Recently, I received two interesting mailings. The first was the annual report from Exxon. During the early 1970s, I was an employee at their gas pump manufacturing facility in Greensboro, N.C.
Exxons financial report, at first glance, confirmed what our dedicated representatives in Congress have been telling us; that were being ripped off by Big Oil.
Exxon reported a whopping $40.6 billion profit proof enough for Congress to call for more hearings. Hearings in which they will again call for a surtax. A sur-tax that we, consumers, will pay for at the pumps. What they will not tell us is that Exxon made that profit on total sales of $390.3 billion (a 10.4 percent return) compared to profit margins for the drug companies of 20 to 25 percent. Also what they will not dwell on is that Exxon paid $72.7 billion in taxes almost twice as much as its profit.
The second mailing was just as illuminating. It was the May issue of National Geographic, featuring excellent articles on China, home to 1.3 billion people, and soon to be the leading economic power in the world.
A large two-page spread showed Chinas growth in the importation of crude oil. In a 10-year period (1996 to 2006) Chinas importation of oil grew from 166 million barrels to 1,065 million barrels, or six and a half times as much. By 2012, China is projected to surpass the United States in vehicles. Similar growth is projected in India with the second largest population. So what does this mean? It means $6 to $9 a gallon in the near future. What can we do? The only answer is energy independence. Do we hear anything in Congress about that? Drill in Alaska? No. Drill in the Gulf of Mexico (along with the Cubans, Chinese and Venezuelans)? No. Congress will continue on in the same way, counting on the ignorance of the electorate to return them to office again and again. It works!