Big Oil

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RFK Jr. Calls Sen. Inhofe Big Oil 'Prostitute'

Popular insult jumps political divide

(Newser) - The prostitute insult has jumped the aisle. Democrat Robert Kennedy Jr. is calling Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe a hooker for getting into bed with Big Oil. "Speaking of prostitutes, Big Oil’s top call girl, Sen. Inhofe, wants to kill fuel economy backed by automakers, small biz, enviros, and... More »

Big Oil Defends Profits

Industry executives say Congress shouldn't end tax breaks

(Newser) - Oil executives had to march up to Capitol Hill today amid $4 gas prices and huge profits to argue why their industry deserved to keep tax subsidies. In response to Democrats' criticism, the execs said ending their tax breaks would do nothing to bring down gas prices, hurt R&D,... More »

How Much Tax Does Big Oil Actually Pay?

It comes down to how you crunch the numbers

(Newser) - If you ask Exxon Mobil, the firm will say last year’s taxes exceeded US income—but a Washington think tank will tell you the big oil company didn’t pay a cent the year before that. “It all depends on how you count,” writes Steven Mufson in... More »

Leak Shuts Alaska Pipeline, Oil Prices Jump

Will oil head to $100 barrel again?

(Newser) - Oil prices jumped this morning just two days after a major leak forced the shutdown of the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline. North Slope oil flow was reduced by 95% after the leak was discovered at a pump station there, said officials. Though the leak was contained, it's unclear when operations... More »

BP Constructs 'Floating Hotels' for Workers

Living quarters are spartan, but come with soap

(Newser) - BP has built floating hotels—or 'flotels'—to accommodate more than 500 workers hired to clean up the disastrous Gulf spill . Conditions are spartan: Each facility consists of 40-foot-long corrugated steel boxes stacked two high and three wide atop a barge in the Gulf of Mexico. But the military-style quarters... More »

Shell Gets Go Ahead for Arctic Drilling

Court clears the way for exploratory drill

(Newser) - Shell got the go ahead to ' drill, baby, drill ' in the Arctic this summer, after a three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge standing in the way of their plans. The court determined that the federal Minerals Management Service ( Um, remember them? ) weighed the potential threat to... More »

Who Regulates Big Oil? Big Oil

Investigation finds gaps in oversight, safety measures

(Newser) - Over the past decade, the federal agency tasked with monitoring offshore oil drillers has gradually ceded control to the industry itself, finds the Wall Street Journal . The Minerals Management Service doesn't actually write rules, but rather sets "broad goals" for drillers, an approach that is taking heat post-Gulf spill.... More »

BP Building 'Containment Dome' to Slow Spill

'Giant iron funnel' will pump oil to surface

(Newser) - The firm at the center of the Gulf Coast spill is building a giant dome to slow the spread of oil. BP is constructing a 4-story, 70-ton contraption to lower over one of the leaks. The BBC likens the device to a "giant iron funnel" that "resembles a... More »

Bush's 'Brownie': Obama Wanted Spill to Spread

Anti-oil prez waited for disaster, says ex-FEMA chief

(Newser) - President Obama's doing a heckuva job in using the Gulf oil spill to further his anti-Big Oil agenda, according to former FEMA chief Michael Brown. Brown—whose handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath won praise from few apart from President Bush—says that Obama waited for the oil spill to worsen... More »

Oil Spill: Protecting Wildlife Will Be 'Mind-Boggling' Job

As oil reaches land, scientists worry about marshes

(Newser) - Migrating birds, nesting pelicans, and river otter and mink living along Louisiana's fragile coastline are in the path of the oil oozing ashore after the massive oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Louisiana's coastal islands and barrier marshes are home to hundreds of species. Protecting the ecosystem will be a... More »

Big Oil Blows Off Obama's Clean-Energy Push

Firms say alternatives won't replace oil anytime soon

(Newser) - As the Obama administration seeks to spearhead a $150 million clean-energy overhaul, oil firms are conspicuously not getting on board—they're staying on the sidelines and, in many cases, betting against it, the New York Times reports. Shell is freezing its development work on wind, solar and hydrogen power, after... More »

Exxon, Chevron Scramble to Protect $40B Cash Booty

(Newser) - In times like these, everyone’s got problems. Exxon and Chevron? Finding safe places to stash $40 billion they stockpiled while oil prices were stratospheric last summer. “The biggest challenge we’ve had is making sure all the cash is there every morning,” Exxon’s CEO tells Bloomberg,... More »

Fat Cat Exxon Primed to Deal

Behemoth stood still when oil hit record highs, now has $40B for buying spree

(Newser) - Flush with cash after resisting costly acquisitions while oil prices hit record highs, Exxon Mobil could be ready for a shopping spree that could alter the face of the world’s energy supply, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company has nearly $37 billion in reserves and could target another... More »

Global Demand for Oil Expected to Plummet

Consumption will drop in consecutive years; first time in 3 decades

(Newser) - The price of oil continued its descent today, settling at $42.07 a barrel amid new signs of collapsing demand worldwide, the Financial Times reports. Global consumption will shrink by 50,000 barrels a day in 2008 and by a whopping 450,000 barrels a day in 2009, the Energy... More »

$100 Oil Will Return Soon Enough: Study

Price will rebound with economy, likely to hit $200 a barrel in 2030

(Newser) - If today’s price of $60 per barrel of oil seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Oil prices will rebound to $100 a barrel once the economy recovers, and climb toward $200 by 2030, the market’s most comprehensive review predicts. Output is declining at... More »

PR Blitz Aside, Big Oil Drilled Consumers for Stockholders

As demand drops, companies shelve plans to explore—among moves that benefit shareholders, not consumers

(Newser) - Despite public-relations campaigns designed to make consumers think otherwise, big oil companies remain firmly tied to doing what’s best for their stockholders and bottom line, the Los Angeles Times reports. Though demand has outstripped production, companies spend more on stock buybacks than supply-boosting exploration. But, one analyst notes, “... More »

Judge Sends Stevens Jury Home, May Declare Mistrial

Prosecutors withheld FBI reports on witness

(Newser) - A federal judge sent the jury in Ted Stevens’ Washington corruption trial home today as he considers declaring a mistrial for the Alaska senator, the AP reports. Stevens’ lawyers claimed that prosecutors attempted to withhold FBI reports about the government’s key witness, former oil exec Bill Allen, that they... More »

As Alaska Melts, Palin Plays Big Oil Denial Game

Would-be veep as big an industry stooge as Cheney, says RFK Jr

(Newser) - Alaska is melting, but Sarah Palin doesn’t believe man’s to blame. Then again, McCain’s VP pick is also skeptical about evolution, “which is like not believing in gravity,” writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr in the LA Times. Kennedy recalls his childhood, when Virginia had ski... More »

Why Alaska Isn't Like Any Other State

'Frontier mentality' leaves openings for politicians like Palin

(Newser) - Alaska, with its short history as a state and its independent spirit, continues to earn its nickname as America’s “last frontier.” But it’s the state’s oil revenues, corruption, and very local politics that enabled Sarah Palin to thrive, the New York Times reports. And as... More »

Alaska's Joan of Arc Won Hearts in Ethics Battles

Hockey mom has seen her opponents crumble during short career

(Newser) - Republican whistleblower Sarah Palin surged into politics as Alaska's Joan of Arc, daring to battle corporate interests over oil taxes and a natural gas pipeline. She won both fights and made powerful enemies—but the ethics at the heart of her straight-talking politics sparked a blaze of admiration among voters,... More »

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