Notes nov 4 2007

November 4, 2007 § Leave a comment

From  ExxonMobil’s Alabama Paydirt by Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine)

But Tarbell’s disclosures fueled the drive for antitrust legislation and a fairer and more competitive business environment—a drive which was, in its time, championed by progressive politicians of both parties, but particularly by Theodore Roosevelt. By 1911, Standard Oil was broken into thirty companies.


The Lady Who Brought Down Standard Oil: Ida Tarbell

But over time, like the liquid-metal monster in the “Terminator” series, Standard Oil pulled itself back together again. It was aided in this process by a change in attitudes across the political spectrum, but most particularly it was aided by America’s campaign finance system in which politicians standing for election require increasingly larger sums of money to pursue their campaigns, and support from the corporate till is essential. The final act of rebirth occurred when the two principal surviving pieces of the company, Exxon and Mobil, merged at the close of 1999. The resulting behemoth, ExxonMobil, is the largest publicly traded integrated petroleum and natural gas company in the world. It is also the world’s largest petroleum and natural gas company by revenue, with revenues of $377.6 billion in fiscal year 2006.


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