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Conference Call with ExxonMobil's Ken Cohen

I participated in a blogger conference call with Ken Cohen, Vice President of Public Affairs of ExxonMobil. Ken was very gracious with his time and answered many, many questions.

A lot was discussed but I have outlined several topics that I thought were interesting.

To begin, the biggest issue facing oil companies in general is the lack of understanding about how the energy industry works in general and how ExxonMobile works in particular. First, ExxonMobil only produces 3% of the world's oil. There are approximately 170,000 gasoline stations in the US; ExxonMobil owns and operates fewer than 1000 of them.

Regarding the sudden increase in gas prices, Mr. Cohen said a lot of it is due to the unprecedented growth in other parts of the world, such as in China and India. He said that the growth in those countries was not unexpected, but their rate of growth was.

As we learned on Sunday's Meet the Press, Senator Dick Durbin suggested a "windfall" tax to keep ExxonMobil from getting profits to the heavens, as Senator Durbin said. Take a look at the amount of US taxes ExxonMobil pays compared to its US earnings:

These numbers are from the past five years:


US Earnings: $34.9 Billion
US Taxes Paid: $57.1 Billion

These numbers are from the first quarter of 2006:

US Earnings: $2.3 Billion
US Taxes Paid: 3.7 Billion

Those numbers are correct. ExxonMobil's tax bill to the US government exceeded its US earnings. I'd call that a windfall profit for the good Senator Durbin and his cohorts who are demanding even higher taxes from ExxonMobil.

Government regulations are also oppressive. As Mr. Cohen said, the oil industry is the most regulated industry in the nation. By the way, all this regulation makes these accusations of price-gouging absurd. In fact, there's even a group of government employees in the Federal Trade Commission, I don't remember this group's name - more information is coming soon, but these folks' jobs are to track and supervise the price of gasoline from all over the country every day. This data is computerized, so if there were any attempt at price gouging taking place, these folks would know immediately.

None the less, if the government holds hearings on the price of gasoline, Mr. Cohen said that executives from EM would go and testify. Their answer would be that there is no price gouging.

Many people have said the best way to increase supply of gasoline is to build new grassroots refineries, assuming they were to get government approval. According to Mr. Cohen, that isn't the best way to increase supply in the long term because it would take 5 - 6 years before we'd see any positive impact on the price of gas. Instead, he recommends expanding existing capacity, which is much easier. I was impressed with the fact that the oil industry has been able to get 27% more capacity out of 50% fewer refineries since 1981.

I asked Mr. Cohen about EM's efforts in developing other alternative energies. He said that in the 70's, ExxonMobil was involved in solar energy. As we see, solar energy really hasn't taken off with the American public. The biggest issue with alternative energies is that the technologies are simply not available at this point.

More information that we discussed in this call is being sent. As soon as I get it, I will update.

There was so much discussed I wasn't able to cover it all. Read more about the conference call at these :

Mary Katharine Ham at Hugh Hewitt - thanks to Mary Katharine for informing me of the CC.
Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit
John Hawkins at Right Wing News
Rob Bluey at Human Events
Pat Cleary at RedState
Peyton Knight at National Center Blog
Flip Pidot at Suitably Flip
Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters


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Comments (42)

Let me save the trolls some... (Below threshold)

Let me save the trolls some time:
Choose four from column A:
Evil Capitalist Petro-Industry Swine Bushitlet Oilman Haliburton Cheney Lee Raymond Retirement Excessive Profit Tax High Heaven
Price-gouging
Mix with your own favorite politician or commentator (or choose one from below)
Russert Durbin
No substitutions allowed.

Kim, you've got a smudge of... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Kim, you've got a smudge of oil on your nose -- at least, I assume that's oil...

You wrote:
These numbers are from the first quarter of 2006:
US Earnings: $2.3 Billion
US Taxes Paid: 3.7 Billion

but the Exxon Press Release(pdf) shows that Exxon had total earnings of $8.4 Billion for that quarter. Are you suggesting that Exxon, which is a U.S. corporation, shouldn't pay taxes on its non-U.S. earnings? Doesn't Ford pay taxes on its non-US earnings? Doesn't every US Corporation?

Wait, I forgot - Kim never answers questions (rather like that old one-way MSM model) so I'll throw that question open to anyone who dares suggest that Exxon should pay taxes on their US earnings only.

