Congress Questions Big Oil’s Big Profits

Big Oil’s record profits are no joke to Congress on April Fools Day: “When it comes to public opinion, Congress isn’t held in very high regard, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver reminded executives of the country’s biggest oil companies.”

Then the Missouri Democrat added, “Your approval rating is lower than ours, and that means you’re down low.”

So it went Tuesday as oil company chiefs defended their huge profits in the face of record gasoline prices — perhaps heading toward $4 a gallon — and a winter during which many people have been struggling to keep up with heating bills.

“On April Fool’s Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., as he opened the hearing.

The executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., the nation’s biggest, and four other oil companies said they know fuel costs are hurting people, but they argued it’s not their fault and their profits are in line with other industries.

Executives from the Big Oil companies appeared before a House committee today and “were pressed to explain why they should continue to get billions of dollars in tax breaks when they made $123 billion last year and motorists are paying an average of $3.29 a gallon at the pump.”

Cry me a river… Like we should feel sorry for these Big Oil execs… 

Our earnings, although high in absolute terms, need to be viewed in the context of the scale and cyclical, long-term nature of our industry as well as the huge investment requirements,” said J.S. Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp., which made a record $40 billion last year.

Even the gas stations are not making a profit. CNN notes that “Hillary Clinton wants oil companies to contribute to a $50 billion fund to invest in alternative energy; for car manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency standards and for the government to tap into its emergency oil reserves.”

Times are so tough that the prediction is there will be record job cuts in the banking industry on the horizon. All the more reason why we need a president who plans to “create three million new jobs through increased investments in the nation’s infrastructure.”

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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