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Letter: Maybe it’s time to tax oil companies’ excess profits

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:00 am

I read in the Sunday Record how the United States has an over abundance of oil in this country, and how most economists think we should export a lot of it to stimulate our economy. They say we have 20 billion barrels of oil in North Dakota alone, and that we have only taken 1 billion barrels out of the ground — each barrel equals 55 gallons of oil. So my question? Why am I now paying over $4 per gallon for gas when it was only $3.50 per gallon just three months ago?

It seems like the oil companies are never satisfied no matter how exorbitant their profits are. Even though they have this glut of oil in the United States, they are still pushing for a pipeline to bring even more oil in from Canada. This is in addition to the pipelines we already have from Canada. I am not opposed to the pipeline because I think we should have it for the future, but just recently there was a postponement in its approval and that is when the price of gasoline began to skyrocket.

And even after the pipeline is approved, they will probably continue to raise the price of gas using the excuse that they have to pay to install the pipeline. The oil companies have been holding this country hostage for far too long and at some point this needs to stop.

During the Carter administration, when Congress had the fortitude to do something to help the middle class, they passed an “excess profits tax” on the oil companies that brought gas prices down almost immediately. I think it is time to put that tax back on and stop the oil companies from gouging the American people.

Karl M. Welsbacher Jr.


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