Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hot Gas

I see that Congress is boldly taking on the major oil companies that posted record profits last quarter, bravely risking the wrath of all Americans who enjoy high gas prices.

What the politicans haven't mentioned so far in their heroic hearings is that, while a company such as Conoco Philips netted about 9 cents per gallon in profit on gasoline sold last quarter, the federal tax on each of those gallons was 18 cents. To put it another way, the federal government made twice the profit on Conoco Philips gasoline as Conoco Philips did.

The states did even better. On top of the federal government's enormous profit, here's how a few states did on each gallon of gas sold:

  • Wisconsin: 32.1 cents/gallon
  • New York: 31.9 cents/gallon
  • Pennsylvania: 31.1 cents/gallon
  • Montana: 27.75 cents/gallon
  • North Carolina: 26.6 cents/gallon
  • Nebraska: 25.4 cents/gallon
That means that, in addition to the federal goverment making twice the profit off each gallon of gas as the actual oil company, a state such as Wisconsin is making another 3 1/2 times the oil company's profit.

Think we'll see any bold congressional investigations into government profiteering on gas? Think any substantial number of people will turn their high-gas-price wrath away from oil companies that actually do the discovering, drilling, and refining of oil, and instead redirect that wrath towards government, which hauls in much higher profits for doing nothing?

Me either.

(Hat tip to Sam Kastensmidt for the info.)

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