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Big Oil Answers to Congress

Feeling Gassy? The Government Is Too.

It's no secret that gas is completely expensive. This week the news about it has been a gusher. Big Oil execs were called in front of Congress to explain the hit we're all taking at the pump. What else? Oh, the truckers went on strike showing us how high gas prices can also send commerce to a screeching halt, and we found out ethanol is not the wonder-fuel everyone hoped and could actually be making the food and environment problems worse. Awesome.

Surely all that is just coincidence right? The energy and environmental problems aren't that bad. Well, yesterday 18 states filed to take the Environmental Protection Agency to court saying that even though the EPA was faced with a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide from motor vehicles, they've done nothing. 18 states. Suing. The EPA. For not protecting the environment. Oh golly.

If you're curious to see what Big Oil had to say for themselves,


Senior VP of Exxon Mobil (whose company last year raked in the largest profit in U.S. history at $40.6 billion) explained that his company needed the huge profits to pay for future oil development. Oh. Well as long as there's a good reason right?

Big Oil claims that their profit margins are comparable to other industries, and the execs went on to questions as to why that money is paying for oil development instead of focusing on renewable sources. Exxon Mobil said that they're giving some ($100 million) but until renewable sources become more economically competitive, the company will focus on its core oil business. Chevron allowed that the US would be getting 86 percent of its fuel for at least the next 25 years.

One solution offered? The execs said one way to ease prices was to grant access to off shore deposits. They are presently off limits due to some pesky negative environmental impact or some such. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, (D-MO) probably summed it up best when he told these executives, “Your approval rating is lower than ours, and that means you’re down low.”

Are we ready to start walking everywhere yet?


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