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" width="8" height="8"/> Exxon Mobil Sets Record Profits, The Real State of the Union
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The Poster Formerly Known as Y2A
post Feb 2 2006, 09:52 AM
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It amazes me that people still seem to take the longwinded rhetoric that is displayed every year at the State of the Union speech seriously. In the real world oil companies are making record profits, as a matter of fact just a few days ago Exxon Mobil set a new standard for oil company profits at $36 billion dollars. If anyone hear reads the major newspapers, you may have noticed these page long ads by the American Petroleum Institute (the main lobbying group for the oil industry) trying to down play oil company profits in wake of this.

The New York Times
QUOTE
At Exxon Mobil, a Record Profit but No Fanfare
By SIMON ROMERO and EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: January 31, 2006


HOUSTON, Jan. 30 — Exxon Mobil, aided by strong energy prices, disclosed Monday that it had set a record for profits among American companies, reporting $36 billion in annual income. But while most companies would be proud to trumpet record profits, Exxon Mobil did everything it could to play down the news.

(IMG:http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/01/31/business/exxon.184.jpg)
Higher margins at Exxon Mobil refineries, like the one in Joliet, Ill., contributed to 2005's profit.

For Exxon Mobil, which also handily widened its lead over Wal-Mart as the company with the largest revenues in the nation, the report was an embarrassment of riches. Anxious about criticism of the results, executives began laying the groundwork months ago to try to prevent a political reaction against the company and the energy industry.

For example, Exxon Mobil paid for advertisements in leading newspapers arguing that profit margins in the industry lagged far behind those of other industries, like pharmaceuticals and banking.

Still, growing oil profits are generating new scrutiny of the industry, with legislators and taxpayer groups expressing concern over Big Oil's good fortune, as soaring energy prices put increasing pressure on the pocketbooks of consumers.

"If it's Google, no one asks about the profits because they're too busy buying the stock," said Amy Myers Jaffe, associate director of the energy program at Rice University. "Exxon is different. We have these emotional feelings related to gasoline because there's no readily available substitute."

Exxon Mobil's results on Monday, of course, caused jaws to drop; by some measures, the company became richer than some of the world's most pivotal oil-producing nations. Exxon Mobil reported a 27 percent surge in profit for the fourth quarter as elevated fuel prices gave rise to a full-year profit in 2005 of $36.13 billion on revenue of $371 billion. Exxon Mobil said its overall profit climbed more than 40 percent last year, while its tax bill rose only 14 percent.

(IMG:http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/01/30/business/exxon.large.jpg)
A Profitable Industry, Led by Exxon

"It's outrageous for big oil to be making these kinds of profits," said Representative Eliot L. Engel. Mr. Engel, a Democrat from New York, has sponsored legislation with a leading House Republican, Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia, to provide new incentives for alternative fuels and energy conservation technologies.

"We don't need any more tax breaks for the industry, any more sops to the industry that's making record profits," Mr. Engel said.

Gasoline prices at the pump are rising again, with the average price of regular unleaded gasoline up nearly 7 percent from a month ago, to $2.34 a gallon, according to AAA, the automobile club.

In one measure of Exxon Mobil's wealth and influence, its revenue of $371 billion surpassed the $245 billion gross domestic product of Indonesia, an OPEC member and the world's fourth most populous country, with 242 million people.

The company's huge profit report came as no surprise to the White House or to lawmakers in either party, but it arrived just as Congress was preparing to resume a fight over imposing a one-time windfall profits tax on the major oil companies.

Last fall, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill to extend about $60 billion worth of tax cuts over the next five years, but it also included a provision that would impose a one-year tax increase of $5 billion on the nation's largest oil companies. The measure is unlikely to survive. President Bush has already threatened to veto the tax bill if it includes the tax on oil companies, and House Republicans included no comparable measure in their own tax bill.

