Bloggers on the call included Bear from The Absurd Report, Ben Domenech from Heartland, Bob McCarty from Bob McCarty Writes, Bruce McQuain from Questions &Observations, Byron King from Agora Financial, Carter Wood from NAM: Shopfloor.org, JazzShaw from Hot Air, Jim Hoeft from Bearing Drift, Joy McCann from Little Miss Attila, Lee Doren from Competitive Enterprise Institute, Lew Waters from Right in a Left World, Mark Perry from Carpe Diem, Meghan Gordon from Platts: The Barrel, and Merv Benson fromPrairie Pundit, Pejman Yousefzadeh from The New Ledger, and Steve Kijak from Rideside VA.
(Music intro.)00:02 ANNOUNCER: You’re listening to Energy Conversations with API, brought toyou by the people of America’s oil and natural gas industry.00:14 JANE VAN RYAN: (In progress) – get more people on line, but that’s fine. Andthere may be some more [bloggers]that will join us in progress. So why don’t we get started?Ken, I understand that you would like to start with a brief opening statement.00:24 KEN COHEN: Good morning, Jane. And thank – and everyone, thank you for joining us this morning. What Jaime and I would like to do is to spend some time with you thismorning addressing a subject that appears to be at the top of the agenda, certainly, in Washingtonright now, and that is the tax policy, tax treatment for our industry, and specifically tax treatmentfor the largest companies in our industry.And we seem to be back in the situation that occurs when we have very high earningsquarters, and I think as everyone on the call knows, that in our industry we are in a cyclicalbusiness; our earnings – we experience periods of very high earnings, and then periods of low,which tend to follow things in commodity markets that follow – earnings are pretty much tied tothe price of crude oil globally.Our earnings are the result of our operations in over a hundred different countries; 75percent roughly of our income is generated from operations outside the United States, and thatcertainly was the case in the first quarter of this year.So with that, why don’t we just get right to your questions?01:53 MS. VAN RYAN: Terrific. And please remember to identify yourselves beforeyou ask a question. Who’d like to go first?01:59 BYRON KING: This is Byron King with Agora Financial. Thank you for hostingthe call. One question that I’ve had from people when I talk about this is, what is the impact of the weak dollar on earnings? Does a weak dollar, caused by the Federal Reserve, of course,somehow inflate your earnings in terms of overseas operations?02:20 MR. COHEN: Well, you know, the biggest impact of a weak dollar is what it doesto the price of crude oil. Most commodities, and crude oil being no exception, are priced in U.S.dollars. So what that means right now with the dollar at historically low levels is that with the