Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Snake Oil Execs Go To DC

It looks like the oil executives were up to their old tricks today in front of Senators in DC.

They all look like a bunch of schmucks sitting there, except it is we who are the schmucks paying the ridiculously high prices for gasoline for our cars and oil to heat our homes.

They all raised their right hand and swore to tell the truth - hah. Some truth they told, saying it was supply versus demand that was causing the high prices. Senator Patrick Leahy didn't believe it saying "there’s “a disconnect” between normal supply and demand and the skyrocketing price of oil — surpassing $130 a barrel even as the oil leaders testified — that the industry has yet to explain."

If only they could be forced to lower their prices. As a boycotter, I think that is the only way to make an impact - Exxon/Mobil and Shell should be at the top of everyone's boycott list. They are the industry leaders and, by far, the worst of the bunch.

J. Stephen Simon, executive vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp was asked by Senator Leahy what his total compensation was at Exxon, a company that made $40 billion last year. Simon replied it was $12.5 million annually. So, he shouldn't have any problems paying $4.00 a gallon, if he has to pay anything at all for gasoline.

I was glad to see that the Senators didn't believe what these greedy men said. The guy from ConocoPhillips said he didn’t recall his total compensation!! That I found extremely hard to believe. Most people know exactly what they make and when your salary is in the millions, there's the status symbol that goes along with it - he knows exactly what he makes.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Exxon’s annual profits increased from $11.5 billion to $40.6 billion in the past five years and there was no explanation for “why profits have gone up so high when the consumer is suffering so much.”

The five companies earned $36 billion in the first quarter of this year. Think about that. You need over 999 million to make just one billion.

The executives, appearing under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said they know high prices are hurting people, but they said the cause is not company profits but global supply and demand.

They sought to use their appearance before Congress to argue against new taxes on their industry.

“I urge you to resist these punitive policies,” said Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil. Wah, wah, wah, even under oath, he couldn't be urged to tell the truth.

Senate Democrats recently announced an energy package that would tax “windfall” profits of the five companies. That might have public appeal, Lowe (ConocoPhillips exec vice president) told the senators, but oil companies should not be viewed as “a scapegoat” for high prices. Sure they should! Who else could it be?

That was not what many senators wanted to hear.

You have “just a litany of complaints that you’re all just hapless victims of a system,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told the executives. “Yet you rack up record profits ... quarter after quarter after quarter.”

“I’m sorry to sound like a victim. I don’t feel like a victim at all,” replied Robertson of Chevron, saying that he was proud of his company’s investments in future supply.

What a bunch of greedy bastards.They're probably all Republicans, too.

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