Big oil gets more money

Apparently, $39.5 billion in profits in 2006 is not enough for Exxon Mobil to fund its own research programs. Now, the gigantic company along with other big oil companies will get help from the government and our vehicle fees to conduct “research” on alternative fuels with the passage of AB 118, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law last week, despite lobbying efforts from a coalition of environmental-justice groups opposing the bill. According to a memo circulated by the coalition, the bill does not define alternative fuels nor does it prohibit money raised from the new fees to be spent on carbon-based fuels. The memo also states that the bill “grants a blank check to the [California Energy Commission] and [Air Resources Board] with little direction from the legislature as to how the implementation of the program will proceed.” Big oil companies were too busy swimming in a sea of money to comment.