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Letters, March 20

The rest of the story

What was it Ronald Reagan said, “There you go again”?

Don Skillman (“Gas prices”, March 17) suggests President Biden is responsible for gasoline prices.

Oil produced in the U.S. is available for export and priced according to the global market, a market the U.S. has no control over. Oil prices are decided on the New York Mercantile Exchange trading floor.

The U.S. is one of the world’s biggest exporters of oil and gas. In 2020, per the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imported about 5.9 million barrels per day of crude oil, while exporting 3.2 million barrels per day.

Oil stocks went negative when COVID erased as much as 30% of global oil demand and producers failed to cut supply. Then the industry stopped drilling, started generating cash, and developed a discipline: Don’t drill. Keep supplies low and the oil industry makes more money.

Capitalism determines the price of gas. Expanding federal leases and building pipelines and LNG terminals lock us into fossil fuels. Supply will be tight for months or years. Our best solution, right now, is to consume less and move toward more sustainable, environmentally friendly energy sources.

John Littleton

Medford

Editorial was insulting

Referring to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial on Thursday, March 10, “Expensive gasoline is a small price to pay.”

This is beyond insulting. It calls into question our patriotism and fundament humanitarian values if we oppose high gas prices.

These are not mutually exclusive issues, not either/or.

Of course we should ban Russia oil. The bigger question is how and when we became dependent on Russian oil in the first place.

Here is a universal economic truism taught in the fourth grade: If production goes down and demand remains the same, prices go up; if production is increased and demand remains the same, prices go down.

So here is a suggestion. “President Biden, are you willing to put together a task force of the highest officials to increase domestic oil production?”

Increasing production has at least three benefits: it eases pain at the gas pump, it has the potential to help our allies with exports and it mitigates a Democratic disaster come November.

Or, would you rather hold tight to your short-sighted principles and hand over the House and Senate to the Republicans?

Or, just get out of the way

William Carpenter

Medford