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Old 10-30-2005, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Big Oil, Big Oil, Big Oil

Ok so has anyone watched their television lately and seen the oil companies praising themselves for being concerned with environmental safety? My anger stems from one commercial in particular...the BP commercial where the narrator states proudly that BP is spending 1.5 billion dollars in researching and developing "new" forms of fuel (i.e. hydrogen fuel cells, etc.).

How does the public not rise as one and have this ad pulled from the air. In light of the recently publicized record money intakes of big oil, 1.5 billion for a year seems trivial, almost nonchalant in dealing with a major energy crisis.

Our economy is dependent on oil, and with the price per barrel reaching new highs every day, i almost want to scream: "WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT?" Why aren't there laws enforcing big oil to use a large percent of their money to develop new cleaner energy.

The answer to this is in my opinion political and why I decided this was the best place for this post. When the two most powerful people in the country, Dick Cheney and George Bush, have STRONG big oil ties and they break environmental precedents of previous adminstrations to help these companies, it is more than hard to swallow words of hope of new energy development from the president.

Furthermore we can only blame ourselves for placing two big oil honchos in charge of our economic plan for these 8 years.

But I still raise the question: where are strict measures to ensure new energy implementation in the United States. We need to remember that if we get there first we control the technology. This should be our number one priority, but it is more likely that any administration republican or democrat will be too entwined in big business/big oil to be able to pull our economy out from under their grip.

In any case that commercial has to make someone else mad? no? How much has BP made this QUARTER? How much of this profit will go towards that pittance of a research fund? I'd like to know the numbers...wouldn't you?
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Until we see actual energy shortages, until such time as a gallon of gas costs 7 bucks, the populace of the western world really doesn't, as a whole, give a rat's behind about oil.

I don't like Bush but I don't really blame him that much either - Clinton did nothing either, and neither are most major world leaders. and at the end of the day, we keep voting in the Bushes, and Blairs and Martins and the rest who don't do anything about the matter. I'm somewhat impressed by countries like Brazil and India, where the majority of cars now run on gasohol, which reduces dependance on foreign oil and burns a little cleaner.
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I heard on the news that an oil company (can't remember which one) has seen the largest quarterly profit gain of any company in US history. Looks like they are doing pretty well.

My opinion on big oil is that the oil companies realize oil is an outdated energy source and are doing anything in their power to artificially raise the price of it. They will hinder growth in other energy forms even by starting their own alternative energy campaigns and purposely comprimising them if they cannot gain a monopoly like share of it. This also means going to war to gain larger market shares, and creating bottlenecks at the refineries.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Ok so has anyone watched their television lately and seen the oil companies praising themselves for being concerned with environmental safety? My anger stems from one commercial in particular...the BP commercial where the narrator states proudly that BP is spending 1.5 billion dollars in researching and developing "new" forms of fuel (i.e. hydrogen fuel cells, etc.).
Yep, I've seen the commercials. Your anger at BP for spending $1.5B on alternative fuel research is somewhat confusing, especially since you later make clear that you think oil companies are attempting to suppress alternative energy technologies. We should be praising efforts made by anyone, including oil companies, to develop hydrogen fuel cells, e.g.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
How does the public not rise as one and have this ad pulled from the air. In light of the recently publicized record money intakes of big oil, 1.5 billion for a year seems trivial, almost nonchalant in dealing with a major energy crisis.
Oil companies are not the ones who are obligated to "[deal] with a major energy crisis": they are private companies. Thus, their contribution, however insufficient you might deem it to be, is helpful. This is a bit like complaining that one of those cruise lines that docked ships in New Orleans to provide housing for displaced people was at fault for only bringing a small percentage of their fleet to NO: it was still a charitable act.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Our economy is dependent on oil, and with the price per barrel reaching new highs every day, i almost want to scream: "WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT?" Why aren't there laws enforcing big oil to use a large percent of their money to develop new cleaner energy.
I don't know where you live, but gasoline prices here are down to about $2.35 for regular. That is hardly a crisis. To be entirely honest with you, I think the government has done a very effective job of swiftly lowering oil prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
The answer to this is in my opinion political and why I decided this was the best place for this post. When the two most powerful people in the country, Dick Cheney and George Bush, have STRONG big oil ties and they break environmental precedents of previous adminstrations to help these companies, it is more than hard to swallow words of hope of new energy development from the president.

Furthermore we can only blame ourselves for placing two big oil honchos in charge of our economic plan for these 8 years.
The reason that oil prices are 30 or 40 cents higher per gallon than they were two or three years ago is because our President and Vice President have big oil ties? What about inflation? What about instability in various middle eastern countries? What about hurricanes destroying refineries along the Gulf of Mexico? There are a lot of causal factors to dismiss before we vaguely pin responsibility for this on the President.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's called Public Relations... all major corporations use it. Why be surprised.

In my mind the fact that there is a constant call for "conservation of fuel" just tells me that the price of fuel is too low. There would be no call for conservation if the price was high enough. The market would ensure that we all conserve.

I say raise the price of fuel to include all the negative eternalities (pollution, repertory illness, etc.) that we already take for granted.

This way those that can afford to keep paying the high prices and drive their SUVs, etc. will pay the full cost of their consumption while those that conserve will cut their cost of fuel by using less.

/end threadjack
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Observe who voted for the "energy bill", recently passed by congress, and signed into law by president Bush.

Observe what it accomplishes, what it will cost American taxpayers, and who it primarily benefits.

Observe who voted for it, and who voted against it.

Ask yourself if the legislators who voted for this bill ,and the president who signed it into law were acting in the best interests of the American people, or against them. Are the people who vote for these politicians, voting against their own best interests because of their own ignorance or blind ideology?
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...072901128.html
Energy Bill Raises Fears About Pollution, Fraud
Critics Point to Perks for Industry

By Michael Grunwald and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 30, 2005; Page A01

.....The provision was just one example of how the energy bill, touted as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil or moderate gasoline prices, has been turned into a piñata of perks for energy industries..........

.......For example, it exempts oil and gas companies from Safe Drinking Water Act requirements when they inject fluids -- including some carcinogens -- into the earth at high pressure, a process known as hydraulic fracturing. Betty Anthony, director for exploration and production at the American Petroleum Institute, said states already regulate the process, but residents of Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia and other states have complained that it has polluted groundwater in their communities.

