Who’s To Blame For The High Gas Prices?
Here we go again! Gas prices shot up again overnight. I snapped this photo on my way to work today. Prices went up a dime. I realize $3.69 may be “cheap” compared to where you live (Chicago is reported to have the highest prices in America), but no matter where you fill up, it’s painful.
Big profits for Big Oil
While the soaring gas prices are putting a strain on drivers, the oil companies are raking in huge profits. Oil industry giants are posting the numbers for their first-quarter profits, and Buckingham Palace isn’t the only place where the champagne is flowing freely today. Here’s what a few of the companies earned, compared to the same period last year:
- Conoco-Phillips: $3 billion. Up $900 million.
- Chevron: $6.2 billion. Up $1.7 billion.
- ExxonMobil: $10.7 billion. Up $4.4 billion.
Big Oil is fighting back
A few billion here, a few billion there. You get the idea. The first three months of 2011 were good to the oil industry. Really good for Exxon. So good that Exxon is acting a little defensive. Just before posting its 1st quarter results (making nearly $11 billion), Exxon VP Ken Cohen blogged that his company doesn’t set oil prices, and it’s one of the largest taxpayers in the United States.
Government to blame?
In another blog, Cohen placed part of the blame on the government:
“During the first three months of this year, for every gallon of gasoline and other products we refined and sold in the United States, we earned about 7 cents. Compare that to the 40 to 60 cents per gallon that went from gasoline consumers to the government (state and federal) in gasoline taxes.”
Cohen also said Thursday, “We understand that it’s simply too irresistible for many politicians in times of high oil prices and high earnings — they feel they have to demonize our industry.”
Big Oil and Big Government pointing the finger at each other for the Big Prices, while drivers continue to feel the Big Squeeze on their wallet.