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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:37 PM
Original message
Kucinich: Oil co. profiteers pushing up gas prices
May 15 - The record-shattering gasoline prices that Americans are paying at the pump are the result of two related factors, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich charged today: the war in Iraq and the profiteering of major international oil companies.

"If we werent at war, American consumers wouldnt be paying more than $2 a gallon for gasoline," Kucinich said, while campaigning in Oregon, where gasoline prices were reported as high as $2.43 a gallon. The war, the occupation, and a foreign policy that creates fear, uncertainty and instability throughout the Middle East have created concern in the world market that the violence will continue to spread and affect the supply of oil."

The result: crude oil reached a 21-year high of more than $41 a barrel. A year ago, it was trading at about $30 a barrel.

At the same time, Kucinich said, major oil companies are capitalizing on that uncertainty and are earning record profits. Five of the worlds largest oil companies had combined earning of more than $17 billion in the first three months of this year*.

http://www.bend.com/news/ar_view%5E3Far_id%5E3D15546.ht...
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. cashin in before their boy goes DOWN IN FLAMES heheeh eom
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Alerter_ Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. next the dollar will plummet
the middle class could be taken out in one year
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. yesterday on Market Place (pbs)
a houston based industry analyst said the prices were artificially inflated based on perceived "threats" of shortages - but that supplies were actually much higher than in January making shortages highly likely. Then compared the speculation going on (and robbery depending on how one looks at it) to the energy traders in the pre-implosion Enron days... and then stated that many folks have been wondering where all the energy traders have gone - and that they appear to have moved into this sector- but that they don't know anything but speculation - they don't know how to produce things, or to sell things - just how to inflate prices through gimmicky speculative trading.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. And only Kucinich is talking about it
The surprise is not that he is talking about it, but that a reporter is actually reporting what Kucinich said.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. hard to ignore the ring of truth
and the recent HUGE profits by major oil companies - rather than there profits remaining steady while cost and thus prices increase - makes it ring very true. I would guess that more reporters might start to report some of what Dennis says - but sadly it takes things continuing to get bad - and to get REALLY OBVIOUS and hard to ignore - before many are willing to hear Kucinich.

Funny thing is that had he been saying things like this 25 years ago - he would have sounded just a bit to the left and the ideas might not all be embraced but they wouldn't be treated as if they were wacko far left fringe ideas. I point to the net effect of a 20+ year of rightward economic propoganda that has moved the conversation in the public so far right - that yesterday's middle sounds left to many (I would put Kerry and other mainstream liberals in that category) and left of center liberal of those years now sound to many as far left (I would put Dennis, and Welstone in this category.)
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Therefore, the current high prices *are justified*
Let me be the contrarian here. The "mood" among oil traders is that they are afraid of more war in the Persian Gulf. Hence they are keeping prices up.

This means that they are taking positions with high prices and if the prices fall, then they will get burned since they bought expensive futures.

I heard that segment on Marketplace, and that was what I got out of it.
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movonne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. I was at a Kucinich campaign stop last night ...what a guy. He would
have made a wonderful president.
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. "windfall profits tax" - PURE GENIUS!! Go Dennis!
Edited on Sat May-15-04 08:48 PM by KeepItReal
Regulation and public pressure is the only things Corporations understand and/or respect.

I left the USA for two weeks and now gas here in L.A. crept over $2.50 for premium....

on edit:

KERRY ARE YOU LISTENING?? THIS PROFITEERING MUST NOT STAND!

Not 1 oil tanker has been sunk or pre-existing supplier interruptrupted since the 1st Gulf War (Iraq oil does not count as it was restricted since Gulf War I so anything coming outta there is extra). The only thing making oil scarce is OPEC's decisions to CUT production when it is needed the most, thus increasing the price of oil and gas, allowing them and their cohorts record profits.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. Tell it like it is, Dennis!!!!
I love that man!!! I really do.

:loveya:
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mulethree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. oil impact on gasoline costs
Gasoline cost is roughly 1/2 taxes depending which area. Then you have shipping and refining which are pretty constant and then the actual oil which is $1 per gallon at $40/barrel, or $0.75 at $30 /barrel (1 barrel = 42 gallons and makes 44 gallons of petroleum products)

So, the price of oil accounts for a 25 cent increase in the price of gasoline.

