Their View: Oil industry has us right where they want us
There are two problems with the price of gasoline. One is that it takes more and more money from people's wallets, both when they buy gas and when they buy anything that was transported from there to here. ...
The other problem with the price of gasoline is that, despite the public outcry and the echoed outrage in the halls of Congress, people keep right on buying it. ...
The petroleum industry is so dominated by so few firms that the question of whether the market has been manipulated is self-evident. Of course it has, as much by the governments unwillingness to pass and enforce anti-trust laws as by any treachery among the petro giants.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer's call for an investigation into suspected price-fixing by the oil industry is a good idea. ... Maybe Schumer can make a deal with Big Oil. Either boost the use of the nations refining capacity from the current 88 percent, and build more capacity, to lower prices. Or just raise those prices to, say $6 a gallon, and keep them there. Keep them there long enough for people to make the calculation that they want more efficient cars, wider-reaching mass transit systems and houses that are in the same ZIP code as their jobs, because neither the public nor the auto industry seems to want to head in that ultimately necessary direction on its own.
Otherwise, the oil industry remains in the role of the very clever drug pusher. Enough to keep us hooked, never enough to kill us. At least, not right away.
- The Buffalo (N.Y.) News