"On April Fool's Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil," Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said, aiming his remarks at the five executives sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a congressional hearing room.
No, Rep Markey, the biggest April Fool is you and the rest of your colleagues who grandstand about gas prices. Gas prices are high because of the incompetence and the lack of balls on the part of Congress. Instead of making the oil companies easy targets for your socialist demagogues, how about overturning the asinine legislative barriers Congress has enacted to cripple American's energy requirements?
Gas prices are affected by refining capacity and the price of crude. We need more domestic oil production, new refineries, fewer blends of gasoline, and less ethanol. The current situation seems like a perfect storm in which several fronts collide to produce a monstrous storm. We have substantial restrictions on domestic oil exploration, restrictions on refinery expansion, mandates for massive amounts of biofuel, and costly new regulation on emissions.
The profit margins for Exxon Mobil(10.0%), ConocoPhillips (6.1%), and Chevron (8.5%) are excessive according to Congress. Lets see we have Microsoft (29+%), Cisco (21+%), Johnson & Johnson (17.3%), Procter & Gamble (14%), 3M (16.7%), General Electric (13%), Anheuser-Busch (12.7%), Coca-Cola (19.8%) and even McDonald’s profit margin (10.5%) is a little better than the oil companies. Why isn't Congress hauling them up to the Capital?
Of course the government makes far more money per gallon of gasoline than the oil companies without lifting a finger to find, transport, refine, etc., it into a useful product. How about reducing gasoline taxes. Congressman?