So what the hell’s the deal with gas prices? Weren’t they supposed to be coming down? Oh sure the gas companies toyed with us and dropped prices for several weeks, then, just when we were beginning to believe that we might actually see $3.00 a gallon again, the sneaky bastards slowly began raising prices. In just two short weeks prices are pushing $4 a gallon! This despite the fact that the price of crude oil fell again and closed yesterday at $86 a barrel. Do you realize we’re paying nearly a dollar more per gallon than we were last year at this time? Unbelievable!
Crude oil prices may be dropping but because oil companies have reduced our domestic oil supply the price at the pump continues to rise. And why are they reducing our supply because our refineries are boosting oil exportation! Can you believe that? We’re exporting our oil to other countries mostly in Central and South America. I don’t get it. Americans are cutting back on unnecessary driving because of the high gas costs, they’re buying more fuel efficient vehicles or going green with electric and natural gas vehicles. We are conserving damn it! Isn’t that what we should be doing? Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t that drive gas prices down? Apparently not.
Big oil companies disappointed by U.S. demand for it’s product have found a lucrative market with a strong in interest in U.S. produced fuel. In recent years exportation of our oil products, particularly diesel, have sky-rocketed. Five years ago we were importing 3 million barrels a day more than we were exporting. Two years ago we were still importing 1.5 million barrels a day more than we exported. Recent figures show that we are now exporting 476,000 barrels a day more than we are importing! We have become a net oil exporter. Our oil continues to be a cash cow for the U.S. oil industry and they go on making more money than they know what to do with. And as long as this demand for our oil exists outside the U.S. refineries will continue to boost exports and reduce our available supply, which means that pump prices rise or at best stay about the same.
That total bull! It seems to me that the oil industry should be keeping the oil reserved for domestic use. A readily available oil supply would drive the price per gallon for both gas and diesel down. Lower prices would help the economy greatly by lowering the transportation cost of many goods and services which in turn would help lower the price of groceries and other products. If we were paying closer to $2 a gallon instead of $4, a person with a 20 gallon tank would save $40 a fill up! That’s $40 dollar that could be spent elsewhere. Imagine every driver saving this kind of money and spending it elsewhere, what kind of boost would that give our ailing economy? Instead of seeing the good they could do in helping our country recover, big oil see’s only dollar signs and profits. Their idea of going green is making more greenbacks.
When I began driving in 1967 gasoline was 23.9 cents a gallon. For $2.50 I could fill the tank on my VW. Today it would cost me almost $40. I know prices are relative to the times, but gas prices are out of control. They have been artificially inflated by big oil so that they can rake in big profits. Two of the largest oil companies made bank last year. Conoco-Philips(Union 76) made $11.9 billion net income last year and Exxon/Mobil made $40.6 billion in net income last year. I’m sure stock holders and dividend owners are quite happy with their profits, which is where a majority of the money went. When is enough enough? When will big oil finally see that they could be helping our country recover from its current economic crisis and still make a reasonable profit? Soon I hope, because something’s got to give friends, and its got to happen soon, our country is running on fumes and about to run out of gas. There’s no running on empty…