And since I'm pretty sure only three or four of you are going to suggest that (trolls who will suggest it solely to be able to post comments using the four-letter words they heard Daddy say) I'd like to follow up my question to Kim with another.

Why would you not show the total earnings number? Is it because that isn't the "bullet point" Exxon and their pals in the Republican Party are telling you is important?

Taxes of $3.7B on earnings of $8.4B works out to be a really fair number; a ratio not terribly different than what many well-off Americans have to pay in taxes each year. Make no mistake about it, Exxon is a very well-off US corporation. They should pay their fair share of taxes.

Special treatment for the pals of the White House? What a pathetic joke. Taxes their asses until they bleed - the same way low and middle-income Americans are bleeding at the gas station these days every time fill up.

Hmmmm.Kim... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Kim, you've got a smudge of oil on your nose -- at least, I assume that's oil...

What a twit you are Lee.

but the Exxon Press Release(pdf) shows that Exxon had total earnings of $8.4 Billion for that quarter.

She specified "US" you twit. That $8.4b figure is total net income for a corporation that spans 200 countries.

Are you suggesting that Exxon, which is a U.S. corporation, shouldn't pay taxes on its non-U.S. earnings?

That's yet another strawman you twit.

Doesn't Ford pay taxes on its non-US earnings? Doesn't every US corporation?

Utterly irrelevant.

Wait, I forgot - Kim never answers questions (rather like that old one-way MSM model) so I'll throw that question open to anyone who dares suggest that Exxon should pay taxes on their US earnings only.

Since nobody but you has advanced that idea then you're the one who needs to answer that.

And since I'm pretty sure only three or four of you are going to suggest that (trolls who will suggest it solely to be able to post comments using the four-letter words they heard Daddy say) I'd like to follow up my question to Kim with another.

Why not. You certainly can't be held for false advertising since you intentionally didn't specify a good question.

Why would you not show the total earnings number?

Perhaps to show that EM pays more in taxes TO the US government than it earns as net income from operations in America.

Is it because that isn't the "bullet point" Exxon and their pals in the Republican Party are telling you is important?

Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yadda. Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Frankly the only Vast Conspiracy I'm a part of is where liberals actually learn what they're talking about.

Never happen though.

Taxes of $3.7B on earnings of $8.4B works out to be a really fair number; a ratio not terribly different than what many well-off Americans have to pay in taxes each year. Make no mistake about it, Exxon is a very well-off US corporation. They should pay their fair share of taxes.

Ditto previous.

Special treatment for the pals of the White House? What a pathetic joke. Taxes their asses until they bleed - the same way low and middle-income Americans are bleeding at the gas station these days every time fill up.

Yet another liberal demanding the bad old corporation do the impossible.

Have you ever heard of fidicuary duty? This is the legal requirement that all officers of a corporation do their utmost to provide the best return for their shareholders. If EM provided gasoline at low low prices and thereby hurt the shareholders then the executives of EM would be on the hook in not only civil court but possibly in criminal court as well.

Facts. They're like water off a duck's ass for you Lee.

It's just amazing the amount of ignorance that liberals have. Every time I think the depths have been plumbed, there goes the bottom.

'yawn'Uh, Lee Exxo... (Below threshold)
Toddk:

'yawn'

Uh, Lee Exxon doesn't pay any taxes and the joke is on you and every other moron who likes to stick it to business.

Now let's see you figure out HOW the joke's on you.

gas prices-
Too bad we didn't get Al Gore in the White House back in 2000. He wanted European style gas prices to (paraphrase) "better reflect the environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels"
If only a certain political party had supporters who could figure out punchcard ballots. :(

Econ 101: supply and demman... (Below threshold)
smitty:

Econ 101: supply and demmand.

Orwellian LeeSpeak.<p... (Below threshold)

Orwellian LeeSpeak.

Well, at least you stayed away from my Oriental Menu.

When I got my Driver's license, gas was

30 cents, coke and gum a ni... (Below threshold)

30 cents, coke and gum a nickel, and a haircut a buck. If ya multiply everything by 10, it looks like we otta tax the heck outa those price gouging barbers and snack food folks.

