We All Benefit from Oil Profits
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
In commenting on Donald Lambro's Monday Commentary column, "Energy? Here's the Drill" (Monday), Jay Stout of Timonium, Md., offers opinions and solutions based on fantasy rather than facts ("Oil companies stack the deck," Letters, Tuesday). First, oil refineries are being prevented from being built because of local and national efforts by so-called environmentalists and the "not in my back yard" attitude of many communities. Contrary to Mr. Stout's opinion, oil companies know new refineries are needed and want to build them.
Second, oil companies do not manipulate the prices of gasoline or other petroleum products. Petroleum is a commodity on the world market, and every oil company in every country pays about the same price for it - except members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which provide products to their own populations at cut rates. For example, throughout Europe and even in the United Kingdom, which produces some of its own gasoline from its North Sea wells, the price of gasoline is nearing $10 a gallon. The world price is pushed up by demand. Also, the burgeoning new economies of the world's two most populous countries, China and India, have sparked that demand, as people there are buying and driving automobiles. …