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Oil Prices Monday September 17, 2012

OIL PRICES

I went into a gas station today and pumped over $70 into my gas tank and I got to thinking that I am living a zero sum game. The car companies keep manufacturing more fuel efficient vehicles and at the same time the price of gasoline keeps going up, so the two offset each other almost equally.

In my opinion we are not winning the war on energy independence. At best it is a stalemate. One step forward for us in fuel efficiency, accompanied by one back because the at the pumps keeps climbing.

It may be an unwarranted suspicion, but I have this feeling that someone is pulling the strings on this situation and you and I are impotent to affect it. We can blast men into space. We can send machines to Mars and beyond our galaxy. We can have these machines pick up rocks, send back pictures and analyze the composition of those rocks millions of miles away. We can create war machines that are almost undetectable by radar. Yet we cannot eliminate our dependency on foreign oil.

Is it that we cannot, or might it be that those in charge do not want to? Every politician talks about oil independence but nothing significant changes.

We all believe that we are being ripped off by the price of oil. Not only is OPEC a cartel, but so are the oil companies that run our local gas stations. The price of gasoline is pretty much the same at all gas of the major gas stations. There is very little competition in the marketplace. I can shop around for a laptop computer, or HDTV and find very attractive competing pricing. But for the price of gasoline, not so much. And while government agencies have been able to find price fixing in everything from baby products to prescription drugs no one has found any price fixing violations in the oil industry after countless supposed investigations.

Either there really is no evidence of price fixing in this industry, or someone isn't willing to carefully examine the books. If prices go up just before a long weekend, is that market factors or price gauging?