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Cutting to the Core

Oil companies: villain or victim?

What's going on with gas prices and why can't anybody give the U.S. public a straight answer?

The Republicans tell the public the price of gas is caused by higher demand, not enough refineries and our dependence on foreign oil. One legislator who swings through the Lower Valley likes to deflect the questions he gets about high gas prices by comparing them to the price of bottled water.

He takes the price of a pint of water in a convenience store and multiplies it by eight to get a phantom number for the price of a gallon of water. I have to buy my water from the store because our house well has sulfur gas in it and my water smells like rotten eggs. Supposedly it's safe to drink but No Thank You. Instead I spend 41¢ per gallon of water at Safeway.

I don't spend $4 for a gallon of water and I don't spend 41¢ for a gallon of gas.

The Democrats blame price gouging as the reason for high gas prices.

Some want to tax the oil companies who make these record profits. Some want to break up the oil companies. I don't see where taxing the record profits is going to help me. It will put money in the government coffers but won't do a thing to alleviate my suffering.

I've heard there is a shortage of gas caused by our lack of refineries. Then why aren't gas stations running out of gas? I can leisurely go to any gas station and fill up, without worrying about if the gas station is going to run out.

If we need more refineries why don't we build them. I don't care about the greenies who say they are bad for our environment. That's complete nonsense. I think the U.S. can safely drill for oil in Alaska without upsetting the wildlife but what good is drilling going to do if the price of gas stays high. If we drill in Alaska I want the price of gas to fall under $1.

Shortly after the overthrow of Saddam, Iraqis were paying 5¢ for a gallon of gas. I don't expect to pay as little as that but I do expect cheap gas if it's coming from our back yard.

Something is rotten in Denmark. In September 2003 a barrel of oil was $25 and the price of gas in the Tri-Cites was approximately $1.20 per gallon. Man, those were the good old days. In July of 2006, a barrel of oil cost a record $78.40 and a gallon of gas was $2.85. In April 2007 a barrel of oil ran $65 and a gallon of gas was more than $3 per gallon. These statistics come from Wikipedia.

Something is not right here. Maybe there is a plausible explanation but it will fall on deaf ears as long as oil companies are making RECORD PROFITS.

These high gas prices are having a huge effect on our economy and things won't be good if they keep going the way they are. Already farmers are paying more for hay, which is going to cause the price of milk, meat and vegetables to rise. People will stop spending money in the retail sector which could lead to loss of jobs for some people. If everything we need goes up in price then our wages must follow or we won't be able to maintain our quality of life.

I don't believe crude oil is in danger of running out. I just don't. If the wells in the Middle East dry up so be it. There is plenty of oil under the ground in other places. Asia is basically untapped. South America has oil fields, as does Norway and America.

I would like to see our elected officials take care of this problem. Whether it be putting pressure on the OPEC countries or making the command decision to drill in Alaska and off the United States shores. If not, voters need to seriously think about the people we have in office come next election and decide if our current politicians are acting in our best interests.

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