Skip to comments.Big Rise in Profit Places Oil Giants on the Defensive
Posted on 10/28/2005 1:38:17 AM PDT by Crackingham
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There is an excellent book on the subject that should be taught in all High Schools. The title is "How to Lie with Statistics". It shows many of the techniques that are used to decieve.
Because the gubmint makes more money when gas is expensive, and happy oil companies donate lots 'o green to their buds in Washington.
Where'd you get your numbers?
Yahoo Finance. I didn't keep the links but these numbers are reported in 3rd quarter earnings in probably a hundred different articles. Just grab your favorite search engine, pick a company & "third-quarter earnings". About half of them leave out the revenue so don't stop if the first hit doesn't show it. But making less than 10% profit is a long way from gouging.
why did my cost go up?
You're not being serious
Bingo! You've summed up all my points in one succinct post.
Just a note:
Don't forget the substitution effect in the free market. If the price of steak suddenly triples in price, people will switch to chicken, pork, or lamb as a cheaper alternative.
And where is the cheaper alternative to gasoline?
And that's a clear sign that the gasoline market is not a free market.
It's a three billion dollar investment and if you figure the process has been going on for 10 years that's a long time to tie up even projected capital use. If I were an oil company executive I wouldn't commit that type of money to a long term slow payback program, especially considering the potential legal liability if there's a disaster or if oil does another nose dive. Imagine explaining to shareholders a six billion dollar investment that loses money. Ouch.
Were it me I'd probably be far more inclinded to use the money building elsewhere.
There is a bill that narrowly passed the House (212-210) that would improve on the whole permitting process but last I heard it's fate with the Senate was cloudy.
But the bottom line is that no one can invest in a refinery even if it was a good investment, fact is they are pretty much impossible to build.
The local people love the idea of a refinery with its high paying jobs, tax base, and the rise in land values. The County Supervisors love the idea. The site is close to the border (it would be refining crude from Mexico), it sits right next to a major railway line and Interstate 8. So, why isn't it being built? The fly in the ointment is the environmentalist wackos.
We had meetings about the proposed construction, as required by (IMHO clearly unconstitutional environmental law) and everyone was in favor except for one local wingnut who opposes all development for his environmental wacko lack of reasons, and the national environmental wacko organizations who do the same.
There was no logic or reason in their objections, until you realize that their objective is to stop all industrial development and move us back to the middle ages or earlier.
Try to build an industrial site near a population center, it has too much impact on people. Try to build it far from people, it is destroying the pristine environment or the "viewscape" or whatever. These types believe that the human race is a disease on the planet and that the world would be better off without us.
It appears that the enviormentalist legislation had deceptive purposes from the beginning, to overcome Constitutional restraints and grab overwhelming power for the leftists that controlled the government at the time. It also offered leftists, the blame America first crowd, a way to stifle U.S. development to the benefit of our competitors in the rest of the world. That clearly was the aim of Kyoto, which we avoided only because Al Gore wasn't able to steal the 2000 election.
So it isn't "Big Oil" that is conspiring to keep the refineries from being built. It is "Big Green" in league with the Democrat party. The watermelon environmentalist wackos that are green on the outside and red on the inside.
Just to add to your list of whackos include in that the government beauracrats who have mostly been infected by the watermelon types plus their ability to create "standards" that are in fact laws that no elected representative ever voted on.
And then there are our spineless pols. The permit acceleration process only passed by _2_ lousy votes in the house. Gads.
I'll give the folks in Az. high marks for hanging in there. As a businessman looking for return I am sure I would have bailed out long ago; they're got the real stuff.
At one "required" meeting in Yuma, I learned that one of the government employees who was running the meeting had expressed the opinion that the earth would be better off without humans. She did not say this in the meeting, but had expressed it privately to a coworker.
It's like a very large company I did some consulting work for. A division manager issued a mandate and I was working with the line managers to implement it and it just wasn't happening. I was getting nowhere so I took a line manager out for beers after work and after a few he got a little loose and he finally admitted "hey, I don't think it's a good idea and I don't want to do it. I can stall for a couple of years and by that time the division manager will have moved on and the new one won't know anything about it."
Which is why it'll never be fixed until we have a congress and a president that'll starve the beast by shutting off funding. I'm not optimistic, not even Reagan could do it, but it's gonna require something that "radical" to rein them in.
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