The United States employs a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The United States employs a "worldwide" tax system under which U.S. corporations generally pay taxes on ALL income, whether derived in the United States or abroad.

It doesn't matter if the earnings were generated in 200 countries outside of the US. It is still taxed - and the tax paid by Exxon was paid on $8.4 Billion, not the smaller US earning portion of $2.3 Billion as stated by Kim.

"She specified "US" you twit. That $8.4b figure is total net income for a corporation that spans 200 countries.

Yes, "ed" that is the earnings amount that is taxed. The suggestion that Exxon paid $3.7 Billion in tax on only $2.3 Billion in earnings is just another lie pushed onto the American public by the oil company-loving right-wing blogosphere.

And to those who think what... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And to those who think what's good for Exxon is good for America, think again. $3+ gasoline is already slowing the sale of domestic automobiles. More layoffs will follow.

Gloom and Doom...the end is... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Gloom and Doom...the end is near...heh.

$3+ gas is hurting domestic automobiles. Damn them all. I guess there is no more credit left for American "know how" to over come obstacles and design better vehicles or to re-energize their business.

Also must suck to pay more in taxes than you can make in your own country. Good thing they are making it in other countries and hopefully spending some of it here.

Rich

It isn't Exxon's fault the ... (Below threshold)
Toddk:

It isn't Exxon's fault the domestic auto manufacturers are run by gutless, visionless morons. (GM in particular)

I thought you lefties loved high gas prices. Oh yeah that's right George Bush has an (R) after his name. (actually it's (D-lite) on wayyyyy too many issues.)

Kudos to whoever thought of... (Below threshold)
Retread:

Kudos to whoever thought of this, I'm sure it was a blogger!

Note that the criticisms of... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Note that the criticisms of Lee's response demonize the writer and do not (cannot!) materially address Lee's argument -- and for all this, that's enough for most of you people, isn't it? He's right on the point, is using facts, and all you can do is restate your hatred of Al Gore. Double {yawn}.

Oh yeah that's right George Bush has an (R) after his name.

That's all you required, right? I mean, fa-a-a-a-r right?

Many people are complaining... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Many people are complaining about high gas prices but how would a new 'windfall' tax help consumers?

The increased taxes would go to the gov't. How does that help consumers?? We'd be paying the same price or more at the pump.

Hmmm. (Hmmm?)Fa... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Hmmm. (Hmmm?)

Facts. They're like water off a duck's ass for you Lee.

So use some facts, ed the talking dork. It's a rationcinative exercise: don't just mention the existence of these "facts"; state them, make a link or something, direct our thinking. Assert something (besides merely spray-painting your not-so-unique characterizations of the "left" -- left here defined as anyone who doesn't see things exactly your way) and then support it, with facts -- not psuedofacts manufatured by the "scientists" owned by the oil & coal industries, but those based on the latest and best-supported research. (I know, you have to avoid challenges to your faith; Harry Potter was just another Wiccan environmentalist. Up is down, good is bad, black is white, there are no gray areas. Let us recommence to disinform.)

Help us to see the great "red state" truth that misguides you all, and then we, too, will commit intellectual suicide and start boosting Bush -- like you, ed, another neocon genius.

The facts here strike me as... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

The facts here strike me as selective.

To begin, the biggest issue facing oil companies in general is the lack of understanding about how the energy industry works in general and how ExxonMobile works in particular. First, ExxonMobil only produces 3% of the world's oil. There are approximately 170,000 gasoline stations in the US; ExxonMobil owns and operates fewer than 1000 of them.

What does "produce" mean in this context? Does it mean extracted? Refined? Also, I'm curious ... does ExxonMobil own infrastructure used for transport of oil? Does ExxonMobil own refineries? If so, what proportion of the world's refineries does ExxonMobil own?

Those numbers are correct. ExxonMobil's tax bill to the US government exceeded its US earnings. I'd call that a windfall profit for the good Senator Durbin and his cohorts who are demanding even higher taxes from ExxonMobil.

But do the US taxes exceed its total earnings? And what does it pay on earnings outside the United States? And where does it pay taxes on those earnings?

Also, I'm not an accountant, so could somebody please define "earnings" for me? Does "earnings" mean net profit after expenses? Or raw revenue?

