Thursday, August 24, 2006
Before you get mad at how long it has been since I last posted, understand that this isn't the easiest undertaking in the world. I have been trying to compile as much factual information on this subject over the last week. It's tough sifting through the overtly biased trash that is out there. Don't get me wrong, I hate these oil companies as much as the next person, but it is tough deciphering what is quality information. That coupled with the fact taht Madden NFL 2007 dropped on Monday night...well I have been busy to say the least. On to the article.
Now, Oil is a pretty broad subject. I'm going to try and limit the article to the four "supermajor" companies, and the current administration's handling of said companies. In case you were unaware, the supermajor companies include Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, and Total. ExxonMobil is the largest of the four in terms of revenue. You know, they were rolling around in $10Billion in profits last quarter. Read that again. $10Billion in profits. Please explain to me how that is not robbery. They are taking advantage of the rise in oil prices on every one of us. It is unfair to point out ExxonMobil and leave the other companies out. Royal Dutch Shell is the biggest of all these companies, in terms of size. You can find that famous Shell logo everywhere from South Africa, to Singapore, to Rwanda, and right down the street from my house. They all have the same thing in common though, they jack the prices on their customers in the name of political strife. All these companies have several things in common. They have absolutely no interest in finding alternative fuels, no matter what they say. They have no reason to want to see the political situation in the Middle East simmer down. Keep in mind, as long as the Middle East is in complete turmoil, they have their reason to keep prices jacked at the pump. Let's not kid ourselves and actually believe that Oil companies have a desire to find a solution to the environmental and financial disaster looming overhead. It will cost money in research, it will cost money in revenue, and it will cost money in implementation. Big business HATES losing money. Big business loves $10Billion in quarterly revenue.
With that said, the reason I started this big business series was because of a Bush act on oil in April, or should I say lack thereof. President Bush decided that he was not going to support a move to tax oil companies on there record revenue, he said it was unfair. I understand that, fine. I agree that it is not the government's job to unfairly tax business like that, actions like that hurt business and are against fundamental capitalism. It is the next part that hurt me so bad. The tax money was supposed to go to research on alternative fuel methods, hydrogen etc. Bush said no. According to him it would go againt American values for the government to do that. He prefers his method of, "encouraging American companies to find alternatives to the current oil problem coupled with the expansion of current oil reserves." Let's get this straight right now. Every expert on this subject, I mean everyone, agrees on one thing. Digging more oil is absolutely the worst solution to this problem, ever. It is the equivalent of putting a band aid on an amputated leg. It's just not going to work. All it will do is further exhaust whatever remaining resources are out there, and increase those all-important revenues.
How can the President of the United States not address this current crisis? How is this not massively important to these people? There is resounding agreement that something must be done to force these companies to change their methods, they will not do it on their own. Still, the current administration prefers to wait it out. The issue here is not to just get mad because these companies are making a tremendous amount of money, but what they are doing with the money is what is truly terrible. They are destroying our economy, destroying middle-class America, but our current leadership thinks that interfering would be anti-American. Why not establish a tax break for researching and developing alternatives? Or if access to oil reserves is what they want, give it in exchange for a break at the pump. Show Americans that the price at the pump reflects the price per barrel. There should be a proportional exchange rate here, just because the price per barrel goes up by one dollar, doesn't mean the price per gallon should go up 5 cents. I agree with fundamental conservativism, and I am a staunch capitalist. But what these companies are doing is endangering the American quality of life, and when that happens the government's job is to protect. Some could make the argument that American companies deserve protection from the American government as well. Of the four "supermajors", only one is American. Royal DUTCH Shell is quite obviously a Dutch company. Total is a French company, and the leader in European petrol. BP, or British Petroleum, is a British company although you would think that a company that soiled so much quality land in Alaska would at least be American.
I want to write one final note about ExxonMobil, Republicans, and dirty politics. Al Gore, a man I admire and would vote for any time I was asked, recently pushed a film out called "An Inconvenient Truth." For those who don't know, the movie was about the abuses these major oil companies have perpetrated against the environment. Gore has always been a champion of the environment, one can trace this back to his days as a representative from Tennessee. Well, a video was released on Youtube.com that spoofed the movie. At first it was just considered a funny amateurish video. However, the Wall Street Journal did a little reasearch on the subject and came up with a different answer. Apparently, there are ties between the video and people at the DCI Group. The DCI Group is a lobbying firm and a public relations group. Their biggest PR clients? ExxonMobil. http://youtube.com/watch?v=IZSqXUSwHRI