Originally Posted by Bowser
As it stands now, it seems petroleum companies have carte blanche to do as they wish with the prices when they want.
Thanks for your response.
However, I disagree about regulation. It was tried once before, and it was a VERY bad idea. Think about it: let's regulate pricing in the US on a product that is derived from a globally-traded commodity that we import a lot of... Don't forget that utilities generate their power mostly from coal, which we have plenty of. Besides, I'd rather there be no regulation of utilities either. But that's another discussion.
As to there not being an economically-viable alternative to gasoline, yes, that's true. There isn't. Gasoline is still, BY FAR, the most energy efficient and inexpensive method of powering our cars. Until that changes, I fear that the impetus to find the alternative will not happen.
And, to a certain extent, the oil companies ARE already regulated. Look at how many times the FTC has investigated (and I mean THOROUGHLY) them and found NO evidence of gouging or price fixing. None. They don't just pull a number out of their asses and "stick it to us." That's why I always bring up their profit margin. It varies between 8% and 10% That's not "excessive," IMO. The fact that their PM stays relatively constant tells me that aren't just raising prices "because they can."
I understand your frustration, but I'm still enough of a capitalist to accept that the oil companies are going to make profits when they can.