Tuesday, April 01, 2008

$3.29 / Gallon = $123 Billion Profit

Top executives of the five biggest U.S. oil companies were pressed Tuesday to explain the soaring fuel prices amid huge industry profits and why they weren’t investing more to develop renewable energy source such as wind and solar.

The executives, peppered with questions from skeptical lawmakers, said they understood that high energy costs are hurting consumers, but deflected blame, arguing that their profits — $123 billion last year — were in line with other industries...

With motorists paying a national average of $3.29 a gallon at the pump and global oil prices remaining above $100 a barrel, the executives were hard pressed by lawmakers to defend their profits.

“The anger level is rising significantly,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., relating what he had heard in his district during the recent two-week congressional recess...

“Our earnings, though 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, Exxon Mobil’s senior vice president...

“These companies are defending billions of federal subsidies ... while reaping over a hundred billion dollars in profits in just the last year alone,” complained Markey, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

The House last year and again on Feb. 27 approved legislation that would have ended the tax breaks for the oil giants, while using the revenue to support wind, solar and other renewable fuels and incentives for energy conservation. The measure has not passed the Senate.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

These are the kinds of stories that make us hate the Republican agenda

I find it pitiful when the lower and middle classes align themselves with the Right on an economic level. Do you think that they are looking out for your best interest? Your precious tax dollars? No! They want to squash your American dream and keep the pockets of the rich and super rich consistently lined with gold.

Oh Reaganomics, what hast thou done to my country?

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked the Democrats from fulfilling a campaign promise to increase the federal minimum wage, demanding that the pay hike include tax relief for small business.

On a vote of 54-43, Democrats fell six short of the 60 needed to end debate and go to passage of a House-approved bill, to raise the minimum wage for the first time in a decade -- boosting it over two years to $7.25 per hour from $5.15…

With the gap between rich and poor widening, Democrats promised a minimum wage increase as a part of the campaign that saw them win control of the Congress from Bush's Republicans in last November's elections.

"Millions of Americans who earn the minimum wage have been waiting a decade for a much-deserved raise," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), an Illinois Democrat. "Incredibly, Senate Republicans would have them wait even longer."

Republicans have cited studies that say an increase would drive people out of work and hurt the economy.

But Democrats counter that a modest increase would cause no significant job loss. They have also noted a survey that found most small businesses believe it would not hurt them. Most already pay above it.

At $5.15 per hour, a person working 40 hours per week makes $10,712 per year, about $5,000 below the poverty line for a family of three