Meanwhile, the measure will streamline Bureau of Land Management drilling permits -- even though the Bush administration already has granted a record number of permits on BLM land. Lawmakers also authorized seismic blasting in sensitive marine areas to gauge offshore oil reserves -- despite a moratorium on drilling in many of those areas. And the bill will exempt petroleum well pads from storm-water regulations under the Clean Water Act. Anthony said the provision makes sense because the wells are already exempt, but critics question why the oil and gas industry, which has seen record profits in recent months, should be exempt from any aspect of environmental law.

"This bill will allow America's most profitable companies to pollute our water supplies," said David Alberswerth of the Wilderness Society. "They're the kings of Capitol Hill."

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) also managed to insert at least $500 million in subsidies over a 10-year period -- with the option to double the amount -- for research into deep-water oil and gas drilling, a grant that many lawmakers expect to go to the Texas Energy Center in DeLay's home town of Sugar Land. The bill also includes royalty relief for deep-water drilling projects, a strategy that helped jump-start production in the Gulf during the 1990s.

"If you don't provide the relief, nothing will happen," said John Felmy, the American Petroleum Institute's chief economist. "The start-up costs are just too massive."..........

...........The bill passed the Senate, 74 to 26. All Maryland and Virginia senators voted for the bill yesterday, except Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.). In the House on Thursday, the majority of area representatives approved the bill, which passed 275 to 156 . Voting against it were Reps. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

During the debate over the bill's numerous subsidies, taxpayer groups questioned why thriving energy companies need federal aid to produce energy. But the bill's defenders say it is not realistic to expect newer and cleaner technologies to succeed their own. "They need a jump-start," said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute.

Sometimes, they need more than one push. In the 1990s, then-Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska) helped persuade Congress to spend $117 million on an "clean coal" plant in Healy, Alaska, but the factory was quickly mothballed. A potential buyer recently declared it "fatally flawed by faulty design and unproven experimental technology." Now Murkowski's daughter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has helped secure an additional $80 million in loan guarantees to convert the "clean coal" plant into something that works.
Quote:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LI...00213#position
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Conference Report (Conference Report H. R. 6 )
Vote Number: 213 Vote Date: July 29, 2005, 12:50 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Conference Report Agreed to
Measure Number: H.R. 6 (Energy Policy Act of 2005 )
Measure Title: <b>To ensure jobs for our future with secure, affordable, and reliable energy.</b>
NAYs ---26
Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dodd (D-CT)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sununu (R-NH)
Wyden (D-OR)
Voters do not know how to vote in the best interest of themeselves and their families. Until they do, the list of politicians who have firm enough political bases of informed and logical voters, will be a short one, like the one above.
Logical to me, means figuring out what is in your own best interest, and voting for politicians who will represent those interests, and not the conflicting interests of huge, multinational energy companies. Note the party affiliations of almost all of the senators who stood up against this anti-American energy bill.
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Old 10-31-2005, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have a complaint about the costs and effects of high oil prices then take action.

Use less.

Buy a hybrid.

Better yet, buy a solar powered vehicle or electric car.

Even better, bike, walk, take a bus.

Use paper not plastic or bring your own hemp bag for the groceries.

I personally hope oil goes to $10 a gallon - I am absolutely delighted that gas prices went up and sorely disappointed that gas has fallen to a now cheap ass $2.89 in Los Angeles. At this rate, we will never get over our fuel addiction.

I do not blame oil companies nor the Bushes and his cronies. I blame us. All of us. For being sheep, for being complacent, for not giving one damn or at least not doing anything about it. The problem is, no one actually WANTS to do anything about it. I gaurantee, there will be many responses filled with excuses why they can't cut back on car usage etc...

I am concerned however, that our govt. does not commit enough to alternaive energy. A look at the distribution of resources in the energy sector reveals this. And it is appalling that oil companies are subsidized while education, health care gets cut.

I say good for oil. Cause you know, eventually, it will run out (in like 100 years or something).
Here's another taket:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/200...dsatexxonmobil
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alternate energy not in cards at ExxonMobil By James R. Healey, USA TODAY
Fri Oct 28, 7:23 AM ET

ExxonMobil, which stunned Americans on Thursday by reporting nearly $10 billion in profit for the third quarter, says it has no plans to invest any of those earnings in developing alternative or renewable energy - something other oil companies do.

"We're an oil and gas company. In times past, when we tried to get into other businesses, we didn't do it well. We'd rather re-invest in what we know," says Exxon spokesman Dave Gardner.


Neither will Exxon significantly step up how much money it puts into finding oil or refining it into gasoline, which could help ease tight supplies that have driven oil and gasoline prices to records this year.


Exxon's investment for those activities will total about $18 billion this year, roughly what was planned and similar to what Exxon has invested in exploration and refining in past years, Gardner says.

"We do that in good times and bad," he says. "The returns this year might look very large, but there were years when they weren't so large. In years when we had $10 (per barrel) oil, we were investing $15 billion in our business. This year, we'll invest $18 billion." Oil is about $61 a barrel.

Illustrating the feast-or-famine cycle in the oil industry, ExxonMobil earned $7.9 billion for all of 1999.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that the 20 big energy companies it tracks, together, earned $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001, and together earned less than $10 billion in several other quarters in 2001 and 2002.

Exxon notes it boosted the energy efficiency of its own refineries and chemical plants more than 3% last year vs. 2003, and is investing $100 million over 10 years in a Stanford University project to find energy sources not yet being considered.

Nevertheless, Exxon's huge profits and its reluctance to use them for alternative energy development are unlikely to win much applause from motorists weary of $3 gas, suspicious that the current decline in prices will be short-lived, and hoping either for plenty of gas on the market or for a cheaper alternative.


The Sierra Club, an environmental group often critical of the auto and energy industries, said Thursday: "Americans want clean sources of energy that protect public health, reduce pollution, curb global warming, and save consumers money. Instead, ExxonMobil has worked to make America more dependent on oil."


"We can debate what percentage of the profits should be plowed back into the company and what percentage belongs to the shareholders. Not being a shareholder, I'd prefer to see them err in the direction of spending a larger portion on refineries and new (oil and gas) fields and infrastructure," says Peter Beutel, author of Surviving Energy Prices and head of energy consultant Cameron Hanover.


Chevron, which is to report earnings today, plans to boost capital spending and exploration investment 20% this year, to $10 billion. Spokesman Donald Campbell says that amount has risen most years, but not by 20%.

He also notes that Chevron has spent $1 billion since 2000 developing alternative energy, renewable energy and methods of using energy more efficiently. Among those projects is a partnership with automaker Hyundai on a hydrogen-refueling station in Chino, Calif., for the handful of non-polluting fuel-cell vehicles being tested in the USA.

