It was a glorious summer for the giant of oil giants. Record prices for petroleum and so record prices at the pump unsurprisingly have retained ExxonMobil’s righteous crown as the most profitable company in the world: $14.8 billion in profit this past quarter.
According to the New York Times, Exxon has exceeded $10 billion in profit in nine of the last 12 quarters. Earlier this year, in the second quarter, the company posted a then-record profit. In the third quarter, Exxon reaped an increase of nearly 60 percent beyond that, setting yet another record while dropping its production by 8 percent for the quarter.
Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, is celebrating a 22 percent jump to about $8.5 billion for the same quarter.
Our Energy Future: Foreign Oil/Domestic Oil — or What?
As the seemingly interminable political season winds down into the Nov. 4 election in just a few days, where we go with our energy policies is much in the air.
I don’t think leaders are talking about ending the use of oil. How could they? But one campaign (Obama-Biden) includes it as one piece of a diverse energy plan; the other sees the majority of our energy issue being resolved by answering one question: foreign or domestic? The McCain-Palin-Republican answer to that is to just drill the hell out of our domestic resources.
And today I gave brief pause to that idea for the first time. I thought, “Yeah, on of the important things we need to do is draw back from our thickly intertwined dependence on the Middle East’s resources, and all of the politics, war, etc. that it entails. If McCain were to wrangle the White House on Tuesday, we may go pedal to the metal in trashing our country’s natural resources, but at least we might free ourselves from the mess of the foreign politics that are so involved with Dubya Bush’s strategy.”
Of course, that was only a pause.
The strategy of putting all eggs into one basket — the oil basket — is still counter to common sense. Who invests their retirement all in one stock? What farmer relies only on one crop, no matter the circumstances, the needs, the market? What body builder builds only one part of his body?
In a way, aren’t we, as a nation, trying to rebuild our body? Shouldn’t we be trying to get our overall health in order?
So why would we keep exercising to build the might of the oil industry, ever-pumping ExxonMobil, for example, at the expense of the nation’s financial, emotional and physical health?