Re: “In oil country, it’s boom and bust” (TNT, 1-31).
The oil and gas industry is presently suffering from a glut of oil and a precipitous drop in the price of a barrel of oil.
Fifteen years ago the oil cartels created a shortage. The price of gas tripled, and the U.S. economy screeched to a halt. Trucking companies shut down, airlines went bankrupt, farmers couldn’t afford to harvest their crops or get them to market.
During that time, Exxon spent $193 million lobbying the U.S. Congress. For that investment the company got its tax rate dropped to 15 percent and half of the bill from the Exxon Valdez disaster was picked up by the U.S. taxpayer. Also, subsidies to help the emerging solar and wind energy sector were ended.
In 2004, Exxon made a profit of $36 billion, the largest corporate profit in the history of the world. Its CEO was given $51 million in compensation that year and was awarded a $400 million retirement package that included a security detail, a car and driver, and a corporate jet.
Possibly one way the oil giants could survive this present “crisis” is by cutting back on the exorbitant pay and retirements given to their executives.