Las Vegas Sun

May 3, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Gas is a necessity priced by greed

A recent letter to the editor, “Fix our addiction, not our gas prices,” illustrates so well the fact that some people have really bought into the phrase, “We are addicted to oil.” I hear this repeated a lot, and I remember very well when this slogan was used during the Bush administration to explain the refusal to rein in the oil companies. It is an attempt to convince the public that the high prices are our fault.

The truth is that we are like lambs to the slaughter every time we visit the gas pump. The oil companies are making billions in profits every quarter. In addition to their profits, the oil companies are the biggest recipients of corporate welfare in America because of the taxpayer-funded subsidies and tax breaks they receive. President Barack Obama wants to end these taxpayer-funded subsidies, but the Republicans in Congress are blocking his efforts.

The letter writer said we should not whine about high gas prices. I believe we have every right to complain about being robbed every time we must visit a gas station. If anything, we need to complain more. We are too complacent and accepting of these exorbitant prices, which are driven by pure greed.

No one would argue that we all need to do what we can to conserve, but gasoline usage is not an addiction; it is a necessity. It powers our lives, right up there with breathing and eating.

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  1. Refusal to accept the real cause for the high gas prices which is president Obama's "green energy" policy and his refusal to permit increased drilling and oil production on government lands
    leads to a distorted assessment of the problem we face. The people who are being led like lambs to the gas pump slaughter are the ones who listen to the president's misleading assessments. Oil Companies invest billions in exploration and development every year. They pay dividends to shareholders who pony up capital to undertake the risks and hardships of operating these businesses.
    They are then demonized by a president and his koolaid drinking faithful who are engaged in class warfare with anyone who makes a profit. Greed is a alive and well on both sides of the seller and buyer equation. It's not just the oil companies who are trying to max out their profits--consumers would take all the free gas they could get if they were permitted.If subsidies are under attack for the oil companies let's go after the "green energy" companies who are stealing us blind with the president's help.

  2. Comment removed by moderator. Trolling.

  3. RefNV at least has stated facts. I am not sure what dipstick will do if big oil vanishes, almost every product you use has some tie to petroleum. Another fact is Big oil controls a very small portion of reserves, most is controlled by national oil companies, about 6%is controlled by the big oil. Many countries have much higher gas prices, the ones who have cheaper is because those governments subsides that price. Exxon produces 2 million barrels a day WORLDWIDE yet refines 5 million a day so it has to buy 3 million at spot prices. They also make 75% of their income outside the USA, and spend more then they make in the USA on exploration and investment so they bring that outside money to the USA. There is enormous amounts of oil out there and huge discoveries in recent years around the globe so in time prices will stabilize. The evil countries with all the oil do not want these high prices, they know it makes everyone more efficient and cuts economic growth. The president has not led the charge to show we are serious about getting the oil to market, build refineries, etc. and the here and now crowd are pushing the price up. Hmm maybe is it a conspiracy to help Romney get elected:)

  4. Alternatives to driving a car for a family, there are none. not when you have and need freeways to get back and forth to work. To go grocery shopping, take our kids to school,go to the Doctor,go to church,just about anything that you to do today you need a car for a family. We built our country around the need for personal transportation.Take the car out of every one's life and what do you have a collapsed economy,and cheap gas.

  5. While I have no proof, it appears to me that Alexandra Spotti is one of the "entitled" generation. You know, the generation which believes everyone else is making too much while they don't have enough, therefore it's okay to pick pockets and loot wallets. There is no single answer as to why gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon in the LV area and, I, like most of you, hate paying that much, but, being realistic, I know those prices are not caused by merely "greed" on the part of the companies that produce the gasoline & other oil products we use. That's the leftist mentality working overtime to distract us from the way Osama Obama & his fellow travelers have failed the American public in so many ways in their quest to turn us into a "Workers Paradise." An aside to dipstick, since it is now clear you do not live in LV, let alone NV, how do you manage to get here? Does the form of transport you use not use oil products? If so, you are a contributing factor to the demise of the Earth and the depletion of its resources, are you not? You should be ashamed of yourself. By staying home, in Crook County, you would be doing us all a great favor.

