Oil industry raked in $3212 in profits a second in 2006

As consumers struggled to cope with rising prices at the pump, the oil industry pulled in a record $101 billion in profits last year — about $11.6 million an hour — and according to Barb Flye of the Washington Tax Fairness Coalition, taxpayers are picking up the tab… twice.

“Individuals have to dig deeper to fill the gas tank and heat their homes, and collectively, all taxpayers will be covering the higher gas and heating costs for a host of publicly-funded services and institutions,” Flye said. “We’re paying more for heat at public schools and colleges, hospitals and nursing homes, courts and other government buildings, not to mention the higher cost of running school buses and public transit.”

This has prompted state Rep. Steve Conway to introduce HB 2128 a tax hike on excess oil industry profits. The bill would put a 3% B&O tax surcharge on gross receipts of companies with a refining capacity in excess of 10,000 barrels a year, whenever retail gas prices exceed $1.75 a gallon. The Washington Tax Fairness Coalition will be holding a press event at noon today in Olympia, in support of HB 2128.


  1. 1

    rhp6033 spews:

    And today we find out that the nation’s top environmental officer in the justice department had an oil-industry lobbyist help her buy a rather expensive vacation home in S. Carolina, a few months before signing off on a environmental cleanup plan which extended the time Conoco-Philips had available to complete a remediation plan.


    It seems that the Republicans are arguing that one didn’t have anything to do with the other, that these people have been SUCH good friends for so long (they had an affair when the lobbyist was her boss), that such financial ties are not extraordinary.

    So I don’t know what bothers me more – that she didn’t have the sense to see the obvious conflict of interest, that the Bush administration or the Republican Congress didn’t oversee or investigate until it came out in the press, or that even after being revealed, to the Republicans it is such a normal way of doing business that they don’t see anything wrong with it?

    Now, the remediation deal MAY OR MAY NOT be a good deal for the U.S. taxpayer. But at this point it appears to be tainted. If the Boeing 767 tanker deal can be nixed because Boeing hired the pentagon procurement officer who was making decisions on the program, then shouldn’t the Conoco-Philips agreement be subject to investigation and review as well?

  2. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    A few days ago, in an interview with Al Gore, NPR re-played the Saturday Night Live skit where Al Gore gave a 2006 address to the nation (as if he had been President since 2000).

    I especially liked the part where he said that due to the nation’s environmental policies, we were no longer dependent on foreign oil, and it was nice to have gas prices at 19 cents per gallon. Because this resulted in such difficulty for the oil companies, he was proposing a national program to help them out. “I know that this may not be popular with some people, but its the right thing to do. Because we know that if the situation were reversed, they would do the same for us”.

    I nearly lost control of my car, I was laughing so hard.

  3. 3

    proud leftist spews:

    rhp @ 1
    Now, now, I think you’re being a bit cynical. I would hardly think that gifting a mere expensive vacation home (in South Carolina, no less) would be enough to influence the woman’s official duties. I am certain that if I were in a position to grant governmental favors to beleaguered corporate interests that I could separate my official duties from my personal life if given a vacation home. After all, friends give each other vacation homes all the time, at least in my circle of friends they do.

  4. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    It’s a nice idea, but I don’t see what’s to prevent the oil companies from passing the tax right on to us poor sops.

  5. 5

    ArtFart spews:

    1. Interesting story. Almost makes me think of the plot of this year’s new TV series “What About Brian”.

    Anyway, I would suggest that we all show that we lib’ruls have way too much class to engage in the kind of character assassination our resident screech monkeys were directing at Maria Cantwell and Ron Dotzauer last fall.

  6. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    ArtFart at 5: Okay, I’ll try to show more class.

    But the “resident screech monkeys” never explained how a lobbyist getting a loan FROM a senator could influence her in any way. Were they proposing that Democrates are so unfamiliar with the process of giving bribes and influence-peddling, that they got it backwards?

  7. 7

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’ve always been worried that the President’s dismal approval ratings (in the upper 20’s) hasn’t always been transferrable into an approval of Democratic control. Some of it may be attributable to the erosion of a base which, like Limbaugh and others on the far right, feel that Bush has not been far enough to the right. Or, it might be a feeling among Republicans that he has the right ideas, he is just incompetent in carrying them out.

    But today’s news indicates that there is a significant transfer of public support from the Republican to the Democratic party.


    In short, for the past two decades the two major parties have garnered 1/3 of the population (adults who are willing to identify themselves with the party). The remaining 1/3 identify themselves as “independents”.

    Among adults identifying themselves as either Republicans or Democrats, in most recent years the margin has been very close. In 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 the margin between the parties has been less than one point (with a .5 point margin of error). In 2003 the Republicans held a 1.9 point lead, but in 2006 this was reversed to a very significant Democratic lead of 3.9 points.

    But the real story seems to be among the 1/3 of adults who self-identify as “independents”. Most of them will admit to leaning toward one party or another, and their vote will follow that “lean” very predictably.

