You know, I'm really not sure why I'm bothering to put up this post. It contains nothing that should come as a surprise to anyone. Worth a big "Yawn, so what else is new?"
But, what the heck.
WASHINGTON -- Executives from the big five oil companies appeared before Congress on Tuesday to answer questions about how they're raking in big profits while consumers are being hammered at the pump. Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP America, Chevron and Conoco-Phillips earned a combined $123 billion last year because of rising prices. Ed Markey, D-Mass, chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, slammed the oil executives for their opposition to eliminating about $18 billion in tax breaks over a ten year period amid record profits for the industry.
Hey, as long as Bush, Cheney and all the rest of Oil Inc. are in power to assure them getting anything they want, why should they care?
Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corp. said "Imposing punitive taxes on American companies will discourage the investments needed to safeguard our energy security. The pursuit of alternative fuels must not detract from investments in oil and gas," he said.
Or detract from their obscene profits, either.
The House has approved legislation to end the tax breaks, but it hasn't made it through the Senate. President George W. Bush has threatened to veto any such bill that does.In essence, as long as Georgie "Oil Man" Bush is in power, and especially now that he is merely a lame duck and really doesn't care what the po' folk think of him (not that he ever did, mind you), he's going to take care of his cronies first and foremost.
Markey hammered Exxon's Simon over the company's investment in renewable energy. "Why is Exxon Mobil resisting the renewable energy revolution?" asked Markey. Simon said Exxon has given $100 million to Stanford to study renewables. "$100 million?" said Markey. "But you made $40 billion last year."
Well, duh! That's just P.R. money - pocket change to them - to give the illusion of wanting to help give the nation more energy options. The truth is, they will do whatever they can to hold onto the status quo. The status quo is where the mind-numbing profits are, and all the hardships their rising prices (and profits) are having on the country mean diddly-squat to them.
See? I told you this post would hold no surprises. What I should have done was post it yesterday - on April Fool's Day - and say something about Bush and the oil companies actually giving a rat's ass about the American public at large. Now THAT would have earned a double take.
[graphic by Dancin' Dave]