Investments by oil companies in alternative and renewable fuel development are common, which makes Exxon's stance stand out.


For instance Shell, which reported third-quarter earnings of $9.03 billion, up 68% from a year earlier, has a unit dedicated to solar and wind energy. It's called Shell Renewables, and the energy company considers it one of its five core business operations.


Shell also has a global hydrogen unit. Among other projects, it operates a hydrogen-refueling station for fuel-cell cars in suburban Washington, D.C
.
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, gasoline costs too much, and the oil companies (i.e. stockholders) have made quite the profit over the last few months. It's called capitalism. Getting the government involved will only drive down supply even more, resulting in long lines at fueling stations, higher costs, and a falling standard of living for everyone. The market sets the price, not Bush or God. Until someone comes up with a reasonable alternative we're stuck with oil.
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wasn't offended by those commercials. I thought BP was British Petroleum and I wouldn't be surprised to find them actively seeking viable alternative energy products.

I understand corporations are global, but I didn't classify BP with the Texaco, Chevron, et al. corps.

Are they in the same bracket?

(texaco was the company that posted the highest profits, btw)

I think some of the tension over Bush and current energy policies (and why this doesn't often reflect back to Clinton era, or even back to republican presidencies before him) is because of a perceived and actual link between Bush, Cheney, Rice and others with "Big Oil" (those main conglomerates I already listed, not all oil is "Big Oil," I think would be the response).

So when things go awry, or aren't being done, it looks like the administration isn't doing as much as they could (with their old partners and friendships, the thought may be they have extra pull) or even worse, they are deliberately allowing things to happen that enrich them and their associates while steering the nation's policies.

these are the two main reasons I think people direct attention to Bush, et al links to Big Oil. Now either he isn't doing all he could, or he is doing all he can to get more rich, or neither of these are true but that doesn't make people feel less tension about the appearance of inappropriate action and/or linkages. So it doesn't seem to do any good to point out past administartions' indiscretions or inaction. Those simply do not matter to what people are ], feeling, in my observations.
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok to touch on a few points... two dollars for a gallon, while it is still a good deal in comparison with Euro prices is far worse than the price of gas a little less than two years ago or so. In fact there was major media coverage and public outcry when gas hit two dollars and stayed there. So I think you may be suffering from a certain state of habituation there. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that an extra 80 cents or so a gallon will break the bank, it wont, but it is the reason these companies are reaping massive profit gains...

And I'm not blaiming Bush...any administration would most likely uphold an oil based economy because what is good for big business is usually good for the country. But shouldn't we as conscious voters be weary of putting big oil guns in charge of our energy plans, our environmental protection, etc.? It's not like this administration isn't prone to helping out old friends: who did those energy contracts go to in Iraq (cough Haloburton cough).

And to be honest we can't stop using oil...and personal home consumption itself is a major money drain. The sad fact is that we are hooked. The oil will still come here and still be sold at high prices whether or not one person or twelve stops using oil. You have to remember the oil is already here ready to be sold...it's not like when we decide we need it it is shipped special to us. The supply is here and to keep those big businesses going we will keep buying and be urged to keep buying, because what is good for big business is good for American economics.

Ok so what I really wanted to say...I researched this because no one else did and BP made 5.23 billion in profit this quarter. Now this is humble considering the record profits of other companies (i.e., exxon) but it still puts BP at a 20 billion dollar profit. Not going too deep into economics here I think if you are going to advertise that you are environmentally aware, or at least trying to be, you should put more than 1/20 your pofit into that research. My main issue is the commercial, NOT the oil issue here in America. In fact forget geography (even though I've mentioned it myself a half dozen times). The commercial was focused on new energy...glorifying its campaign to lead energy in a new direction as if it was the main initiative of the company. However, for this to be true more than 1/20 of the profit should be invested in this initiative right? RIGHT? That's all I am saying...I realize what they are doing is good, but I have to say no one would be quite so satisfied if a cigarette company invested so little of its money into child smoking prevention. I think to make a commercial touting yourself as a leader in new energy you have to care more than BP does...
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Old 10-31-2005, 07:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
My anger stems from one commercial in particular...the BP commercial where the narrator states proudly that BP is spending 1.5 billion dollars in researching and developing "new" forms of fuel (i.e. hydrogen fuel cells, etc.).

How does the public not rise as one and have this ad pulled from the air.

Hey, it's even worse than you think. Hydrogen is NOT a viable energy generation medium. Gasoline is because we get more energy out of gasoline than we put into making it. Hydrogen is just the opposite. When you add up all the energy we use in order to extract the hydrogen (from methane - this is important, more later) and then store it, it turns out to use more energy to do all that than we get out of the hydrogen when we use it in a car.

Now, why is the methane part important? Well, we need to understand where methane comes from (no, not there). Methane is found in oil wells. And in fact, especially after the oil well has been pumped for awhile and has less oil in it, it's easier to get the methane out than it is to get the oil out. And since methane brings more money in than oil does, it's a win-win situation for the oil companies. Not only do they get credit for being "environmentalists" but they also get the promise of reaping gargantuan profits (again) at the expense of the environment (again) and the consumer (again).
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politicophile
Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Our economy is dependent on oil, and with the price per barrel reaching new highs every day, i almost want to scream: "WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT?" Why aren't there laws enforcing big oil to use a large percent of their money to develop new cleaner energy.


I don't know where you live, but gasoline prices here are down to about $2.35 for regular. That is hardly a crisis. To be entirely honest with you, I think the government has done a very effective job of swiftly lowering oil prices.
what do you mean that is hardly a crisis!?!?!

when the cost of gas in a few months goes up 50 or so cents(even before katrina/rita), when the oil companys said even tho they could pump more oil they decided not to cause they are greedy bastards.

sorry that my reply maybe a bit hostile, but i wasnt having a HUGE problem paying my bills until the gas was jacked up early in the summer!
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shortynickel
what do you mean that is hardly a crisis!?!?!

when the cost of gas in a few months goes up 50 or so cents(even before katrina/rita), when the oil companys said even tho they could pump more oil they decided not to cause they are greedy bastards.

sorry that my reply maybe a bit hostile, but i wasnt having a HUGE problem paying my bills until the gas was jacked up early in the summer!
Yeah, early in the summer I was paying $4.00 a gallon for premium. That sucked. Obviously there are a few people (including you, apparently) that are significantly affected by the increase in gas prices from, say, $1.80 to $2.40. But, it makes no sense to cite the oil companies' "greed" as the reason for the increase: blame it on market forces.

