Monday, October 31, 2005

Record oil profits

I noticed on Google News on Thursday that oil companies recorded mind-numbing profits. Exxon-Mobil's profits for the third quarter alone were $8.3 billion. Open markets and fewer disincentives are almost always a good thing, but just how openly can people boycott gasoline? Times are much different than they were in 1955. (Montgomery Bus Boycott and the last time a transportation boycott worked). Since that time we have evolved into a truly global society, people have a longer commute, and our dependence upon energy thus seems to be at a peak.

The question is who is at fault? Of all the industries, it seems energy seems to be the one the most behind the times. Yet, there are problems with transportation as there have been few attempts to change to a more efficient mode of transport. How do we reconcile an industry in its twilight (non-renewable energy sources) with brewing political (anti-regulation), economic (COLA), and social (need for independence/anti mass transportation) crises?