According to Mr. Cohen, that isn't the best way to increase supply in the long term because it would take 5 - 6 years before we'd see any positive impact on the price of gas. Instead, he recommends expanding existing capacity, which is much easier. I was impressed with the fact that the oil industry has been able to get 27% more capacity out of 50% fewer refineries since 1981.

Can you elucidate on this? How does one expand "capacity?" What is "capacity" as opposed to building more refineries? I've always assumed that "capacity" means "capacity to refine."

--|PW|--

Hmmm.Yes,... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Yes, "ed" that is the earnings amount that is taxed. The suggestion that Exxon paid $3.7 Billion in tax on only $2.3 Billion in earnings is just another lie pushed onto the American public by the oil company-loving right-wing blogosphere.

The only proble Lee is that the only person actually asserting this is you.

Nobody else in this entire discussion has even tried to assert this. Not the original author. Not me.

That's what I was pointing out. And again it's like water off a duck's ass.

Hmmm.@ astigafa</p... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

@ astigafa

Help us to see the great "red state" truth that misguides you all, and then we, too, will commit intellectual suicide and start boosting Bush -- like you, ed, another neocon genius.

That "fact" I was referring to was that nobody but Lee was asserting that EM paid US taxes only on US earnings. Additionally only Lee was asserting that EM shouldn't be paying taxes on total world-wide earnings vs US earnings.

The fact I outlined is that Lee was erecting strawmen, as usual, in order to hyperventilate his way into a liberal paroxysm of outrage.

Got that? Need a map?

If that wasn't clear enough I can try again only this time I'll use words with one syllable to make it easier to comprehend.

Hmmmm.@ pennywit</... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

@ pennywit

Is this comment of yours a joke?

What does "produce" mean in this context? Does it mean extracted? Refined?

I'd suggest that this sentence is rather explicit. It denotes "oil" not refined petroleum products or gasoline, so we can be safe in assuming it's crude oil.

Also, I'm curious ... does ExxonMobil own infrastructure used for transport of oil?

I'd suggest reading up on the Exxon Valdez of Alaska fame.

Does ExxonMobil own refineries? If so, what proportion of the world's refineries does ExxonMobil own?

I frankly don't know and don't understand the relevancy of this.

But do the US taxes exceed its total earnings?

If you read the article you'll see that the US taxes doesn't exceed the total EM earnings.

And what does it pay on earnings outside the United States?

There's no breakdown of the numbers for that. Frankly I don't see the relevancy since EM pays American taxes on total gross revenues and not just on US revenues.

And where does it pay taxes on those earnings?

Ummm. To the IRS. Where else would an American corporation pay it's taxes? To the State Department? To Bahrain?

I really don't understand why you'd ask this question.

Also, I'm not an accountant, so could somebody please define "earnings" for me?

You hold a job right? You are, or have been, employed at some point in your life right? You have gotten a pay stub right?

"Earnings" is the term for net income. I.e. that money is left after expenses and taxes. I.e. money in your pocket.

Dictionary.com: Earnings

Does "earnings" mean net profit after expenses?

Yes.

Or raw revenue?

That's "gross revenue" or "gross income", not earnings which are always a reflection of "net income", i.e. after expenses and taxes.

Can you elucidate on this?

I really don't understand how this couldn't be immediately apparent.

How does one expand "capacity?"

I'd suggest that you can increase capacity by expanding existing refineries. As the article so painfully and explicitly denotes.

What is "capacity" as opposed to building more refineries?

Because there's a 5-6 year lead time on building new refineries, when we need that additional capacity now, along with the infrastructure requirements.

Have you ever seen a refinery? They cover acres of ground and are extremely complex and dangerous installations.

I've always assumed that "capacity" means "capacity to refine."

That is correct but it is a holistic view rather than a component view. The capacity of a particular refinery is not just on the total volume that the refinery can crack but it also encompasses the logistical "tail" of inbound and outbound freight.

A refinery doesn't operate on tanker trucks. It requires railroads and pipelines to push for maximum efficiency and any bottleneck in either inbound crude oil or outbound refined products will cause the refinery to operate at less than maximum efficiency and capacity.

So the quickest method of increasing capacity isn't to build more refineries, which have long lead times, but to increase capacities at existing refineries in terms of the total volume that they can handle for cracking and the volume they can handle in both inbound and outbound freight.

