Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Exon Mobile

In 2010, Exxon Mobil <http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/fortune/1104/gallery.fortune500_most_profitable.fortune/?source=cnn_bin&hpt=Sbin> , the largest oil company in America, reported a total profit of $30.5 billion dollars. As oil prices soar to over $100 per barrel, people around the world are paying some of the highest prices for gasoline in history. This raises the question: are consumers being forced to buy overpriced fuel while the oil companies sit back and reap the benefits? A $30.5 billion profit suggests that this could be true. My family alone spends over $900 a month in gas, and because of the close proximity of our work and school, we fall below the average familial gas consumption. However, Exxon isn’t the only company to blame for high oil prices. The number 3 most profitable and second largest American oil company, Chevron, posted a $19 billion dollar profit for the 2010 business year, making it another huge contributor to high gas prices for consumers. Businesses in the U.S. have also felt the burden of expensive oil; products are now more expensive to manufacture, ship, and sell than in previous years. Nearly every person in America, and a majority of people in foreign countries have been forced to limit their spending in order to cope with increasing fuel prices. The United States government has the power to force oil companies to rethink their rates, but little legislation has been enacted to take advantage of such power. Though President Obama has had a lot to deal with since his election, it has become apparent that gas prices are not high on his to-do list. The bottom line is: oil prices are at an all time high, and consumers are being forced to pay record amounts to simply drive to work or school -- a cost that many people aren’t able to afford in the recent economic downturn. Are oil companies infringing on American gas consumers’ right to life, liberty and property? You decide.

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