My wife has done the research on this subject, and the numbers are truly apalling -- and staggering. I can't really do much more here than quote:
Large oil companies are earning billions from US citizens, and only donate a tiny amount to help hurricane ravaged areas, even where they have major oil refining operations. Three large oil companies headquartered in the US have pledged $15 million to help Katrina’s victims…but this is miniscule compared to the earnings that these companies made in only three months. Exxon Mobile (HQ- Tx) pledged 7 million as of 2 September compared to its Second Quarter 2005 net profits of $7.6 billion. Chevron (HQ – CA) pledged $5 million, compared to Q2 profits of 3.7 billion. Conoco Philips (HQ – TX) pledged $3 million, compared to Q2 earnings of $3.1 billion. That’s around .1% of only 3 months PROFIT donated to help people in a country where these companies are making billions each month. Two other big non-US oil companies are about the same: Royal Dutch Shell pledged $2 million (+1 million to match employee contributions) compared to Q2 profits of $5.2 billion; BP pledged $5 million, compared to Q2 profits of $5.2 billion. Check out the press releases on their websites if you don’t believe it.
Derrick Jackson has called Big Oil "the nation's biggest looters". More quotes:
President Bush Thursday told ABC-TV, "there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting or price-gouging at the gasoline pump or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud."And:
Zero tolerance is meaningless when the White House lets the biggest looters of Hurricane Katrina walk off with billions of dollars. We are not referring to the people you saw in endless footage, crashing through storefronts and wading through chest-high water with clothes, food and pharmaceuticals.
New Orleans is under martial law and will not return to normal for years. Members of the Red Cross, the Coast Guard, the National Guard, police agencies, and firefighters are sacrificing time and risking lives to save lives. Texas is opening up its school systems for homeless Louisiana children. Generous food wholesalers are giving away their stocks to passersby. The Astrodome took in the refugees of the Superdome.Do some Googling for "(oil|gas) price freeze". You'll see plenty more stories like that. But this problem is not limited to just the US -- Big Oil has already started price gouging in Canada, Jamaica, and Argentina. And these are just a small selection of the news articles that can be quickly found.
In the midst of this charity, big oil looted the nation. The pumps instantly shot past $3 a gallon, with $4 a gallon well in sight.
How long are we going to let them continue this behaviour? It's time for everyone in the world, not just people in the United States, to stand up to Big Oil and tell them that this must stop now. And make sure to tell your politicians, too. Please read and sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/itsasham/.
There are others who feel the same way. Both Senator Nelson and Senator Carl Levin have both already made similar calls to President Bush for price freezes, but we need more voices. We need more people to stand up and say that they won't tolerate this anymore. And we need voices from all around the world, not just in the United States.
Please. Read. Sign. Pass it on.