Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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Big Oil: We’ll Still Hate Obama Even If He Gives Us...

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Those who support climate action but say it's not worth fighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline like to imply that President Obama's approval of the pipeline would earn him political capital. But the head of one polluter front group would like to assure Washington that whether President Obama approves or rejects Keystone XL, Big Oil will still hate him just as much.

Grist's David Roberts has extensively documented the Very Serious People BipartisanThink case against #noKXL activists. As Jennifer Yachnin reports in E&E News (sub. req.), a top oil industry lobbyist says they're wrong - that Big Oil will fight any efforts to cut carbon pollution tooth & nail regardless of President Obama's Keystone decision:

But [American Energy Alliance and Institute for Energy Research President Thomas] Pyle added that approving the pipeline won't curb industry criticism of the Obama administration, including over what it sees as efforts to hold back oil and gas production on federal lands.

"I don't know that it buys him any good will," Pyle said. "There will be lots of statements of thank you ... but ultimately from a political perspective I don't know that it buys him any room to maneuver."

And ill will could linger over how much time it has taken the administration to make a final decision on the pipeline, Pyle added.

All the climate-disrupting carbon pollution and not even a thank you from his political enemies? All the more reason President Obama should do the right thing and reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Why Mitt Romney Loves High Gas Prices

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Mitt Romney profits twice from high gas prices - Mitt can pander to your anger, then his Big Oil friends pump the money you pay at the gas station right back into Mitt's tank. That's according to an op-ed in Politico today by the League of Conservation Voters' Gene Karpinski & Priorities USA Action's Bill Burton:
Record profits now give oil executives even more cash than usual to spend on advancing their political agenda - and that begins with electing Romney. In fact, Big Oil executives pledged more than $200 million to aid Romney's campaign and defeat Obama.

What does Big Oil get in return for its $200 million investment in Romney? It gets to keep its billions in special tax breaks every year. So middle-class families pay twice - high gas prices when they fill up the tank and $4 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies for an industry where the top five companies combined made $137 billion in profits last year.

At the same time, Big Oil gets one of its own dictating Romney's energy policy. Harold Hamm, Romney's top energy adviser, is a billionaire oil executive who says clean energy is a "magical fantasy" and wants high gas prices. He admitted as much when he declared in 2009 that cheap oil would be a "disaster."

Mitt Romney's magical gas price prescription: More drilling! And Virginia GOP Senate candidate George Allen is just as deeply snuggled in Big Oil's back pocket. But here's the problem - even Romney's own economic team knows that wouldn't lower gas prices or help the economy.

Reminder: Chevron Still Thinks You’re Stupid

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If Chevron took all the money it's spent on its endless "We Agree" greenwashing commercials and invested it renewable energy, how much progress might've been made by now?

Chevron spent less than $1 billion on renewable energy in 2006 & 2007, under 4 percent of its total capital and exploratory expenditures. Meanwhile, Chevron made nearly $8 billion in profit in just the months of July, August & September this year.

Meanwhile, Chevron has spent more than $50 million on lobbying in recent years to fight a clean energy & climate bill, attempt to gut the Clean Air Act, and strip laws that protect communities from the dangers of fracking. Chevron also created one of the worst environmental catastrophes in history, dumping 18.5 billion gallons of toxic waste in Amazon rainforest streams. And Chevron is responsible for a new oil disaster off Brazil.

But Chevron's hoping you focus on its empty words, not its dirty deeds. Here's a great parody from FunnyOrDie.com:

Who Benefits from Expanded Drilling & High Gas Prices?

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Expanded offshore drilling means more risk of spills. And just as the economy begins to recover, families are losing more of their disposable income to rising gas prices. But hey, not everyone's complaining!
Exxon Mobil said Thursday its quarterly profit increased 38 percent as oil prices rose in the first three months of the year.

The company reported a profit of $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the first three months of the year. [...]

Exxon's profit relied heavily on its exploration and production operation. Oil prices surged over the last 12 months, jumping from a low of $33 a barrel in the first quarter of 2009 to more than $80 a barrel this year.

It's about time Exxon Mobil's profits got back on track. After all, it's been a whole 16 months since it posted the biggest profit of the history of the planet. Good to see them back on their feet!

ExxonMobil’s Favorite Day of the Year: April 15

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Why? Because ExxonMobil paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2009:
The most hilarious part is ExxonMobil still finds a way to bitch about its lot in life. The corporation's website includes an issues page on "industry taxes," which threatens that energy innovation is already on the ropes because of excessive taxes, and it will be forever consigned to the dustbin by any new taxes on windfall profits (or, we'd assume, plans like President Obama's to close the offshore earnings loopholes that saved ExxonMobil from the IRS this year). "While our worldwide profits have grown, our worldwide income taxes have grown even more. From 2004 to 2008 our earnings grew by 79 percent, but our income taxes grew by 130 percent," ExxonMobil's flacks wrote, presumably while playing the world's smallest-and most expensive-violin.
But I'm sure this should give us no reason to doubt Gov. Bob McDonnell's promises about how much state revenue will be delivered by handing over our coastlines to Big Oil for drilling ... um, right?