Talk abounds about releasing crude oil from the Government's strategic oil reserves to provide motorists some relief at the gas pump.
Never mind that the Middle East dust-ups have had little effect on domestic crude oil supplies. Ignore that U.S. energy companies are reporting huge profits (one to-remain-nameless company had NET PROFIT over $9 billion in its 4th quarter alone). And forgive the media for swallowing the analysts' trick of implying cause-and-effect with statements like "Gas prices soar as the Middle East smolders." True, but the inference of economic connection needs critical review.
No, the talk about releasing oil reserves relates to gas prices lurching toward $5 a gallon regardless of why. So, I ask the Energy Department to do some simple math:
First, determine the average price that the Government paid for the crude oil in the strategic reserve. If it substantially below current market prices, then
Second, sell it to refiners for 5% above cost, creating a taxpayer profit.
Third, allow the refiners to sell the gas to outlets at 5% over their cost, more profit.
Fourth, let the filling stations mark their cost up 5%, more profit.
Then, if the cost to motorists is significantly below current levels, everyone wins.
Otherwise, leave the reserves alone. Sure beats providing cheap oil to some of the planet's biggest companies to enhance their already remarkable bottom lines.
Move over, George Soros, Glenn Beck has a new commie to bludgeon.