The Intersection

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Speaking of energy… As gas prices topped $4 a gallon this summer, Exxon Mobil has posted a new profit record which works out to bringing in $1,485.55 a second. Go figure.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Exxon Mobil once again reported the largest quarterly profit in U.S. history Thursday, posting net income of $11.68 billion on revenue of $138 billion in the second quarter.

How about reinvesting some of the profits tax toward alternative energy research, eh? More at CNN

Comments

  1. #1 Dirk
    July 31, 2008

    I’m all for investment in alternative energy, but it makes me sad when I hear people advocate additional taxed on the oil companies. Because it shows people don’t look at the economics. Big companies make big profits because they are big. Oil really isn’t all that expensive, and the price of oil is set by the markets, not by Exxon.

    The price of health care has risen much faster than the price of gasoline over the past 20 years. Why don’t we hear calls for a windfall profits tax on pharmaceutical companies or doctor’s offices?

    I was having my blood taken at a clinic and the technician started on the price of gas and how companies were making so much money, and I thought how ironic that she works in an industry with rampant inflation and that costs a considerable portion of the average person’s budget, and she had the audacity to criticize the efficient energy industry.

  2. #2 Russell
    July 31, 2008

    Going a bit further than Dirk, of course these are boom times for the oil industry. Global demand has swelled, tapped reservoirs are in decline, everyone in the industry is looking for new production to replace that, yet total supply grows slowly. It was precisely in anticipation of this that I started investing in O&G a few years back. When profits were in the doldrums. (Do those who today want a windfall profits tax on Exxon think there should have been some subsidy for Exxon when oil was $14/bbl?)

    Perhaps someone should write a book titled The Liberal War on Economic Science.

    Except, of course, not all of we liberals engage in it. I hope fewer than there are Republicans who engage in the war on science.

  3. #3 mlf
    July 31, 2008

    When health care providers start contributing to polluting the environment on a global scale that will increase the frequency of death and disease the world over for decades to come while making more profits than anyone else and spending very little of it to prevent that from happening, then everyone should be just as outraged at them.

  4. #4 Walker
    July 31, 2008

    Going a bit further than Dirk, of course these are boom times for the oil industry. Global demand has swelled, tapped reservoirs are in decline, everyone in the industry is looking for new production to replace that, yet total supply grows slowly. It was precisely in anticipation of this that I started investing in O&G a few years back. When profits were in the doldrums. (Do those who today want a windfall profits tax on Exxon think there should have been some subsidy for Exxon when oil was $14/bbl?)

    No, but the problem is that they have never had to pay for their externalities. They clean up spills in only extreme cases, and even then they do not pay the true economic cost (e.g. lost opportunities, etc.). Drilling on land A can have serious effects on adjacent land B, but the property owner of land B gets nothing for the loss of economic value this incurs.

    The problem is that oil companies have never paid for the true economic cost of their product. Unfortunately, there is no agreement on what that economic cost is.

  5. #5 mxracer652
    July 31, 2008

    Yeah, let’s tax more, raise the price for everyone so the US government can do stupid things like subsidize Archer Daniels Midland to grow corn for E85.

    On top of that, reducing energy profits pretty much screws everyone’s 401ks, IRAs, and pensions, since those are really the only stocks making money these days.

    The more expensive gasoline gets, the more realistic electric cars get. No need to screw that up by involving the grossly incompetent US government.

  6. #6 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    July 31, 2008

    mxracer652,

    Corn ethonal’s not the answer, it’s a means to get the infrastructure in place for second generation cellulosic biofuels. There are many alternative solutions on the horizon and I’d like to see us invest more in making them reality, while creating performance standards to encourage market competition. As I’ve said before, this is not a technology problem. We have the ability now to utilize solar, wind, biofuels, and more where possible as we continue to develop new alternatives. Yes, there are many technologies not yet available, but the only thing we’re lacking is a reaction commensurate to the threat.

  7. #7 Tim
    August 1, 2008

    And yet their stooges in Washington are pressing to open up more offshore and Arctic sites to these guys? If they’re doing so well and we (the people) are still hurting, I doubt whether Exxon more resources is going help anyone but their shareholders. In fact, a recent CNN report states that oil companies are currently utilizing only 20 of 90 million acres of productive land they have on lease (This Is Not A Drill). If they’re really short on oil they can tap into that. No need to give the scoundrels any more real est