Thursday, April 28, 2005

This Gives Me Gas.

So tonight we were treated to the first news conference in over a year by President Bush. He had this to say about the high cost of gas at the pumps:
"There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America," he said.
Well, then how does he explain this:
The first quarter profits for the big oil companies were recently released. What a shock - the refining and marketing profits of the big four oil companies have increased by a staggering amount over one year ago!

BP – up 165%
Chevron-Texaco - up 294%
Conoco-Phillips - up 44%
ExxonMobil - up 125%

And major California refineries owned by Valero and Tesoro that supply the Las Vegas and Reno area have reported “record” profits and project even bigger gains in the months ahead.

Record profits for big oil … and record prices for American families.
And the bad news. This is from Harry Reid speaking on the Senate floor one year ago. How about today:
LONDON -- BP Group PLC, one of the world's largest oil companies, said Tuesday that quarterly profits rose by 35 percent, boosted by higher oil prices and a small increase in production that outweighed lower retail marketing margins.

BP said that net profit was $6.66 billion for the three months to March 31, up from $4.95 billion in the first quarter of 2004. Revenue jumped to $79.8 billion, from $68.9 billion.

BP chief executive John Browne said that high oil prices had "generated substantial additional cash flow." Brent crude traded on the International Petroleum Exchange averaged $47.62 over the three months -- more than $3.77 a barrel higher than in the fourth quarter.
So if the price of crude oil is up, that means making gas must cost more, so naturally this cost gets passed on to you and me as consumers. But why then are Big Oil profits up 35% if the increase in crude prices are passed along in the form of record gasoline prices? Could it be that record prices might generate record profits?

Ah, Mr. President, I think that's called price gouging.