If consumers will pay an additional $X for a product, it doesn't make any sense for an oligopolistic industry to maintain their lower price if they have a good excuse to increase it (Katrina, et all)...
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Ok to touch on a few points... two dollars for a gallon, while it is still a good deal in comparison with Euro prices is far worse than the price of gas a little less than two years ago or so. In fact there was major media coverage and public outcry when gas hit two dollars and stayed there. So I think you may be suffering from a certain state of habituation there. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that an extra 80 cents or so a gallon will break the bank, it wont, but it is the reason these companies are reaping massive profit gains...
i also have to comment on this...i usually always hear a comparison of the prices of other countrys like canada's prices a year or so ago was $3 or so a L, if i remember correctly thats you can get several gallons in a L and we were up to 3.50/g here by my house.

if i read that right you are saying that an extra 80 cents a gallon wont break a family's budget, if so then that is totally wrong cause my wife and i are having a horrible time paying our bills, i only use my car to go to work and back, i usually stay home or run/ride a bike down to the store to grab something quick cause its too damn expensive. if i am wrong, plz correct me cause i dont think that comment is correct!
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politicophile
Yeah, early in the summer I was paying $4.00 a gallon for premium. That sucked. Obviously there are a few people (including you, apparently) that are significantly affected by the increase in gas prices from, say, $1.80 to $2.40. But, it makes no sense to cite the oil companies' "greed" as the reason for the increase: blame it on market forces.

If consumers will pay an additional $X for a product, it doesn't make any sense for an oligopolistic industry to maintain their lower price if they have a good excuse to increase it (Katrina, et all)...
when the market went up cause of katrina, the prices went up and tho i dont like it i do understand it. it wasnt til a couple weeks after the market went down did the price of gas start going back down, at least around here it didnt!
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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the bp around here is almost always 10 cents more then anywhere else(at one point after katrina they were almost 30 cents more then the exxon right down the road), exxon and sunoco are the better priced gas stations around here, but the non-branded gas stations like Sheetz(Altoona,PA), Turkey Hill(Lancaster,PA) and Giant Food Stores(Carlisle,PA) always have the best prices and they try to keep their prices down as much as they can. i used to work for Giant and i know that they use the gas that is at the best price and from those three places i get better gas mileage then from any other place!
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortynickel
when the market went up cause of katrina, the prices went up and tho i dont like it i do understand it.

Well I don't. I could see it if the oil companies raised prices after Katrina and then posted normal profits. Then they'd only be compensating for the losses of Katrina. But when they post RECORD profits, that indicates that they went above and beyond mere compensation, and went into using the hurricanes as an excuse to fleece consumers.
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Oil prices are as close to immune to the effects of supply and demand in the short run as you will get. The oil industry is an ogopolistic, vertically intergrated industry, from oil exploration and extraction to refination to retail gasoline sales. As of 2004,
Quote:
The five largest oil companies in the US (ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell) control 48% of domestic oil production, 50% of domestic refinery capacity, and 62% of the retail gasoline market.
There are collusive practices and control of the downstream process facilitates the collusion between the oil majors. Even so, it isn't much to worry about, imo.
Quote:
The traditional end of an oil price boom does not come from an increase in Opec's output but a recession in the oil consuming world. High oil prices will cause inflation in due course which will cause interest rates to rise and profits to fall and stock markets to crash along with house prices. That would cause an economic collapse in China and slash oil demand reducing prices to something more in line with what consumers can handle.
Now we see why china wanted a piece of US big oil. Price will come down eventually, either through macroeconomic forces, or by a preventative strategy among the oil majors. The question is, will they be satisfied with the latest round of profits to stop or will greed keep them from lowering prices forcing the market to do it for them? What we do know is that it will happen, China's growth will stall - as there is already evidence of - and prices will come back down.

My brother thinks its funny how he sees 20% returns in his portfolio and I have returns of 6% in mine. I ask him what he's invested in and he says oil and construction. Those are the two sectors I've decided to stay away from. They'll come back down, but since I don't know when, I'm not going to put my money there.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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What's interesting is if you look at who owns the Oil companies you see the same "Institutional Holders" owning huge pieces of each one of them.

And then when you look at who owns those, the same companies seem to sit on each others boards and oddly enough the same names keep coming up eventually.

So there is a monopoly and there is price fixing and there is collusion.

Just go to a financial search and type in BP (for British Petroleum) and go to major holders then go back hit competitors and click one and go to their major holders and so on. Then look at the names like State Street, AXA, JPMorgan, FMR appear again and again then go to those companies and go to their major holders and guess what each of them have major holdings in the other. And then look at the borad of directors (on those that list them) and you start seeing names again reappearing.

Nice little trick the rich have to keep monopolies going in the US.
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Pan,

When a board member from one company sits on another board, that is called an interlocking directorates...which are illegal if the companies are direct competitors.

When a board member from Texaco sits on Kellog's, board, and a member from Chevron sits on Kellog's board, that becomes an indirect interlocking directorates. They are not illegal, and there really isn't a way to make them so becuase we can't stop people from sitting on more than one board--just from obviously colluding as they would do if they all sat on chevron's board and texaco's board together.

I pulled this article up and thought you would be interested in the graphs within it. This ownership graph closely resembles the ties of ownership over assets in the US, in general. The picture portrayed is not limited to Big Oil...






-- http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/Petroleum/ftc2.htm
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth
Pan,

When a board member from one company sits on another board, that is called an interlocking directorates...which are illegal if the companies are direct competitors.

When a board member from Texaco sits on Kellog's, board, and a member from Chevron sits on Kellog's board, that becomes an indirect interlocking directorates. They are not illegal, and there really isn't a way to make them so becuase we can't stop people from sitting on more than one board--just from obviously colluding as they would do if they all sat on chevron's board and texaco's board together.

I pulled this article up and thought you would be interested in the graphs within it. This ownership graph closely resembles the ties of ownership over assets in the US, in general. The picture portrayed is not limited to Big Oil...






-- http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/Petroleum/ftc2.htm
I realize it's common practice, especially with banks and what not, I just find it funny when the companies say they price themselves and not on what the competition does. (I.E. one company moves up in price and all others all of a sudden do when there is no rhyme or reason to it.)

