CALL FOR FUEL PRICE INVESTIGATION BAD FOR COUNTRY

The US needs the oil and gas industry to be producing oil and natural gas, not answering mean-spirited questions from lawmakers who won't listen to the answers.

Calls this week from Democratic congressional leaders for another pointless investigation into oil prices conflict with the national interest.

The group includes familiar antagonists of the oil business: Sens. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

They called for a House-Senate investigative committee with subpoena power to examine energy prices and determine whether oil companies are gouging consumers (OGJ Online, May 10).

There's no point in this duplicative nonsense.

The latest witch-hunt into energy prices ended only last February, when the Federal Trade Commission completed an investigation ordered by lawmakers and concluded that there had been no collusion.

And there has been no shortage of information about reasons for prices now to be high.

To be simple about it, refiners are making product as fast as they can and barely meeting demand. Product inventories, although lately beginning to recover, remain low.

And consumption of gasoline, distillate, and residual fuel continues to rise. The latter two products have been in elevated demand as substitutes for natural gas, which has been in short supply.

Under these conditions, prices rise.

Refusal by lawmakers to accept that explanation is simple obstinacy.

And it's motivated by low-grade politics. In the US, bad-mouthing oil companies is a cheap and easy way to curry approval from voters who know no better.

Outside of oil-producing areas, voters have no reason to know better.

Automatic Democratic indignation over fuel prices amounts to exploitation, pure and simple.

And in the middle of a very real crunch in energy supply, it's seriously in the way.

Energy executives have better things to do with their time than endure questions, certain to be abusive, of lawmakers who will never learn.

Related Articles

BIS lists six considerations for condensate as a potential export

01/02/2015 The US Bureau of Industry and Security listed six considerations it will use to help determine whether US-produced crude oil condensate is a petrol...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil futures end 2014 below $54/bbl

01/02/2015 The slump in oil prices worldwide continued on the last trading day of 2014 with US light, sweet crude closing at less than $54/bbl on the New York...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil futures move up slightly awaiting inventory

12/31/2014 Crude oil prices on the New York market rose modestly on Dec. 30 awaiting the weekly US government report on crude oil and product supplies. Prices...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil futures fall again, down 50% since June

12/30/2014 Crude oil prices on the New York market settled down by more than a $1/bbl on Dec. 29, reaching the lowest value since May 1, 2009, and analysts ex...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil futures rally in early Dec. 29 trading

12/29/2014 Crude oil prices ended Christmas week by dropping more than $1/bbl for the Dec. 26 settlement on the New York futures market, but oil prices rallie...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX’s January contract expires with a daily gain

12/22/2014 Light, sweet crude oil prices gained more than $2/bbl on the New York market Dec. 19 as the January contract expired and upon a wire service report...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Comstock to suspend 2015 oil drilling in Eagle Ford, TMS

12/19/2014 Due to low crude oil prices, Comstock Resources Inc., Frisco, Tex., plans to suspend its 2015 oil-directed drilling activity on properties in the E...

AWE pulls out of Otway permit

12/19/2014 AWE Ltd., Sydbey, has decided to pull out of Perth-based junior WHL Energy Ltd.’s offshore Otway Basin permit Vic-P67 after a series of time extens...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected