April 30, 2006
On Friday, oil companies posted their quarterly earnings. Chevron made $4 billion this period, that’s almost a 50% increase from this time last year. Exxon Mobil’s reported quarterly profit was $8.4 billion; more than double that of Chevron. Combined with ConocoPhillips earnings of $3.3 billion, the three companies took in nearly $16 billion in three months.
If that’s not shocking enough, these figures are separate from revenue; the revenue for all three companies in the first quarter was almost $192 billion. The Associated Press reported this amount as being “more than the individual gross domestic products of 189 different countries, including Chile, Peru or Venezuela.”
Since the price of a barrel (now at $75) of oil only seems to be increasing, we can expect next quarter earnings to be just as high. This is amazing. Of course politicians don’t do anything more than pandering to constituents. I’m sure there will be investigations of some sort. And the oil companies are unapologetic. Why should they apologize right? They work hard for their money–and all those suckers who have to wake up at 5:30am and carpool to work because they can’t afford gas aren’t trying hard enough.
“Our company is in an excellent position to continue adding value for our stockholders and helping to satisfy the energy needs of the world economies,” Chevron Chairman David O’Reilly said.
April 22, 2006
President George W. Bush marked Earth Day by highlighting the use of technology to reduce the U.S.’s dependency on foreign oil. Reuters reported Bush toured the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento and promoted the use of hydrogen fuel cells to change the way cars are powered. These cells wouldn’t emit pollution and would be more efficient than gas-powered cars.
“By developing these and other new sources of clean renewable energy like ethanol, we will continue growing our economy, reduce energy prices and protect our environment, and make America less dependent on foreign oil,” – Bush said in his weekly radio address.
While environmentalists welcomed Bush’s focus on fuel-cell technology, experts argue that fuel-cell vehicles would not be available for mass use for another 20-30 years. Roland Hwang, policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, warned against selling a promising long-term solution as “a quick fix” for political cover. In other Earth Day news….. oil prices continue to increase, capping at $75 a barrel on Friday. This comes courtesy of increasing tensions over Iran’s quest for nuclear capacity. The energy plan Bush wants Congress to pass, which would also boost federal research into batteries for hybrid and electric cars and renewable fuels, does not include any measures that would reduce pump costs in the short term. Call me cynical…all this happy news on the environment sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors. Can this administration stop being influenced by the powerful oil industry? Bush’s father was part of the team that built the oil wells in Kuwait in the 1950s. Back when nobody knew where the Middle East was and nobody cared. I think something has to be done to reign in huge corporations. They are the negative aspect of globalization. Wielding more economic power than many governments, multinational corporations are significant contributors in the global struggle for human rights. All companies have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations, but all too often they are contributing to human rights abuses – either directly or indirectly. More so, they’re commitment to social responsibility and accountability is a lot of double-speak. Read the rest of this entry »