Thar They Blow...

Thar They Blow...

Is there anyone in this country who doesn’t believe the recent hurricanes were caused by the oil companies? I didn’t think so. They probably used a standard off-the-shelf Hurricane Death Ray invented by a mad scientist. (You know the guy: brilliant, eccentric, still angry about having to go to the prom with his mother. He tested out of most classes in college then got hired by Texaco to develop a secret drug that gives auto executives a rash when they hear the words “better gas mileage.”)

To be fair, it’s possible the scientist isn’t really mad. Maybe he’s just a decent man who does evil things because oil executives tied his daughter to a railroad track.

Of course, none of this is mentioned in the recent full-page newspaper ad—“Progress Report from ExxonMobil”—which stated that the company is “working hard” to get their refineries back on line after the hurricanes. Oil executives even gave a news conference and promised to “get right on it.” But when they left the podium I noticed they were taking baby steps—you know, heel-toe, heel-toe—and smiling. Definitely smiling.

For its part, petroleum giant BP (an acronym for “Better PR”) promised to continue using the color green in its ads.

In the meantime, gas is hovering around $3 a gallon, a far cry from the days when my dad, before he mowed the yard, would send me to the corner service station with a gallon gas can and a quarter. “And bring back the change,” he would add, only too aware of the mischief an 11-year-old could get into with an extra 7 cents in his pocket.

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Sojourners Magazine December 2005
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