Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Energy Fictions Drive Hard Push on Congress

George W. Bush gathered his cabinet to pressure Congress to pass legislation expanding oil and gas production. Well, the bill would open up new areas for oil exploration. Actual production increases depend on a multi-year process and some luck. Oil company executives testified before Congress how they're beating the band to find more deposits. Is this true? An AP report casts doubt:

The five biggest international oil companies plowed about 55 percent of the cash they made from their businesses into stock buybacks and dividends last year, up from 30 percent in 2000 and just 1 percent in 1993, according to Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

The percentage they spend to find new deposits of fossil fuels has remained flat for years, in the mid-single digits.

Why the hard press from Bush to open new areas for exploration? It's disaster capitalism. In a time of crisis, use the opportunity to help large corporations, also known as loyal campaign donors.

Another reason to push hard for 24 hours, Chevron and ExxonMobile announce earnings on Thursday and Friday. To date, British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips recorded yet again record revenues and profits.

British Petroleum's bottom line soared to $9.5 billion, up 27% in just 3 months

ConocoPhillips' net income reached $5.44 billion, 31% higher than their last quarter

If Exxon and Chevron post similar quarterly gains, what happens to the political momentum for the Bush position? It could let the air out of his balloon and make Americans livid at big oil. Chuck the oil fompanies!

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