9 billion in profits and BP earned over $5 billion during the first three months of the year.
The Push To End Taxpayer Subsidies Of Big Oil Is Considered Unfair
The industry is fighting a renewed push from President Barack Obama and Democrats to end its $4 Billion a year in taxpayer subsidies. This week the industry’s lobbying group touted the 9.2 million jobs that depend on Big Oil and rolled out a study showing that oil and gas stocks are excellent investments for public pension plans. Meanwhile, gas prices have risen for 37 straight days. High gas prices ate into the nation’s overall economic growth in the first three months of this year. The economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate, slower than the 3.1 percent at the end of last year.
Exxon noted that only six percent of its profit came from refining and selling gas in the US. Other parts of its business, like selling oil and natural gas overseas, accounted for much more. Exxon officials said it would be unfair for President Barack Obama to end oil subsidies while keeping similar incentives for renewable energy. The Obama Administration and clean energy advocates argue that profitable companies do not need special tax treatment, while newer industries deserve breaks until they can establish themselves. Environmental groups say the industry needs no taxpayer help.
Effects On The Economy And How The Money Could Be Spent
“Why does an industry that makes this much money need $4 Billion in tax subsidies?” Asked Bob Keefe, spokesman for the Natural Resource Defense Council. “Why can’t we use that tax money to improve and expand other alternatives, increase vehicle efficiency and better public transportation that would reduce our dependency on oil?”
I notice that in the various newspapers that carried this story, as well as the Associated Press original do not bother to explain who or what does control and manipulate gasoline prices. This is rarely discussed and no solutions are offered. We accept whatever happens to the price of gas and crude oil as handed down from someone at the top of the pyramid somewhere. My observation is that it would almost appear that they are raising the prices on purpose for a negative effect on the economy. Also, a perceived oil shortage gives Big Oil a reason to invade US and Canadian public lands for oil drilling and development of environmentally destructive new extraction methods. See the blog post, “Big Wild, iLCP RAVE Sacred Headwaters by Paul Colangelo.” I find it quite curious that the economy is being manipulated through Oil Prices. I wonder why that would happen???