Saturday, February 2, 2008

ExxonMobil Wins, Alabama Loses

Alabamians should have been heartened to hear the news this week that ExxonMobil posted the largest annual profit--$40.6 billion--by a U.S. company.

Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007.

This news probably is of interest to all consumers who have been paying big time when they put gasoline in their vehicles. But it is particularly significant in Alabama, where ExxonMobil recently saw the state supreme court overturn almost all of a $3.6 billion jury verdict against the company for underpaying the state in natural-gas royalties.

An Alabama jury found that ExxonMobil had committed fraud in shortchanging the state for natural-gas royalties, justifying the large verdict. But Republicans on the Alabama Supreme Court, who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from ExxonMobil and other oil interests, voted to overturn the verdict.

We will show here at Legal Schnauzer that the ExxonMobil ruling was unlawful and that, in fact, the GOPers on the Alabama Supreme Court perpetrated a fraud upon the public.

But isn't it nice to know that, even if the verdict had been upheld, it would have amounted to only a fraction of ExxonMobil's record annual profit?

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