No­body’s at it again

The Covington News - - Opinion -

“The Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion has ruled that oil com­pa­nies are not goug­ing cus­tomers. They say, tech­ni­cally, they’re screw­ing cus­tomers.”

~ David Let­ter­man

The em­i­nently pop­u­lar and om­nipresent no­body has once again struck.

Be­fore you could say ‘Holy Cow!’ Tues­day af­ter­noon, the price of gas went up 20 cents in Cov­ing­ton, fall­ing just short of $4 per gal­lon at sev­eral sta­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent com­ment by our own lo­cal Jim Tudor, a lob­by­ist for the con­ve­nience store in­dus­try, the price hike is not the sta­tion own­ers fault, so don’t be mad at them.

“They have less con­trol over the price of mo­tor fuel than any­body in the sup­ply chain,” Tudor told Ac­cessNorthGa.com.

How­ever, the oil com­pa­nies aren’t talk­ing and, for the life of us, we’ve never been able to iden­tify the mys­te­ri­ous mid­dle man so of­ten re­spon­si­ble for all of the trou­ble. So, who the heck do we blame?

Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, Hur­ri­cane Isaac is to blame, as oil re­finer­ies were forced to shut down be­cause of the storm. If only Po­sei­don had had a girl.

Amer­i­cans use a lot of gas. Sure. Hur­ri­canes dis­rupt pro­duc­tion. But if gas sta­tions aren’t ex­pe­ri­enc­ing short­ages than why in the world is the price in­creas­ing that much? And, more im­por­tantly, if gas sta­tions ex­pe­ri­ence high turnover and fill up their tanks fre­quently, why does the price of gas at the pump re­main high af­ter sup­ply is­sues have been solved?

Gas prices are what they are, and we don’t ex­pect prices to ex­pe­ri­ence a sus­tained dip un­til sup­ply is­sues are solved more fun­da­men­tally by in­creas­ing do­mes­tic drilling and pro­duc­tion.

Sev­eral re­ports tell us the U.S. has sig­nif­i­cant oil re­serves. Un­less this coun­try is pre­pared to get off the black stuff al­to­gether, we sug­gest this coun­try open up to ex­plo­ration and pro­mote tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment in drilling.

Goug­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple in these eco­nomic times is barely short of sin­ful. Rais­ing prices be­fore the prob­lem even oc­curs is ob­vi­ous price ma­nip­u­la­tion.

We find the ac­tions of the peo­ple and com­pa­nies that take ad­van­tage of their fel­low man — many of whom are sim­ply strug­gling to get by — to be de­spi­ca­ble.

We hope our strong word­ing doesn’t of­fend any­one; af­ter all, we were just talk­ing about old no­body.

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