Here in California, the average price of a gallon of gas is over $4.00. In most of the rest of the country, the price is hovering somewhere just under $4.00. In most cases this is nearly a dollar more per gallon than at this same time last year, and more than $0.10 more than just last week.
As Americans face higher prices at the pump, it’s important to point out who is benefiting from the ever-growing costs of dirty energy. Because it certainly is not the American people.
It’s no coincidence that shares of Chevron just hit a 52-week high as the price of oil shot past $112 per barrel. Aside from Chevron shareholders, who benefits? Well, the board of Chevron just approved a raise for CEO John Watson and other executives, even though he has yet to take responsibility for his company’s oil pollution in Ecuador, which investors have warned poses a serious liability for the company. Chevron also just landed on Forbes’ list of the “Least Reputable” big companies in America. Apparently none of that matters to Chevron’s board — energy prices are high, Chevron’s stock is up, and that is all that matters in their world.
It’s not just Chevron, of course. MarketWatch reported that energy stocks in general had a big week, especially petroleum producers.
When the cost of oil goes up, that cost is passed on to you and me while Big Oil executives and shareholders laugh all the way to the bank. There’s something very wrong with this situation, especially given all the “externalized” costs of drilling for oil, refining it into gasoline, and burning it in vehicles as fuel, costs that are always passed on to you and me because oil companies never take responsibility for the environmental and health impacts of their business operations.