Monday, April 17, 2006

Pump This

Exxon's CEO, Lee Raymond, is retiring, and he’ll have a doozy of a severance package…worth nearly $400 million, when you factor in his pension, stock options and perks.

Perky Katie Couric is, well, flaccid, compared to Raymon’s $1 million consulting deal, 24-months of home security, plus personal security, a car and driver, and he’ll get to use that a corporate jet, the one with the tiger on its tail, for professional travel. Think anyone will be a tad bit jealous?

Remember in November, when Raymond was still chairman of Exxon, he told Congress that gas prices were high because of global supply and demand? He was answered by questions about his income, and put on the hot seat for his company’s profitability. Might that be a case of pump-envy?

Bet the eggheads on Capital Hill are practically apoplectic over Mr. Raymond's retirement deal and his paycheck last year. At $51-million, that works out to $141,000 a day, nearly $6,000 an hour. And it’s more than five times what the CEO of Chevron made. Did you get a twinge of green?

Stop right there, and think with your head, and not your gas pump nozzle.
Did you invest in Exxon last year?
Did you make money?
Are you invested in Exxon now?
Are you making money?

We have to separate between our pump-lust as fuel prices go higher and higher, and our quest for a good investment, as fuel prices go higher and higher.
You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t have a successful Exxon without a man like Lee Raymond running things…and he’s entitled to a boost for his services. If you want to penalize oil companies and the men who run them, then get ready for even more expensive fuel prices.

We’ve talked about this in the past—If you are looking for someone to demonize for high fuel prices, much of the blame should be placed at the front door of the Congress for prohibiting domestic oil companies from developing and producing domestic resources.

It’s a little ironic that California Senator Barbara Boxer chastised Lee Raymond for his earnings in 2004…yet she refuses to acknowledge that her and her colleagues' refusal to allow more development of domestic oil and gas deposits are one of the main reasons prices are high…and Raymond’s bonus was as large.

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