Lately I've been getting ripped on by friends who think that I am way off base for defending the oil companies with regard to their profits this past quarter. Much like discussions about the steel industries, they take the position that the commodity is too important to be left to market forces and that the US must maintain its own capacity. I'm of the opinion that if its too important for the market to regulate, then it is far too important for the government to be mucking around in.
I wish that I had this script for that discussion. Also, I would ask these older friends just what the wait in those gas lines were like. They complain that the higher gas prices are hurting their business, but money can be recouped with a dose of pain to themselves and their clients. There would be no way to recoup the time lost sitting in a three hour line, and when you have your own business, like they do, time is money, namely $60/hour.
If anything, here in California we were shielded from the effects of Katrina in that we have the special eco-friendly (*spit*) gasoline that only a few refineries make, none of which were in the hurricane zone. We only got hit for the crude prices rather than compete with the rest of the country. IIRC the disparity between California gas and the rest of the country closed, but not in a good way as their gas became more expensive while ours rose by a slower amount.
Last point in closing: get rid of those damn tax deductions and credits the companies are getting. Then they might use these feast day profits to insulate themselves, and us, from future famine.
Link via John Cole