Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Corner: Industry accomplices make the public pay more | News, Sports, Jobs



At Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, we understand that the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles will take time as government and the private sector adapt to the infrastructure needs of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids and as people are always linked to the financing of their internal combustion engine vehicles, etc. But we also know that the sooner we can make these transitions, the less impact things like soaring oil prices will have on our personal finances. Let’s take a look at these oil price spikes and who is behind them.

Government watchdog group Accountable.US recently released a report that showed the largest oil and gas companies made combined profits of $ 174 billion for the first nine months of this year, as reported to the public on The Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian reports, “Windfall profit totals, provided exclusively to The Guardian, show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 major oil and gas companies made more than $ 74 billion in net income. From January to September, the group’s net profit, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $ 174 billion.

The Guardian report continues, “Analysis of the financial statements of major oil companies shows that 11 group members made payments to shareholders with a total value of more than $ 36.5 billion this year, while a dozen bought back $ 8 billion. dollars in stocks. “

“The oil and gas industry has fought against Joe Biden’s attempts to suspend new drilling permits on federal lands,” the declaring states, “despite its reluctance to expand operations in order to reap the benefits of more expensive oil and the fact that the industry currently relies on 14 million acres of previously leased land that is not in use, an area roughly double that of the size of Massachusetts. “

“Much of this was driven by investor sentiment,” Helima Croft, head of global commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told The Guardian about the current reluctance of oil and gas companies to increase production. “They don’t want them to spoil the party.

While those of us who still drive internal combustion engine and hybrid vehicles face the highest gas prices in seven years, these oil and gas companies and their investors are on the rise and make sure that nothing is done to slow their cash flow, such as producing more oil on the land they have already leased. I don’t want to be indebted to a system like this, do I? And, as The Guardian report concludes, “Besides its role in today’s high gasoline prices, the oil and gas industry is a major driver of the climate crisis, the reality of which it has sought to hide from the public for decades and is one of the main instigators of killer air pollution. nearly 9 million per year, a death toll three times higher than that of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. “

None of this is to say that electric utilities or those who regulate them are much better for consumers. After all, the West Virginia Civil Service Commission just charged West Virginia taxpayers who are customers of Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power about $ 483 million in costs to upgrade three old ones. coal-fired power plants to meet air quality standards, keeping them unprofitable beyond 2028. And I just saw in the Marietta Times where the Ohio Public Utilities Commission called for changes to a draft report by an auditor that she hired to remove terms like “keep it [coal fired] running factories do not seem to be in the best interests of taxpayers. This language was not included in the report made public by the auditor.

Unlike private oil and gas companies, however, we at least have some electoral control over those appointed to agencies like PUCO and WVPSC. We need to elect governors who will stop appointing accomplices and industry cronies to these bodies and instead appoint people who will take care of us as consumers of electricity. Ohio, you’re electing a governor again this coming year. Choose wisely! And the more affordable renewable energies at household level become, the easier it will be for more and more of us to get off the grid and seek true energy independence, including when recharging our cars or charging. use of our electric vehicles as generators!

Much of our current inflationary problems are due to corporate greed. Gasoline is an area where we must not continue to be indebted to these greedy and selfish inflation profiteers. Ditching internal combustion engines as quickly as possible just makes sense and saves pennies! Senator Manchin must approve the Build Back Better Act, along with all of his fellow Democrats in the Senate, as soon as possible to help more of us make the transition to electric vehicles and save us money. And the additional tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles made by American unions must remain in the legislation!


Eric Engle is president of the nonprofit Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, a board member of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and co-chair of the executive committee of the Sierra Club of West Virginia chapter.

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