Sunday :: May 7, 2006

All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go


by pessimist

Out here in SoCal, gasoline prices are well over $3/gal as this picture illustrates. The effects of such 'prosperity' are beginning to be felt:

High pump prices are pinching the pocketbooks of seven in 10 Americans, a financial hardship that more middle- and higher-income drivers say they are beginning to feel, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

With gasoline prices topping $3 a gallon for regular unleaded in many areas, people say they are driving less, cutting short vacations and curtailing their use of heating and air conditioning.

"Now, I'm just going to work and coming home — not doing anything else," said Kathleen Roberts, who makes a daily, 100-mile round trip from York, Pa., to her teaching job in Baltimore.

Such a commute is typical out here in SoCal, where the 'desirable' homes just begin to be affordable about a half a tank away from one's job. Supposedly, this increase in demand is why gas has become so expensive.

Male. Bovine. Excrement.

A Chevron memo is raising suspicion that oil executives intentionally reduced refining capacity in an effort to boost profits. In the last 20 years, 18 of California's 32 refineries have shut down. The industry is now seeing record prices and profits at the pump.

The 1995 memo, obtained by Consumers Union, reads:

"If the U.S. petroleum industry doesn't reduce it's refining capacity,
it will never see any substantial increase in refinery profits."

Were the oil companies were going broke? Is that why "ExxonMobil Corporation invested only $10 million last year on direct research on alternative energy while reaping a record $36 billion in profits"??? Maybe their CEOs cost too much:

Keep in mind that this quarter alone, ExxonMobil earned an $8.4 billion profit, and this month ExxonMobil also announced that it is awarding its retiring CEO, Lee Raymond, one of the most generous retirement packages in history, including $400 million.
Remember that the next time you fill up at Exxon or Mobil!

I'm runnin' on empty. Brother, can you spare a ride? I'll let you drive.

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