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Big Oil Isn’t The Problem, You May Be

In the news recently there’s been a lot of talk about how Big Oil has been making huge profits when regular citizens are getting shafted at the pump. There’s talk of a windfall tax or asking them to subsidize winter heating bills. Why should I pay $3.00/gal for gasoline when a huge percentage of that is profit? I am entitled to cheap gas! Big Oil companies shouldn’t be taking advantage of us poor citizens.

I think it’s all a bunch of crap and people need to start being held accountable.

Do you recycle? While it has been shown not to actually save money, it’s been shown that recycling plastic and aluminum does reduce the amount of oil needed to produce it. Recycling aluminum means you no longer have to process the ore, which takes oil. If you don’t recycle on a regular basis, shut up about gasoline prices and Big Oil making a profit because you’re not helping.

Are you rolling in a Ford Excursion? What about another SUV for all your off-roading adventures? What about that truck that you really don’t use for anything except commuting to work? If so, stop complaining about gasoline prices. I can understand if you’re getting 12 mpg because all you could afford at the time was an older less-efficient used car, I can sympathize with those folks, but look in the parking lot and count how many SUVs there are. Then look on the road and check out all the minivans with only one passenger. Yeah… all you people need to shut up too.

Do you carpool to work or school? If not, then oil profits don’t bother you enough to actually do anything except complain about it. Do you jack up the heat to 85 degrees and then sit around in a t-shirt and shorts in the winter? Put on a sweater and stop wasting oil.

Big Oil is a business and you are the customer, show your displeasure with your actions and not with your mouth. Forcing them to pay out a windfall tax or forcing them to subsidize something is ridiculous and unfair. You didn’t hear an outcry when Mark Cuban [3] sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5B did you? I was paying $25/mo. for Internet, an outrage, we should’ve demanded Cuban subsidize my payment to my ISP.

Finally, when you force Big Oil to give back profits you’re also hurting regular Americans who own stock in any of the companies. I don’t personally own any stock but I don’t think it’s a bad idea considering where the price of oil is going to go in the future. There are lots of people who see the oil stocks are reliable dividend income, sometimes their own income, so you’d be burning those fixed income folks relying on that regular payment.

Ultimately, If you want something to complain about, why don’t you pick on the ridiculous severance packages some execs get when they’re fired [4]. They deserve it more than Big Oil.

OTB [5]