- Exxon Mobil Corp. up 35 percent from last year to $7.64 billion
- BP up 29 percent, to $5.59 billion
- Royal Dutch Shell up 34 percent to $5.24 billion
- ConocoPhillips up a whopping 51 percent to $3.14 billion
PR HUMOR — August 14, 2005 — With the price of gasoline rising toward $3 per gallon, a senior administration official told Pensito Review today that while President George W. Bush is “troubled” by the potential effect of high energy prices on the nation’s productivity, there is nothing the President or anyone can do because “oil prices fluctuate due to forces of nature. It’s out of man’s control, similar to hurricanes or earthquakes.”
The price of oil is “in God’s hands,” said the Bush adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He described Americans as “people of faith,” who have “faith in this President.”
The administration’s hands-off approach on oil prices has broad appeal, the senior official said. The indicator of this is the general lack of outrage over recent price spikes. He said that most of the complaints have come from “a few liberals” who “always blame America for everything.”
The official said the President is heartened by the fact that “good Americans” look at paying higher gas prices as their patriotic duty in a time of war – and added that the higher prices are “proof that we did not go into Iraq because of oil,” as opponents of the war have claimed. “It makes no sense to believe that we went to Iraq to get oil and yet the prices have gone up.”
On a political level, while many Americans might be uncomfortable with the notion that their president is helpless in the face of a looming economic catastrophe, the Bush adviser said that “if the President knew how to lower gasoline prices, he would have included those measures in the energy bill” that he signed last week.
Instead, the bill included between $1.4 billion and $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies – breaks that some would argue these companies do not need. Second quarter earnings for Exxon Mobil Corp.rose 35 percent from the second quarter last year to $7.64 billion. BP reported an increase in net income of 29 percent, to $5.59 billion. Royal Dutch Shell’s second-quarter profits rose 34 percent to $5.24 billion. ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, reported a whopping 51 percent jump in earnings, to $3.14 billion.
When asked about this remarkable jump in profitability, the White House official called it “merely a coincidence” and pointed out that while oil company top executives rarely pay taxes, they are often generous donors to charitable causes, such as political parties.
The Bush staffer said he was aware that Democrats say it is unacceptable for oil companies to make exorbitant profits at the expense of American families. He said the President would describe such sentiments as “borderline socialism.” Rather, the President believes it is “inappropriate for the government to choose winners and losers” between the oil companies and consumers.
In past energy crises, presidents have prevailed on the leaders of OPEC or U.S. allies like the Saudis to increase production or lower prices and, failing those efforts, have drawn oil from national reserves. But the Bush official described those efforts as merely “political theatre by Democrat presidents” that may have temporarily lowered prices but actually had no long-term effect on costs.
Returning to the theme of divine intervention, the official said, “This President believes what most Americans believe – that oil is a gift from the Almighty” and “only He” can determine the price.
While God may have had a hand in its creation, scientific data indicate that oil was created by the geological compression of organic materials over centuries. The Bush adviser said that while no one disputed the processes by which oil was created, the President believes “it is no accident that we have this commodity.”
When asked if he meant that oil was created via Intelligent Design, the senior official answered, “Some would say so, and I believe the President would not disagree.”
When asked what American consumers can do to avert a new energy crisis, the staffer offered this simple advice: