Despite a 1% reduction in oil production in the last 12 months, Exxon Mobil saw third-quarter profits soar 75% percent—to $10 billion. So while you and I pay through the nose for gas and heating oil, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company (and its shareholders) are seeing record-breaking profits? We're told that $60–70/gallon barrels of oil can be blamed on hurricane-damaged refineries and war in the Persian Gulf, but really it's about a bunch of greedy bastards demanding their cut. (The piglet shown here, Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond, takes home $5.9 million—or five times that, by some estimates—per year.) That's nothing, compared to ConocoPhillips, a company run by a guy, James Mulva, who pulls in $5.8 million a year: they experienced 89 percent growth in the third quarter.
The most perverse part of it all is: these "oil producers"—a misnomer that suggests they actually produce something rather than destroy natural habitats to remove and refine a collectively owned resource—get government subsidies to make all this oily cash. And thanks to the Republican Party, it just keeps getting better for rich oilmen: three months ago, they OK'd $14.5 billion in tax breaks for the energy industry, and last week they passed a measure giving oil companies more subsidies plus "federal insurance to oil refiners whose expansion projects are delayed by lawsuits or regulatory snags." Not surprisingly, the oil and gas industry donates 3-to-1 to Republicans, who raked in $138,204,929 in political contributions since 1990.
Seriously, folks, as the bumpersticker says, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. Either that or you one of the very few making a profit.
More: Read "Big Oil Protects its Interests: Industry spends hundreds of millions on lobbying, elections," a report by the Center for Public Integrity.