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October 27, 2005
Why We're Screwed #1834

For a while now, just about everybody who knows anything about it—and is willing to address it honestly—has advocated some version of the idea that we need a "Manhattan Project" style program to look into alternative sources of energy. Our dependence on foreign oil—and on oil in general—is basically the root cause of nearly all of our major problems these days.

The government, naturally, has completely fucked this up. Instead of investing in other sources of energy to free us from having to do business with places like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc., they decided to spend $200 billion and counting to secure those sources of energy. And why? Why even now, with gas prices rising higher and higher, do they do nothing significant to change our energy policy?

This is why.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Thursday reported quarterly profit surged, pushed up by record crude oil and natural gas prices. Net income rose to $9.9 billion, or $1.58 a share, in the third quarter from $5.68 billion, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.32 per share. Analysts on average expected $1.39, according to Reuters Estimates.

Two powerful hurricanes ripped through the Gulf of Mexico in the quarter, disrupting energy operations in the region and sending oil prices and refining margins sharply higher.

Shares of Exxon Mobil, the largest of the so-called "super-major" oil companies, rose more than 10 percent in the third quarter, underperforming the broader Standard & Poor's integrated oil and gas index , which rose more than 13 percent.

Because the companies who basically write our energy policy are making a fortune off of these policies, and most of the decision makers in the agencies that regulate that business used to work for it.

Until we realize that companies like Exxon-Mobil have no interest in peace, or non-destroyed Gulf Coasts, nothing will change. When things get bad for everyone else, things get better for them. And this goes for the entire military-industrial complex, really. As long as these people are manipulating our system, we will never have the kind of world nearly all of us would want. There's no money in it for them.


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