Politics and big oil

With all of the political campaigning and the talks about how there’s going to be tax refunds, it’s absolutely amazing to me that there isn’t anyone that makes any mention of the soaring gas prices.
Here’s the thing. Ever since Katrina, gas prices has never dropped again. And there hasn’t been a single politician that has complained about this. Why? Katrina has long been here and gone. The levels of crude refining are back to norm and all the excuses of pipelines or Alaska oil having issues has since past.
It was only a bit ago that I filled up at $2.90 per gallon. Others around the country suffer through above the three dollar mark. Who needs a tax refund? I’d more appreciate it if Congress stepped in and called this price raising a farce and dropped gas prices by a dollar. In fact, if anyone campaigns for economic relief, there should be a stand taken against big oil. If you still feel that they deserve it, then let’s take a look at the numbers:

Exxon and Chevron aren’t the only two oil giants to report impressive earnings recently. Conoco (COP, Fortune 500), the nation’s third-largest oil company, trounced profit estimates by nearly 25% when it reported last week. And Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company, reported a 60% increase in profits Thursday.

Now if that doesn’t throw up a red flag for any politician, then you really wonder who they work for… and it sure doesn’t seem like it’s the constituents. From a business perspective, when an entire industry as mature as big oil is trouncing profit predictions by double digits, you have to truly wonder a bit.
And they (big oil) get tax incentives to actually do all of this. In fact, there’s absolutely no oversight by Congress at all, which is part of the issue why this is happening. Good luck getting the executive branch involved either. Look at their backgrounds. Both the Secretary of State and the President have ties to the oil industry. Presidential candidates haven’t even began to touch this subject of which would technically affect the entire voter block.
Talk about a big white elephant in the room that no one’s talking about.
Photo Credit: (Bryan Burke)

  • There are external factors that impact oil prices which we can only control so much in the short to medium term, such as growing demand in China, shortage of refineries, OPEC decisions. However, it feels really unjust and dirty, when we are all so impacted by the price of gas, for the oil companies to make such huge profits. Although it goes against my otherwise conservative leanings I think we need to impose a federal tax on gasoline and put the proceeds entirely into R&D; for alternative and sustainable energy. As to Oil Company profits, it seems inevitable, you know, Econ 101, that such profits will be high in a time of high demand and limited supply. Still, the level of profit suggests more than that simple equation at work. It certainly suggests that more than supply/demand is behind the price at the pump. So, what politician is not tainted by oil money? And they’re not the only big money special interest players. It stinketh.

  • There are external factors that impact oil prices which we can only control so much in the short to medium term, such as growing demand in China, shortage of refineries, OPEC decisions. However, it feels really unjust and dirty, when we are all so impacted by the price of gas, for the oil companies to make such huge profits. Although it goes against my otherwise conservative leanings I think we need to impose a federal tax on gasoline and put the proceeds entirely into R&D for alternative and sustainable energy. As to Oil Company profits, it seems inevitable, you know, Econ 101, that such profits will be high in a time of high demand and limited supply. Still, the level of profit suggests more than that simple equation at work. It certainly suggests that more than supply/demand is behind the price at the pump. So, what politician is not tainted by oil money? And they’re not the only big money special interest players. It stinketh.