Oil Execs Defend Huge Profits Before Senate

Oil executives testified before the Senate on Wednesday, defending their huge profits and high salaries, while “regular people are scrimping to pay for gasoline to go to work.” Senator Pat Leahy decided he “wanted to make it personal for the men of Big Oil.”

How much money did you make last year? the Vermont Democrat asked the top executives of the country’s five biggest oil companies. They had been summoned to a Senate hearing to explain the extraordinarily high cost of oil and gasoline and their companies’ profits.

Three executives said their compensation was in the millions. Two said they didn’t know.

“I wish I made enough money that I didn’t know how much I make,” replied Leahy with no intention of hiding the sarcasm.

It was a tone that dominated the oil executives’ appearance Wednesday before the Judiciary Committee, a panel that Leahy chairs.

This was the 2nd time this year that “executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., BP America Inc., ConocoPhillips Co. and Shell Oil Co. had been summoned to testify before Congress.”

When they came in early April oil cost about $98 a barrel. On Wednesday, it bounded past $134 a barrel for a time and gasoline cost a national average of $3.80 a gallon.

The executives, whose companies reported $36 billion in profits during the first three months of the year, wanted to talk about tight supplies and growing global demand. They said that while the companies made billions of dollars, they also spent billions to find and produce more oil.

But senators complained the executives were trying to come across as “hapless victims” while raking in record profits. They wanted to press the executives about public anguish over paying $60 or more to fill up a car’s gas tank.

“Where is the corporate conscience?” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked.

“People we represent are hurting, the companies you represent are profiting,” Leahy told the executives. He said there’s a “disconnect” between legitimate supply issues and the oil and gasoline prices motorists are seeing.

Senator Dick Durbin asked the questionof the day:

“Is there anybody here that has any concerns about what you’re doing to this country with the prices that you’re charging and the profits that you’re taking?” Durbin asked.

It’s a moot point clearly… Because these oil execs aren’t losing sleep over the record prices and their huge profits that are driving the average Americans into the poor house.

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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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8 Responses to Oil Execs Defend Huge Profits Before Senate

  1. John says:

    Are you to dense to realize that it’s YOUR party who won’t let us ease the pain by drilling at home in South Dakota, Anwar, Colorado or off the Pacific?

    It’s YOUR party who could have solved this problem years ago if it weren’t for the environmental left who stopped us from producing more of our own energy (nuclear, more refineries, drilling at home)

    Congress is a disgrace. Democrats are the reason for this problem not the Oil execs who can do nothing about the price of oil. do you realize that 1.4 cent per dollar is there actual profit? what are they supposed to do, drop it to nothing? The mind of the liberal is nothing short of a mental disease…

  2. John

    Thank you for sharing. We’re not dense at all.

  3. Peace Out For Unity says:

    “Imagine ” Go play that gentlemen and the world is changing ! Dream on and join us !

  4. Peace Out For Unity says:

    “You can wear a collar and tie….”Take a look outside….” Step out of the box,it might feel good ! “One thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.” You can’t take it with you when ya pass !! Gas Holiday !

  5. Peace Out For Unity says:

    A big American dedication to ya oil fellows,name that tune ! Innovation and we’re running out of gas ! Flex cars and sugar cane ! Need a serious price break at those gas pumps please !Do they need the map ? “What’s right ?”

  6. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Look up how much we just spent on oil in the US ! Tie the energy into national security and face the reality,we are running out and change is happening ! No fear “T-shirts” are selling and save the polar bears while you’re at it ! Made in the USA ! Launch the investigation and go Clinton ! Listen to the people in the United States of America !

  7. John: I don’t know how many times I’ve had to do this, and you’re really not worth it, but here goes.

    You flunked basic math, son, and it shows. However, you do get an A for regurgitating right wing talking points.

    Exxon broke the record it previously had set for profits by a U.S. corporation, earning $40.6 billion last year. It earned $11.7 billion in the fourth quarter, or $2.13 a share, up 14 percent from the fourth quarter of 2006. Revenue for the quarter rose 30 percent, to $116.64 billion. Exxon’s profit for the year came to $4.6 million an hour. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/01/AR2007020100714.html

    Let’s see, $11.7 billion profit on $116.64 billion gross. In the elementary school I went to that works out to much closer to ten per cent profit than a mere 1.4%. Oh yeah, you’re talking about the profit margin that gas stations make on gas sales, but since the industry is so vertically integrated, the big boys can always pick the point in the process where they want to concentrate their profits at.

    Right now it ain’t at the retail level, and you have exactly no point to make. Please drop by again if you happen to find something to comment about that you actually understand.

  8. Pingback: Hard-boiled Dreams of the World » Blog Archive » Have a Poignant Oil-based Memorial Day!