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BP p.l.c. Message Board

  • nomorehomes nomorehomes Aug 27, 2008 10:06 AM Flag

    why are the big oils selling their gas stations?


    my guess is they are getting ready to bolt the USA if President Obama (sounds third-worldish, doesn't it?) decides he would like an excess profits tax (isn't taking property without adequate compensation against the constitution or bill of rights?)

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    • In case anyone has any doubt, no company pays taxes of any sort. The people do. All companies do is pay the tax and then turn around and pass it down to the consumer. It's a joke when a politician says we won't tax the people, we'll tax companies.

    • While profitability (or lack thereof) is a good part of the reason Big Oil is selling their 'downstream' gas stations, I really believe Big Oil is starting to realize it has to focus on 'upstream' operations like exploration and production. Without oil, they have nothing. They can always easily buy a few gas stations, but how easily can they find a good producing well nowadays?

      • 1 Reply to hastenslowly
      • i was hoping to come up with a reason big oil is selling stations
        maybe that is all that it is
        profit motive
        another reason may be they may be legislated into adding natural gas tanks and that may be too expensive and bad for the bottom line
        electric cars might scare them
        roman farmers were taxed out of existence so rome could pay for larger and grander social programs for their citizens and some attribute the taxation of the farmer's land to the fall of rome
        maybe they are just trying to reduce the ability of fed and state gov'ts to put the squeeze on them
        if the fed and state gov't attempt to tax the refineries they would just be shooting themselves in the foot so maybe the thinking is the government planned on taxing big oil at the point of sale and has the power to lien those properties if big oil doesn't pay

    • Amen, extex999!

      Our campaign funding method has created the most successful criminal organization in the history of the world. And the latest polls show we are just dumb enough that we're going to put them into office a third time.

    • My guess is that the stations are being sold because they are not profitable. Many drivers go right past the big name oil stations expecting big prices on everything from gas to sodas and snacks, but the overhead stacks up.

      The Chevron station in my neighborhood used to be 10-12 cents higher per gallon than the less well known (a big name but not as big) station down the street. Now that they are within 3 cents of each other I stop at the (more conveniently located) Chevron 'cause it's closer. I stress, that is my guess. I think they still sell their gas to smaller name stations and don't really care about brand recognition as much as they used to. Interesting question. Made me think. Thanks.

    • Hi nomorehomes,

      Why on earth would such companies even dream of leaving the USA? Let's get real for a minute.

      Every national government has an obligation to raise money by taxation to fund national enterprises. That includes taxing companies. Most democracies pride themselves on what's called progressive taxation, which means taxing the rich harder than the poor (which is why a flat-rate income tax is regressive). The most progressive tax of all would be one on windfall profits. Every upstream company has been coining it these past few years. The UK may well levy a windfall tax on the upstream business of the IOCs too, you know. As far as I'm aware, taxation is not equivalent to "taking property without adequate compensation." Therefore, if you disapprove of this on any ground other than a vested interest, what is it?

      And, if these companies even did want to leave the US - where would they register? The Caymans? Isle of Man? Mars?

      I smell a lot of fear about Obama on this board, coloring a number of otherwise good posts. I'm guessing it's fear of the unknown. This man is a huge break from the past, hence an unknown - but isn't that what made America in the first place? Have a little faith brother - you'll probably find he's a lot more like you than you might imagine.

      • 1 Reply to ferglit
      • i don't share much in common with obama and i am not out to get any votes so i don't have anyone to please or spin for

        progressive taxation is acceptable on an individual taxation basis but is inappropriate for businesses and an excess profits tax is totally unacceptable unless it is a goverment owned business and is never acceptable for the energy business
        if you make alot you should pay more taxes
        if you tax the business the business leaves and moves to a lower tax district (look at hal and ir) and moves jobs to countries where the cost of doing business (i.e. taxes) is lower
        if you tax excess profits you open up a bag of worms - define excess profits? what business will be next? msft? goog? ko? is it gross profit? gross margin? net profit? ebita? who is going to define this?
        finally if you tax US oils when things are good will the US bail them out if things get bad again? most gas companies plow back every dollar into capital expenditures and acquisitions. the oil majors are the only ones that are really rewarding investor by throwing off free cash flow that isn't all being reinvested and if you tax them they will just cut back on capital expenditures and the upstream will suffer and other oil companies that are subsidized by their goverments like aramco or sinopec or gazprom will put xom and cop out of business

        when there are no more businesses with no more workers who are you going to tax?
        but hey ... don't worry because health care is a right and food and shelter so why should i have to work anyways ... i am entitled to it

        sarcastic but true

    • Simple: Because they don't make a profit and they tie up a lot of capital.

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