Another measure approved in the Senate would effectively remove the foreign tax credit that the nation's three largest oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, receive for taxes paid in other countries. Most energy analysts do not see the measures winning approval in the House, but Exxon Mobil executives remain concerned.

"We take these issues very seriously," said Mark Boudreaux, a company spokesman. "We realized that we needed to do a better job of explaining how the industry works."

To help make its case, the company organized slide shows for groups of journalists ahead of the report, explaining that its operations accounted for only 3 percent of global oil production.

Republican lawmakers were on the defensive on Monday. Not only are they under heavy pressure from party leaders and from the White House to kill the proposed tax on oil companies, but they also inserted more than $2 billion in additional tax breaks for oil and gas companies in the energy bill that Congress passed last November.

A spokesman for the House speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, said the oil companies had to explain themselves better and to offer more information on their plans to lower fuel prices by expanding their refining capacity in the United States.

"The message from the speaker is that oil companies need to do more work to bring oil and gas prices down," said Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for Mr. Hastert, who is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with the president of the American Petroleum Institute.
 
A Profitable Industry, Led by Exxon "Companies make profits, and that's O.K.," Mr. Bonjean said. "But when you're dealing with a family's bottom line, we'd like to see some kind of plan to address rising costs."

Executives at Exxon Mobil, which is based in Irving, Tex., have been trying in recent weeks to reposition the public discussion of the company's profit by comparing the industry's results to those of other industries.

For instance, pharmaceutical companies earned 18.6 cents for each dollar of sales in the third quarter of 2005, and banks 18 cents, compared with 8.2 cents at oil and natural gas companies, said Mr. Boudreaux, the Exxon Mobil spokesman.

Still, the company's profits stand out by almost every measure. Exxon Mobil's profit last year of $36.1 billion easily surpassed the earlier record of $25.3 billion, which Exxon Mobil had set in 2004, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor's in New York. Among industrial companies, only the Ford Motor Company's profit of $22 billion in 1998 comes close to Exxon Mobil's success in recent memory, Mr. Silverblatt said. Wal-Mart, in the year that ended Jan. 31, 2005, had net income of about $10.3 billion on sales of $285 billion.

Exxon Mobil's profit climbed last year thanks largely to higher prices for oil and natural gas, but also for other reasons, including higher margins at its refineries, the start of oil production at a project on Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East and a gain from the sale of a stake in Sinopec, an energy concern controlled by China's government.

Exxon Mobil shares surged to $63.11, up $1.82, or 2.97 percent. However, even as investors applauded Exxon Mobil's new chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, who succeeded Lee R. Raymond at the start of this year, Exxon Mobil's results masked potentially weaker profits if oil and gas prices begin to decline.

Production on an oil-equivalent basis at Exxon Mobil's oil fields around the world declined 1 percent in 2005, excluding stoppages at platforms in the Gulf of Mexico from last year's hurricanes. This illustrates an industrywide problem: an inability to tap into the world's richest oil exploration areas in the Middle East and Venezuela because of political barriers.

"Lack of access to new reserves is the most important problem Exxon and the other large oil companies are facing," said Michael J. Economides, an influential professor of chemical engineering at the University of Houston. "It should make them paranoid about the future."

Political uncertainties in oil-rich nations, however, also worked in Exxon Mobil's favor in recent months, as concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions and tension in Nigeria and Venezuela kept oil prices high.

Crude oil prices have doubled in the last two years, driven largely by strong demand in the rising economies of Asia and in the United States, which alone consumes about a quarter of the world's oil production.

Oil for March delivery rose Monday to $68.35 a barrel, up 59 cents, in New York trading.

Part of the reason for Exxon Mobil's quarterly gains was that oil and natural gas prices were driven higher by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina; profit climbed to $10.7 billion in the quarter from $8.42 billion.

Revenue in the quarter reached $99.7 billion, an increase of 20 percent.

