Oil in the News

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would shift $18 billion worth of tax breaks for oil companies to renewable energy sources.
The bill passed by only 54 votes. Opponents to the bill, which includes the White House, argue that it needlessly targets big oil companies and would hinder U.S. oil production (Reuters). Oil lobbyists have called it a "discriminatory bill" and a Republican lawmaker accused it of being "spiteful and wrong," in that it "punishes" big oil. Bush has threatened to veto it and Republicans are talking filibuster (AP).
This legislation follows a number of recent headlines involving oil companies.
Notably, Exxon Mobile posted record breaking profits of $40.6 billion in 2007. The previous record holder was, of course, Exxon Mobile in 2006.
Exxon also appears among 23 other energy companies in a lawsuit filed by the village of Kivalina in the northwest Arctic. The lawsuit argues that these companies are contributing to global warming, which is destroying the village; in turn, they want relocation expenses paid for. "Each of the defendants knew or should have known of the impacts of their emissions on global warming and on particularly vulnerable communities such as coastal Alaskan villages," the lawsuit states. It also accuses energy companies of creating a deceptive and "false scientific debate" about global warming (Anchorage Daily News).
In other legal troubles, Exxon is waging battle against paying punitive damages to Native Alaskans and others for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. The company feels $2.5 billion is excessive, while critics point out that the firing of the captain of the Valdez was not sufficient evidence that Exxon has taken responsibility for the largest oil spill on record in North America, covering 600 miles and forever changing the ways of life in the area (NPR).
Is anyone doing the numeric and ethical math here? Where is the outrage?
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  1. Anonymous3:10 PM

    Great Post! We, as concerned citizens, need to start taking Big Corporate to task for all of the many wrongs they continue to commit - to the environment and humanity across the globe. They have basically stood by, untouchable and held unaccountable for the mess that this world finds itself in. Decision making should be brought back to the community level - the very places that decisions have their largest effects.

  2. Anonymous7:02 PM

    and can you believe these companies are complaining?!?!?!?!?

  3. Word on the street is that gas prices might be going up to $4 a gallon by the summer months. I guess these lawsuits and taxes have the oil companies stressed about a loss to their billion dollar profits.


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