Defenders of Wildlife
Addressing High Gas Prices
HIGH GAS PRICES: WE NEED REAL SOLUTIONS, NOT MORE DRILLING
For the latest updates, visit www.defenders.org/energy
Everyone is affected by the recent rise in gas prices.
Unfortunately, some in Congress are more interested in
winning political points – and lining the pockets of Big Oil
companies –than in finding and implementing solutions
that will address both current and long-term challenges
to our energy needs. In fact, some members of
Congress, and of course Big Oil companies, would have
us believe that the only solution is more drilling. They
want to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and drill
even more in the waters along our nation’s shores,
despite the fact that more drilling has done nothing to
reduce prices in the past.
Following are three facts the oil industry does not want you to know.
1. Increased drilling may help Big Oil but it will
not lower gas prices.
FACT: Eight years of increased oil production has
done nothing to reduce gas prices. Instead we are
faced with high gas prices for consumers and fat
profits for the Big Oil companies. Since taking office
the Bush administration has issued leases on over 26
million acres of onshore public lands, and the
number of drilling permits issued rose from 3,802
per year in 2002 to 7,561 per year in 2007 (almost
twice as many per year). The Administration has sold
leases from the polar bear seas of Alaska to the
Rocky Mountains of the west.
All the new access was great for Big Oil. In 2007, the
oil industry recorded revenues of approximately $1.9
trillion, and profits totaled over $155 billion. Exxon
Mobile alone made a profit of $40 billion last year.
They did spend $10 million on alternative energy but
that is quickly dwarfed by huge stock buyback ($32
billion); a multi-billion dollar payment of dividends
to shareholders ($7.6 billion), and the annual salaries
of its top five executives ($76 million). While the oil
companies made huge