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The dark side of oil


LETTER TO EDITOR: The dark side of oil

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It would be interesting to know where our politicians in Congress and the White House really stand in reference to controlling the speculators who are driving up the price of crude oil, causing skyrocketing gasoline prices.

On June 17, CBS Evening News televised a segment called “The Dark Side of Oil,” in which the network named companies that make up the Intercontinental Exchange, an oil futures market speculation group that operates out of London to circumvent U.S. regulation.

These companies are all headquartered in the United States and include investment banks, most notably Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as well as oil companies, most notably ExxonMobil.

The oil-exporting countries have repeatedly insisted that the price of oil based on supply and demand could not be justified at over $80 per barrel.

Prices that are now far in excess of that dollar figure are the direct result of the actions of the above-named speculators and their colleagues who are deliberately driving up prices to line their pockets at our expense.

Meanwhile, politicians in both parties have so far remained silent or paid minimal lip service, thus raising the obvious question. Could they be possibly beholden to the speculators more so than to their constituents?

The politicians appear to be intentionally deflecting attention from speculative greed by gratuitously calling for lofty, long-range energy projects that might reach fruition in 20 years, if at all.

In order to bring about a meaningful reduction in gasoline prices, voters will have to demand political action that will bring relief now before it is too late, not after the November elections or at some vague date far into the future with some equally vague pie-in-the-sky proposed solutions.

There will never be a more opportune time than the present for politicians in Washington to enact laws to restrain greedy oil speculation, the primary cause of gouging at the pump.

One energy analyst recently stated that if oil speculation could be effectively curtailed, gasoline prices should drop by as much as 50 percent.

However, unless and until voters forcefully express their concern to federally elected officials, Washington politicians in both parties will no doubt continue to avoid confronting the issue by employing the usual disingenuous diversionary tactics.


Ether, N.C.

Associated Press With gas prices spiraling to more than $4 a gallon, thieves across the nation are increasingly seeing gas as “liquid gold,” and many are choosing a cordless drill over a siphoning hose to puncture and drain the tank.


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