Exxon Reports $10.49 Billion Profit in Quarter
By JOHN HOLUSHA and HEATHER TIMMONS
Published: October 26, 2006
The ExxonMobil Corporation reported today that it earned $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second largest quarterly profit ever posted by a publicly traded American company. The largest on record was also reported by ExxonMobil — $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005...
Remember the Exxon Valdez? It was the oil tanker that ran aground near the Alaska shore in 1989, spilling up to 30 million gallons of crude oil over one of the most pristine wildlife areas of North America. An estimated 250,000 seabirds died, along with billions of salmon and herring eggs, bald eagles, sea otters and many other marine creatures. Eventually ExxonMobil came to a 1.1 billion dollar settlement to clean up the mess, but the Exxon Valdez still travels the seas under a different name and EM still makes more money than any other company on the planet.
Centuries ago the prophet Jeremiah wanted to know "Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?" 12:1 NRSV Good questions. While we haven't been jolted by such a graphic disaster in recent years there are examples from Nigeria and Russia and other places where the welfare of creatures, including humans, are secondary to profits. The film Syriana gives us an ominous portrait of a planet where the goals of the companies which extract fossil fuels overrule governments and international law.
As with most of the prophets, Jeremiah wrestled with trusting in God and acting as God's agent with people who didn't want to listen. We can pay attention and care enough to get angry about the ways we are betraying ourselves and the planet. We can ask for the strength to act passionately in Christ's name.