FROM Juli Niemann
Another Record Profit Announced by an Oil Company Royal Dutch Shell's total profits for last year were $31 billion, a jump of 23 percent from last year. The record profits of $75 million a day, according to Britain's Daily Mail, are based, on prices per barrel that touched $100 this winter. The CEO called the results "satisfactory," but some British labor leaders are calling for a windfall profits tax. Juli Niemann, oil and gas analyst with Smith, Morre and Company in St. Louis, Missouri, is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to the Politics of Oil .
Do Biofuels Cause More Problems than They Solve? The rush is on for biofuels to end dependence on oil, help solve global warming and create jobs for the rural poor. In America's corn-belt, especially in Iowa, there's a rush to produce ethanol. States and the federal government are providing incentives, including subsidies, for fuels derived from agricultural products. But a new UN report says the benefits of biofuels-including ethanol-may be offset by environmental damage, and there is growing concern about their impact on the price of food. We examine the pros and cons of energy from agricultural products. Is it really cleaner and cheaper? Is the US moving too fast?
Enron Verdicts The Enron case took four months to try, but the jury needed just 31 hours to reach its verdicts. Enron founder Ken Lay is guilty on all six counts of fraud and conspiracy in the loss of $60 billion from the collapse of his company. Former CEO Jeffrey Skilling is guilty on 19 of 28 charges of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading. After sentencing on September 11, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison. Attorney Dan Petrocelli promised "a full and vigorous appeal." The Enron collapse cost $60 billion in corporate value; $2.1 billion in pensions and 5600 jobs. We speak with federal prosecutors, former employees, and others about the latest development in a series of scandals that have rocked corporate America.