I just think it's amazing people don't realize this more often.
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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From this month's Harper's index:
-Percentage change in the average monthly price of oil during the Carter Administration: +85
-Percentage change during the presidency of George W. Bush, before Hurricane Katrina hit this fall: +107
-Days after Katrina hit that Dick Cheney's office ordered an electric company to restore power to two oil pipelines: 1
-Days after the hurricane that the White House authorized sending federal troops to New Orleans: 4
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
From this month's Harper's index:......

........-Days after Katrina hit that Dick Cheney's office ordered an electric company to restore power to two oil pipelines: 1
-Days after the hurricane that the White House authorized sending federal troops to New Orleans: 4
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102801086.html
Full Text: U.S. v. Libby Indictment

Office of Special Counsel
Friday, October 28, 2005; 1:49 PM

20. On or about July 10, 2003, LIBBY spoke to NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert to complain about press coverage of LIBBY by an MSNBC reporter. LIBBY did not discuss Wilson's wife with Russert.
A MSM with the "liberal bias" that many have posted about on these threads, would not have buried this story, as they actually did. Most are reading about it here, for the first time.

Mr. Libby was caught in the act of "enforcing", when he called Tim Russert to complain about unfavorable coverage by Russert's colleague, broadcaster Chris Matthews, about the Bush-Cheney administration, during the investigation of a larger act of "enforcing", directed at Wilson and his wife, Plame.
Quote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariann...se_b_9921.html
.......Why is no one in the mainstream media talking about the most troubling aspect of the latest Russert revelations -- the fact that Libby had called him to bitch about Chris Matthews -- and what it reveals about the cozy, symbiotic relationship between those in power and those in the media? Over the last decade, far too many reporters have forgotten that their mission is to uncover the truth, not to do the bidding of the powers-that-be.

Why did Libby (whom Purdum says Russert had no "particular prior relationship" with) call Russert to complain about Matthews? Why didn't he call Matthews himself or Hardball's executive producer? Or why didn't Libby call the president of NBC News to voice his complaints? Why did he pick Russert?

And why didn't Russert, in his role as NBC's Washington bureau chief, say to Libby, "If there is a factual error, let us know and we can correct it"? Instead, as Russert told Brian Williams following Fitzgerald's press conference: "I immediately called the president of NBC News and shared the complaint."

Was the goal to get Matthews to back off? Was the message to Russert: enforce the rules of the fraternity or risk losing your access?....

........So it's no surprise to learn that Dick Cheney -- no fan of the limelight -- has appeared on Meet the Press (hosted by Russert) no less than 10 times since becoming Vice President but, during that same time, has not made a single appearance on MTP competitor This Week with George Stephanopoulos -- unlike Rumsfeld, Rice, Card, et al who have appeared on both.

After all, even the High Priest of Journalism can't offer his viewers the confessions of those who don't show up.
Contrary to what Bush-Cheney supporters post here, the MSM has been sufficiently intimidated by Cheney and his thug, Libby, to limit it's criticism and it's distribution of news reports like the two that I am quoting [below]. That is what the current status quo is all about. The muzzling of the press and of any potential open dissent of criminal, Bush-Cheney policies is business, "as usual". Scooter's indicment, and news reports like these are a hopeful sign that the tide is finally turning...
I hope, for the future of my country, that it is not happening too late!
Quote:
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/a...WS05/509110304
Originally published September 11, 2005

Power crews diverted
Restoring pipeline came first
By Nikki Davis Maute

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.

That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.

At the time, gasoline was in short supply across the country because of Katrina. Prices increased dramatically and lines formed at pumps across the South.

"I considered it a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating," said Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association - which distributes power that rural electric cooperatives sell to consumers and businesses.

"I reluctantly agreed to pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting the transmission lines to the Collins substations a priority," Compton said. "Our people were told to work until it was done.

"They did it in 16 hours, and I consider the effort unprecedented."

Katrina slammed into South Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29, causing widespread devastation and plunging most of the area - including regional medical centers and rural hospitals - into darkness.

The storm also knocked out two power substations in Collins, just north of Hattiesburg. The substations were crucial to Atlanta-based Colonial Pipeline, which moves gasoline and diesel fuel from Texas, through Louisiana and Mississippi and up to the Northeast.

"We were led to believe a national emergency was created when the pipelines were shut down," Compton said.

<b>White House call</b>

Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.

Jordan dated the first call the night of Aug. 30 and the second call the morning of Aug. 31. Southern Pines supplies electricity to the substation that powers the Colonial pipeline.

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Mike Callahan said the U.S. Department of Energy called him on Aug. 31. Callahan said department officials said opening the fuel line was a national priority.

Cheney's office referred calls about the pipeline to the Department of Homeland Security. Calls there were referred to Kirk Whitworth, who would not take a telephone message and required questions in the form of an e-mail.

Susan Castiglione, senior manager of corporate and public affairs with Colonial Pipeline, did not return phone calls.

<b>Compton said workers who were trying to restore substations that power two rural hospitals - Stone County Hospital in Wiggins and George County Hospital in Lucedale - worked instead on the Colonial Pipeline project.

The move caused power to be restored at least 24 hours later than planned.</b>

Mindy Osborn, emergency room coordinator at Stone County Hospital, said the power was not restored until six days after the storm on Sept. 4. She didn't have the number of patients who were hospitalized during the week after the storm.

"Oh, yes, 24 hours earlier would have been a help," Osborn said.

Compton said workers who were trying to restore power to some rural water systems also were taken off their jobs and placed on the Colonial Pipeline project. Compton did not name specific water systems affected............

.....Nevertheless, Callahan said he drove to Compton's office on U.S. 49 North in Hattiesburg to tell him about the call from the Department of Energy. Callahan said he would support whatever decision Compton made.

<b>Callahan said energy officials told him gasoline and diesel fuel needed to flow through the pipeline to avert a national crisis from the inability to meet fuel needs in the Northeast.

Callahan said the process of getting the pipelines flowing would be difficult and that there was a chance the voltage required to do so would knock out the system - including power to Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg.

With Forrest General Hospital operating on generators, Wesley was the only hospital operating with full electric power in the Pine Belt in the days following Katrina.</b>

"Our concern was that if Wesley went down, it would be a national crisis for Mississippi," Callahan said. "We knew it would take three to four days to get Forrest General Hospital's power restored and we did not want to lose Wesley."

Compton, though, followed the White House's directive.

Nathan Brown, manager of power supply for the electric association, was responsible for overseeing the delicate operation of starting the 5,000-horsepower pumps at the pipeline.

Engineers with Southern Co., the parent company of Mississippi Power Co., did a dual analysis of what it would take to restore power and Brown worked with Southern Co. engineers on the best and quickest way to restore power.

