News Release

Rising Gas Prices and Big Oil’s Agenda


Hauter is director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program; Slocum is the group’s research director. Hauter said today: “Since Bush became president, the largest five oil companies operating in the U.S. — ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell — have enjoyed profits of $254 billion, with ExxonMobil leading the way with profits of $89 billion.

“Clearly, there is a direct correlation between record prices paid by consumers and record profits enjoyed by oil companies. For example, the profit margin for U.S. oil refiners has shot up 79 percent from 1999 (the year Exxon and Mobil merged) to 2004. But rather than hold these price-gougers responsible, the energy bill signed by Bush this month gives $6 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to oil companies.”
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Paul, executive director of the Global Policy Forum, has written several reports about oil including “Oil in Iraq: The Heart of the Crisis.” He said today: “Exxon, as the world’s biggest and most profitable company, wields enormous power in Washington and in most other capitals as well. The company has plenty of lobby funds, as it enjoys more revenue than 185 national governments. Exxon has blocked a U.S. national policy on climate change and fought against environmental laws. Oil company interests are not only crucial in the war in Iraq, but also other conflicts, such as Iran. As world oil supplies begin to diminish, big oil dreams of ever-higher profits, and more oil wars to seize new and lucrative concessions.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167