Let’s talk “Big Oil”

The nation is grumbling about fast-rising gas prices and Congress is trying to “solve” the issue via “solutions” that have proven in the past to only make matters worse.

I confess this isn’t my area of expertise, but I know a bad solution when I hear one and the 2008 version of the Carter policy on windfall profits is certainly that. I almost think that Democrats in Congress attempted this latest farce of a gas “policy” knowing it wouldn’t pass, in an effort to make Americans so miserable having to pay so much for gas that they’d be forced into buying hybrids or cars with exceptionally good gas mileage.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Bill Steigerwald had an interesting piece today that discussed “Big Oil’s” answers to the recent grilling Congress gave them about their record profits. Among them:

= U.S. companies, while huge, are actually relatively small players in a gigantic global oil market. They can compete directly for only 7 percent of available reserves while large national companies like Petroleos de Venezuela own and control 75 percent of world supply.

= As Stephen Simon of ExxonMobil humbly pointed out, his hated behemoth — America’s largest oil and gas corporation — accounts for only 3 percent of global oil production and 6 percent of global refining capacity. It has only 1 percent of global petroleum reserves – 14th in the world.

He sums up:

Big Oil can take care of itself in Washington – and it always has. It has bought and paid for all the lobbyists and political patrons it needs. Big Oil is not perfect. And it doesn’t deserve a dime in government subsidies or special tax breaks.

But with worldwide oil demand up, oil harder to get at and oil prices at $130-plus a barrel, America needs Big Oil now more than ever — no matter what environmentalists and liberal senators think.

So instead of pandering to voters’ ignorance, maybe Washington politicians should try to do something useful — like helping Big Oil discover, extract and deliver the energy all earthlings need to make their lives better.

So, my dear readers, what is the real solution – if any – to the rising cost of gasoline in this country? Would simply allowing more drilling here in the US in so-called “protected areas” like ANWR go a long way towards resolving this? The floor is yours.

Update: By the way, to find the lowest gas prices for your area, click here.

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