Thursday, October 27, 2005

Washington Needs to Force Exxon Mobil to Invest Profits in New Refining Capacity, Says FTCR

To: National Desk

Contact: Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, 310-392-0522 ext. 327

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights today called upon the White House and Congress to force Exxon Mobil Corporation to invest some of its 75 percent profit increase during the third quarter in new refining capacity. Exxon Mobil today reported a $100.7 billion in revenue and $9.92 billion in profits, up from $5.68 billion last year.

"This astronomical increase in profits for the world's largest oil company shows that Exxon Mobil has been charging far more for gasoline that its actual productions costs and needs to reinvest a healthy share of those world record profits in desperately needed increased refining capacity," said FTCR president Jamie Court. "The proof of price gouging is in the profit reports. Exxon knows that by making less gasoline it makes more money, now Exxon needs to invest that money in making more gasoline. Neither Exxon nor the industry has opened a new refinery since 1976 because the companies know keeping refined supply low is a recipe for huge profits. If the White House and Congress don't act to force Exxon to invest in refining capacity after Katrina's lessons, the public might as well clean out that tank and refill it with new blood."

FTCR recently released internal oil company memos showing how Mobil and other big oil companies made a decision in the 1990s to reduce refining capacity in order to increase profits. That strategy is now paying off hugely for the companies.

Read the Mobil and other memos at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/pr/ (click on "Internal Memos Show Oil Companies Intentionally Limited Refining Capacity To Drive Up Gasoline Prices")

For more on FTCR, visit http://www.consumerwatchdog.org

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