Work began at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 and power was restored at 2 a.m. Sept. 2 - a 16-hour job.

<b>Night work</b>

A good bit of the work took place at night.

Line foreman Matt Ready was in charge of one of the teams that worked to power the substations and the pipeline. Ready's shift started at 6 a.m. Sept. 1; he received word about the job four hours later and saw it to completion.

"We were told to stay with it until we got power restored," Ready said. "We had real safety issues because there were fires in the trees on the lines and broken power poles."

Ready described working on the lines in the dark like attempting to clear fallen trees out of a yard with a flashlight and a chain saw.

"Everything was dangerous," he said.

Ready said the crew members did not learn they were restoring power to pipelines until after the job was done.

How did they feel about that?

"Is this on the record?" Ready asked. "Well, then, we are all glad we were able to help out."

Compton said he was happy to support the national effort. But he said it was a difficult decision to make because of the potential impact in the region had the plan not worked and the area's power restoration was set back days.

"It was my decision to balance what was most important to people in South Mississippi with this all-of-a-sudden national crisis of not enough gas or diesel fuel," Compton said.

"In the future, the federal government needs to give us guidelines if this is such a national emergency so that I can work that in my plans."
The following is editorial comment from the same publication.
Quote:
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/a...509140317/1014
Article published Sep 14, 2005
'Diversion' raises many questions

It was all pomp and circumstance in Collins Tuesday.

A number of federal officials - including Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta - traveled to Collins to heap praise on workers who labored to restore power to the Colonial Pipeline four days after Katrina ravaged South Mississippi.

But here's the rub: The project was undertaken - at the request of the White House - for the express purpose of providing fuel to the northeast United States. It also delayed the restoration of electricity to rural hospitals - Stone County Hospital in Wiggins and George County Hospital in Lucedale - by at least 24 hours, as well as the restoration of a number of water systems powered by the South Mississippi Electric Power Association.

Moreover, there was a very real risk that the voltage required to get the pipelines flowing would knock out power to Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg. Given the multiple problems Forrest General Hospital was experiencing, the area's looming health care crisis could have become a tragedy if power had been cut to Wesley.

Was the national gasoline crisis so serious that it necessitated restoring pipelines for Colonial immediately?

And did this issue take precedence over the needs of hurricane-ravaged South Mississippians?

Or is this one more example of the federal government's failure to comprehend the height, length and breadth of the challenges confronting our region?

You can't fault the effort of Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, and his crew. In fact, what they accomplished - restoring electricity to the substations that power the pipeline, in 16 hours - was extraordinary.

You can't even fault Compton's decision to divert his crews from other projects to the pipeline. Compton said he believed it was "a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating."

But one thing is perfectly clear: The last thing South Mississippi needed - especially at the height of the Katrina disaster - was a diversion of any and all available resources and manpower.

Last edited by host; 11-01-2005 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Ok so what I really wanted to say...I researched this because no one else did and BP made 5.23 billion in profit this quarter. Now this is humble considering the record profits of other companies (i.e., exxon) but it still puts BP at a 20 billion dollar profit. Not going too deep into economics here I think if you are going to advertise that you are environmentally aware, or at least trying to be, you should put more than 1/20 your pofit into that research. My main issue is the commercial, NOT the oil issue here in America. In fact forget geography (even though I've mentioned it myself a half dozen times). The commercial was focused on new energy...glorifying its campaign to lead energy in a new direction as if it was the main initiative of the company. However, for this to be true more than 1/20 of the profit should be invested in this initiative right? RIGHT? That's all I am saying...I realize what they are doing is good, but I have to say no one would be quite so satisfied if a cigarette company invested so little of its money into child smoking prevention. I think to make a commercial touting yourself as a leader in new energy you have to care more than BP does...
How much of your income are you devoting to alternate energy sources? You seem to be getting overly caught up in some percentage figure. The fact remains that 1.5B is a great deal of money for research. That's 1.5B more than they had to put into research.
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:30 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well I originally got the number wrong...it's really a billion for the year...and yes I am caught up in some percentage. I want a high MANDATED percentage put into research of new energies, pollution, etc.

Are you telling me that you think BP should put out a commercial citing new energy research as their top priority and yet only put 1/20 of their profit into it...hell a dollar is a great deal of money if you have none. 1 B is not a great deal of money to a company making a 20 B PROFIT.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:26 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Anyone else notice the recent dip in gas prices now that the Bush presidency is in the shitter? I remember similiarly low prices around the 2004 election. Might think it was a coincidence if the price of gas wasn't controlled on a micro level through obvious collusion between companies. Can anyone else think of a product that changes price across an entire market hour to hour within a 2 cent margin?
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Well I originally got the number wrong...it's really a billion for the year...and yes I am caught up in some percentage. I want a high MANDATED percentage put into research of new energies, pollution, etc.

Are you telling me that you think BP should put out a commercial citing new energy research as their top priority and yet only put 1/20 of their profit into it...hell a dollar is a great deal of money if you have none. 1 B is not a great deal of money to a company making a 20 B PROFIT.
They had high profits for one quarter, you can't accurately extrapolate that over a year. And also, they are a corporation, not a public service. There job is to make profit, not to do research. And also, did they specifically say that new energy research is their top priority, or is that just your spin of their commercial citing their more than generous efforts into research in that area. Because if they did say that new energy research is their top priority, I would assume that the upper management will soon be getting a call to appear before their board of directors.

And as for the mandated percentage put into research, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard. All that would do is cause companies to relocate from America, or cause an equivalent increase in gas prices.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I love the idea and belief that companies do not need to throw big money into research and development.

Thinking like that would have had us still driving Model T's, a DOS OS for pc's, we'd have never reached the moon and flat screened tv's we'd be lucky to have color.

But BP is big oil and we KNOW oil will be our main power source forever, it's clean, plentiful and cheap and so BP doesn't need to throw any money at all into R&D. Hell, 1 billion is far too generous..... I say screw the R&D and let's not put anything in and that way when someone does come out with a newer source of energy we have the money to buy the rights and patents out from under him.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

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Old 11-02-2005, 09:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
I love the idea and belief that companies do not need to throw big money into research and development.

Thinking like that would have had us still driving Model T's, a DOS OS for pc's, we'd have never reached the moon and flat screened tv's we'd be lucky to have color.

But BP is big oil and we KNOW oil will be our main power source forever, it's clean, plentiful and cheap and so BP doesn't need to throw any money at all into R&D. Hell, 1 billion is far too generous..... I say screw the R&D and let's not put anything in and that way when someone does come out with a newer source of energy we have the money to buy the rights and patents out from under him.

