Monday, April 24, 2006

Price Gouging at the Gas Pumps

I'm sick of the sky-high price of gasoline. I drive over 700 miles per week, and as stingy as my employer is, fuel costs are out of hand. I'm sick of gouging.

Without any though of reducing profits, they take and take and take. They have no concern about the devistation done to the pocketbooks of consumers. They have no plan to reduce the damage they do.

I'm talking about the government. A HUGE portion of the cost of gasoline is taxation. There are federal and state (and sometimes local) sales taxes, in addition to the taxation of the oil companies as they seek, drill, extract, refine, transport, and sell fuel.

By the time the government is finished, the oil companies only reap a "windfall" of 3-9% profit. Nearly every company in the country does better than that! Don't get caught up in "record profits" and CEO bonuses. The oil companies are in business to make money - and their stockholders expect it. Their job isn't to give you dirt-cheap gas. Don't forget - they only make 3-9%. Microsoft and McDonald's makes tons more than that.

Before you have a knee-jerk reaction and want to blame Big Oil, remember who is really taking your money. They spend nothing in research an development. They spend no time to drill, refine, or transport. But they will gladly tax as much as they want for their pork projects and mismanagement of highway dollars.

In case you were wondering, there are other factors for high gas prices:
- China is buying huge quantities of oil these days (high demand)
- Americans continue to increase travel time for work and vacation (high demand)
- We haven't built a refinery in 30 years and ours are at full capacity (low supply)
- Enviros won't let us drill in Alaska or off the coastlines (low supply)
- Enviros require us to have over 50 differnt formulations of gasoline for pollution control (low supply, high cost)
- Venezuela is now run by a communist dictator (unstable supply)
- Iran's president is threatening to nuke anyone and everyone (unstable supply)
- African countries are in constant state of civil war (unstable supply)
- Oil speculators and traders continually inflate the prices as they see fit (unstable pricing)

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