"Given the oil industry’s exorbitant profits—the five largest oil producers and refiners in America (ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell) have enjoyed profits of $254 billion since 2001—the U.S. oil industry can easily afford to take a break from profiting from a national crisis and deliver this critical commodity at cost. ....
Consider that the top five oil companies also produce 14 percent of the world’s oil. Combined, these five companies produce 10 million barrels of oil a day—more than Saudi Arabia’s 9 million barrels of oil a day. This extent of market control has reduced competition and makes apparent the need for price caps.
Oil and gasoline prices were rising long before Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc. U.S. gasoline prices jumped 14 percent from July 25 to Aug. 22. Indeed, profits for U.S. oil refiners have been at record highs. In 1999, U.S. oil refiners made 22.6 cents for every gallon of gasoline refined from crude oil. By 2004, they were making 40.8 cents for every gallon of gasoline refined, an 80 percent jump."
The full article is here.
Thanks to Katrina panic, fanned into raging fury by the goofy decisions from the Bush House, gas jumped to 3.50, then "dropped" (ha-ha) to a mere 2.90.
Hey America, havin' fun yet?