May 21, 2001
The profit figures are out for 2000. Many companies showed what Business Week called "the end of a decade of economic exuberance." In other words, not every corporation continued to make profits up the wazoo. But some did: oil, gas and energy companies did very well indeed.
The top 10 oil companies had after-tax profits of 56.6 billion dollars, which exactly doubled their profits for 1999, which had already set a record. In the first three months of 2001, these ten companies had even higher profits than last year's record: 16.8 billion dollars for just three months.
Talking about shortages, these companies pushed up prices –sometimes by hundreds and even thousands of%s on everything from heating oil, gasoline and natural gas sold not only to consumers but to the electric utility industry. The largest energy corporations controlling electricity in California saw their after-tax profits soar 54% in 2000 to 7.8 billion dollars.
Shortages? Clearly there's no shortage of profit to be made in this country from delivering the oil, gas, coal and electricity we all cannot live without.