By: Jeffrey Klein
From billionaire-bashing to Bush-blaming, Big Oil-hating to contraception-paying, nothing seems to be able to protect President Barack Obama (or his plunging poll numbers), from American’s festering outrage over daily gas price spikes.
U.S. gasoline prices jumped 6% in February alone, and market experts predict they will climb higher, not just due to normal 3% increase during summer, but also because critical refining operations in the Northeast are shutting down, according to a Wall Street Journal article Saturday.
From New York to Philadelphia, gasoline refineries have suspended operations, or have been closed, because their oil sources are more expensive and they operate at a loss. Government officials and analysts warn that this decline in refining capacity will force distributors in the region to buy gasoline from elsewhere–pushing up prices across the country, while increasing the likelihood of price spikes.
This past Friday, the government reported that gas price increases had been a factor in the February 0.4% overall increase in consumer prices.
Today, pump prices are averaging $3.864 a gallon nationwide, and over $4 per gallon in high tax areas like the entire west coast, and states Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York and Hawaii, according to the AAA “Daily Fuel Gauge Report.”
Adding insult to injury, Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, was on Capital Hill yesterday, giving testimony before the Government Oversight and Reform committee. He was asked if he was still doing ‘A-minus’ work controlling gas prices, which have reached record highs across the country, according to a FOXNews article yesterday.
“Well, the tools we have at our disposal are limited, but I would say I would give myself a little higher. Since I became secretary of energy, I’ve been doing everything I can to get long-term solutions.”
Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) later said that the administration’s “DOE is DOA.”
Chu served his master, by furthering the … “there is no quick fix, or silver bullet” defense.
Even though President Obama realizes that exploding gasoline prices are beginning to incinerate his reelection bid, his only remaining, but favorite, defense is demonizing ‘Big Oil.”
Too bad for him it is factually false.
First, the oil and gas industry are one of the main “drivers” of the U.S. economy, and is, perhaps the only, short-term solution to our economic recovery.
A report from the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with IHS-CERA, shows the oil and gas industry drives U.S. job creation, with oil and natural gas production accounting for 9% of new U.S. jobs last year, according to Elizabeth MacDonald’s March 16th FOXBusiness article.
“Our industry and the activities that support it accounted for more than $1 trillion of the U.S. economy in 2009, or about 7.7% of U.S. gross domestic product,” according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, says Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs at ExxonMobil.
Then, Obama attacks their “tax breaks,” as though they are unreasonably large and in a tone that suggests they are somehow “criminal”…
“Oil companies are making more money right now than they’ve ever made. On top of the money they’re getting from you at the gas station, they want some of your tax dollars as well. That doesn’t make any sense. Does it make sense? It’s inexcusable. It’s time for this oil industry giveaway to end.”
In 2011, ExxonMobil paid $108.1 billion in total worldwide taxes, up from $89.2 billion in 2010, according to its filings, with the income tax portion being $30.5 billion.
Exxon also pays taxes to foreign governments where it operates.
As to ExxonMobil’s United States share, they paid $12.3 billion for federal, state, sales, property, and excise taxes.
Overall, that makes Exxon the biggest payer of U.S. corporate taxes.
But Exxon earned $9.6 billion in after-tax profits in 2011–so they already.
“So the U.S. government gets a bigger slice from us than our shareholders do,” says Alan Jeffers, spokesman for ExxonMobil. “How can you possibly say we’re not paying our fair share when our tax bill is bigger than our profits?”
President Barack Obama may get “burned” by this very open and fact-free ‘Grand Deceit,’ just he did for his falsely blaming Republicans for the failure of the debt-ceiling negotiations, by the lead article in the liberal-leaning Washington Post this past Saturday.
As he is the leader of the Liberal world–would this be considered “fragging” by the left?