Letter: Profits override policy



As a Feb. 5 story, “Refineries closing, gas prices climbing,” reported, oil companies are closing two refineries this year and one next year because they are not profitable. The quarterly profits in the billions per quarter make the oil companies’ claim unbelievable.

The Cherry Point Refinery fire in Washington state caused gas prices to rise 14 cents in one week; since then, the price has risen more than 50 cents a gallon. This is the same type of increase that occurs when the oil companies shut down the refineries in the peak driving times. With our fragile economic recovery, the increases by the oil companies will affect most all goods and services that are petroleum related. This could derail the economy’s recovery.

About a year or so ago, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., launched an investigation into gas prices. Her office now says there is no policy statement.

Congress can impose restrictions and remove subsidies, but will they? No. It is the same question: “Where does a 1,000 lb. gorilla sleep?” Any place he wants to.

Wilfred J. Hudson