It's Hard Being Exxon

And Nico at Think Progess tells us why:

Exxon's execs have it rough these days. As Fortune Magazine reported, "If oil simply stays where it is now, Exxon's cash could approach $40 billion in 12 months. By then [Exxon's CEO Lee Raymond] is expected to have handed off the top job - and the headache of what to do with all that cash." What a pity, those kinds of headaches.

One thing Exxon won't be spending their cash on is desperately-needed renewable technologies. ABC News reports that Exxon (unlike several other top oil firms) is refusing to invest in renewables like solar and wind energy until Uncle Sam ponies up more subsidies. A top Exxon exec tells ABC that clean energy is "an uneconomic niche and our business is not built around the expectation of a bunch of subsidies to make a profit. We want a business that is robust on its own merits."

Oh, really? If so, Exxon really ought to just close up shop. As Grist Magazine reminds us, "the oil industry gets billions in direct subsidies and tax breaks, and also benefits from externalizing the costs of its pollution onto the public, from massive public investment in roads and highways to carry oil-guzzling vehicles, from massive federal subsidies to agribusinesses that use petroleum-based fertilizers, and from a lax regulatory environment that allows automakers to delay improving fuel economy."

Given the oil industry's contribution to growing public health problems from air pollution and other hazards, maybe Exxon could use some of the extra millions they're swimming in to adopt the 65,000 low-income parents in Missouri who were recently sent letters saying that, due to Medicaid cuts, their medical coverage is about to be eliminated. Or the 65,000 affected in North Carolina. Or the thousands affected in Florida. Or ...