Big Oil is raising gasoline prices and raking in “obscene profits,” while the consuming public is really hurting. Gasoline prices have topped $3 a gallon at service stations across the country and predictions are we will see even higher prices at the pump this summer. Some observers say we will be paying $4 a gallon for regular by mid-summer and I suspect that will happen. Several oil refineries, owned by giants such as ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and Chevron, were offline at press time, reducing gasoline production and making fuel supplies tight. I have been convinced over the years that the oil giants in the industry manipulate the system for their own financial benefit. It has become even more evident in recent months that they do exactly that. These multinational, huge companies are making obscene profits in the tens of billions of dollars and they have the full support of the Bush White House in their efforts.
The average U.S. household is already spending $1,000 more per year on gasoline than it did five years ago, according to testimony given recently by two consumer groups to a House Judiciary Committee task force. That’s an unbelievable increase of 85%. Rural households have been hardest hit because they spend about 20% more on gas than urban residents, according to the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union. At the hearing, the federal government was called on by the consumer groups to provide greater oversight on oil industry market practices, create strategic refinery and product reserves, and enact policies that promote reduced oil consumption. Hopefully, these recommendations didn’t fall on deaf ears.
Congress should investigate these companies and determine the real cause of the soaring energy prices. The oil companies continue to announce record profits, but the consuming public is having to sacrifice in other areas in order to buy gasoline for their vehicles. Business owners are also feeling the pinch and that hurts both businesses and consumers. Clearly, it’s time to get to the bottom of this matter. Years of Bush administration policies that have favored Big Oil over American consumers have resulted in record dependence on foreign oil and obscene profits for the companies. The Bush gang has allowed the oil industry, with its awesome political clout and resulting influence, to run roughshod over Congress, the court system and the American people.
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