I'm not sure what taxes are fixed and which are a % of price. Around here (Pennsylvania) Gasoline is up about 40 cents so theres 15 cents that are going to the oil companies and to taxes.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. But one barrel
only makes between 19 and 20 gallons of gasoline.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kucinich using high gas prices as an anti-war message is just
strange, in the sense that it doesn't sound like something he'd do on his own.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You mean in the sense that
Edited on Sat May-15-04 09:15 PM by hippywife
he actually keeps track of issues utmost on the minds of Americans and is always the first to address them? If you have been watching him at all, let alone as closely as some of us, it wouldn't surprise you in the least.

The man has a wealth of knowledge on may subjects and the vision to see where most any road has led us and where it is going.

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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. I would have expected him to hit on the war's need to explore
alternative energy, rather than bring down the price of gasoline.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Alternative energy R&D
has always been a huge portion of Kucinich's platform. It also dovetails into his jobs program. He's addressing immediate concerns of the American people and the causes he sees as the symptoms of their current distress. Also addressing another way in which the American people, again, are forced into financing this war for oil profits.

Having heard him speak numerous times, I can tell you that he has a tendency, when asked a specific question to give a very detailed answer as to how and why something is occurring or has occurred.

His position has always been and remains that 10% renewable energy by 2010 is a goal we must shoot for to ease the reliance on foreign oil and ease the stress on the environment.


Scroll down to number 9 on this page for the details :

http://www.kucinich.us/issues/
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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. The US has the cheapest oil in the world
unless you're on the oil wells.

The Saudiis are pumping at capacity.

The Iraq War is not the end. It's the Beginning.

http://www.peakoil.net/Newsletter/NL41/newsletter41.pdf


If the following is accurate, the Iraq war is but the first in a
major battle over global energy resources, a battle which will
be more intense than any oil war to date. The stakes are
highest. It is about fixing who will get how much oil for
their economy at what price and who not. Never has such
a choke-hold on the world economy been in the hands of
one power. After occupation of Iraq it appears it is.

http://www.currentconcerns.ch/archive/2004/01/20040118....

The top of the To Read List at the Pentagon:

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/1992/dunl...
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El Supremo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. Sorry, but that is pure bull shit.
The "major international oil companies" do not set prices. The price is set on the futures exchanges. Right now no oil company except Saudi Aramco has the capacity to increase production in order to lower the price. And the refineries can't keep up with the existing demand (the biggest increase is China).

If you want to blame somebody, blame that monarchy in Arabia that we've been supporting and allowing to raise terrorists to kill 3000 of our people. That pig Bandar even said that they would increase production to insure *'s reelection.

There was a piece on NPR yesterday that explained why the prices are so high. One big factor was the recent attack on the facilities at Yanbu, SA.

Yes, I'm in the petroleum business. But I'm also one who demands that the United States end its dependence on foreign oil.

Kucinich is a very moral man, but he is also a flake.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. And companies never even attempt
to influence the futures markets, right?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Ummm,...WHO sets the prices? Geez, I thought the FREE market did.
DUH. How naive of me *LOL*!!! There is no FREE market, one which would be guided by consumers (in the traditional sense) anymore, huh. The assumption that the market would be consumer-driven has been proven to be pure bullshit. AND,...it is really, really bad when corporations (unaccountable "entities" or "groups") rather than people are in control of an economy. Communism sort of proved that,...at least in the mind of capitalistic marketeers.

Welcome to the All-American economic cannibalism!!!
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Hmm.. I'd say multi-BILLION dollar profits last quarter were telling..
.. the oil companies are raking in RECORD profits this year! If there is some sort of shortage, they would barely be able to keep afloat, or at least just exist.. but BILLIONS.. yes, Chevron has reported profits in the BILLIONS this year.

Who's screwing us exactly? Kucinich is right.
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El Supremo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. People always bitch...
When the price is high. Where are they when the price is so low that thousands upon thousands of people are loosing their jobs?

Sorry, I've never bought this conspiracy theory. Yes, * has buddies in the petroleum business. But this is a business that has been depressed since about 1986. He and his buddies might be influential and trying to improve things, but the average worker or investor has taken it in the shorts.

