The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

New Excuse for High Cost of Gas

Jun 3, 2007

The ever-inventive oil industry has a new excuse for why it cannot expand oil refinery capacity, keeping pressure on consumers with the highest gas prices in U.S. history.

The latest excuse: biofuels. Congress has very lightly raised the idea of subsidizing biofuels, transportation fuels now made from corn. At the end of May, the president of Shell Oil said this move by Congress gives oil companies a “disincentive,” so that they would have even less reason than they have had over the last 30 years to increase refinery capacity in the U.S.

A disincentive? As if the oil companies, which have “declined” to spend any of their fabulous profits on building new oil refineries, need another excuse.

For more than 30 years, these companies built no new refineries. From 1993 to 2004, oil companies closed eight major oil refineries, leaving only 11 large ones in the entire country. The oil companies also eliminated 103 medium-sized refineries in the same period.

And the results, up to 2006: the oil companies have the largest profits in history. ExxonMobil by itself had 143 billion dollars in PROFITS from 2002 to 2006. What is 143 billion dollars in profit? It is almost $500 just in PROFIT from every man, woman and child in the U.S. And that’s just the part they admit is profit, not even considering how they juggle their accounting.

What are those lying scumbags in Washington doing, the politicians who pretend to be concerned about high gas prices–because an election is coming up next year? Playing politics while pretending to be unable to stop the price increases.

A few angry demonstrations surrounding oil company headquarters or Congress would do more to change this than all the letters to Congress.