Tag Archives: oil

What If Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal Is All About Oil?

oil rigRepublicans jumped the shark last week in apoplectic frenzy after President Obama secured enough support in the Senate to ensure Congress will not block U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said it would lead to a “holocaust” and that the United States is “at existential risk.”

Rep. Steven King (R-IA) said the Iran nuclear deal represented “a seminal moment in the history of the world,” saying it “means to [sic] tens of millions of lives down the road.”

Marco Rubio said lifting the sanctions would allow Iran to bolster its defensive capabilities and “raise the price of us operating in the region,” apparently unaware of the millions of Americans who don’t want the U.S. military operating in the Middle East at all.

At the same time, CNN reported Iran plans to increase oil production as soon as possible after the sanctions are lifted, adding approximately 1.5 million more barrels per day to the world oil supply by the end of 2016.

Isn’t anyone even curious if there is a connection?

Read the rest at The Huffington Post…

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Exxon Mobil Profits Continue to Sag

The recession the federal government is just admitting we are in is obviously taking its toll on Exxon Mobil, whose profits sagged in the 2nd quarter of 2008. What? Didn’t Exxon post record profits of $11.7 billion, kicking us all when we’re down fighting high gas and food prices? That was certainly the headline today in most newspapers and periodicals (http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080731/earns_oil.html).

As usual, however, the “record profits” are measured nominally in U.S. dollars, which are literally losing value before the ink is dry on these financial articles. A careful read of the article reveals that Exxon made these record profits on about $138 billion in revenue, giving them a profit margin of 8.48% That’s down from the 1st quarter of 2008 when profits were 9.32%, which was also significantly lower than their 3 year average of 10.08% from 2005-2007.

Considering that the Federal Reserve has embarked on the most inflationary binge in its 95-year history, it is a little disingenuous to characterize a company as making “record profits” by measuring those profits nominally, instead of as a percentage of revenue. While the media is almost as anxious as the government to label “Big Oil” as the villain that is profiting on the hardship of the average American, those Americans would be best served to look in the opposite direction when the media points its finger – especially when it is pointing in the same direction as our federal government.

Just to put things in perspective, Campbell Soup Company had a similar profit margin over the same three-year period, 2005-2007. During that time, Campbell averaged a 10.22% profit margin on about $22.7 billion in revenue. However, unlike Exxon Mobile, whose profits have sagged during the past two quarters, Campbell Soup’s profits exploded – more than doubling – in its last reported quarter. After rising to 13% on $2.1 billion during the quarter ending January 27, 2008, Campbell posted a 28% profit on lower revenues of $1.8 billion during the quarter ending April 27, 2008.

28% profits while food prices are skyrocketing? Outrageous! Children are going without while Campbell’s executives laugh and say “mm-mm good!” Congressional hearings are in order. Perhaps we should seriously consider nationalizing the soup industry. I know Maxine Waters has kindly offered to take over Big Oil for us, which would undoubtedly result in lower gas prices, improving emissions results, and a white Christmas in South Beach. However, before we worry about filling up our gas-guzzling SUV’s, we need to do something about Big Soup.

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.