Guest Editorial - Oil Price Gouging? (2/6/09)
Our economy is in serious trouble, and high energy prices are a major factor in this dilemma.
Wall Street speculators and the oil companies have proven that they are not to be trusted with something so vital to our way of life.
Marathon Oil supplies about 90% of the petroleum in our area, obviously with little competition. A spokesperson for Marathon recently stated that gas prices don't rise and fall in lockstep with oil.
How true. If crude goes up three dollars a barrel, gas goes up twenty cents per gallon. If it falls three dollars a barrel, after several days of delay it comes down in two or three cent increments.
All of the excuses put forth by the oil companies for such predatory pricing have been nullified by recent events. Crude prices and consumption are down, inventories are up, there have been no major refinery problems -- and yet they continue to extort us.
Something on the order of the public service commission that helps to regulate utility rates is needed to protect our citizens and our economy.
About one month ago I paid $1.36 a gallon for gas. That same vendor is now charging $1.89.
The Attorney General's office is supposed to be investigating possible price gouging. With a price differential of 53 cents a gallon when crude is about the same indicates that something is amiss. It is unmitigated greed.
I'm John Keeton and that's my...Point of View.