Oil burning you up?

There you are reading this, fuming mad about the forty bucks it took you to fill your tank on the way home… and looking for someone to blame.

Big oil is not to blame. The biggest oil company in America, Exxon, sells about 2-3% of the oil sold worldwide in any given year. Compared to the foreign state-run oil consortiums, Exxon is a pissant. Exxon is also not composed of a bunch of greedy fat-cats, all out to get you through some dark, price setting plot either.

Last time I checked, Exxon shares were half or more institutionally owned, and a large portion of the remaining shares are held by small investors. What’s that mean you say? Well if you’ve got a retirement fund, or a 401k then you probably own part of Exxon. That’s right, Exxon’s profits are your profits if your plan is invested there. (likely) Above and beyond that, no oil company has a whit to say about how much they have to pay per barrel. The futures market sets that price.

Future traders and speculators are not to blame — they are just looking at conditions and investing in the futures. Without a futures market in oil, there would be famine and glut cycles, like the one we experienced under Carter… remember stagflation? So the future traders are not to blame, George Soros doesn’t have enough money to bid up the price of oil for more than a day before he would end up holding a lot of bad paper.

The President is not to blame, he’s about as powerless as you are to do anything about oil prices. After all, he does not legislate, he can only influence and recommend. About what you can do, just a little louder.

Ok, it’s those bead-chewing, hippie, tree-hugging greenpeacers then… Wrong again, they can only influence, just like you can, just a little louder.

Ok so who do we blame? You might want to take a look in the mirror. You are driving the car that burns the oil, you are voting for the same congresscritters year after year.

Those congresscritters have made it a regulatory nightmare to build a new refinery. Those Congresscritters have made it illegal to drill for oil off the coast, in ANWR, or anyplace else we have a goodly supply of oil.

Those congresscritters have made it impossible to build a new nuclear power plant for thirty years. And we have persistently elected them, time after time. While they dither, our children’s futures are going down the drain. While they ponder, bluster, and hold committee hearings to grill oil companies for show, we are becoming an industrial backwater and our trade deficit is soaring from oil imports. While they are doing their damnedness to deflect the heat to anyone but them, the rest of the world is busy building new-model gas-cooled clean nuclear reactors.

This is the last time you should let gas rise to painful levels without doing something about it. It’s going to take persistence, but you must write your congresscritter. Do it every week until they get it. Be specific: Let them know you want new drilling, let them know you want nuclear power, let them know you want refineries.

 If you aren’t willing then just look in the mirror next time you get angry over energy.

More on the subject here and more here.