Some Democratic lawmakers pounced on the Exxon Mobil profit report to attack Republicans' recent willingness to give the industry additional tax incentives at a time of record profits.

"A real bill should concentrate on alternative fuels, corn and ethanol and hybrid cars and all these new technologies," said Mr. Engel, the Democratic congressman from New York.

Edmund L. Andrews reported from Washington for this article.


This post has been edited by The Poster Formerly Known as Y2A: Feb 2 2006, 09:54 AM
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE
"It's outrageous for big oil to be making these kinds of profits," said Representative Eliot L. Engel. Mr. Engel, a Democrat from New York, has sponsored legislation with a leading House Republican, Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia, to provide new incentives for alternative fuels and energy conservation technologies.


But its perfectly OK for other industries? :blink:

Much ado about nothing unfortunately. If politicians had gotten off their ass in the 1970s and developed alternatives to petroleum, we wouldnt be in this position today.
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necrolyte
post Feb 2 2006, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE(Dakyron @ Feb 2 2006, 06:17 PM)
But its perfectly OK for other industries?  :blink:

Much ado about nothing unfortunately. If politicians had gotten off their ass in the 1970s and developed alternatives to petroleum, we wouldnt be in this position today.
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The problem is that part of those "profits" end up in the campaign warchests of those politicians for the very purpose of keeping a petroleum monopoly... :/
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Feb 2 2006, 12:05 PM)
The problem is that part of those "profits" end up in the campaign warchests of those politicians for the very purpose of keeping a petroleum monopoly... :/
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Again, but when other industries do it no one cares? Im not saying its good, Im saying why do you single out big oil if not for political purposes against Bush/republican party?
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JLord
post Feb 2 2006, 07:50 PM
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Shouldn't people be happy that US corporations are making record profits? This means lots of jobs for people, and lots of money injected into the US economy.


QUOTE(necrolyte @ Feb 2 2006, 12:05 PM)
The problem is that part of those "profits" end up in the campaign warchests of those politicians for the very purpose of keeping a petroleum monopoly... :/
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That is not the oil company's problem. Campaign financing should be reformed.
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acow
post Feb 2 2006, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE
Im saying why do you single out big oil if not for political purposes against Bush/republican party?


Because its the biggest most obvious glaring example to use rather than listing out all the smaller ones?
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE(acow @ Feb 2 2006, 02:26 PM)
Because its the biggest most obvious glaring example to use rather than listing out all the smaller ones?
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Or because it benefits the left's political agenda while pointing their own corporate ties to companies of questionable ethics would not?

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JLord
post Feb 2 2006, 10:13 PM
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What corporate ties does the left have?
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE(JLord @ Feb 2 2006, 03:13 PM)
What corporate ties does the left have?
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Are you serious? You dont believe the left has any corporate ties?

Oy...

Off the top of my head I know Pepsi(or their parent company), Heinz(obviously), probably a dozen more if I bother to look them up...
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Stimulant
post Feb 2 2006, 10:24 PM
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uh, i thought you were an econ minor or some shit y2a? Since when does price become a direct function of cost, and stop being a tool of distribution?
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acow
post Feb 2 2006, 10:29 PM
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QUOTE
Or because it benefits the left's political agenda while pointing their own corporate ties to companies of questionable ethics would not?


Maybe, but thankfully the motivation behind presenting truthful statements is seperate from whether they're true or not.

And its also true that big oil is the biggest and most obvious, so it makes sense to focus upon, unless one wants to turn the thread into "left this" and "right that".

Of course, by "the left", i'm assuming you actually mean "the democrats"...
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marleyfrost
post Feb 2 2006, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE(Dakyron @ Feb 2 2006, 05:21 PM)
Are you serious? You dont believe the left has any corporate ties?

Oy...

Off the top of my head I know Pepsi(or their parent company)
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Yup, PepsiCo is a liberal outfit forsure and proved it by being the 22nd largest "donor" to the bush campaign.
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JLord
post Feb 2 2006, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE(Dakyron @ Feb 2 2006, 03:21 PM)
Are you serious? You dont believe the left has any corporate ties?

