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Re: E-M:/ Oil Indusrty Profits Soaring Through the Roof

Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Tue, 24 Apr 2001, Daniel Farough wrote:

> A very interesting story for Michigan motorists who are concerned about the
> rising cost of a gallon of gas posted on the mlive webpage.  Exxon Mobil
> reports its profits are up 44% for the first quarter of the year.  Yet they
> also admit that natural gas production is down only 1% and crude oil
> production inched up 1%.  Can anyone say price gouging?

There are other factors involved, most important of which is the required
switch-over from "winter" to "summer" formulated gasoline. This causes an
interruption in supplies and could account for at least a temporary cost
increase of the amount recently observed. This is an explanation that has
been reported in newspaper accounts. However I cannot disprove the
possibility of "price gouging" as another component.

One thing that should really be done when these changes occur that raise
public ire is that a full and verified explanation should be more widely
distributed, through more thorough coverage. Of course, even then, the
public might doubt the authenticity of the explanation and verification,
which is a further problem to be solved.

--Rane L. Curl

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