Record Profits from Well and Refinery Slam Motorists Twice, Group Says;

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BP Kicks Off Week of Profit Reports With $7.3 Billion Announcement

Santa Monica, CA — Oil giant BP kicked off a new round of quarterly profit reports today, registering a a record $7.3 billion profit, up 30% from last year and nearly $1 billion more than analysts were predicting a few days ago. The profit came from a combination of soaring crude oil prices, and refinery margins. BP‘s refining profits were up 42%, a pure windfall that comes particularly at the expense of motorists, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

BP, despite setting a profit record, is the laggard because it is the oil company with the most lingering losses from last year’s hurricane damage,” said Judy Dugan of FTCR. “ExxonMobil’s quarterly report Wednesday will give an even clearer picture of the windfall profits being reaped under the thin excuse that $3.00 gasoline is a result of world political unrest. Refining profits have nothing to do with Mideast violence, Nigerian oil production shortfalls or any of Big Oil’s other justifications for high consumer prices.”

California drivers in particular continue to suffer, with pump prices for regular gasoline hovering near $3.25 in the daily AAA fuel gauge report. Nationally, the average remains close to $3.00.

The second-quarter figures come on top of yearly oil profit records in 2005 and first-quarter 2006 profit records nearly across the board, noted FTCR. “This will be an entertaining week as the industry’s lavishly paid lobbyists try to defend the indefensible,” said Dugan. “But it’s shameful that the show is being paid for by motorists who continue to shell out $60 or $70 for a minivan fill-up.”

The extraordinary profit announced by BP will be overshadowed by even larger oil company margins expected as the week goes on. These reports illustrate the need for vigorous alternative energy sources in order to protect motorists from oil industry greed, said FTCR. Proposition 87 on California’s November ballot will use a portion of oil companies’ windfall profits to fund alternative fuel development.

“The oil industry refuses to develop options that reduce prices at the pump or threaten their exorbitant profits, so Californians need to do it for themselves.” said Douglas Heller, Executive Director of FTCR, which supports Proposition 87 — The Clean Energy Initiative.

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Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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