High Price of Gas: Solutions or Anger Only?

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Who knew that gas has always been an issue . . . always. 

People always are focused on the price of fuel. Of course they are. It’s a critical and costly budget line item. It impacts the bottomline for individuals and businesses. 

The politicians that focus on stoking anger and anxiety in voters about gas prices seek to bring out the worst in us. 

We absolutely need to be aggressive in tackling fuel prices in America, especially as Russia seeks to inject more instability in our foreign affairs. 

However, if politicians are not targeting solutions instead of fears, we’re not helping anyone while the big oil companies rake in even larger profits quarter after quarter.

In 2018, I fully embraced the Illinois energy economy in all of its diversity and complexity. 

Partisans in both parties would prefer we ignore reality in favor of their talking points. 

What we need are policies that are focused on both our present situation and a long term strategic vision that promotes both our economy and our environment. We can do both. We must do both

We don’t want to go down the same path as Germany did when they gutted their energy diversity in favor of a position that ignored their national security and energy independence. As a result of decisions to gut their energy sector in favor of renewable-only power generation, Germans became beholden to Russian natural gas supplies. 

It was a noble idea, with unfortunate consequences for regional peace that are just beginning to materialize in Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. 

What happens in Germany, doesn’t stay in Germany. 

This is only a small part of the supply and demand dynamic at the heart of the gasoline price spike that is hurting Americans today. It is imperative we do not follow this failed German path.

America had the highest oil production and profits in 2019. They gutted production in 2020 as the price of oil was in free fall. However, America’s big oil and gas companies are raking in the money.

In 2021, Exxon made $23 billion in profits alone. Their profits expanded to almost $9 billion in just the last quarter of 2021. 

Did Exxon announce they would return to 2019 production levels? No.

What Exxon did announce was $10 billion in stock buybacks. They also announced that the company would invest a 1/3 less in production moving forward. It will be awhile before we’re back to 2019 production levels as a result. 

This means, not only will the big oil companies be raking in massive profits off the backs of the American people, they will simultaneously be injecting more inflation into the economy. 

That is not something we should just lay down and applaud. At least I won’t.

Hidden in President Trump’s massive tax cut giveaway to these major oil and gas companies were tax breaks that our Illinois small oil and gas companies will never see. Trump and Republicans thought it would be a great idea to make foreign investments in production by big oil and big gas TAX FREE.

You can’t make this crap up. It’s about as ignorant as it is anti-American. It promotes jobs abroad while providing incentives to turn off the American gas and oil supply. We must reverse this policy today.

Also, there are many tax subsidies for these big oil and gas companies that they enjoy while they abuse American taxpayers during high inflation. It’s unacceptable, and it has to change.

I am in full support of assistance for our local small oil and gas suppliers. They need the help. These large companies have been raking it in while the small suppliers that hire local workers have been unfairly disadvantaged for too long. It’s time we reform the tax structure accordingly. 

The smaller you are, the more jobs you create, the more subsidies you can receive. It’s common sense. 

It should have been fixed a long time ago, but the pockets of big oil and gas are very deep and happen to fall into the pants and purses of too many politicians. It’s time to fix these longstanding problems and promote our local suppliers today. 

We can do all of this, and continue our ramping up of renewable energy sources as we protect our national security and economy. We can’t ignore one over the other. 

What is the Republican approach to the problem of the high price of gasoline?

It’s just to make people more mad about it.

That only serves them and their big oil and gas campaign donors. And, there is a lot of money sloshing around in those campaign funds from those donors.

So, do you want to make them all more wealthy while the price at the pump continues to increase?

We know the game that these folks are playing. They play it with the American people every election cycle. They manipulate the price to manipulate the vote. 

I’m not the mouthpiece for any party, any industry, or any person. It’s time the people were the priority. 

That’s what I will make a priority every single day.

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