Exxon/Mobil - Screw the Environment.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by SouthAmerica, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. .

    December 22, 2006

    SouthAmerica: I wonder why Exxon/Mobil keeps fighting the system instead of assuming responsibility for the catastrophe that one of their ships caused in Alaska.

    And Americans have the nerve to say anything regarding pollution in China.


    AP – Associated Press
    ”Court Cuts Valdez Judgment Against Exxon”
    Friday December 22, 3:46 pm ET
    By David Kravets, AP Legal Affairs Writer
    Federal Appeals Court Cuts Oil Spill Judgment Against Exxon

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Friday cut in half a $5 billion jury award for punitive damages against Exxon Mobil Corp. in the 1989 Valdez oil spill that smeared black-goo across roughly 1,500 miles of Alaskan coastline.

    The case, one of the nation's longest-running, non-criminal legal disputes, stems from a 1994 decision by an Anchorage jury to award the punitive damages to 34,000 fishermen and other Alaskans. Their property and livelihoods were harmed when the Valdez oil tanker struck a charted reef, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil.

    It's the third time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court ordered the Anchorage court to reduce the $5 billion award, the nation's largest at the time, saying it was unconstitutionally excessive in light of U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

    This time, in its 2-1 decision, the court ordered a specific amount in damages, while its previous rulings demanded a lower court come up with its own figures.

    "It is time for this protracted litigation to end," Chief Judge Mary Schroeder and Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote.

    U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland of Anchorage begrudgingly complied in 2002, reducing damages to $4 billion. Irving, Texas-based Exxon again appealed.

    The following year, the appeals court ordered Holland to revisit his decision, this time balancing it against a new 2003 Supreme Court ruling that said punitive damages usually could not be more than nine times general damages.

    The Anchorage jury awarded $287 million in general damages -- and issued punitive damages that were 17 times that amount.

    Holland, appointed by President Reagan in 1984, declared Exxon's conduct "reprehensible" and set the figure at $4.5 billion plus interest, ruling that the Supreme Court's precedent did not directly apply to the case.

    Exxon again appealed, and argued that it should have to pay no more than $25 million in punitive damages, which are meant to punish a company for misconduct.

    The company, whose $36.1 billion in earnings last year were the highest ever by any U.S. corporation, said it has spent more than $3 billion to settle federal and state lawsuits and to clean the Prince William Sound area. The company earned about $5 billion when the spill occurred.

    In October, Exxon Mobil reported earnings of $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.

    Exxon spokesman Dave Gardner criticized the decision, calling the spill "a tragic accident that Exxon Mobil deeply regrets."

    Gardner did not say whether the company would appeal the decision. "In our opinion," he said, "the facts of this case do not warrant an award this size."

    David Oesting, the lead lawyer from Anchorage representing the plaintiffs, said he was considering whether to ask the court to rehear the case with 15 judges or to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    "Exxon could decide to continue grappling with us and we can decide we want to reach for more," Oesting said. "And, of course, what one does depends on what the other does."

    In 1994, a federal jury found recklessness by Exxon and the captain of the Valdez, Joseph Hazelwood, who caused the tanker to run aground. That finding of malfeasance made Exxon liable for punitive damages.

    The disaster, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, prompted Congress in 1990 to pass a law banning single-hulled tankers like the Valdez from domestic waters by 2015.

    Frank Mullen, board member of United Cook Inlet Drift Association, which represents a fleet of 600 Alaskan salmon gillnetters, said many of the plaintiffs in the case want it to end.

    "Exxon wins on this one because they've literally worn people out and I think most people just want to get this over with."

    The plaintiffs alleged Hazelwood ran the ship into a reef while drunk and Exxon knew he had a drinking problem, but left him in command of tankers.

    The court majority said Exxon should pay punitive damages that equal five times the amount of general damages the jury awarded in addition to the more than $200 million the oil giant paid to Alaska natives, fish processors and other businesses and fishing interests. That equals $2.5 billion.

    The majority said it could have demanded a higher payment, but Exxon took prompt action to clean up the mess and to compensate victims.

    "These mollify, at least to some degree, the reprehensibility in economic terms of Exxon's original misconduct," the court ruled.

    In dissent, Judge James Browning ruled that $5 billion verdict should remain intact, writing there "is no principled means by which this award should be reduced."