  6. Freeman,It wasn't ExxonMobil who paid the $59 billion in taxes it was us the people who bought the gas who paid it. ExxonMobil just collected it and wrote the check.With quartly reports of over 10 b1llion in profits per.quarter, the word only (as in only 40.5 billion) needs to be dropped from the conversation.

  7. Freeman,Again no weak argument here the workers paid it, Exxon Mobil collected it and wrote the check. If your numbers are correct. You must own stock in Exxon Mobil.

  8. freeman,Your opinion like mine is just that a opinion,enough said.

  9. Some of you people in this thread are hilarious. Thanks for the cheap entertainment.

  10. OK, letter writer, let's say we get ALL of the oil companies' profit margin out of the gasoline price, what price would we be paying for gasoline?

    The big 5 integrated oil companies make about 6.2% profit on each dollar of sales. So if we assume a price at the pump of $4.00/gal and multiply that price by 6%, the profit to the oil companies would be 2.4 cents/gal, so our price for gasoline would be $3.97/gallon.

    But wait, there's more: We could get rid of deductions for bringing in new production and we could limit the total of all deductions and allowances to the actual cost of bringing in a new well. So instead of 375% of income the oil companies would be limited to 100% cost recovery. (Here calculating what this would do to profits gets tricky and would have to be estimated, but Big 5 Depletion Allowances totaled $1.2BN on total profits of $137BN = 4%, or another 1.6 cents/gal, bringing us down to a price of $3.95/gal.

    (You will notice that taking the profit out of things is not reducing the price of gasoline at the pump very much.) Gas stations get somewhere around 8% (but credit card processors take about half of that), refiners and wholesalers get about 8%, so we are down to $3.88/gal and no one is making a profit except the credit card companies -- and the oil producing countries.

    Don't you just feel so much richer now that we have eliminated the profits and eliminated an evil tax loophole. But Iran will still have plenty of money to build its' nukes and kill Syrians and generally meddle in its' region. And we will still be funding that -- and our countermeasures against it -- with our demand for this addiction (excuse me, "essential").

  11. If people had listened to Jimmy Carter during the "gas crunch", and special interests (big oil/gas) didn't impede technology moving foward, we wouldn't be having this argument.

    Research in space development issued technology that the public used to improve their life styles. Apparently over the last 30 years Americans became disinterested, ignoring what further research should be developed. People are turning away from science in general, to the detriment of their own self interests.

    Did the collapse of the Soviet Union cause Americans to be apathetic?

  12. rusty57 - "Marvelous. Lets listen to him. Not."

    In your zeal to knock Carter you obviously missed the point. Don't think about the content of a debate just attack.

    I posted, "Apparently over the last 30 years Americans became disinterested, ignoring what further research should be developed."

    Chris Mooney - "The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality."

    "Authoritarian people have a stronger emotional need for an outlet like Fox, where they can find affirmation and escape factual challenges to their beliefs."

  13. Carmine,point well taken.

  14. The price of gasoline is based on world-wide demand. Demand in China and India is increasing. Hence, the price is increasing because worldwide supply is relatively stable.

    Get a CNG vehicle if you want a lower price for fuel.

  15. Apparently, good old Vernos wasn't actually around during the peanut farmers term in the Oval Office; I was. I actually voted for him (the 1st time). He turned out to be the poorest excuse for a president I'd seen in my lifetime, until Osama Obama. Let's not even count his unbelieveably weak-kneed response to the Iranians violating our Embassy and holding the American hostages for 444 days. When the peanut farmer was unceremoniousy booted from office he left us with double digit inflation, unemployement and interest rates. The jerk now sitting in that chair is going to do worse if we don't kick his butt come November. Vernos is a fan of both. Shows how much he knows about economics, doesn't it?