...

Frankly I'm still not certain if this is a joke or not.

Let me see, I'm r... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Let me see, I'm runnig a company and I'm
paying out more than I make cause I just
want to do good for my customers,I have a
deed to the Golden Gate Bridge I will trade
for a new ford GT-40 net value 150,000 Thats
a cold hard fact...You just don't run a company
for fun and not make all the profit you can
and from the days of the EXXON Valdez, were Exxon
and we don't give a damn....

Yes, "ed" that is the ea... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

Yes, "ed" that is the earnings amount that is taxed. The suggestion that Exxon paid $3.7 Billion in tax on only $2.3 Billion in earnings is just another lie pushed onto the American public by the oil company-loving right-wing blogosphere.

Lee, your logic is, well, illogical.

The point is that EM pays MORE in taxes to the US government than they make in the USA. EM would be better off moving outside the US and selling in 199 countries and paying taxes there, oh, wait, EM pays taxes in those countries already. (yes, they get to deduct those taxes)

So paying almost 45% of EM's earnings in taxes is not enough? You pay 45% of your earnings in taxes? At what point is enough reached? 50%, 80%, 110%? Why have a business if you can make a profit?

Everyone looks and says x Billion dollars, that is too much. Why, because it is Billions of dollars? What is their ROI the past 20 years?

How much do you make a year Lee? How much in taxes do you pay? How many people do you support and employee? How much of your salary do you reinvest towards producing/increasing next years income ie, exploration, R&D, equipment upgrades, etc?
Yes Lee, these questions are relevant. You have made it quite clear that you don't think 45% is enough in taxes. So, let's see what you are basing your comparisons on.

Ed:No, it's not a ... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Ed:

No, it's not a joke. Rather, a manifestation of my awareness that when you get into specialized contexts, some terms take on definitions that don't always conform to what those of us outside the specialized context might use.

And rather than approach such things with assumptions (and we all know what assume does), I offer questions, rather than pretend I know the answers.

--|PW|--

Hmmmm.And... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

And rather than approach such things with assumptions (and we all know what assume does), I offer questions, rather than pretend I know the answers.

Makes sense to me. Sorry I thought it was a joke.

I guess that comes from associating with accountants far too often.

I guess that comes... (Below threshold)
pennywit:
I guess that comes from associating with accountants far too often.

Try some law school sometime. Once, somebody mentioned a "chocolate torte" to me, and (this is the truth!) my brain immediately went to "Chocoloate tort? I haven't heard of that one. What are the elements?"

To tell the truth, Ed, I am always deeply suspicious of corporate flacks. Scratch that. I'm deeply suspicious of ALL flacks. While I don't automatically assume that a spokesperson is lying, I try to be alert for hidden meanings and the use of terms that could possibly mean more than one thing.

Compounding my paranoia is unholy confluence of right-wing and left-wing bull ... er ... "framing" that pervades the press and airwaves these days.

--|PW|--

Consumers Union <a href="ht... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Consumers Union weighs in on obscene oil company profits. This is the non-profit organization that publishes the magazine "Consumer reports".

US Oil Industry Made $100 billion in Windfall Profits Since Late 90s; Eliminating Refineries Paved Way for Gas Price Hikes

Increases have added more than $1,000 to average family's bill.

The report recommends:

• Reinvest windfall profits in expanded refinery capacity.

• Reduce fuel consumption through aggressive, targeted improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency standards.

• Establish a federal reserve of gasoline stock to use during seasonal peaks or in the event of a supply disruption.

• Create a joint task force of federal and state Attorneys General to monitor the structure, conduct and performance of gasoline markets.

"Ann Wright, Senior Policy Analyst of Consumers Union, applauded the report. "The oil industry's anti-competitive practices and mismanagement are gouging consumers and filling industry coffers," Wright said. "It's time for Congress and the Administration to plow excess profits into expanded refining capacity that will grow competition and thereby hold down gasoline prices in the future."

Taxes captured by a Windfall Profit Tax should be plowed back into alternative energy sources which will help our country attain energy independence. In addition, we should force oil companies to reinvest in expanded refinery capacity -- we can't rely on them to do this out of the goodness of their hearts - they profit from the refinery bottleneck that they created.

