Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How Many Tax Dollars Went for this Hearing?

WASHINGTON — Top executives of the country's five biggest oil companies said Tuesday they know record fuel prices are hurting people, but they argued it's not their fault and their huge profits are in line with other industries.

Try - "but they just don't care..."
It's not our fault we have all the could we say no to Daddy's help? Why, that would be un-Bush-like.
"in line with other industries" that exploit child labor, indentured servitude and environmental ruin

Appearing before a House committee, the executives were pressed to explain why they should continue to get billions of dollars in tax breaks when they made $123 billion last year and motorists are paying record gasoline prices at the pump.

Pressed as in 'asked a polite questions in a non-binding forum by a bunch of people up for reelection that also depend on the oil industry for their jobs'

"On April Fools' Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil," said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

Who then went on to do absolutely nothing about it for his constituents.

"Our earnings, although high in absolute terms, need to be viewed in the context of the scale and cyclical, long-term nature of our industry as well as the huge investment requirements," said J.S. Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp., which made a record $40 billion last year. "We depend on high earnings during the up cycle to sustain … investment over the long term, including the down cycles," he continued.

This explains why the industry is so well-prepared for natural disasters like Katrina and are so state-of-the art that they pollute less now than twenty years ago. Yeah, that's it.

Several lawmakers noted the rising price of gasoline at the pump, now averaging $3.29 a gallon amid talk of $4 a gallon this summer."I heard what you are hearing. Americans are very worried about the rising price of energy," said John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., echoing remarks by the other four executives including representatives of BP America Inc., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips.

If by "echoing", you mean "winking knowingly at..."

While Democrats hammered the executives for their profits and demanded they do more to develop alternative energy sources, Republican lawmakers called for opening more areas for drilling to boost domestic production of oil and gas.

Wow! Who could have predicted that? Nostradumbass?

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the committee's ranking Republican, asked what would bring lower prices.

My vote is "Riots at the capitol rotunda in Madison"

"We need access to all kinds of energy supply," replied Robert Malone, chairman of BP America, adding that 85 percent of U.S. coastal waters are off limits to drilling. But Markey wanted to know why the companies aren't investing more in energy projects other than oil and gas or giving up some tax breaks so the money could be directed to promote renewable fuels and conservation and take pressure off oil and gas supplies.

We haven't bought all those up yet, that's why. As soon as we can patent the sun and own the wind, we're good to go, he guffawed...

"Why is Exxon Mobil resisting the renewable revolution," asked Markey, noting that the other companies together have invested $3.5 billion in solar, wind and biodiesel projects. Exxon is spending $100 million on research into climate change* at Stanford University, replied Simon, but current alternative energy technologies "just do not have an appreciable impact" in addressing "the challenge we're trying to meet."

*How it is so Chevron's fault

As the three-hour House hearing came to a close, the price of oil settled at just over $100 a barrel.

The three hour transcript can be summed up as, "Because we have the oil, and you don't! Nyah, nyah, nyah!"

Markey challenged the executives to pledge to invest 10 percent of their profits to develop renewable energy and give up $18 billion in tax breaks over 10 years so money could be funneled to support other energy and conservation.They responded that their companies already are spending on alternative energy projects and argued that new taxes could lead to even higher prices.

Oh, yes. Tax breaks for oil companies posting record profits. Heck of an idea, Brownie. I'm sure there's some Bush progeny out there to run for office well into the 3000s...

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