The Middle East gets into a self-inflicted muddle and the news is suddenly full of stories about gas prices spiking to $4 a gallon and counting.
How much you want to bet that, next quarter, our major oil companies will break previous records AGAIN for unconscionable profits?
Today, they’re mumbling excuses that places like China are straining supply with their growing consumption. They know Americans aren’t going to buy the line that their driving habits are driving up prices. Too many people are out of work and too many people are still driving less since Big Oil’s last huge faux crisis after Hurricane Katrina.
I’m no mathematician, but if gas prices rose parallel to the cost of oil, oil company profits should remain flat. Yet they never do.
Oil companies seem to be pouncing on the opportunity to gouge while they can blame the Middle East.
Since nobody can predict when the Middle East will ever calm down (which is probably never), it’s Big Oil’s intention to inflate prices meteorically before anybody can stop them and make it the new “normal” for American families to spend most of their disposable income on gas. A year from now, “cheap” $5 gas will seem like something we dreamed.
As usual, Washington sits on its thumbs, waiting for another recession to hit before it even thinks about taxing Big Oil’s windfall profits. After all, the more money Oil has, the more politicians it can buy. So what if “little people” have to choose between gas and food?
Every price jump at the pump will fuel consumer fury, culminating in the next obscene oil profit announcement, and that fury will head for Washington like a freight train just as the 2012 election campaigns kick off.
Meanwhile Congress is playing on the tracks with oil company lobbyists.