Thursday, July 31, 2008

High Prices, Big Profits

Today, July 31, 2008, Exxon-Mobil announced second quarter earnings of $11.8 billion, the largest quarterly earnings posted by any corporation in world history. (Royal Dutch Shell announced a profit of $11.7 billion.) The previous record was held by.... Exxon-Mobil. Their profit margin: 10.85%.

In response, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey were joined by Democratic U.S. Representatives Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Rahm Emanuel of Illinois at a press conference to blast the profits of Big Oil while Americans are paying record prices at the pump. The reports

Democrats criticized Exxon Mobil for spending $89.5 billion in stock buybacks over 2005-2007, and just $2.9 billion in research and development during the same time. They sent a letter Thursday calling on the oil company executives to invest their profits in alternative sources of energy.

Still, Republicans will repeat their mantra: "drill, drill, drill." It would be too generous to suggest that they are innocently being held up and played for suckers by "the most selfish group of companies that I've ever seen," as Schumer described them. No, they are fully aware that their policies have one motive: fatten the profits of the oil industry.

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