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Old 02-20-2010, 06:55 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:31 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
But we here at EcoModder.com don't really want oil to be cheaper, do we?
I, personally, would like less fuel to be wasted on transporting oil, but I don't want oil to be cheaper, and I don't want Big Oil to make even more money. It's a paradox, I know. Maybe they would give the saved money to charity, or sponsor environmental protection groups? Yeah, right...
I would be with you if you can explain why oil companies making a profit is bad, and why expensive oil eating into people's expendable income is good?
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I would be with you if you can explain why oil companies making a profit is bad, and why expensive oil eating into people's expendable income is good?
I heard somewhere that ExxonMobil only made about 10-11% return on their investment (equipment, labor, R&D, etc) in 2007 or 2008, I forget which. According to Gasoline tax information - New York City Gas Prices New Yorkers are hit with 59.6 cents/gal state tax, and another 3-5% county tax (taken after adding the state tax, so you are being taxed on a tax in NY). At roughly $3/gal here currently, the cost of the gas is actually only $2.25, taxes make up the other 25%. So if Exxon makes 10% on a gallon of gas, and NYS and County make 25%, where's the real greed driving up oil costs?
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I would be with you if you can explain why oil companies making a profit is bad,
Because the extra money will go to shareholders and CEOs, not to ecoinvestments. It's rich people getting even richer and most likely spending that extra money on things that cause more pollution (travelling, sports cars, etc.). IF every penny of that saved money went into increasing efficiency, then OK. But companies usually invest in efficiency when costs go up and income goes down. In this case it's the other way around.

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Originally Posted by bestclimb View Post
and why expensive oil eating into people's expendable income is good?
Whether it's good or just not bad (or not worse) depends on how it eats into who's income. Yes, expensive oil increases transportation costs, raising prices of goods. There may be people who will have to buy less food than they should. Hopefully they will find help in one form or another. On the other hand, maybe other people will buy (and eat) less junkfood.
Expensive oil will eat into the income of people who travel alot, but maybe that will help many of them make a change in their lifestyle (switch to a more efficient car, drive less, ecodrive, move closer to work, work at home, etc.). Maybe a price hike will reduce oil consumption in areas that cause lots of pollution, but do not play an important role for humanity as a whole (unnessesary travel, racing, inefficiencies in transport, etc.)

I know that the price of oil dictates changes in many branches of the global economy (mostly because of our dependence), and those changes may influence the day-to-day lives of millions of people, increasing/decreasing poverty/wealth in many places, rising/lowering prices, increasing/reducing unemployment, but that's a discussion for a another thread.

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So if Exxon makes 10% on a gallon of gas, and NYS and County make 25%, where's the real greed driving up oil costs?
But ExxonMobile didn't build the roads you drive on, or the school your kids go to, or the sports field you go to in the evening, or the hospital, or the muni water/sewage system, or the public bus system, . . .
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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread


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Old 02-25-2010, 11:52 AM   #25 (permalink)
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But ExxonMobile didn't build the roads you drive on, or the school your kids go to, or the sports field you go to in the evening, or the hospital, or the muni water/sewage system, or the public bus system, . . .

True, but my point was that Exxon is not raping consumers, taxes are. Exxon's return sounds pretty meager when you consider even railroads (an industry thats been in or near bankruptcy for decades) earn something like -4-5% on their investment (a figure given by a RR VP back when I worked for them). But its an easy escape for politicians charging a 25% tax to point fingers at "obscene" profits from a private entity selling their product at market value in a free market.

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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
I would be with you if you can explain why oil companies making a profit is bad,

Because the extra money will go to shareholders and CEOs, not to ecoinvestments. It's rich people getting even richer and most likely spending that extra money on things that cause more pollution (travelling, sports cars, etc.). IF every penny of that saved money went into increasing efficiency, then OK. But companies usually invest in efficiency when costs go up and income goes down. In this case it's the other way around.
It's a business, they spent billions of their own money to build their refineries and pipelines and oil rigs, shouldn't their profits go back to them? And when they travel or buy a sports car that gives flight attendants, baggage workers, assembly line-workers, mechanics, car salesmen etc, another job to do and another day's pay. Shareholders are 401k's, mutual funds, anyone that owns a couple shares. 401k's increasing in value is a good thing if you're retired and living off one.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Eco-investments are wise investments as soon as they pay dividends. Just like buying shares of stock, if it pays me nothing back I'm wasting money buying it. The moment Exxon or another company finds a way to earn money spending it on eco-friendly stuff, they will. Some might argue that they would oppose anything that cuts their oil sales, but I'm talking as a net-sum, if they can earn money on anything (ie, some fuel that sells for less, that still uses their existing infrastructure), why wouldn't they? They don't care about selling oil anymore than anyone else wants to sell their own product, its just how they can make a living. These huge container ship companies have stumbled on an eco-investment that is going to save them mega-bucks. The government could have forced them into some un-profitable (monetarily speaking) eco-investment, creating bad feelings, decades of lawsuits and a bad attitude towards all things "eco". The shipper's "greed" for more profits for shareholders and CEOs, and an awareness of the environment brought them to a voluntary idea that helps everybody. Turning lights off to save power, driving slower, bicycling to work, are all eco-investments that people do to put more money in their pocket at the end of the day. Greed isn't always a bad thing. When some new technology looks promising to cut emissions while saving net-sum dollars (including loss of obsolete resources), you can bet any company would jump on it. Up to that moment its a net-loss to both the company and society (scrapping valuable existing equipment/operations), and thus is not pursued voluntarily.

Don't take what I said in the wrong way, I just tend to go back to the larger picture when discussing things like oil profits.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Don't take what I said in the wrong way, I just tend to go back to the larger picture when discussing things like oil profits.
Cool, I'm more or less with you. I just didn't want to go to that level here.

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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