Getty Images/David Paul Morris
A man fills his tank in San Francisco. Regular unleaded gas is averaging $4.22 a gallon in California.
Today was a good day for oil giant ExxonMobil. How good? The company announced first quarter profits of $10.7 billion, its best quarter since 2008. Also reporting good numbers this week are Shell and ConocoPhillips. Those kind of numbers, along with the high numbers we're paying at the pump, have many Americans furious. The White House isn't too happy, either. Along with Democrats on the Hill, the Obama administration is pushing for an end to some pretty hefty tax breaks for the energy industry. The Obama administration says those tax breaks could be worth about $4 billion, just in the first year.
But ExxonMobil responded today. Ken Cohen, the company's vice president for public and government affairs told reporters, "We understand that it’s simply too irresistible for many politicians in times of high oil prices and high earnings — they feel they have to demonize our industry." Cohen continued, "But what they really mean is that they want to increase our taxes by taking away long-standing deductions for our industry while leaving these same deductions in place for other sectors of the economy."
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded has risen to $3.88 according to AAA. That's up $1.02 since this time last year and just 23¢ shy of the all-time record. With plenty of people starting to plan that summer car trip to the beach, something tells me there won't be too many people siding with ExxonMobil on this one.