The congressional hearings in Washington on possible 'price gouging' by the large oil companies is a joke, isn't it? I mean, I'm not really sure. The politicians wouldn't really risk holding themselves up to ridicule, would they? By comparison, their oil executive targets seem like mere pikers, amateurs, pretenders. The oil executives are in no way in the same rip-off league as the congressional rascals who tax and spend and tax and spend and... well, you get the idea.
I can't watch this sort of thing on television for more than the average 30-second soundbite. The pious posturing by the members of the investigating committee, whatever they call themselves, makes me want to upchuck. The blatant hypocrisy of the committee members astounds me.
The run-ups in gasoline prices after Hurricane Katrina caused problems for many of us, that's true. I own a courier company. We need gasoline, lots of it, to operate. Although my drivers are all independent sub-contractors or 'brokers' who pay all their own expenses, increased gasoline prices mean hardship for them. That means that in order to keep them working, I have to increase what I pay them and consequently also the prices I charge my customers. That in turn causes my customers to increase their prices. And on and on it goes.
But gasoline prices have come back down, not too far from where they were several months ago. Yes, the oil companies have made huge profits, billions and billions of dollars. But... they still have to pay for all the damage to their refineries and to their drilling rigs. They also have to find more oil reserves to keep us all in gasoline, natural gas and heating oil for decades to come. That takes real money too. Yes, billions and billions of dollars.
I think that the oil companies need to get some help with public relations and to teach their executives to think on their feet and speak extemporaneously under pressure. They are certainly on higher moral ground than the miscreants who are attempting to pillory them. All in all, I would rather be governed by the management of the oil corporations rather than the bozos in Washington or, for that matter, in Ottawa for us Canadians. Corporate profits go to expansion and/or back to the shareholders as dividends. Taxes are, for the most part, flushed down the toilet.