David Lazarus writing in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The oil companies say they're already committing big bucks to improving operations. For example, Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, last week reported recorded quarterly profit of $8.4 billion on sales of $89 billion.

The company said it spent $4.8 billion on capital investments and exploration during the first three months of the year.

At the same time, though, it spent a whopping $7 billion on shareholders -- $2 billion for dividend payments and another $5 billion for stock buybacks (which benefit anyone with a lot of stock options, like, say, the company's execs).

Exxon says it will spend another $6 billion on repurchasing its own shares in the current quarter.

Chevron reported $4 billion in quarterly profit. Of that amount, $3 billion went to capital expenditures and exploration and $1 billion was spent on stock buybacks. Chevron plans to spend as much as $4 billion more repurchasing its shares over the next two years.

Alternative fuel sources

Imagine what that kind of money could do for research into renewable and alternative fuel sources such as solar, wind and hydrogen. None of these energy forms is now economically viable as a replacement for fossil fuels.

My prescription in all this... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

My prescription in all this is to do nothing and let the oil companies (and their shareholders) enjoy their profits.

In the long term, I'd like to see the feds raise CAFE standards, expand the tax credit for purchasing a hybrid electric car, re-evaluate any tax breaks that the oil companies receive, and mandate that all federally owned vehicles (aside from civil forfeitures and military vehicles) meet a fuel efficiency standard that is signficantly above the federal medium.

Charles Krauthammer (who is exhumed weekly for his appearance on Sunday morning press shows) nailed it in his April 28 column:

American demand is up because we've lived in a fool's paradise since the mid-1980s.

--|PW|--

Oh ... and one other thing.... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Oh ... and one other thing. I would urge the federal government to reduce all employees' per-mile reimbursement for using their own cars in order to encourage them to seek more fuel-efficient vehicles.

--|PW|--

LeeTaxes capture... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Lee
Taxes captured by a Windfall Profit Tax should be plowed back into alternative energy sources which will help our country attain energy independence. In addition, we should force oil companies to reinvest in expanded refinery capacity -- we can't rely on them to do this out of the goodness of their hearts - they profit from the refinery bottleneck that they created.

And the enviro-zealots and pandering politicians had NO involvement in the dearth of refinery expansion and construction?
The oil companies are solely behind the refinery bottle neck?
How about the different fuel blends mandated by various states, does this not play into the refining troubles?

Your anti-corporate bias is showing again...

"The point is that EM pa... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"The point is that EM pays MORE in taxes to the US government than they make in the USA."

True, but irrelevant. They are a U.S. corporation, and ALL U.S. coporations normally pay taxes on ALL of their earnings, not just the portion generated from US operations (there are exceptions, but Exxon doesn't qualify). The comparison of their taxes vs. their U.S. earnings only is "misleading" (ok, I'm feeling a little generous) --

-- no, no, actually - it's just more of the downright fraudulent BS (sorry, the generosity left) that posts such as Kim's are using to try to protect the interests of Big Oil.

Why protect Big Oil? Look at the White House and the lobbyist-licking Republican Congress for answers to that question. I don't understand it, blathering idiotic defenses posted here not withstanding.

Why does this blog blindly copy and paste the Republican "talking points"? Look at the left side of the page, at the sponsors of this blog, for the answer to that question.

Ahhhhhh at last s... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Ahhhhhh at last some one hit upon a large
bugaboooo,octane ratings and blends...
with most of todays cars using computer
controlled engines so cslled hi-test 92-94
0ctane is a waste and a plus for mother oil
you split the difference make 88 octane and
use the california air-blend year round and
inturn you free up the refinery capacity and
produce more fuel which is all well and good,
but its hightime to get off the oil band wagon
its days are numbered...The E U uses Nuclear
power why don't we, close to half their power
comes from nukes but not us,thanks to the
friggen tree hugers,don't think its safe check
Diablo Canyon running trouble free for years..
Nuclear is just that much less oil we need....,

Alright, I'm confused. Rea... (Below threshold)

Alright, I'm confused. Reading through this and the comments I get this point from lee:

'The post is misleading because the author was trying to convince us that Exxon pays more in taxes than they make.'

Are you seriously arguing that? That's your point? You think she was trying to fool us into thinking they were paying billions more in taxes than they took in? Yeah! I made 500 bucks last year and paid 9000 in taxes, pity me!

