Friday, August 1, 2008

Bagless In Seattle and $11.68 billion Exxon Profit

Thanks to my friends who emailed me about about the plastic bag charge in Seattle. The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a 20-cent charge for consumers who want to bring home a disposable paper or plastic shopping bag from convenience, drug and grocery stores. What I like about this is that you have a choice - bring your own bag or pay for one. The City Council also made plans to distribute at least one reusable bag to its residents and even discussed provisions for low income families. If you ever want to get a visual of our massive plastic bag consumption PER MINUTE, check out this website: and click on Running the Numbers. A picture is worth more than a thousand words. And if you want to change one small habit and take a step towards preservation of the planet, stop using plastic bags. It's a great way to take a single step. And let's hope more and more cities take note and put pressure on leaders to take action.

On another note, Wall Street never ceases to amaze me. I admit I was somewhat disgusted when I read about Exxon Mobil Corporation's record-breaking profits Thursday. I am a GREAT believer in profits - trust me. This number just seemed a bit excessive given our challenging economic times. The world's largest publicly traded oil company turned a profit of $11.68 billion and we all know why because we were paying for it at the pumps!

Imagine my surpise and confusion when I read that Wall Street expected more and Exxon's stock slumped. My old stand-by "are you kiddng me right now" thought came to mind. How much is enough? More research revealed that record energy prices inflated costs for plants that process crude and natural gas into fuels and chemicals so profits fell. And production of oil declined to its lowest average since 2005. My next thought was "so how much is that going to cost us down the road?"

But I am and shall always be an eternal optimist and hopefully will ALWAYS end my writing on a note of hope and possibility. Oil prices will result in increased progress on the alternative fuels front and tap into creative minds committed to finding solutions. And you can be sure I will write about any progress in that arena.

Have a safe, green weekend and remember to take your reusable bags to EVERY store you walk into - not just the grocery store.

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