    The case is Baker v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 04-35182.

  2. love of money, root of all evil.
  3. I didn't read your thread but I'm guessing it had something to do with you believing that Brazil is great and the USA sucks.
  4. WD40


    we can all use a little less oil, and screw XOM, GM and F at the same time.

    <img src="http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/attachment.php?s=&postid=1305133">
  5. .

    February 1, 2007

    SouthAmerica: No surprise here, when your industry is being subsidized by the United States government by more than $ 500 billion dollars (the cost of going to war so far to secure new sources of oil to generate even higher profits in the future for the US oil companies.)

    Never mind the other costs such as 22,000 wounded American soldiers, and also over 3,000 deaths. Add to that another $ 100 billion dollars to replace all the US Army armaments that are being destroyed in Iraq including helicopters, trucks, and so on... - they are being destroyed by the constant heat and the sand storms in Iraq.

    If you adjust the earnings of these American oil companies to reflect these extra costs of securing new sources of oil around the world – then the profit picture for these corporations it looks more like a major catastrophe.

    The big question for the American taxpayer is: Why these major US oil companies are not helping pay part of the cost of the war in Iraq since at the end of the day this war it was started to secure a new source of oil for these companies - and if anything the costs related to the Iraq war should be part of the costs of doing business for all US oil companies that get oil from the Middle East.


    “Exxon posts biggest annual profit ever”
    Record oil prices help the world's largest public oil company earn $39.5 billion in 2006.
    By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    February 1, 2007

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. Thursday reported the biggest annual profit on record for a U.S. corporation - earning more than $75,000 every minute of 2006 on the back of record oil prices.

    The world's biggest publicly traded company by revenue posted net earnings of $39.5 billion on revenue of $377.6 billion last year, topping its previous profit record of $36.1 billion in 2005, which at the time was the largest for any U.S. company.

    Not adjusted for inflation, oil prices hit a record high of $77.03 a barrel last July, pushing gasoline prices above $3 a gallon nationwide.

    The spike in gas prices led many politicians to call for a windfall oil profits tax, and some even suggested breaking up the nation's biggest oil companies, including Exxon, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.

    Although gas prices have eased back near $2 a gallon - and the fiery rhetoric in Washington has receded - the huge amounts of money involved have not gone unnoticed.

    "It is our view that the huge profits that continue to be made by oil companies - and the countries that have huge oil reserves - should be re-invested in finding new sources of energy and energy conserving technologies," Geoff Sundstrom, a spokesman for the motorist organization AAA, said in a statement.

    "Not doing so invites a future of economic and environmental distress for people around the globe."

    Naturally oil companies balked at a windfall profit tax back in the spring, saying they needed to retain their large size, and profits, to compete against big foreign national oil companies from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Norway and China.

    Oil executives noted that oil prices, like other commodities, go through boom and bust cycles, and that the long-term profit margins at their companies are about average when compared to other industries.

    Out of Exxon's $377.6 billion in revenue, the company said it spent $19.9 billion on exploration and production to bring new oil to market, a 12 percent increase over 2005.

    "The results of our long-term investment program yielded an additional 172,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of production, a 4 percent increase over 2005," CEO Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

    The United States currently consumes about 21 million barrels of oil a day - making it by far the world's biggest user - out of worldwide consumption of about 84 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Information Administration.

    Industry analysts noted that despite growing demand, Western oil companies have struggled to increase production.

    High oil prices have driven up demand for drilling rigs and experienced workers, which has boosted the cost of finding new oil. And much of the world's remaining reserves lie in politically unstable areas or countries that are simply off-limits to foreign firms.

    Oil companies have also returned much of their record earnings to shareholders.

    Exxon said it spent $32.6 billion buying back stock in 2006 or boosting its dividend. Stock buybacks boost earnings per share, and can thus give a lift to the company's stock price.

    It noted it paid $27.9 billion in income taxes last year.

    For the fourth quarter, Exxon reported earnings of $10.2 billion, or $1.76 a share, down from $10.7 billion, or $1.71 a share, a year earlier.

    Excluding special items, Exxon's quarterly earnings were $1.69 share, which topped First Call's estimates of $1.51 per share.

    Exxon cited falling natural gas prices for the decline in fourth-quarter profit.