No one stepped in and forced Ford to improve on the model T or Microsoft to improve (loosely defined ) PC operating systems. Ford improved the Model T because they wanted to sell more cars. Microsoft upgraded operating systems because they wanted to sell more software. And big oil is researching "alternative" energy because it sees that oil will eventually run out and it doesn't want to die with the oil reserves.

We don't need government to tell the oil companies to research hydrogen fuel sources. In fact, it would do harm to the energy future if government did that, since hydrogen is a bullshit dead end.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:18 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
No one stepped in and forced Ford to improve on the model T or Microsoft to improve (loosely defined ) PC operating systems. Ford improved the Model T because they wanted to sell more cars. Microsoft upgraded operating systems because they wanted to sell more software. And big oil is researching "alternative" energy because it sees that oil will eventually run out and it doesn't want to die with the oil reserves.

We don't need government to tell the oil companies to research hydrogen fuel sources. In fact, it would do harm to the energy future if government did that, since hydrogen is a bullshit dead end.
I guess you missed the sarcasm pointed at the post above me. Where he said/implied BP didn't have to put a cent into R&D, because profit was more important.. I agreed and in a very sarcastic way.

No where in my post did I say anything about the government. (How quick some want to accuse others that do not share their beliefs that they want gov't interference right away.)

It's not government's duty, however, it is a company's duty to keep moving forward and devote as much as possible into the quest of developing a better more cost efficient product. If you decide to sit on your ass and do nothing or the bare minimum don't be surprised if someone else comes along with a better mousetrap and leaves your ass in the dust.

At least that is my belief.

It is also my belief that a new power source will not be developed or sold in the US for a very long time, (because of big oil governmental control, and US patent rights being fought over), however, Europe and Asian countries will have one within the decade.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:16 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Congress and the GOP sound worried about their jobs now and are looking into this. Interesting how while oil was reaching $70 a barrel and people were paying $3 a gallon and oil companies claimed they had no control over it.... they show record profits. Also interesting is how they have complained for years there weren't enough refineries (and the ones they had were all over 25 years old and not as productive as they should be) and now that Bush cleared the way they are refusing to build any new ones.

Hell, even the GOP are calling for taxes on the profits. There comes a time when too much is too much and these great Neocon GOpers are scared for their jobs.

BP is using their 5% R&D as an excuse because they probably were the only ones smart enough to see this coming.

Quote:
Oil Execs to Be Asked to Justify Profits By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
Wed Nov 2,10:15 AM ET



Top executives of three major oil companies will be asked by senators next week why some of their industry's estimated $96 billion in record profits this year shouldn't be used to help people having trouble paying their energy bills.

Lee Raymond, chairman of Exxon Mobil Corp., Jim Mulva, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, and John Hofmeister, president of the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, will be among the industry executives to be questioned at a Senate hearing, according to congressional and industry officials.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a final list of witnesses yet to be completed. The three companies together earned more than $22 billion during the July-September quarter this year when crude oil prices soared briefly to $70 a barrel and motorists were paying well over $3 gallon at the pump after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.

Spokesmen for Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell would not confirm Tuesday that their executives had been called to testify. ConocoPhillips did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

There is growing distress among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress about the huge profits reported by oil companies last week.

On Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record), R-Iowa, chairman of the Finance Committee, said oil companies "should do their part" and donate some of their third-quarter earnings to low-income families and senior citizens having trouble paying energy bills, including high heating bills this winter. Grassley cited industry analysts as estimating that the 29 major oil and gas companies are expected to earn $96 billion this year.

"You have a responsibility to help less fortunate Americans cope with the high cost of heating fuels," Grassley, whose committee deals with tax legislation, wrote in a letter to the chief of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's lobbying arm. He also said companies should invest more of their profits in exploration and production and refining capacity to increase supplies.

Earlier in the day, Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., renewed their call for passage of a windfall profits tax on oil companies. They hoped to put such a proposal — a 50 percent tax on the sale of oil over $40 a barrel — into a tax bill later this month, they said. The revenue would be given to consumers in form of an income tax rebate.

These huge profits "come as a windfall, falling into the laps of the big oil companies with little or no additional effort or expense," argued Dorgan.

The Bush administration also has discussed internally a possible proposal to link funding of the federal low-income energy assistance program to oil industry profits. But Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said he remains opposed to a windfall profits tax, arguing it was a failure in the 1980s and would be counterproductive.

Advocates for low-income energy assistance said that because of soaring fuel costs, as much as $5.2 billion may be needed to help poorer families pay winter heating bills. Congress provided about $2 billion for the program last fiscal year.

In an interview last week, John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the major oil companies, said the industry in the coming years plans to invest $86 billion in marketing, refinery expansions, oil exploration and production. "We are an industry already doing a lot. ... We're already investing vast amounts," Felmy said.

Senate officials said other industry executives and some state attorneys general who have pursued price gouging complaints also were expected to testify at the Nov. 9 hearing. The joint hearing by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Commerce Committee was announced last week by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., as oil companies announced record profits.

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, announced earnings for the third quarter of $9.9 billion, on revenue of $100 billion. Royal Dutch Shell said it had profits of $9 billion, while ConocoPhillips earned $3.8 billion, nearly double profits a year earlier.

House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., urged oil companies to invest more earnings in new refineries and — in answer to a question at a news conference — did not rule out taxing oil company windfall profits. Frist said Congress should consider a federal energy price-gouging law.

"Consumers are increasingly feeling that they are being taken for a ride," Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, said at a hearing last week.
(Highlights added by me)

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051102/...E0BHNlYwN0bWE-
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Last edited by pan6467; 11-02-2005 at 11:21 PM..
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:50 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
They had high profits for one quarter, you can't accurately extrapolate that over a year. And also, they are a corporation, not a public service. There job is to make profit, not to do research.
I'm willing to bet a lot that I can safely assume this profit margin will stay at a steady 5 billion or increase over the next quarter. Why? I'll tell you...First and foremost BP lost money on its operations in the United States because of the devestating hurricanes here (the predicted quarterly profit was higher than 5.3 B)...Secondly oil consumption is about to rise because of the winter season. This is the time oil prices usually rise because of expected demand for heating...and more importantly when a exec at one of these companies sees a profit like this he/she trys his/her damndest to make the profit stick, like say by launching a PR friendly commercial campaign . Makes them look less like money hogs and more like environmentalists in the public's eyes. Getting it?

