Friday, April 28, 2006

Oil Companies Post Record Profits; Consumers Suck it Up at the Pump

In what must be the biggest surprise since we discovered that the current Administration was behind the Valerie Plame leak, Chevron posted a 49% increase in profits for the first quarter of this year, joining Exxon Mobil who also posted record profits.

When the public outcry over the price of gas started becoming more audible, Bush, in his insufferably smarmy smirky way vowed that if price gouging was happening, he was going to "take care of it." And I suppose that after he "took care of it," he would probably pose for a photo-op pumping gas in a greasy coverall with big banner hanging behind him saying "Job done."

In the past day or two since we've heard about oil companies' record profits, he's been quieter about going after the price gaugers. Instead he was vowing to explore alternative fuels, increase the mpg requirements for cars (currently they need to average 27 mpg, ridiculously low), which are both great and noble efforts that I support completely. His party members in the Senate are proposing a $100 gas rebate, which is a beyond stupid token bullshit gesture, and of course, drilling for oil in the Arctic, but what about going after those price gougers?

Adamant resolve, dissolved. Hmmm. Where have we seen this happen before? Oh, yes. When Bush cock-a-doodle-dooed that he would fire any person in his administration involved in the Plame CIA leak. Except that darn it, it turned out to be Bush himself that authorized the leak. Poof! Resolve out the window, backpedal backpedal backpedal. Right about now, we're at, "I strongly frown upon revealing the identity of CIA operatives, but hey, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, heh heh." Smirk.

What could have happened to crumble Bush's resolve to go after price gauging at the pump? Because surely if high pump prices were reflective of reduced supply of oil at an increased price, there wouldn't be record profits, right? Right? I mean, it's not like the oil lobby has Bush in their pocket because he has never had any ties to oil. Right?

Stay tuned. I have a feeling we'll see a whole lotta nothing accompanied by a whole lotta crowing that the problem has been solved. Then maybe in a few years someone will produce a documentary a la Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and we'll all scratch our heads and wonder how it could have happened.

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