Thursday, October 27, 2005

Exxon Profits At Unprecedented High

Still more evidence that it pays to have friends in high places . . . the Associated Press reported today that oil giant Exxon's third-quarter profits were a new record for any company ever. Third quarter profits were almost 75% higher than a year ago - up to $9.92 billion - and their $100 billion in total quarterly sales was also an all-time record for any company in history.

I really don't have much more to say about this . . . it's distressing but not surprising. I guess my conservative friends out there would argue that the free market is working its magic on the American public once again. So, the American public should just smile and get out the KY-Jelly, which is another fine petroleum derivative - while oil execs shop for more multi-million dollar homes and corporate tax shelters.

I'm wondering why such a huge, profitable industry couldn't invest some of their vast profits into some research and development toward creating more efficient ways to fuel our mobile society - or at the very least build a new refinery now and then so that gas prices wouldn't fluctuate wildly everytime a hurricane blows in or a middle eastern potentate gets pissed at us. There hasn't been a new refinery built in the U.S. since the early 1970's.

Seems to me that cutting corporate profits to give the American consumer a little break would almost be a patriotic act at this point. Wonder what's the likelihood of that happening? It's enough to make a person entertain thoughts of socialism - a government takeover of the energy industry. Things have a way of going full circle, you know.


Jeff said...

They hyaven't been able to build refineries since the 70's because the environmentalists have mired down applications for new ones with the EPA. As for record profits, a mere 12 years ago, oil companies were going belly up. A company's fiduciary obligation is to it's stockholders and no one else, despite all of the rhetoric of being a good "Corporate citizen."

RSmith said...

Big oil hasn't really had much resistance from environmentalists under this administration. It wouldn't have mattered much if they had. I liked their response . . . they "blamed" Katrina and Rita for the record windfall. Yeah, I feel for those down-and-out oil execs for having suffered through terrible natural disasters, even after being victimized by ruthless environmentalists.

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