To the editor: One of the largest known reserves in the world, now producing oil from North Dakota, is selling 100 percent of all the domestic oil from these wells to markets overseas. What is wrong with this picture is quite clearly visible at the gas pumps all over the United States.
Some markets are reporting a near $5 per gallon for consumers while those same consumers are paying federal income taxes which go to subsidize big oil. One of two things has to happen whenever Congress and the administration wake up and smell the coffee.
Either remove all subsidies from oil companies that sell domestic oil overseas or pass legislation which will keep enough of this domestic oil in the U.S. to reduce prices in this country to a palatable level.
What is the real value of oil and what is a palatable price at the pump? An annual estimate of what we should be paying could easily be found in an average price over a ten year period, for example. The producers would still be able to increase the price but would not be allowed to increase yearly at a rate greater than that average plus the cost of inflation. This would also end the daily roller coaster consumer ride on ever changing domestic oil prices.
How would these controls be established? It would take a paradigm shift in the thinking by Congress. They could be taught that Congress does not work for the oil companies. Maybe there should be a mandatory class each morning for all Congress members to attend to inform them of their actual duties. In fact, they work for the people. The people vote, the people pay their salaries and benefits, and the people are being ripped off badly by big oil with the U.S. Congress as enablers. In all fairness, our society has prospered from the free enterprise system. But with the greed and lack of control concerning something as vital to our economy as nothing else in history has ever been, it is way past time to rein in these scoundrels.
If you think the bank bail outs were ridiculous, then you have no clue as to the profits of big oil. We ‘bail' them out every time we go to the pump.
Samuel M. Hay, III