All I can say is that's fricking hilarious. Every single other person reading seems to have understood it (what with the whole capitalized 'US' there and all) and certainly all the other commenters understand it...and you think she's trying to fool you wily liberals into believing that they paid more in taxes than they made in profits as part of some huge oil company propaganda campaign? There's gotta be a word that combines 'insanely gullible' and 'uncritical thinker' and 'dumb as a post', but I'm not sure what it is just at the moment. That's one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard that didn't simply ignore the topic...why don't you just scream, "I'm too stupid to understand the point that they paid more into US coffers than they took in from US piggy banks so I'm going to change the topic and say the topic you wanted to talk about is irrelevant!" Everyone will at least feel sorry for you and might try to explain it with little flowcharts and stuff instead of just thinking you're an idiot.

I too am suspicious of flac... (Below threshold)
framer:

I too am suspicious of flacks in general but I have to admit that I found some of the info persuasive...specifically, it doesn't seem logical to raise taxes (40% is already pretty onerous) or impose a WPT on the oil cos as those costs would simply be passed on to the consumer.

"Are you seriously argui... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Are you seriously arguing that? That's your point? You think she was trying to fool us into thinking they were paying billions more in taxes than they took in?

No - the purpose of Exxon's ploy and misdirecction reference taxes versus earnings, which Kim and other right-wing blogs have dutifully picked up and spread, is that it is somehow unfair that they pay more in US tax than the earned in US Operations.

Nothing could be further from the truth - not only is it fair that they paid that much in taxes (just like every other US corporation similarly organized) but they should be forced to pay more on the Windfall Profits they've obtained by their reducing refinery capacity and creating supply bottlenecks.

Since you've proven you are incapable figuring that out on your own, I'm happy to repeat the info here. Since you seem incapable of having a dialog without being insulting:

"There's gotta be a word that combines 'insanely gullible' and 'uncritical thinker' and 'dumb as a post', but I'm not sure what it is just at the moment.

...I'll put you back on ignore now. Feel free to ask me any questions you wish after you grow up.

"Let me see, I'm runnig ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Let me see, I'm runnig a company and I'm
paying out more than I make cause I just
want to do good for my customers"

Apparently you drank the Wizbang! kool-aid that Kim cooked up.

Exxon isn't paying out more than they make - that's just what the Republicans want you to believe....

Special ed: Tha... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Special ed:

That "fact" I was referring to was that nobody but Lee was asserting that EM paid US taxes only on US earnings.

Sure you did, we all know that. You used invisible ink, right?

BTW, is this "Hmmm" thing your Capote impression? Are you here to recruit for the Log Cabin Republicans or what?

I've often thought that it ... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

I've often thought that it would be HIGHLY amusing to see the heads of some eeeevil corporations (Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Drugs, Guns, etc) band together and stage a little boycott of their own. Happily for all of us, their fiduciary responsibilities prevent them from engaging in this kind of childishness:

"Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman. Senators. Ladies and gentlemen. I'm Bob Gouge, chairman and CEO of Gouge Oil Company. With me today are Tom Milkem of Bilkem Oil, William Hound of Biggs Oil, and Larry Wells of Strangle Petroleum. Between us, our four corporations provide about 90% of the oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products sold in the United States.

"As you know, we have all reported record profits over the past two quarters even as gasoline, diesel, and home heating oil prices have soared. The hearings we've attended in this committee have brought into sharp focus for all of us just how wrong it is for our companies to be making such profits. It has also brought home to each of us very clearly how much damage our products cause to the environment. We have become increasingly aware - horrified, really - at how much war and suffering is caused all over the world by our greedy exploitation of this natural resource. Finally, we recognize that the money we donate to various political campaigns and causes has done lasting damage to the democratic system of government that we all cherish.

"Therefore, in the interests of lowering our profits, protecting the environment, promoting the cause of peace in the world, and removing one source of corrupting money from our political process, our companies have agreed not to extract, refine, distribute, or sell one single barrel of oil or petroleum products for the next three months. Our employees will be furloughed with full pay and benefits during this period, but not one of our facilities will operate in anything higher than a caretaker status. Our accountants have calculated that this will reduce our profits to approximately 1%, which is the lowest we think possible consistent with our fiduciary obligations.

