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Friday, January 30, 2009

Exxon Et al Have Record Profits


Photos, wikipedia.org

In the never ending quest for more consumer, business and government dollars, oil companies are reporting record profits for 2008. While almost all other companies are struggling and or going under lately, these companies thrive. One reason, of course, is we all need fuel and fuel bi-products. The other more blatant reason appears to be outright price gouging. If you go to the pumps today you will see increasing prices once again. Those prices are going up even when the cost of crude oil goes down. Reasonable thinking would tell you that if it costs less to acquire a raw product these companies should be able to sell for less. They bring up the cost of refining fuel as an issue. The real cost of refining is actually more of a constant, remaining much the same regardless of the cost of the crude. As an irony, refining costs only go up in relation to the final cost of refined fuel and oil going up at the retailers. I.e, if costs at the retail outlets goes up, then it costs more to transport fuel product, plus, refinery workers want higher pay to offset their own driving costs and on and on. To be fair, oil companies are not entirely to blame for crazy pricing. Wall Street, banks and others are also in the mix of this price gouging/fixing. Folks, greed did not end with the 80s... As a final thought, in a time when taking a bottle of water or a tube of toothpaste onto a plane is considered a national security threat, holding America to the fire with fuel price gouging is passed off as just fine... In other words, huge profiteering during a global financial crisis on a commodity that no one can do without is something that should be considered a national security threat.
Seraph
NBMC

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