Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It Was NOT Price Gouging

In an AP article covering the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on suspected price gouging during the hurricanes, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman Lee Raymond said that "ExxonMobil had issued a directive in response to the storm disruptions 'to minimize the increase in price while at the same time recognizing if we kept the price too low we would quickly run out (of fuel) at the service stations.'"

Never could it be put in more simple terms: "...recognizing if we kept the price too low we would quickly run out..." The oil companies were not engaging in dastardly deeds to profit off the misfortunes of consumers nationwide, they were simply altering the price of a good to ensure that consumers didn't pull another 1970's and line up at the pumps to fill up. Instead of waiting for this scenario to arise, oil companies simply took action to avoid it.

Hopefully the Senate Committee and FTC investigations will reveal exactly what I believe happened; the oil companies saved a lot of money over the long-run by preventing a massive price hike as supplies dried up and lines at the pump grew to miles long.

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