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Oil companies’ behavior is just downright crude
by Larry Wilson
Feb 27, 2012 | 536 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forecasters say that gasoline will be up to $5 a gallon by summertime. Why don’t we just give the oil companies our wallets and the rights to our first born male children while we are at it? An oil refinery catches fire, another is shut down for “maintenance” and a Middle East screwball threatens to push the red button and we end up unable to drive across town.

It doesn’t help that the speculators on Wall Street push the price of a barrel of oil up by buying oil company stocks, which artificially increases the cost of gasoline per gallon. Their buying is spurred along by something that the Chicken Little prognosticators read on tea leaves concerning the overall worldwide oil production.

When the price of oil goes up, the president, regardless who it is, catches flak for not increasing the permits to drill for oil wherever and whenever the oil companies decide. Does anyone try to put money behind alternatives to fossil fuels? No, that’s too easy. Let’s continue to pollute the environment and carry on with the sure thing — fossil fuels, of course.

OPEC cuts production and it drives up the cost of our gallon of gasoline. Meanwhile, the Arab Emirates almost give their people all the gas they want. I wish the American people would exercise their smarts and insist upon the aggressive development of alternative, affordable vehicles that would almost drive the Arabs back into their nomadic lifestyles.

There is so much money riding on the current production of fossil fuels that those in the money, not us, can’t see the forest for the dollar signs. BP — remember them? The ones responsible for the 87-day oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — is about to go on trial for supposed criminal actions relevant to that oil spill and several heads of BP are looking at jail time if found guilty of what amounts to malfeasance in their job. Regardless of the outcome and possible billions of dollars in fines as a result of that oil spill, BP ultimately will suffer no loss as a result. Why? You and I will pay the tab at the gas pump, that’s why. At $5 a gallon, how long do you think it will take to pay the penalties off for that disaster?

Have you seen the glossy ads on TV about how pristine the Gulf of Mexico is now? They are all sponsored by BP. How nice. Have you tried any shrimp sautéed in Gulf crude? I hope not. I’m no doctor, but I’m sure it might adversely affect your health despite what BP claims about the Gulf of Mexico. Is anyone ready for the switch to alternative fuels yet?

I would like to be a fly on the wall of some of these oil company board rooms and hear if they are having discussions on whether to shut down any more refineries for “maintenance” in the near future. Do you, Mr. Oil Company CEO, think $5 a gallon is enough to pay off our fine, our bonuses and your beach front villas?

I would like to know also how many of these hard up oil companies have secretly been buying oil futures to spike the price of a barrel and further drive up the price of gas. You realize, of course, that it’s not just the price of a gallon of gas that is going up, but prices on everything from soup to nuts is also going up.

Look in your wallet the next time you buy something. Compare what you pay now to what you paid a year or two ago for the same thing. I think you will be sticker shocked to say the least.

Oil companies have rewritten the handbook on basic economics and the theory of supply and demand. High demand, low supply, prices go up. Oil Company speak: Do less, make more.

When the oil companies say “fill ‘er up,” they’re talking about filling up their fleet of armored cars with all your hard-earned money so they can pay for that beach front villa.

Enjoy your ride!

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. He can be reached at
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