Gas Prices refers to the price of gasoline and similar fuels at the pump for motorists and also to the suspicion that gas prices are manipulated by Big Oil to serve the electoral interests of Republicans.
Myth: high oil prices are caused by environmental regulations
"In November 2000, crude oil prices were at the same level they are today (more than $36 per barrel), but retail gas prices today ($1.78 per gallon) are 17 percent higher than they were then ($1.55 per gallon). Most of this difference has been realized in higher profits from the new mega-companies that have merged since 2000."
"ExxonMobil, posted after-tax profits of $21.5 billion (21,500,000,000 or 21.5 thousand million) in 2003. When you control the market, you can manipulate the system to ensure enormous profits."
"The U.S. Federal Trade Commission concluded in March 2001 that oil companies had intentionally withheld supplies of gasoline from the market as a tactic to drive up prices"
"the oil and gas industry has spent more than $270 million to lobby Congress and the White House".
Fact: mergers and monopolies raise gas prices
Since the announcement or enactment of the four largest domestic oil mergers in 1999 and 2000, after-tax profits for the top five companies have risen 146%, from $16 billion in 1999 to nearly $40 billion in 2000.
In the oil industry 5 corporations -- Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, BP Amoco-Arco, Phillips-Tosco and Marathon -- control nearly half of the domestic refining and more than three-fifths of the domestic retail market.
The big 5 produce more oil than Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen combined. Despite blaming environmentalists, in the first three months of 2001, (Two and a half of Bush) profits for the five largest oil companies operating in the U.S. rose nearly 40% over the same period last year. Awfully nice environmentalists who help their foes profit.
Gas Prices and Senate Investigations
Gas prices temporarily fell when the Democratic Party gained control of the US Senate in June 2001, opening the possibility of an investigation of oil prices. In 2002 the Republican Party regained control of the Senate and prices resumed their rise.