Huzzah for ExxonMobil’s Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs, for using the excellent “Perspectives” blog to lay out the details and context that rightfully belong with the company’s announcement of $10.7 billion in earnings for the first quarter of 2011.
ExxonMobil’s earnings are from operations in more than 100 countries around the world. During the first quarter, more than three-quarters of our operating earnings came from outside of the United States.
The part of ExxonMobil’s business that refines and sells gasoline, diesel and other products in the United States represents less than 6 percent – or 6 cents on the dollar – of our earnings.
Why so little? Because we actually buy more crude oil to refine into gasoline and diesel in the U.S. than we produce ourselves. And these purchases are made on the open market at the prevailing rates.
During the first three months of this year, for every gallon of gasoline and other products we refined and sold in the United States, we earned about 7 cents. Compare that to the 40 to 60 cents per gallon that went from gasoline consumers to the government (state and federal) in gasoline taxes.
Rising gas prices do indeed have an impact on consumers, families and businesses, Cohen writes before explaining the primary causes of the increase: (continue reading…)