ExxonMobil will release financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2011 tomorrow. Although many Americans understand that the energy the oil and natural gas industry produces is vital to U.S. economic recovery and job growth, some in Washington will no doubt use the occasion to call for increased taxes or other punitive measures against the industry. These critics will likely refer to aggregate industry earnings and try to convey a misleading impression about our industry’s earnings and economic contributions. So what’s the truth?
I’m asked this question a lot. And I know a lot of drivers ask themselves this question when they pull up to the pump. The answer is based on the economics of supply and demand and how products are manufactured and sold – along with what the government takes in taxes. Let’s take a look, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s breakdown of the estimated average price of a gallon of gas in December 2011, which was $3.27.
A Cornell University study came out last spring with what many thought was an unbelievable finding that lifecycle emissions from shale gas could be higher than those of coal. A subsequent Cornell University study has shown that finding really was unbelievable. This subsequent study, recently published by Professor Lawrence Cathles and his colleagues at Cornell, criticizes the methodology and findings of last year’s study by Cornell Professor Robert Howarth and his colleagues.
Yesterday, President Obama announced that he had rejected the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision came despite the State Department’s rigorous study showing that the Keystone XL pipeline would pose no undue risks to people or the environment – neither by the type of crude it would be carrying, nor by the safety of the pipeline itself.