Oy...

Off the top of my head I know Pepsi(or their parent company), Heinz(obviously), probably a dozen more if I bother to look them up...
*



I never said they didn't have any corporate ties. I was just asking what they were. I presume they must have corporate ties, but you don't hear about it as often. So I ask.

If you are only against oil companies because they donate to the republicans, why don't push for finance reform. Don't blame the companies for making money. I would say it is good that they are making lots of money.
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 10:49 PM
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QUOTE(acow @ Feb 2 2006, 03:29 PM)
Maybe, but thankfully the motivation behind presenting truthful statements is seperate from whether they're true or not.

And its also true that big oil is the biggest and most obvious, so it makes sense to focus upon, unless one wants to turn the thread into "left this" and "right that".

Of course, by "the left", i'm assuming you actually mean "the democrats"...
*



Im just saying people getting up in arms about 'big oil' are just stupid considering they ignored the problem for years until now.

left this, right that discussions are lame... Im just suggesting that people think of the problem and solution in a more comprehensive and objective way than "impeach Bush! No blood for oil!'...

QUOTE(marleyfrost @ Feb 2 2006, 03:36 PM)
Yup, PepsiCo is a liberal outfit forsure and proved it by being the 22nd largest "donor" to the bush campaign.
*



source?

I know PepsiCo contribute regularly to the anti-gun lobby, but trying to find info on that is difficult considering all the crap I have to sift through...
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marleyfrost
post Feb 2 2006, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE(Dakyron @ Feb 2 2006, 05:49 PM)
source?

I know PepsiCo contribute regularly to the anti-gun lobby, but trying to find info on that is difficult considering all the crap I have to sift through...
*



Sure there buddy, right after you pony up.

Edit:

Sorry as Daky is so talking out his ass, I had to post this

QUOTE(2006 cycle)
5 PepsiCo Inc $63,792  Dem 21% Rep 79%

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/cont...=A09&Cycle;=2006

QUOTE(2004 cycle)
1 PepsiCo Inc  $444,430 Dem 30% Rep 70%
11 HJ Heinz Co $183,935  Dem 21% Rep 79%


QUOTE(2002 cycle)
1 PepsiCo Inc  $1,324,326 Dem 17% Rep 83%


QUOTE(2000 cycle)
2 PepsiCo Inc  $852,255  Dem 17% Rep 83%


QUOTE(1998 cycle)
2 PepsiCo Inc  $548,265  Dem 19% Rep 81%


QUOTE(1996 cycle)
1 PepsiCo Inc  $721,438  Dem 13% Rep 87%


QUOTE(1996 cycle)
2 PepsiCo Inc  $473,427  Dem 20% Rep 80%


http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/cont...=A09&Cycle;=1992

This post has been edited by marleyfrost: Feb 2 2006, 11:24 PM
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post Feb 2 2006, 11:02 PM
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QUOTE(JLord @ Feb 2 2006, 05:13 PM)
What corporate ties does the left have?
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The exact same ones as the right, actually, provided you're looking at donations from the private sector to incumbent politicians as an indication of "ties".
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necrolyte
post Feb 2 2006, 11:25 PM
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Both the left and right have financial ties to a variety of groups. It, of course, is imperative to sever those ties for a million reasons from national security to the basic welfare of the American people, but it is difficult.

Why is it worse when oil does it Dakyron? I think because oil is the lifeblood of the American economy. Everything from plastics to electricity to automobiles to manufacturing rely to some degree on oil. So their interests exert control over more aspects of our lives than any other. They also have foreign policy implications, which lumber industry lobbying or abortion rights lobbying might not have.

