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Monday, January 30, 2006

In case your upset with the high cost of gasoline and heating oil

This should really get you pissed off.
Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday — $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year — as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from high oil and gas prices and demand for refined products. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations and Exxon shares rose nearly 3 percent in morning trading.


Exxon's profit for the year was also the largest annual reported net income in U.S. history, according to Howard Silverblatt, a stock market analyst for Standard & Poor's. He said the previous high was Exxon's $25.3 billion profit in 2004.

Exxon's results lifted the combined 2005 profits for the country's three largest integrated oil companies to more than $63 billion.

ConocoPhillips said last Wednesday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 51 percent to $3.68 billion, while annual income climbed 66 percent to $13.53 billion. Two days later, Chevron Corp. said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 20 percent to $4.14 billion, while annual income jumped 6 percent to $14.1 billion.

The oil industry's stellar results renewed talk among some politicians for a windfall profit tax that would push companies to invest more in new production and refining capacity.

Sen. Babara Boxer, a California Democrat who sharply criticized oil executives appearing before Congress in November, struck again on Friday. She called on the Bush Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to "put an end to gouging," then suggested that FTC stood for "Friend to Chevron."


Quarterly revenue ballooned to $99.66 billion from $83.37 billion a year ago but came in shy of the $100.72 billion Exxon posted in the third quarter, which was the first time a U.S. public company generated more than $100 billion in sales in a single quarter.


To put that into perspective, Exxon's revenue for the year exceeded Saudi Arabia's estimated 2005 gross domestic product of $340.5 billion, according to statistics maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Okay, now can any Bush-supporting conservative care to explain to me why I should not be upset with the rising cost of gasoline and heating my home while the oil companies are raking in the money by the billions?

NOTE: You would think with all of that money, Exxon would pay for their little oil spill (this is for those who aren't pissed enought yet)
It’s been nearly 17 years since the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil along the Alaska coast in one of the country’s worst environmental disasters, and a jury’s $5 billion judgment against the company is still tied up in the courts.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s appeal of that punishment was scheduled to be heard for the third time Friday afternoon in a federal appeals court in San Francisco.

The case stems from a 1994 decision by an Anchorage jury to award punitive damages to 34,000 fishermen and other Alaskans.


The residents claimed they were harmed when the Valdez struck a charted reef and spilled crude oil along about 1,500 miles of coastline. They alleged that the captain was drunk and that Exxon knew he had a drinking problem. The jury found Exxon and Valdez captain Joseph Hazelwood reckless in the accident.

Exxon argues it should have to pay no more than $25 million in punitive damages.


In two previous appeals, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland of Anchorage to reduce the judgment against Exxon, saying it was unconstitutionally excessive.

Holland begrudgingly complied in 2002, reducing it to $4 billion. Exxon appealed, and Holland was ordered to revisit the decision again. He called Exxon’s actions “reprehensible,” and set the figure at $4.5 billion plus interest.

Decisions in the 9th Circuit usually come weeks or months after the oral arguments. The appeals court has twice questioned the award, sending it back to the trial judge to reduce the fine.

Accrued interest could bring the total amount to nearly $9 billion, Oesting said.