Exxon Profits $11 Billion As Oil Prices Skyrocket

May 5th, 2011 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

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???



  1. Greg Boyer says:

    Just always remember, we have the best government money can buy.There’s no shortage of oil, the speculators are the ones driving the prices sky high. The government sees fit to do absolutely nothing about it. I’ll just leave it at that as I’m sure you don’t want a full blown rant from me on this subject.

    Best Regards,


  2. Hi Greg, thank you for the comment. Whether there’s a shortage of oil or not, sooner or later it will run out, but probably not before the burning of it destroys the atmosphere and the chance for life to continue on Earth. We obviously need alternatives, the sooner the better. As I mentioned above and Paul Colangelo wrote about in the blog post linked to above, Big Oil is currently using a perceived shortage to justify dismantling environmental protections and to gain support for destructive new extraction methods. I would love to see a full blown rant from you on the subject, perhaps on your blog or elsewhere. I feel you ideas on it are “spot on,” as they say.

  3. This is well written, informative and moving. I apologize for not knowing who Paul Colangelo is. I checked out his website and see that he is an excellent photographer. Thanks for sharing this information.

  4. Thank you Monte. Glad you checked out Paul Colangelo. As you found out, he works with the iLCP, International League of Conservation Photographers, and has a particular interest in saving the Canadian Sacred Headwaters from destruction by tar sands extraction. Not long ago the iLCP did one of their RAVEs in the Sacred Headwaters. Carr Clifton and Wade Davis also participated.

  5. pj says:

    “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…”

    There’s an important point David. Big Oil will cry shortage, lobby relentlessly to get their way, and in most cases will. Then much of what is slated to be extracted from these sensitive public lands will likely be sold overseas for even greater profit. What sense does that make?

  6. Hi PJ, great point about the shipment overseas. I don’t know why it is so hard for about half of the voters in this country to understand that Big Oil and Big Industry are not in our best interest. They have been tooting the JOBS horn forever and that seems to satisfy people, but as soon as it is convenient for them to eliminate JOBS they do it so fast it makes the “average” taxpayers head spin. Big Oil and Big Industry don’t care a hoot about JOBS. They care about the bottom line profit, period. Beware: it is only short-term profit they seek. Long-term profit that is based on sustainable care for people and the planet is the farthest concern from their corporate minds, if you watch their actions more than their words.

  7. Earl says:

    I have trouble moving forward in dealings with any huge corporation earning billions of dollars profit lamenting how misunderstood and entitled they are. Please….

    I once was told I tend to buy into conspiracy theories a bit too easily so I work hard keeping an open mind these days. Yet there is no doubt dealings and policies treated openly in the press are only the tip of the political and business strategy iceberg and seldom give a full and true picture.

    One premise which has never failed me is “follow the money”…especially when dealing with companies who report to stockholders.

    Nice post, David!

  8. I appreciate the comment, Earl. Excellent points all. I picked up from someone somewhere the aphorism, “There’s no conspiracy, just follow the money.”

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