November 1, 2007 2:35PM

Price Gougers Pack It In

Third quarter profit statements are rolling out, and — what do you know — the Big Oil lions appear to be lying down with the consumer lambs. ExxonMobil’s profits are down 10% from a year ago. British Petroleum’s are down 29%. ConocoPhilips’ is down 5%. Only Royal Dutch Shell is reporting an increase in profits over the 3rd quarter last year (up 16%), but the company cautions that those figures are not as impressive as they might appear.

This is all the more remarkable because all during the 3rd quarter, crude oil prices were going up, not down. Those of you who are card‐​carrying members of the Big Oil Conspiracy Society have some explaining to do.