US HAS SURPLUS OF EXPERTS ON OIL BUSINESS

Bob Tippee

Suddenly, the US teems with experts on the oil and gas business.

The price of gasoline spurted after Hurricane Katrina for excellent reasons, and everybody in the country has an irrefutable opinion about how much lower it really should be.

Propelled by this gush of expertise, state attorneys general go witch-hunting for price "gougers." And lawmakers in Washington, DC, dredge up monstrous failures of the past, such as price controls and windfall profit taxes, for new consideration. Some of these people are old enough to know better.

No opinion will be offered here about what the gasoline price should be�other than that it should be what the market says it is that day. In view of the ferocious bite Katrina took out of US oil supply, it's a wonder the price didn't jump more than it did.

Notwithstanding the proliferation of experts, Americans still know pitiably little about a substance on which their lifestyle depends.

In fact, they seem determined not to learn anything about oil at all. Maybe they derive too much perverse pleasure from the dizzy outrage into which they work themselves when gasoline prices rise. Rational explanation of price behavior spoils the fun.

Many agitated Americans actually applaud the political opportunists now threatening to fix the gasoline market by outlawing fuel sales in supply emergencies and by manufacturing shortage with price controls.

Indeed, the new experts have discovered yet another lapse for which to hold the oil and gas industry accountable. In several encounters with the general media recently, this writer has confronted an interesting question: Why did the US oil and gas industry let itself become so concentrated on the Gulf Coast?

Someone with no more experience than 28 years of writing about these subjects can only submit to the thundering insight of this question and humbly propose that the answer might somehow relate to geology and to regionally variant political dispositions toward the oil and gas industry and its operations. Just a suggestion, of course. Food for thought.

The new experts don't like that answer. They don't seem to want to hear it.

(Online Sept. 9, 2005; author's e-mail: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Related Articles

August jobs report shows gains as US slowly recovers

09/05/2014 The US unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a percentage point from July to August to 6.1%, level with June and down from 7.2% in August 2013. But ...

Industry a target as inversions revive talk of tax reform

08/29/2014

New talk in the US about tax reform should make oil and gas companies nervous.

Can anyone name top agency in count of restrictive regs?

08/22/2014

The leader in a new measure of regulatory activism is—can anyone guess?

Study links states’ economic growth to energy regulation

08/14/2014 Judged strictly by economic efficiency, energy regulation at the state level works best in the US South and interior and worst on the West Coast an...

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