"We hope that, during this oil-free period, our country will learn the values of cleaner air and water and embark on an earnest program to develop domestic sources of clean, alternative energy. We will also work with the peoples and governments of countries where we have operations to ensure that this natural resource reverts to their exclusive control, ending the imperialistic American dominance of the oil market that has led to so many wars and revolutions over the past century. And, naturally, all campaign contributions will be suspended from this date onward. We hope that other corporations will follow our example and once and for all remove the pernicious influence of corporate money from American politics.

"Esteemed members of the committee, this is going to be a sacrifice for us, but we think that it is worth it. Thank you, thank you for helping us to see the evil of our ways.

"Thank you."

And there will be a wailing and a gnashing of teeth...

Lee, koo... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Lee,
koolaid my ass,if you think big oil is your
friend guess again, just don't drop the soap
in front of Exxons CEO...They make crap that
we don,t need and make folks belive its a
silver bullet and they suck it up...1 Octane
ratting 88 1 Air friendly blend,California
as its the cleanest and run it all year
summer to summer just one each thats all...
and while we are at it they knew before they
put in the gas MTB was crap and now we pay for
the clean up...Build more nukes and get going
with Ethanol,oil has 1 foot in the grave and
the other is on teflon...

Tincan, I agree that oil as... (Below threshold)
alwayslate:

Tincan, I agree that oil as we have known it is going to be a thing of the past with alternative fuels, etc. But did you know that the oil companies have been the ones investing in research and development toward this?! Our government is too busy spending their tax revenue to support their pet projects to do anything like develop sensible energy policy.

alwayslate--I read about th... (Below threshold)
Smith:

alwayslate--I read about the oil companies investing in alternatives, too. Even though I don't think that there will be a real viable alternative to oil anytime in the near future, I still wish that our legislators would back off a little and the companies continue to spend their money on R&D.

Well crew this hor... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Well crew this horse has been beat to death
so this my last post on the subject,plus its
getting late...We have a few players in this
energy game...Mind you not in any order,first
the looney left,no drilling,no new refineries
and Ill throw no new nukes,And Teddy said no
friggen windmills in my front yard,so its no,no
no...Then comes our Senate and Congress,this is
where the rabid right rears its snarley head
No development of that friggen Ethanol,why you
ask?? Cause Daddy Warbucks pulled our chain
and bought us Boats,Golf trips Boxes at the
super bowel,damn I forgot Daddy THE MAN FROM
NO ITS NOT UNCLE!!naw it has a military ring
Major oil...You bet your sweet ass,and what
about the 49%tax yes that nasty tax,well don't
let me wreck your day but its us,factored right
into the bottom line on the price of gas,and
at the same time they have deductions we can
only dream of so before you go feelin sorry for
the good old boys think again and yes they paid
some of our friends in Washington to throw
a road block on the development of Ethanol,Hell
yes that would be compition AND WE CAN'T HAVE
THAT CAN WE????? Remember don't drop the soap
in front of those guys!!!So now that I've pissed
the LOONEY LEFT,THE MAD DOGG RIGHTYS AND FRIENDS
OF "MAJOR OIL " leter FLY LADIES I can F@!#$%*
A WELL TAKE IT Remember the truth hurts


Getting back to the facts: ... (Below threshold)
Johnny Fever:

Getting back to the facts: Exxon has been accused of price gouging which, as pointed out in the OP, is hard to do when you have 1,000 out of 170,000 gas stations in the US. Or when the feds are monitoring prices round the clock. Or when you produce 3% of the world's oil.

So go ahead, Lee and the rest, slam big oil all day and night. Ignore the real bogey men in this equation: OPEC, Russia, Iran, et. al., demand in China & India, government taxation and regulation in general which serves to keep supply down.

Johnny, I ... (Below threshold)
Tincan Sailor:


Johnny,
I think you got the Fever,they don't pay any
taxes,its a wash they write it all off and
what they don't write off they buy their way
out...You,me everyone else pays their 49% tax
for them...We and the oil companys have had 30+
years since the a-rabs shut down the flo of oil
and we have done what???Not one F@#$ing thing,
nothing, zip, nada...As POGO would say" we have
met the enemy and it is US."..




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