Friday, April 28, 2006

Think More, Drive Less

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a capitalist. I believe that companies should make profits. But frankly, I think it’s time that something is done about the price of gasoline.


  • The average price for unleaded gasoline is a dollar higher than the same time last year.
  • ExxonMobil reported a $36.1 billion in profit for the first quarter of 2006, making it the largest corporation in the world and larger than the next four companies on the Forbes 500 list combined.
  • Oil prices have increased 240 percent since George Bush’s inauguration in January 2001.
  • ExxonMobil’s recently retired CEO received a $400 million (yes, I said million) “payment for services.”
  • According to the Los Angeles Times (April 13, 2006), Exxon raised Chief Executive Rex Tillerson's pay by 33% last year to $13 million. (The average U.S. salary increase last year across the country was 4%).
  • U.S.-based oil and gas companies have nearly 900 subsidiaries located in tax haven countries, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
  • The industry has spent more than $500 million on lobbying activities since 1998.
  • The industry gave more than $100 million in campaign contributions in federal elections since 1998.
  • Higher gasoline prices have a “trickle down” effect on other consumer goods, making it even more difficult for working families to make ends meet.
  • The greater the profits of oil companies, the greater the risk to our national security.

You make take issue with the last fact, but the reasoning is straightforward. Higher oil company profits go hand in hand with higher oil prices (now in excess of $70/barrel).

Higher oil prices result in the massive transfer of wealth to nations who wish us ill or fund the dissemination of hate filled propaganda against this nation and the West. High oil prices are the enabler of dysfunctional governments, tyrannical to their own and in an era of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increasingly dangerous to the world at large.

In addition to making these countries wealthier, what is it doing to the working families in America? It borders on criminal.


Anonymous said...

Did you know that google made twice as much profit per hundred dollars of business than any gas company?

Itsa Mystery said...

Yeah, Google is breaking the backs of the working poor in America.
Like I said, I'm a capitalist. If you had objectively read what I wrote, and not just jumped to defending an industry based on misguided loyalty (probably political loyalty) then you would clearly see that I'm not opposed to businesses being successful. I do have a problem with businesses gouging Americans while enriching governments who hate us. And P.S. Google doesn't cost me a dime.

Anonymous said...

I agree ITSA. Google was a lame argument.

Anonymous said...

Somebody is going to buy the gas from oil companies if we don't. The demand is higher than ever with the industrialization of China. That is, unless you are a protectionist. Just to be consistent we could stop all trade, including with France, the Cayman islands, etc. I think it was Bill Clinton that signed in the Free Trade Agreement.

So we have a few choices. We can work for more supply, but that has been hindered by radical environmentalists who stop offshore and Alaskan oil drilling, and I'm trying to think what party they belong to. They also have kept us from using clean sources of energy like building new nuclear plants. We can't have it both ways, can we? Another choice is to stop buying their products. I guess I'm assuming then that you haven't been purchasing gas recently? The other is for us to find new sources of energy. Well, whoever finds the next efficient energy source will have untold wealth. People are looking. Personally, I'm all for not buying one more drop of gas from the Middle East and riding my bike. Are you ready to begin peddling along with me?

By the way, I vote American Independent last election. I guess they are right in the pocket of the oil companies, which might explain how they got less than 1% of the vote last election. Maybe you could let me know. If Al Gore wanted to do anything about all this, what was he doing for his eight years?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and p.s., every time you use google and look at one of their advertisements, you aid them economically, enriching them through their advertisers; yes, the same google that violates the human rights of the Chinese by disallowing free speech among the Chinese citizens. When will you stop padding the pockets of google executives by boycotting their search engine?

Itsa Mystery said...

My post was about the windfall profits that oil companies are currently experiencing while American consumers are paying the highest gas prices ever. My concern is about GOUGING. GREEDINESS. Go ahead and defend them, make excuses, point fingers. What is happening is wrong.

Anonymous said...

ITSA - give it up. There is no point in trying to make your point. The other ANON is obviously clueless to what kind of person you are - a kind person - one whose care and concern for those less fortunate is manifested in many unsung ways. I understand the point you were making. Too bad there aren't more hearts like yours.

Anonymous said...

I'm all about solutions. We are a free enterprise economy. The only way to punish them is to stop using their product; unless you want government intervention, and think that the government will help our economy. It has a habit and history of ruining it. I was just saying that google is gouging even more...smiles. Anonymous other, what does ITSA's compassion have to do with this debate. Her kindness isn't up for question, so unless you are just attempting to get her good will and be the teacher's pet, what does that accomplish? And are you telling me that ITSA's a quitter, that she should just "give up" as it regards me?

JM said...

ANON you obviously don't know ITSA - the last thing she is is a quitter. And I don't have to get her good will, I'm her brother.

Itsa Mystery said...

ANON, yes I do think that our government ought to do something. I don't know, call me crazy, but isn't that what "of the people, by the people and for the people" is supposed to be about?

I agree that consumers have to do everything we can to reduce our consumption of gasoline, for many reasons.

Brazil has managed to convert 70% of it's vehicles to ethanol, made from sugarcane grown in Brazil. They started the conversion three years ago and plan to be completely energy independent by the end of next year. Instead of digging for more fossil fuel, why can't the "Leader of the Free World" and the country that sends probes to the moons of Jupitor, come up with a viable alternative?

The answer is slimey, greasy, oily.

Deb said...

Riding a bike to work is a great idea in theory. I doubt I'd live very long if I rode my bike down I-95 each day. Since we live in the days of video conferencing, online Webinar's and instant access to everything, why even bother "going" to work. More companies should support telecommuting or rotating work from home days for their cubicle bound employees. This alone could save billions. But I guess someone has to be minding the store while the boss plays golf.

Anonymous said...

As Kirk said to Scotty: "We need more power."