Why are natural gas and electricity prices regulated by the government, but the price of oil (gasoline) isn’t?

Shouldn’t we be doing something to regulate the profiteering by the oil companies? I’m all for a free-market, capitalist system (I’m a republican at heart), but to allow these greedy bums to make billions in profit each quarter and then to claim that they’re just passing the increase along to the consumer is BS. To add insult to injury, they can’t even keep their pipelines and refineries in good working order. What the heck are they doing with the money they’re making? Oh, yeah…they’re giving themselves 6 billion dollar bonuses. Anybody else think my way? If not…tell me why I’m wrong.
First of all Sean, I don’t plan on ever spending 400 bucks a month in herbal tea, so you really can’t compare the two. Secondly, why don’t you just come right out and tell us that you either work for one of the oil companies (and are delighted everytime there’s a fake scare that jumps the price of oil so that your portfolio increases). The actual stock price of oil isn’t based on reality anymore. Any and all BS reason that the oil companies can come up with to raise prices are what they’re about. Don’t deny it. 400 million bucks for the pay-off of the retired fat ass at Exxon a few months ago is ludacris. He should be put in jail. I would love to start my own gas company, but as you already know, the big oil companies are in collusion and would never let any one else succeed in setting reasonable prices. Nice try…

5 Responses to “Why are natural gas and electricity prices regulated by the government, but the price of oil (gasoline) isn’t?”

  1. trolling_for_fundies Says:

    We generate a large amount of our natural gas (and nearly all of our electricity) domestically —- but much of our oil comes from abroad.

  2. Mamouns Says:

    1. Nat gas and Electricity is regulated because the Utilities established monopolies with Gov’t asistance. The Gov’t gave the right-of-way access to your home.
    2. We can buy gasoline at any gas station- technically it is not a monopoly, but it is a commodity, thus the price is similar.
    3. Oil prices are controlled globally, not by the U.S., who would compensate OPEC to buy cheaper oil?- the answer is tax dollars, or us.
    4. Companies like Exxon sell oil at global prices, and they only make a 10% profit margin. It costs a lot of money to get oil out of the ground, then refine it, and deliver it accross the country. It also involves risk. Other industries have much higher profit margins.
    5. Greed, or profit seeking, is what makes the economy work and spurs innovation. If no incentive to make a profit, then no entrepreneurs would exist.- quality-of-life would suffer.- everything that makes our life easier- microwave oven, washing machine, computer, calculator

  3. sean w Says:

    You are a republican at heart? In all honesty, I wonder how you would define republican, becasue your statements and questions suggest a liberal heart! Several questions/comments, so several answers. (1) Regulating prices is ineffective long term. If you place a cap on gas prices (which the U.S. did in in the 70s or 80s), suppliers simply stop selling it when they make nothing . Ask someone above 40 or so about the gas lines a couple decades ago. (2) Allow me to turn this comment into a question: Why should greedy oil companies make huge profits? Because that is why they are in business. Are oil profits inherently more evil than, say, herbal tea profits? Nestle makes huge profits on chocolate–far beyond their needs. Are they greedy bastards? (3) I question your claim about refineries and pipelines… If you mean that there are occasional leaks, then I would ask you to hold all corporations to the same standard.(4) what do they do with their money? Well, they stimulate the economy: They pay employees who buy cars, houses, cheeseburgers…essentially feed the economy. They also re-invest it in advertising, pay the expense of government requirements, donate to both political parties, invest in new plants, fight lawsuits, pay taxes. That sort of thing. Besides, as long as they spend their money legally and ethically, who are we to judge? If they are so greedy, maybe you and I could open a competing business and sell oil for substantially less. Then WE could earn huge money and invest it in, say, flowers. If we move fast, we might beat everyone else! Wait…I think others already do compete, so maybe the profits are earned, not stolen.

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  5. Rex Says:

    I almost never leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here
    Why are natural gas and electricity prices regulated by the
    government, but the price of oil (gasoline) isn