Bellevue man to Carlson: You’re killing me, John

I am afraid my wife is going to cancel our subscription (free, though it is) to the Bellevue Reporter. Every time I read John Carlson’s commentary, my blood pressure shoots up. I’m too old for this kind of stress, John. You have to stop tormenting me.

I am afraid my wife is going to cancel our subscription (free, though it is) to the Bellevue Reporter. Every time I read John Carlson’s commentary, my blood pressure shoots up. I’m too old for this kind of stress, John. You have to stop tormenting me.

Carlson is correct that “the Democrats” have the oil companies in their sights. That is because oil companies like ExxonMobil, which John seems to be supporting, have been thumbing their noses at the American public for decades.

Has he noticed that they still are fighting the amount of damages charged against them for the Prince William Sound disaster nearly 20 years ago? Did he listen to any of the testimony of the oil company executives when they appeared before Congress to claim that they are barely scraping by, though they continue to register larger profits every year?

I’m pretty sure, John, that there are even a few Republicans who feel like the oil companies have been taking advantage of us for far too long. Even if you want this to be a political issue, it isn’t. It is a social, economic, even moral issue, and you should be ashamed of trying to politicize it.

But John is correct that the price of gasoline is going to reach $6 a gallon before long. Why? Supply and demand, John; not political affiliation. Republicans and the Democrats are getting hit with the same stick. We uses too much oil in this country.

I was stuck in traffic last weekend on I-405, and to kill some time, I counted all of the vehicles in the opposite side of the freeway that I considered gas guzzlers. In about six minutes I counted 51 huge, fuel wasting personal (non-commercial) vehicles: Escalades, Excursions, F-350 pickups, and others of the same ilk. I wish I could have seen how many of them had only one or two people in them.

Do you see the picture, John? We increase the demand by wasteful driving; the supply can’t keep up (though we have yet to see the supply actually limited, a la 1973); the oil companies increase the price because they can get away with it.

And though many people think that most of our oil comes from out-of-country, I am pretty sure that our biggest supplier is Canada; hardly an unfriendly government. And one of the other suppliers that John neglected to mention, perhaps because it is also a neighbor, and quasi-friend, is Mexico.

There are long-term reasons to not pursue many of the U.S. oil supplies. Colorado shale oil is not easy to extract by drilling. It’s more of a mining operation, and certainly not earth-friendly.

It is interesting to note that many of the countries that currently export oil also tend to be countries in which long-term concern for the environment is every bit as absent as their human rights policies. None of us want Alaska, or Colorado, or any other part of this country to end up looking like the raped-and-pillaged energy fields in those countries.

So: “What to do about high gasoline prices?” Drive less. Get rid of your gas guzzler. Utilize public transportation. Stop complaining about having some of the cheapest gasoline in the developed world.

And, John, please choose a new topic to rant about because I can’t stop what I am doing every other week just to point out how misguided you are.

Ted Cox

Bellevue

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