So what offends people the most is that when they use their power, its often viewed as contrary to the interests of every other American.
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Dakyron
post Feb 2 2006, 11:30 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Feb 2 2006, 04:25 PM)
Both the left and right have financial ties to a variety of groups. It, of course, is imperative to sever those ties for a million reasons from national security to the basic welfare of the American people, but it is difficult.

Why is it worse when oil does it Dakyron? I think because oil is the lifeblood of the American economy. Everything from plastics to electricity to automobiles to manufacturing rely to some degree on oil. So their interests exert control over more aspects of our lives than any other. They also have foreign policy implications, which lumber industry lobbying or abortion rights lobbying might not have.

So what offends people the most is that when they use their power, its often viewed as contrary to the interests of every other American.
*




Oil is only of more importance because people give it more importance. If the US suddenly had no (any one of a dozen resources) it would crumble as well. Foreign policy implications? You dont think other multinational companies have foreign policy implications? No... what you mean is "Other companies dont make attack Iraq and murder children blah blah blah"... There are plenty of other corporation with just as dismal ties that you ignore because of your own personal bias.

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The Poster Formerly Known as Y2A
post Feb 3 2006, 10:41 AM
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QUOTE(JLord @ Feb 2 2006, 02:50 PM)
Shouldn't people be happy that US corporations are making record profits?  This means lots of jobs for people, and lots of money injected into the US economy.
*


More like a lot of higher dividends for stockholders of these big oil companies. Even more after Bush cut taxes on dividends. Shell, the British/Dutch company has recently announced record profits of U.S $22.94 billion as well.

BBC News
QUOTE
Shell reports record UK profits 

(IMG:http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41284000/jpg/_41284866_shell_pa203.jpg)
Soaring crude prices are boosting oil companies' profits

Soaring oil prices in 2005 have helped Royal Dutch Shell report a record annual profit for a UK-listed company.
The Anglo-Dutch energy giant generated profits of $22.94bn (£13.12bn) - up nearly a third on last year when it set a UK record with profits of $17.59bn.

The results follow a year in which the cost of crude jumped from below $45 a barrel to break the $70 mark.

Most of Shell's profits come from finding and extracting oil, and then selling it on to the markets.

Little, if any, profit comes from forecourt sales of fuel - which in the UK attracts among the highest taxes in Europe.

That has not stopped road lobbyists calling for Shell to reduce prices.

'Solid platform'

The cost of crude oil rose sharply last summer as a number of factors combined to push up the price.

Continued demand from countries such as China and the US came at the same time as political tensions in a number of oil-producing countries, and output in the Gulf of Mexico was affected by a series of hurricanes.

As well as the annual figure, Shell also unveiled a fourth quarter net profit of $5.395bn.

"Our good performance in the fourth quarter 2005 gives us a solid platform to build on in 2006," said chief executive Jeroen van der Veer.

"We delivered record cash and earnings. Success in exploration and gaining access to new resources continues."

He said production expectations for the year had been met, despite the impact of the hurricanes.

The firm said that efforts to get its damaged Mars platform in the Gulf of Mexico back into operation should be concluded in the middle of 2006.

Alternative energy

Mr van der Veer said the company would invest strongly in new energy technologies, in a week when US President George W Bush warned of "addiction" to oil and said alternative fuels to compete with petrol could be produced within six years.

Ruth Bridger of the AA said: "Shell should be putting more money into research and development to get away from an oil-based economy, and look at developing new alternative fuels such as hydrogen cells."

Shell also indicated it would buy back shares totalling $5bn during the coming year.

"We focus on delivery now and building the future," said Mr van der Veer.

Shell said its reserve-replacement ratio, the capacity to replace pumped oil with new oil, was 70 to 80%. Firms aim for a rate of more than 100% to keep their asset base solid.

In 2004 Shell's reserve-replacement ratio was less than 50%, leading to criticism from investors.

'Bit disappointing'

Shell's results come after Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil this week revealed $33.86bn profits in its last financial year - the biggest so far in corporate history.