    Therefore, among “Independents”, there has been a greater swing among the party towards which they “lean”:

    2001 – D 1.3
    2002 – R 0.4
    2003 – R 0.1
    2004 – D 2.7
    2005 – D 4.4
    2006 – D 10.2

    In the past two decades, the Presidential elections have consisted of the two parties being roughly equal, with a very small minority actually deciding the contest. But the 2006 results indicate that barring a huge Democratic scandel in the next two years, the 2008 election is theirs to lose. Only 9% of the electorate refuses to identify themselves as leaning toward one party or another. If the Democrats can retain their 3.9 point advantage among those identifying themselves with a particular party, and their 10.2 point advantage among “independents” who lean toward one party or another, the Democrates could conceivably win this next election by 15 points, even if the true “independents” split 50/50:

    Loyal Democrates: 3.9 point advantage
    “Lean” towards Dem: 10.2 point advantage
    Total: 15.1

    Personally, I think the only thing which might prevent this is short-term memory among some voters. After two years of the Democratic Congress preventing the Bush administration from completely trashing what is left of the country, some will be tempted to believe things are getting better, and Bush will try to take credit for it.

  8. 8

    Hayduke spews:

    Upton Sinclair’s Oil! is a fictionalized look at the oil industry in the early 1900’s. Unfortunately, this novel didn’t have the impact of the Jungle. Many of Harding’s Ohio gang schemes seem to have been recently revamped: no-bid contracts, secret energy meetings, etc.

  9. 9

    Libertarian spews:

    All you guys are in agreement with Bill O’Reilly. He thinks the oil companies are gouging.

    Imagine that – people agreeing with Bill O’Reilly on this blog.

  10. 11

    Libertarian spews:


    I just like to point out that O’Reilly is neither a conservative or a liberal.

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 Her defense probably will be, “Do you think I’d sell my office for a mere vacation home? What do you think I am, a cheap crook? If I took a bribe, I’d want stock — a lot of stock.”

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 “we lib’ruls have way too much class to engage in the kind of character assassination our resident screech monkeys were directing at Maria Cantwell and Ron Dotzauer last fall”

    Personally, I think this policy has been counterproductive, and should be changed. If someone kicks you in the nuts, and you don’t kick them in the nuts back, they’ll just kick you harder next time. I think we liberals need to do less forbearance and more nut kicking. Don’t forget who we’re dealing with — they’ve already put in an order for their brownshirts and armbands.

  13. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 I will concede that the R’s did appeal to a lot of (misguided) folks, but the evidence of dirty tricks and outright fraud in both 2000 and 2004 is so overwhelming that it’s not even debatable that Bush is not a legitimate, legally elected president.

  14. 21

    headless lucy spews:

    $11.6 million an hour! Was that an 8 hour work day, or did they have to work overtime?

  15. 22

    headless lucy spews:

    re 11: … and O’Reilly is colorblind. He can’t see if a person is Black or White. In fact, the only way he knows that he is white is because police officers call him “sir” when they give him a ticket.

    (Kudos to Colbert for the joke I just stole)

  16. 23

    ArtFart spews:

    Some years ago, a group of about 30 people sent a barrage of complaints to the Vatican, and convinced the Holy See that the majority of western Washington Catholics were dissatisfied with their archbishop.

    Perhaps what we’ve seen in general is that the “silent majority” is no longer the former, and never has been the latter. They just managed to make the rest of us think there were more of them by being loud and outrageous. Now the jig’s up, the rest of us are on to ‘em, and Abraham Lincoln’s wisdom has again been proven out. So how do they react? By whining even louder like the ill-mannered, spoiled brats they are.

  17. 24

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Yossarian, in addition to being an ignorant slut, is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. . . .not to reflect negatively on you Lucy.

  18. 25

    harry poon spews:

    re 24: My time was millions of years before the Neanderthals. I’m the Alpha and the Omega. The little bit of Africa in us all.

  19. 26


    The oil industry makes about a dime profit from a gallon of gasoline. What are the fed and state taxes combined?
    You pay more per gallon for bottled water, milk, wine, coke, etc.
    Think about it. Here on the West coast, the oil industry pumps heavy crude out of Prudhoe, transports it via pipeline which they paid for to tankers in Valdez. Ship it to Anacortes, refines it, pipelines and trucks it you your corner gas station where you fill up your piece of shit car.
    And for this, they profit a dime a gallon.
    You, pathetic whiners. Go back to your mammas. Grow up.

  20. 27

    Yossarian spews:

    Tree Frog Fucker –

    Suck my Dick Tracy you socialist cocksucker! You’re the fucking Neaderthal here, trollfart!

  21. 28

    Libertarian spews:


    Are there really people in America that take Catholicism seriously? This is another Middle East-based religion that treats women as second class citizens while its “priests” have some serious character flaws, to put it mildly.

    I think we would all be better off if we threw off the Middle Eastern religions and practiced religious activities more akin to those that pre-dated Christianity.