April 25 2008

Oil Companies Posting Huge Profits

OilI know it’s an old rant, and I know people far more familiar with the subject than myself have commented time and time again on it, but I don’t care.

The oil companies can burn in Hades for all I care.

It seems the major oil companies are set to announce huge profits on the fact that oil broke through $110 a barrel.  And that just makes my blood boil.

I am obviously all for a company making a profit seeing as I own a business myself, but when the world depends on what you sell, there is a point where you have to say, “Okay, maybe we don’t need to make quite as much.”

The economy is/sliding into a recession.  There really is no way to argue the way out of it any more, no matter how you spin it.  Food prices are reaching record highs, people are losing their jobs, there are people in America living in tent cities around Los Angeles due to losing their homes (yes, the housing market is a disaster, and that’s a whole different rant), but the oil companies chug along making huge profits, and people don’t go, “Hey… wait a tic…”

I wish we weren’t so reliant on oil, however, we are.  Until someone gets off their behinds and makes an alternative fuel that works (i.e. hydrogen), we’re stuck.  So for the oil companies to keep talking about profits while people suffer due to those profits, well, it just makes me a little ill.  I find it hard to believe there isn’t something they could trim somewhere that would make it easier on regular folks to fuel up their cars.

Oil ExecA lot of people I talk to also don’t see just how far this goes.  For instance, I sell hundreds of plastic model kits a month in my business, and people don’t understand why my prices have gone up slightly as of late.  Much to my surprise, most of customers don’t realize oil is used in the production of plastics.  Then there are also transport costs from China to Japan… Japan to the USA… wherever they land in the USA to me, all of these steps which uses oil.  True, my products are luxury items, but the price of oil takes its toll on them also.

As for alternative fuels… give up the dream of corn based ethanol.  I’m sorry, but it’s bogus.  It takes oil to produce it (something they prefer you not know), and it is causing corn prices to skyrocket which effects numerous other food products.  You want a true biodiesel?  One that requires next to nothing to get it to work, and a huge country is running up to 70% of their vehicles on it?  Look to Brazil and sugar cane.  Sugar cane is also easier to grow, takes little to no oil to convert it and it burns fairly cleanly.

This is a hard line for me take as someone who owns a business, it really is, but when your business is a commodity every single person in the world depends on for their standard of life, I think it changes the rules of the game some.  Do I think they will ever cut their profits?  Heck no.  I just want more people to think about this, and do what they can to cut their oil consumption.  Ride a bike, take mass transit when you can, walk if it’s a short distance, because the only way we MIGHT ever get their attention is if we start talking with our wallets.  Is it foolproof?  No.  Something has to get through to them, though.

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