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   What about oil company profits

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   Price Gouging?
zPoint: There are subsides and excess profits, but even if we stopped all of those, gas prices would not come down much. Basically oil is expensive and it will stay expensive, though it may get cheaper again for a while. Gasoline will follow oil.
For example, the newspapers report a possible $28 billion subsidy over the next five years and an $2.6 billion in new tax breaks--suppose that's 2.6 billion per year. The total then is $8.2 billion per year. While zFacts resents those subsidies as much as the next guy and wants them ended, it's only $8.2 billion out of nearly $600 billion spent per year on oil. Finished gasoline costs even more.
The bottom line is that, if we are concerned about price or CO2 emissions, the most promising option by far is to conserve. This does not mean turn the heat down. That's one way, but most conservation involves buying better and somewhat more expensive products that use less energy.
  Oil Company Subisdies: $7 billion + 2.6 billion + ...
Vague Law and Hard Lobbying Add Up to Billions for Big Oil
By Edmund L. Andrews, NY Times, March 27, 2006

But last month, the Bush administration confirmed that it expected the government to waive about $7 billion in royalties over the next five years, even though the industry incentive was expressly conceived of for times when energy prices were low. And that number could quadruple to more than $28 billion if a lawsuit filed last week challenging one of the program's remaining restrictions proves successful.
''The big lie about this whole program is that it doesn't cost anything,'' said Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who tried to block its expansion last July. ''Taxpayers are being asked to provide huge subsidies to oil companies to produce oil -- it's like subsidizing a fish to swim.''
But on Aug. 8, Mr. Bush signed a sweeping energy bill that contained $2.6 billion in new tax breaks for oil and gas drillers and a modest expansion of the 10-year-old ''royalty relief'' program.
  Oil-Company Profits The price-at-the pump is the sum of all the input costs plus, perhaps, some additional markup because of market power. We can tell if there's market power by checking the price increases.

Because there are 42 gallons / barrel, when the price of oil goes up by $10, say from $55 to $65, the price of gas should go up by $10/42 = 24˘ (popNote). It’s actually gone up faster than this, so we know oil companies are exercising some market power and passing through a “markup,” not just their actual costs.

http://zfacts.com/p/348.html | 01/18/12 07:17 GMT
Modified: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 16:50:18 GMT
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