sharing the burden

sharing the burden

Headline: Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday its third-quarter earnings rose to $10.49 billion, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.

I admit I know very little about the complex economic factors that produced such a record-breaking profit, and very little about the process and people that determine retail prices for oil products. I do understand that high profits are driven by high demand, that we pay more because we ask for more.

Nevertheless, I find the incongruity disturbing … that an oil company is making more money than ever, while its customers are struggling more than ever to find the money to pay the record-high prices for its products. Isn’t it true that in the end, that $10.49 billion comes out of our wallets? Exxon-Mobil makes more because it takes more … from us.

Energy is a common human need, and the increasing demand for energy coupled with a diminishing supply of non-renewable sources of energy is a common human problem. It seems to me that the burden of this problem should be shared, by consumer and producer alike.

So it would be interesting to know what Exxon-Mobil will do with its windfall profits. If the profits were to be invested in the research and production of new sources of energy, renewable sources of energy, that could be a way of sharing the burden …

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