February 1, 2007
New York Times “Exxon Sets Record on Annual Profits…Oil prices for the quarter ranged between $55 and $63 a barrel, averaging just shy of $60″
February 1, 2008
cnnmoney.com: “Exxon shatters profit records”
“Oil giant makes corporate history by booking $11.7 billion in quarterly profit; earns $1,300 a second in 2007….Crude prices skyrocketed nearly 60% last year. The surge helped prices break through the $100 a barrel mark for the first time ever early last month.”
Msnbc.com: “Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $40.6 billion — on Friday as the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at the end of the year. Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, beating its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil had in 2006.”
April 29, 2008
The U.S. Energy Information Administration website:
crude oil is selling $116 a barrel down from $119 one week ago. Gas prices are up 20% (over $.60/gallon) from last year.
From Susannah: Okay, you get the point and we’ve all heard it ad nauseum: gas is going up, up, up at the pumps, and big oil profits are better than ever. I have a question: WHY IS THIS NOT PRICE GOUGING????? Exxon and other oil giants say its simply supply and demand: supply is low, demand is high, people will pay, big oil will flourish. But aren’t there laws against what they are doing?
Case in point: In April 2003 there was a huge ice storm in Central New York. Everyone was without power for close to a week while temperature highs were in the low 40s. Gas generators were a scare commodity. We were trying to keep warm, trying to save our perishable food, getting by until the electricity was restored. You could turn on the radio and hear people calling in with tips on where to find a generator – perhaps offering them for sale themselves – at an exorbitant price. And guess what? Those sellers got in trouble with the law for price gouging. The supply was low, the demand was high, but it was illegal all the same.
So what makes Exxon and Standard Oil and Mobil different? Is there something I’m missing here because right now I’m thinking the only thing that keeps them out of the pokey is Mr. GW “a’hm a Texas oilman” Bush. Can anyone out there set me straight?