Santa Monica, CA — The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) noted today that recent world profits by the oil industry shows profiteering is to blame for the recent 20 cent run-up at the pump during the last three weeks.
FTCR’s research has exposed manipulation of domestic refining capacity and inventories by American oil companies as the reason behind gasoline price spikes, not the traditional scapegoats of Big Oil: OPEC, government regulation, litigation, and environmental standards. (Read FTCR’s reports and research on high gasoline prices at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/gasprices/ )
“In a commodities market, domestic oil companies know that the lower the inventories they keep, the higher the profits, because perceived shortages mean a speculative run-up in prices,” said Jamie Court, president of FTCR and author of Corporateering: How Corporater Power Steals Your Personal Freedom and What You Can Do About It (Tarcher/Penguin.) “Big Oil rigs summer time driving season for big profits by keeping inventories low. Since Capitol Hill is complicit, it’s up to states to enact laws that restrict profiteering through reforms like an excess profits tax, public utility regulation of refineries, and price controls. Big Oil may have Americans over a barrel now, but $3 per gallon gasoline should spur statehouses to take matters into their own hands. Every summer should not be open season for oil companies to gouge American motorists.”
Recent financial statements show oil companies making new world record profits on top of last year’s banner world record profits. Exxon Mobil’s second quarter earnings jumped 35 percent over last year, Royal Dutch Shell rose 34%, ConocoPhillips shots up 51%.
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