Gasbuddy.com, the website that logs gas prices across the U.S., has a big blue banner ad at the top of its pages that says “Where’s your gasoline dollar go? Click here to find out.” Clicking on the ad takes you to a page, GasPricesExplained.org, that says “Why are Gas Prices Rising?” GasPricesExplained.org points to unrest in the middle east and north Africa, declines in surplus production, weather events and exchange rates, to name a few reasons why gas prices are skyrocketing, but it doesn’t directly address the sizeable contribution speculation makes to inflated gas prices. A section titled “Where Does My Money Go?” claims that “Most of what Americans pay at the pump for gasoline is the cost of the crude oil used to make it, which is why global demand and geopolitical factors are so important.” But the site fails to mention that sky-high gas prices are also funding huge pay hikes for energy industry CEOs. Exxon Mobil’s Chief Executive, Rex Tillerson, for example, got a 21 percent raise in pay in 2011. He now makes about $35 million in total compensation. Tillerson is expected to get an additional 8 percent raise in 2012. John Watson, Chair and CEO of Chevron, saw his pay increase a whopping 51 percent, just since just 2010.
Watson also gets perks like free use of company aircraft, free life insurance and home security services valued at over $500,000. The value of his pension alone increased by $9.8 million in 2011. Chevron’s Vice President and General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate, got a 75 percent raise in 2 pay in 2011, to $7.8 million. The GasBuddy.com banner ad and the misleading web page it takes people to, are both paid for by the American Petroleum Institute (API) — Big Oil’s lobby group.
Main Source: Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2012