Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oily poliics

From the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights:

Exxon Record Profits Also Shows Company Took Less Profit In Run Up To The Election;

Exxon, Shell and Marathon Oil Slashed Q4 Refining Margins To Temporarily Lower Pump Prices, Group Says

Santa Monica, CA -- Exxon set the record for the largest annual corporate profit of $39.5 billion last year even with a 4% decline in fourth-quarter profit resulting in part from an 18% drop in refining margins, according to the company's profit report today. Shell, the world's second largest oil company, set a company record earning $25.4 billion in 2006 but also announced a 23% decline in refining margins. Pump prices have increased dramatically in recent years following industrywide increases in refining margins.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today's earnings reports show that industry leaders cut domestic refining profits in the run-up to the November election in order to lower gasoline prices, very likely hoping to influence the mid-term election. The nonpartisan group is calling for Congressional investigations to determine whether Exxon and others manipulated the market to affect the election.

Read FTCR's early analysis of how oil companies could have wielded gas prices for political impact.

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