In April, May and June of this year, Exxon Mobil siphoned off profits of $4.7 million. Not for the three-month period. Exxon took $4.7 million in profit every hour. That's the second-highest quarterly profit by any corporation in history. What outfit had the highest profit ever? Exxon Mobil, last summer.
Exxon is not the only oil giant wallowing in wealth from record high prices for both crude and gasoline. In the second quarter, BP's profits were up 30 percent over the previous year, Shell was up 40 percent, and ConocoPhillips was up 65 percent. As one Wall Street analyst gushed, "The rising tide lifts all boats."
Well, not exactly. The corporate yachts are at high tide, but the little dinghies that the rest of us have are being swamped by $3 gasoline. Yes, I know that high gas prices are good for conservation and the environment, but that should be a matter of public policy, not oil company gouging. And this policy should also cope with the very real economic blow that high prices are delivering to people of modest means who must commute long distances, as well as such hard-hit people as small farmers, taxi drivers and independent truckers.
Meanwhile, the oil barons continue to dominate everything from national energy policy to global warming decisions and even war strategy. They're taking your money at the pump, and then using a chunk of it to fund their lobbyists, think tank apologists ... and, of course, their politicians.
This is Jim Hightower saying ... Their windfall profits are so huge that the oil giants have been running full-page ads in newspapers all across the country to tell us that their profits are perfectly reasonable. Full-page ads cost a pretty penny. If you see one of them, remember: You're paying for those, too.
& & For more nuggets of wisdom from America's No. 1 populist, check out & lt;a href="http://www.jimhightower.com" & his website & lt;/a & & & .