Southern Brooklyn

UPDATE: Rising Gas Prices Boost Profits For Oil Companies

Source: Atle Brunvoll/Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: A day after my column on gas prices was posted here, the following new information caught my attention.

In a Reuters poll released yesterday, although more than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling rising prices at the pump, most blame oil companies or foreign countries more responsible than politicians for the price hikes. The most common reason cited for rising fuel costs in the poll was oil company greed. Overall, 36 percent of those surveyed said “oil companies that want to make too much profit” deserve the most blame.

That became evident when the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Big Oil (ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Texaco and Chevron) collectively had a tidy first quarter profit surge of 45 percent or $36 billion.

To reiterate: is it any wonder Americans regard profit-minded oil companies, which take advantage of generous government tax breaks, as the chief villain?

While the GOP slams President Obama on gas prices, Bloomberg News reported today that Obama said it would be “justified” to end oil company tax breaks and subsidies and redirect those revenues to developing clean-energy fuels. The item said the president has asked the Senate to do so when they take up the matter later today.

To reiterate from my earlier op-ed: is it any wonder Americans regard profit-minded oil companies, which take advantage of generous government tax breaks, as the chief villain?

Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.