Some analysts said Shell could have done better given Exxon's figures.

"Things are as expected, but the result in itself is a bit disappointing," said Jaap Barendregt, at FBS Bankiers.

"We could have expected somewhat more given the surprise we saw with Exxon."

In December, Shell cut its plans for North Sea exploration, blaming Chancellor Gordon Brown's tax hikes for the move.

The company had planned to hire three drilling rigs, but has decided to reduce the number to two.

Shell said it took the decision after a review prompted by the chancellor's decision to increase a charge on profits from 10% to 20%.

Instead Shell is focusing on other parts of the world; in the fourth quarter it said 20 successful exploration wells were drilled in Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Egypt, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, UK and USA.

And in November it started pumping oil from a huge new field off the Nigerian coast.


This post has been edited by The Poster Formerly Known as Y2A: Feb 3 2006, 10:55 AM
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marleyfrost
post Feb 3 2006, 02:08 PM
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But Exxon is such a good corperate citizen.

QUOTE
Exxon back in court over 1989 Valdez spill fine
Third appeal after judge slapped $4.5 billion fine plus interest

SAN FRANCISCO - It’s been nearly 17 years since the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil along the Alaska coast in one of the country’s worst environmental disasters, and a jury’s $5 billion judgment against the company is still tied up in the courts.


http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11059801/
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JLord
post Feb 3 2006, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE(The Poster Formerly Known as Y2A @ Feb 3 2006, 03:41 AM)
More like a lot of higher dividends for stockholders of these big oil companies. Even more after Bush cut taxes on dividends. Shell, the British/Dutch company has recently announced record profits of U.S $22.94 billion as well.
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Is that bad? I just don't see what you are getting at here. Higher dividends for US investors is also good for the country. Would it be better if US investors were losing money? I don't understand.
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post Feb 8 2006, 03:12 PM
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jlord: are you not assuming that those dividends end up back in the US economy? What if those mindnumbing profits were instead placed beyond the reach of tax authorities and are instead used in currency trading in tax havens? Can you see how that might not be to the benefit of the US people and economy?
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post Feb 8 2006, 07:54 PM
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post Feb 8 2006, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE(Bayesian methodology @ Feb 8 2006, 02:54 PM)



And?
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Bayesian methodology
post Feb 8 2006, 09:04 PM
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ADM is the leading domestic producer of ethanol. EEEEEEEEEvil Bush and Cheney have obviously been shaping policy to increase ADM's stock price.
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post Feb 8 2006, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE(Bayesian methodology @ Feb 8 2006, 04:04 PM)
ADM is the leading domestic producer of ethanol.  EEEEEEEEEvil Bush and Cheney have obviously been shaping policy to increase ADM's stock price.
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And? You're sure it's "EEEEEEEEEvil bush and cheney" and not that Archer Daniels Midland Boosts Dividend?

And either way what has it got to do with Exxon bending the US over the corporate conference table?
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post Feb 8 2006, 09:25 PM
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Exxon isn't bending anyone over anything. Exxon doesn't pull commodity prices out of its ass.
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marleyfrost
post Feb 8 2006, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE(Bayesian methodology @ Feb 8 2006, 04:25 PM)
Exxon isn't bending anyone over anything.  Exxon doesn't pull commodity prices out of its ass.
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Oh your right, Exxon has no control over the market price of gas at all.
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Bayesian methodology
post Feb 8 2006, 10:22 PM
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That's a bunch of crap. The main reason for high gas prices is high energy demand in China and India. But if you think increased ghg emissions are causing global warming and that it is a problem, you should be pleased with high prices.
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lowell
post Feb 9 2006, 04:34 AM
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QUOTE(Dakyron @ Feb 2 2006, 05:21 PM)
Off the top of my head I know Pepsi(or their parent company), Heinz(obviously), probably a dozen more if I bother to look them up...


Not sure about Pepsi But Heinz company is a huge republican supporter.
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