Listen, the most important industries are still agriculture, transportation and energy. They need to be regulated, if not for any other reason than that these highs and lows are evened out. And who really owns these industries? Mostly old widows.
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pop goes the weasel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I have some sympathy for the petroleum industry
at the level of the small contracting company. Around here, a lot of productive wells were capped because they were no longer producing enough when oil was cheap to cover the cost of extraction. We have a lot of rusting oil field equipment that, even if it is being used, is not being maintained and is contributing to air and ground water pollution. And, of course, people were laid off.

Despite the negative effect on the local economy, the big boys continued to rake in money hand over fist. The large corporations do indeed manage to manipulate the market to their advantage. At $40 a barrel, the capped wells around here would make money, but they won't be re-opened because of the costs and lag-time involved in doing so. When these wells were capped, the local feeling was that the low price was temporary and eventually it would be worthwhile to have the wells operating. But who listens to locals? And there has been no money put into reducing the environmental consequences of abandoned wells and tanks--hardly surprising since there was no money put into reducing the pollution from the profitable operative wells and tanks.
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Hornito Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #22
32. ANSWER THE QUESTION! What about the astronomical
record profits the oil companies are raking in right now? Are you trying to tell us they play no part in the pricing? Bullshit!! They've made $17 BILLION in net profits in the first quarter alone!
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mbperrin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. Futures prices are a hedge...current prices are set by
supply and demand. Supply is being restricted by the oligarchy of large oil companies. Oligarchists can be price takers or price makers. The fellow across the street marks his gas up 5 cents per gallon. You can: do the same and both of you will continue to have the same customers, just making more money per gallon; stay the same, in which case your volume will surge and his will fall and should lead to retreat to the original price.

Thus no direct communication is needed. As long as everyone is amenable to price increases, they go up. And because different people in different places are bolder than others, this is why prices vary so tremendously even in the same city, as much as 30 cents per gallon.

Greed and fear. People "buy" the need for higher prices because they are told that these are "beyond the control" of the large oil companies, who are coincidentally reaping the largest profits in the history of the industry...or not so coincidentally.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You have discovered the "capitalistic" theory that operated on false,...
,...presumptions,...and which has proven to be pure bullshit. The corporatists are consuming us,...they are economic cannibals far worse than the communists. Until our society focuses resources upon equalizing the unlevel playing field,...we are just going to end up in the same ole' despotic spot.
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. I love you kucinich!!!!...........Right on buddy!!!!
Raping and robbing us in broad daylight!!!!
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bear425 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
20. Boycott gas stations on May 19th
I received this email today and thought I would share it here. What do you think? Should we attempt it? Will the Hummer driving jerks join us? I don't think so. My next car will be a hybrid.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday - May 19th!





-----

IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES DID NOT

PURCHASE A DROP OF GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE OIL

COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES.



AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS OF OVER

4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.



THEREFORE MAY 19TH HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED "STICK IT UP THEIR behind "

DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF GASOLINE

THAT DAY.



THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE IS IF YOU FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO AS MANY

PEOPLE AS YOU CAN AND AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN TO GET THE WORD OUT.



WAITING ON THIS ADMIINSTRATION TO STEP IN AND CONTROL THE PRICES IS NOT

GOING TO HAPPEN. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REDUCTION AND CONTROL IN PRICES THAT

THE ARAB NATIONS PROMISED TWO WEEKS AGO?



REMEMBER ONE THING, NOT ONLY IS THE PRICE OF GASOLINE GOING UP BUT AT THE

SAME TIME AIRLINES ARE FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES, TRUCKING COMPANIES ARE

FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES WHICH EFFECTS PRICES ON EVERYTHING THAT IS

SHIPPED. THINGS LIKE FOOD, CLOTHING, BUILDING MATERIALS, MEDICAL SUPPLIES

ETC. WHO PAYS IN THE END? WE DO!



WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF THEY DON'T GET THE MESSAGE AFTER ONE DAY, WE

WILL DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN.



SO DO YOUR PART AND SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU

KNOW. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND MAKE MAY 19TH A DAY THAT THE CITIZENS OF THE

UNITED STATES SAY "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"






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jmcgowanjm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Yes, GOOD LUCK!
The only way this works is to "down tools".

You must stay where you are.

You must limit your caloric intake.

Otherwise, like "no liquor sales on Sunday", you stock
up the day before or rush in Monday to resupply.

Nevertheless, a good exercise for living in the 21st C.

