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Thursday, May 19, 2011

From an editorial in the La Crosse Tribune:

. . . the pattern repeats itself. When the price of gas gets high enough, all we get are theatrics by Congress to parade the big oil executives in front of hearings. There are special investigations, studies, commissions and plenty of threats and promises, but nothing ever changes.

The oil companies do have us over our own barrel. Take away tax breaks and incentives, and there will be less oil and it will cost more, they argue. And that will cost jobs. And our profits of $36 billion in the first quarter alone — that’s the result of international demand for oil, they say. After all, we’re just providing a needed product for the American economy.

We can’t drill our way out of the fact that we simply consume more oil than we produce. And yet we allow oil to be traded as a commodity where a few speculators get rich while the rest of us hold our breath as the meter on the pumps spins faster and faster.

It’s easy to get mad at the oil companies, whose pomposity and arrogance is an insult to the millions of Americans who struggle to even fill up their tanks. The CEO of ConocoPhillips called repealing the $4.4 billion tax breaks for the biggest oil companies “un-American.”

What’s un-American is that we are still addicted to oil.

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