And I understand what capitalism is of course. The problem in America, and the reason there are economic problems such as outsourcing (not to single that out) is because all these companies look at is profit, money. There is also such a thing as socially consciuos capitalism...which may never be accepted but should be.
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:58 PM   #33 (permalink)
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What I find most disturbing by this commercial is the fact that we don't need to find any new sources at all. We already have a perfectly renewable and useable source:

Biodiesel

It's a soy product that can be used for regular internal combustion engines (after some modification, of course). Once more, it's completely renewable. The state of Minnesota alone produces enough soy that it's surplus can support the midwest for something like a year.
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Old 11-03-2005, 01:39 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
Our economy is dependent on oil, and with the price per barrel reaching new highs every day, i almost want to scream: "WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT?" Why aren't there laws enforcing big oil to use a large percent of their money to develop new cleaner energy.
You're kidding right? You do know who is occuping the white house don't you? An oil man from an oil family with oil ties with oil campaign contribuitors. I have a feeling that you knew this already. The people need to demand cleaner energy. The problem right now is that people don't give a shit about clean energy becasue they want their hot rods getting 10MPG and 300 horses.
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Old 11-03-2005, 05:10 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
I guess you missed the sarcasm pointed at the post above me. Where he said/implied BP didn't have to put a cent into R&D, because profit was more important.. I agreed and in a very sarcastic way.


Hmmm. Obviously I need to repair my sarcasm detector

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Latilla
Never mind!
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:47 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philanderer
I'm willing to bet a lot that I can safely assume this profit margin will stay at a steady 5 billion or increase over the next quarter. Why? I'll tell you...First and foremost BP lost money on its operations in the United States because of the devestating hurricanes here (the predicted quarterly profit was higher than 5.3 B)...Secondly oil consumption is about to rise because of the winter season. This is the time oil prices usually rise because of expected demand for heating...and more importantly when a exec at one of these companies sees a profit like this he/she trys his/her damndest to make the profit stick, like say by launching a PR friendly commercial campaign . Makes them look less like money hogs and more like environmentalists in the public's eyes. Getting it?
I understood what you were saying before, I just didn't agree with your assessment. You don't seem to understand the purpose of a corporation. It is to make money-nothing more. And just because they aren't giving enough of what you feel to be their fair share doesn't make them wrong, nor invalidate the contributions they make.

Quote:
And I understand what capitalism is of course. The problem in America, and the reason there are economic problems such as outsourcing (not to single that out) is because all these companies look at is profit, money. There is also such a thing as socially consciuos capitalism...which may never be accepted but should be.
Social conscious capitalism is an oxymoron. A statement like that makes me think you really don't understand capitalism. Capitalism is not a working mechanism for social consciousness, because capitalism relies on everyone working in their own self interest, even if that's at the expense of society. They are conflicting ideals. And a corporation (if it's opperating as a proper capitalistic body, as it should be unless management wants the board to fire them) opperates best as a revenue-generating machine, and is not the proper medium for doing anything but looking at a bottom line. It is up to the people (through the gov't) to take strides to make sure that what is most profitable to corporations also coincides with society's interests. It isn't enough to just brand companies as evil and just say they should be better, you have to give them incentive.
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:00 AM   #37 (permalink)
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While there are oligopolistic elements of big oil - it is not a monopoly. On average the oil companies make 10 cents per gallon of gasoline, while the gov't take 46 cents. At least the oil companies reinvest those profits into exploration and R&D. Think about how much the US gov't restricts the supply of oil, restricting domestic drilling, requiring companies to import more oil from overseas...If you really want to lower the price focus on the gov't.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:27 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
You don't seem to understand the purpose of a corporation. It is to make money-nothing more...capitalism relies on everyone working in their own self interest, even if that's at the expense of society...It isn't enough to just brand companies as evil and just say they should be better, you have to give them incentive.
Obviously you didn't understand what I've said. I do understand capitalism and I don't claim to call a single corporation evil. I haven't called BP evil or any of the oil companies evil, and I hate that people always boil things down into polar opposites. It's not a world of black and white, there is gray in every crack, so try not to boil this down to good and evil. I believe the first thing I said was that social capitalism probably would never be accepted; however your argument that the people should "through government" control these corporations rather than the corporations controlling themselves smacks of social capitalism.

Social capitalism is the need for an active government role in business development and operations. What social capitalism argues is that government is not invisible, as in the free market form of capitalism, nor is government all intrusive. Instead, government must be active and protect society from the inherent flaws of a free market capitalism.

So...you pretty much said social capitalism was an oxymoron, and then lobbied for it in your closing sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
It is up to the people (through the gov't) to take strides to make sure that what is most profitable to corporations also coincides with society's interests.
That there is no consideration whatsoever for society in the boardroom is ludicrous. It seems even from this thread that companies like BP who invest even a small share of their profits into R&D that helps our society are rewarded with media exposure and praise on most fronts (that includes you)...So wouldn't it be in a companies best interest to understand how it affects soicety and its consumers lives. It seems you're forgetting some basic rules of business: know your customer and keep the customer happy. So being socially conscious, while sometimes harmful to a corporation seems like it aught to be rather important to corporations. Hell look at Wal-Mart. Why spend tons of money fighting all these lawsuits over labor laws? Because PR is a damned big part of business and drives the sacred capitalist bottom line up or down in most cases.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:54 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
capitalism relies on everyone working in their own self interest, even if that's at the expense of society.
how do you reconcile this statement with all known models of the advent of society?
That is, isn't it in one's best interest to preserve the social context he or she exists within (unless you are arguing returning to a state of "nature" would someone be in one's best interest)?
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
What's interesting is if you look at who owns the Oil companies you see the same "Institutional Holders" owning huge pieces of each one of them.

And then when you look at who owns those, the same companies seem to sit on each others boards and oddly enough the same names keep coming up eventually.

So there is a monopoly and there is price fixing and there is collusion.

Just go to a financial search and type in BP (for British Petroleum) and go to major holders then go back hit competitors and click one and go to their major holders and so on. Then look at the names like State Street, AXA, JPMorgan, FMR appear again and again then go to those companies and go to their major holders and guess what each of them have major holdings in the other. And then look at the borad of directors (on those that list them) and you start seeing names again reappearing.

Nice little trick the rich have to keep monopolies going in the US.
Its called an inter-locking directorship, and it violates the sherman anti-trust act, (and a few others) which was passed in order to control...big oil.
Why isn't this pre-existing law being enforced? Good question.
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