Why The Supply Of Jobs & Oil Must Continually Grow

"The idea of a society not based on work is so utterly alien to
any notion we have about how to organise large numbers
of people into a social whole, that we are faced with the
prospect of having to rethink the very basis of the social
contract." (Rifkin, 1995: 12)

http://www.jakeg.co.uk/dissertation/#chapter2

WHAT ARE THEY SMOKING AT THE LABOR DEPT.?

By JOHN CRUDELE

http://www.nypost.com/business/23936.htm
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
25. I saw this at Jim Hightower's site
Report Reveals Gasoline Price Gouging by Oil Corporations

Corporate Profits Increased 926% In 2003 and 298% in 2002


NEWS RELEASE
Apr 20, 2004
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
CONTACT: Jamie Court - 310-392-0522 x327 or Tim Hamilton - 360-495-4941


A comparison of oil company profit reports and gasoline prices during the last two years shows that California's top five oil companies have seen their profits rise in direct correlation to hikes in the price at the pump, according to an analysis of government records released today by the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

In 2002, an average 21% increase in pump prices resulted in a 298% increase in the companies' combined average profits. 2003's average 35% increase in gas prices pumped up average company profits by a whopping 926%. View the increase in pump prices at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp004195.p...

View the increase in company profits at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp004196.p...

The five companies -- Shell, ConocoPhillips (76), ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and BP (ARCO) -- refine about 90% of the state's gas supply and control the majority of the state's gasoline stations.

"When profits skyrocket in-sync with pump prices, price gouging is the only possible explanation" said Jamie Court, FTCR's president and author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom And What You Can Do About It (Tarcher/Putnam). "This should be a wake-up call for legislators and regulators to create more public controls over the price and supply of gasoline because unregulated companies are robbing motorists blind."

By comparing Security Exchange Commission filings on profits with Energy Information Administration gasoline price data, FTCR petroleum industry consultant Tim Hamilton found that, quarter by quarter, each run-up in gas prices resulted in a run-up in company profits. The data and graphs can be found at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp /

The analysis comes as gasoline companies are expected to release their profitability reports for the 1st quarter of 2004 beginning at the end of April.

"If pump prices stay up, then 2004 will the most profitable year yet for the oil companies," said Hamilton. "These levels of profits are likely to continue in the West regardless of any actions taken by OPEC between now and the elections, since these spikes in profits are being driven by refinery manipulation, not crude shortages."

Both Court and Hamilton served as member of the California Attorney General's Gasoline Pricing Taskforce.

FTCR recently has taken up the cause of trying to keep open Shell's Bakersfield refinery, one of only thirteen refineries left in California making California's special CARB gasoline. The consumer group contends that if Bakersfield, which supplies 2% of the state's gasoline, shuts down, gasoline prices will shoot even higher. FTCR has asked regulators to keep the facility open and is investigating possible legal action itself based on a case contending Shell is artificially shrinking supply to drive up gasoline prices and misrepresenting facts to the market. The goal is to force Shell to operate the refinery or sell it to a competitor rather than demolish it, as is now planned.

Earlier this month, FTCR released internal Shell documents showing the oil refiner is set to close and demolish its Bakersfield refinery despite the fact the site had the biggest refinery margins, or profits per gallon, of any Shell refinery in the nation. See http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporate/pr/pr004157.p...

In addition, state analysts have shown there is plenty crude oil available to the refinery in Kern County, despite Shell's claim to the contrary. See the Department of Conservation's presentation at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/rp/rp004198.p...

FTCR is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer group. Find out more at www.consumerwatchdog.org

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporate/pr/pr004201.p...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. If "oil-diggers" weren't infiltrating the WH, this would be a crime. n/t
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narcjen Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. Oil company profits up 1000% since Bush took office
Edited on Sun May-16-04 05:03 PM by narcjen
Another big reason to vote him out.

Too bad the liberal media isn't bothering to report it.
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Hornito Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
31. Why is Dennis the ONLY one saying this??? I've seen on TV, and
read dozens of stories in the papers, about WHY gas prices are so high, and not a single one of them have mentioned the astronomical profit increases the oil companies are now enjoying. It really pisses me off. These bastards are gouging, and making excess profits during war time, which should be illegal. I wonder how Kerry will treat the oil companies? It will be an indication of his honesty.
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