YOUR OPINION: Energy prices only going up

Bert Dirschell, Centertown

Dear Editor,

In 2007, Mr. Obama said, "For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time."

In 2019, Mr. Biden said, "I guarantee you, I guarantee you, we are going to end fossil fuel." Does anyone wonder why energy prices are skyrocketing?

The last new U.S. refinery with "significant capacity" was opened in the late '70s. From 1990-2019, our "operable refining capacity" grew by 21 percent, while our population grew by 31 percent.

In the months before government shut down our economy, our operable refinery capacity averaged 19 million barrels/day, before plummeting to 17.9 million barrels/day in December 2021. In August 2022, it was still only 18 million barrels/day.

The 1.2 million barrel/day Crown-Jewel Oil Refinery currently under construction in Mexico is estimated to cost $16 billion-18 billion, and that is without U.S. EPA regulations. What sane energy CEO would support spending billions for long-term projects when for years he/she has heard Democrats rant that their goal was to put them out of business?

In the three years 2019-21, Exxon had a total net income of $14.9 billion, which included a loss of $22.4 billion in 2020. Apple's total net income for the same three-year period was $207.4 billion. Exxon's 2021 earning per share (EPS) was $5.39; while Apple's (EPS) was $5.61. For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022, Exxon paid $17 billion in income taxes; Apple paid $19.3 billion. Why aren't liberals screaming about Apple's "excess profits?"

When taxes are increased, corporations don't reduce their profits/dividends to cover the cost of higher taxes, they pass those costs through to the consumers by increasing prices. Taxes on corporations are a politician's way of raising taxes on the people, a majority of whom are so ill-informed that they can't grasp this simple concept.

Natural gas is used to produce 38 percent of our electricity. There are around 20 percent fewer active rigs than there were in 2019. Natural gas spot prices were $5.66/million BTUs in October 2022, compared to $2.39 in October 2020 and $2.33 in October 2019. We can expect higher electricity bills, in addition to the higher gasoline prices.