News 1: Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company—$39.5 billion—even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined 4 percent.
The 2006 profit topped the previous record, also by Exxon Mobil, of $36.13 billion set in 2005. The record earnings amounted to roughly $4.5 million an hour for the world's largest publicly traded oil company, which produces about 3 percent of the world's oil.
It also equals the approximate gross domestic product—a measure of all goods and services produced within a country in a given year—of countries like Ecuador, Luxembourg and Croatia.--John Porretto, Associated Press Business Writer
News 2: The Guardian--Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded think-tank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [italics mine]
Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast doubt over the "overwhelming scientific evidence" on global warming. "It's a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims," said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.