Local Drivers Upset Over Gas Profits

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

July 27, 2006

Exxon Mobile announced Thursday the second biggest profit in U.S. history, leaving many drivers wondering why they aren't seeing any relief at the pumps.

As local drivers digging deep into their wallets Exxon Mobile announced Thursday they are making lots of cash.

During the second quarter of 2006, between just April and June, the company has made more than $10 billion.

"It's pretty amazing," said Allen Zendle, as he filled up at the Exxon at the corner of Route 29 and Hydraulic Road. "Not surprising though, given the prices at the pump."

With gas hovering around $3 a gallon in Central Virginia, drivers say the prices are taking their toll.

"There's a lot of people out there that have to go to work, they have kids, families, they have a mortgage, and they have to pay very high gas prices on top of their own bills," said Avin Lalmansingh, as he swiped his credit card into a pump.

However, energy analysts say that Exxon's earnings, whether high or low, don't have much affect on the international oil market.

"Exxon Mobil doesn't have a lot of force over pushing the price of oil down," explained Anthony Grisanti, an Energy Analyst in New York. "The market sets the price and right now the market is setting the price because demand is so high and because of what's going on in the Middle East," said Grisanti.

On Thursday night in Charlottesville, most driver's weren't buying that.

"It seems like the larger the company, the less social responsibility they feel and it probably ought to be the other way around," said Zendle.

Courtney Hess, another driver at the Exxon on Hydraulic Road, said she recently got rid of her SUV because of gas prices. She also said big businesses shouldn't forget who is responsible for their profits.

"Any good business man would be in it for the money, but you have to also think about the people who are supporting your business," said Hess. "It's all about the people. Without us you wouldn't have a good business."

Exxon's profits are up 36% from last year.

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