As American families and businesses continue to struggle with rising energy prices, President Bush, Senator John McCain and Congressional Republicans continue to protect the interests of Big Oil at the expense of real relief for consumers.
Instead of joining Democrats to demand oil and gas companies increase supply by producing on the 68 million federal acres of already leased lands, mandating leasing of new lands in Alaska's petroleum reserve, releasing a small portion of the government oil stockpile, or supporting renewable American energy - Republicans voted no and called for opening our last protected areas to Big Oil. Congressional Republicans have also said NO to recouping royalties Big Oil failed to pay taxpayers, to repealing unnecessary tax breaks for the top five oil companies, and to curbing excessive speculation in the energy futures markets in order to bring down gas prices.
But does the oil and gas industry really need tax breaks and more public land?
- Today, Exxon Mobil announced its second quarter profit soared to $11.68 billion - $1,500 each second - the largest quarterly profit by a U.S. corporation in history. [CNN, 7/31/08]
- Exxon's total profit for the first half of this year is more than $22 billion.
- Last year, Exxon Mobil made more than $40 billion in profits - making it the most profitable company in America; yet the company invested just $10 million in renewable energy technologies. [Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 5/21/08]
- Royal Dutch Shell's second quarter profit skyrocketed to $11.56 billion - up 33 percent from second quarter last year - despite reporting a decline in production. [New York Times, 7/31/08]
- Last year, Shell increased first quarter dividends by 11 percent and spent $4.4 billion repurchasing shares company stock - more than 22 times what the company spent on investments in renewable technologies. [Bloomberg, 7/28/08; information provided by BP to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/2008]