Last weeks Senate Hearings focused some new attention on the Big Oil companies. Somehow I wound up watching Exxon Mobile's cheif Raymond, interviewed on the Wall Street Journal Report. Not much was gained or learned from the hearings or from the interview except that regulatory loopholes tend to bog down the Poor Big Oil company's refining capacity. On the surface, this arguement is laughable. For an industry whose Subsidy steak has recently been drizzled with a succulent Subsidy sauce is complaining about regulatory hurdles? An industry who has achieved almost every single regulatory thing it has ever wanted and whose greatest loss recently involves iffiness of ANWR? They haven't even lost this one yet, its been tabled.
They sure do spend tons of money lobbying. If not for the results achieved I would almost feel sorry for them. Maybe its time they fired their lobbyists. It is obvious that their money is going towards things they don't really need, like easing restrictions in regulations governing refinery building. Right? Time to change focus from ANWR to Refinery. Why don't we let them do what the Credit Card Companies did and write their own bill.
It could be called something misleading too, like say, The American Refinery Bill or TAR. It even fits in with the industry!
Again the surface argument that somehow they can't find a way to make congress do their bidding tends to blow up in one's face when one reports the largest quarterly profits known to man. Taking the Republican arguement to this would deflate it in an instant. If the regulations are strangling you, how did you break the quarterly record? Or alternatively, if the regulations are choking you now, what would happen to your profits if we eased those regulations?
Luckily there is one news program that somehow gets swept under the blogospheric rug for no reason whatsoever. NOW. Perhaps like other PBS shows it gets scant attention because liberals just trust PBS so they don't scrutinize it. With the lack attention NOW gets on the positive side, I wonder if liberals are even watching it period.
For this week, as is usually the case, NOW revealed the findings of its investigative report, and blew the lid off of all the arguments I stated above. Though while I did it on a philosophical level, NOW uses the more orthodox, "internal documents" approach. The report highlights (among other things) ways the Oil Industry has been gaming the system. They have been shutting down their own refineries on one hand and bitching to congress about how hard it is to cut through the red tape to build more. They will export gas at the same time boo-hooing that Katrina pissed their supply away. Though of course, without a swearing in ceremony, perhaps lying to congress wont come back and bite the Big Oil Execs in the ass.
At least, NOW calls them on all their bullshit.
Watch it. Weekly.