Exxon Mobil reported $5.48 billion in profits during the first quarter as oil and gas prices rose steadily, more than doubling its profits compared with the same quarter last year.
Now think about this. Exxon takes the oil from the ground and refines it into fuel for cars, trucks, aircraft etc. It doesn’t cost Exxon significantly more to produce the refined fuel today than it did two years ago. The same goes for the other major oil companies. We live in an energy-dependent world. When the price of fuel goes up, the price of everything rises. It feeds the spiral of inflation that we are seeing now.
Certain segments of the economy — for example, farmers — have a very low profit margin to begin with. Diesel fuel and fertilizer have almost doubled in cost. When farmers go out of business, we are all in trouble. Refined fuel needs to be regulated as a “utility.” The fuel producer should have to justify increasing the price of gas beyond the excuse of “what the market will bear.”
— Robert W. Lane
Have something on your mind? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.