Posts Tagged ‘BP Oil Spill’

Exxon Profits $11 Billion As Oil Prices Skyrocket

May 5th, 2011

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

Solar Panels Abstract, San Luis Obispo County, California, copyright 2011 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. Alternative energy develops despite Big Oil's attempts to lobby against it. Why use up all the oil? Why not conserve it? We need it to build solar panels. The irony is that Shell Oil bought out Siemen's in 2002. Siemen's is the world's largest solar panel manufacturer.

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???

My Favorite Photos Of 2010

January 7th, 2011

Mirror Lake, Mist, Winter, Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

For the next 10 or more years, in some ways the rest of my life, I have my work assignment: representing my father, prominent Western landscape photographer Philip Hyde. Also, you may or may not notice from this blog, but I consider myself a writer first and a photographer as a sideline, at least for quite some time to come.

Edward Weston’s Darkroom, Wildcat Hill, Carmel Highlands, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

My secret to making it into print in the past was to edit several more times than I do when I write blog posts. However, I haven’t made any print or online magazine submissions recently.

Fall Color, Summit County, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

Even though I am still interviewing people for my book, I hope to get a chance to do more regular magazine writing this year. Perhaps I will even write about other interests besides my father, his photography and life, as is my focus here and during the majority of days.

Mission San Miguel De Arcangel, Paso Robles, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

Meanwhile, I have been inspired by photographer and fellow blogger Jim M. Goldstein, who seems to have instigated nearly every photo blogger in the photo blogosphere to post their “Best Photos of 2010.” To see more “Best Photos of 2010” from all around the web see Jim M. Goldstein’s blog post, “Top 10 ‘Top Photo Lists.'” Also, the Nature Conservancy just posted a great slide show of its, “Best Nature Photos of 2010.”

Neighbors, San Francisco, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I am discovering that I greatly enjoy the photography blogosphere. The community is diverse yet generally friendly and helpful to each fellow blogger. Each photo blogger benefits from the network and contributes as well. Each blogger has something to teach and something to learn. Like minds tend to come together and those who differ widely also cross-pollinate methods and ideas and friendships develop. Through the process I am catching a more serious case of the photography bug all the time. I make photographs in my spare time, about five minutes a month.

Reflection Detail, Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I photograph a combination of subjects and do not limit myself to a certain genre or type of photography like many “experts” suggest. My father knew how to specialize. His type of landscape photography was ideal for him. His work was also part of one of the biggest changes in photography to come along, besides perhaps what is happening now and when negatives changed from glass plates to film. Digital photography today, besides being much easier than film, is also more freeing, providing the flexibility and opportunity to pursue various branches of photography and often combine them in new ways.

Fast Food Traveling Band, Travel Stop On Interstate 5, Northern California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

The Road To Mt. Hough, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I was fortunate to grow up in the wilderness. I find because natural surroundings are my roots that I naturally photograph the natural scene. However, I also notice that I am drawn to photograph people, and people in nature. I am attracted to social activism as well as environmental activism. If I were to pursue photography full-time rather than writing, or more than writing, the ideal life for me would be as a freelance photojournalist. I would be on the plane as soon as news broke of the BP Oil Spill, down there right in the oil slick with the workers and dead birds. Or I could see photographing inner city poverty and homeless people, or the dot com collapse, hurricanes, earthquakes, environmental disasters, as long as I wasn’t sensationalizing other people’s misfortunes, but doing something to help them.

Colorado Cleanup Demolition, Downtown Denver, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

These photographs show where my vision is at this time after making digital photographs for just under two years and film photographs off and on for most of my life. Most of the images here are camera raw or close to it with only a few minor adjustments. One of my favorite photography quotes not by my father is, “To see color as form means looking at the image in a new way, trying to free oneself from absorption in subject matter.” –Cole Weston. This quote is part of what I’m about in my photography and will substitute for my own artist’s statement until I write one.

Summit Sunset, Loveland Pass, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. I remember the evening I made this photograph. I had just that morning been commenting that sunsets are cliche and voila: one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen was waiting for me just as I emerged from the Loveland Pass Eisenhower Tunnel. I was in the fast lane and literally skidded to a stop in about a foot of snow and flying powder on the center median to make this photograph. Fortunately I was in my 4X4 truck or I would not have made it back onto the pavement without a tow.

“Freeing oneself from absorption in subject matter,” is nearly the opposite of what my father was doing with a camera. His photography was primarily about place and as Emerson put it, “the integrity of natural objects.” I would expand my statement to include the integrity of all objects, as well as the breakdown, disintegration and rearrangement of all objects. Not to mention the celebration of place without attachment to place or to subject matter in the photograph.

Another photographer, I don’t remember who, said something else I like that applies, “Photography is not about what objects look like, it is about what objects look like when photographed.”

Snow Cornice Detail Along Highway 50, Nevada, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. Sometimes it pays off to be out driving across several states after a fresh snowfall. Amazingly, even though I drive back and forth from California to Colorado a few times a year, I still drive fewer than 8,000 miles a year, significantly less than the average American at just over 12,000 miles a year.

Whiz Burgers, San Francisco, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. Something about fast food, the Catholic Church and all those electric wires powered by San Francisco’s electricity grid set me onto going for an apocalyptic sky look.

As long as I’m borrowing phrases from other photographers I will quote my favorite pioneer landscape photographer and hero, my father, from his Artist’s Statement to close this post. To me this is one of the wisest statements he ever made and part of what drives me, “A mind at peace may be found in any individual or people who have kept touch with what the land is saying and who lack the benefits of instant dissemination of the human troubles that make news. After reading Gandhi, I see that what we need now is a peaceful environmental revolution. The Earth will survive, but will man survive on the Earth?”

To read an introduction to what else I learned from my father see the blog post, “Memories Of Finally Working With Dad.” For more of my photographs see the blog posts, “David Leland Hyde Archival Prints Pre-Launch” and “Best Photos Of 2011.”