Wow! Does anyone feel trapped by this endless ordeal over soaring gas prices? If you don't, then read the article "Congress Presses Oil Chiefs on Big Profits."
You can look at this conflict from two standpoints: a consumer or a producer. The consumer standpoint, as we all know, is extreme frustration over volatile gas prices and reported "big profits" for the oil industry at our expense. The last thing we want to hear after paying $3.29 per gallon at the pump is anything to do with increasing profits for oil producers.
As consumers, we know the complaints and frustrations of the American people; however, how much have we considered the oil industry as a business rather than the enemy. If you remove yourself from your consumer shoes and put on the hat of an executive in the oil industry, you'd be singing a different tune. Don't get me wrong--I am just as frustrated as the next person over the extremely volatile gas prices; however, as a business student I also recognize the reasoning behind some of the strategies practiced by businesses in order to grow and survive long term.
In the article, J.S. Simon made some "valid" points regarding the high profits of the oil industry. He pointed out that you have to put the profits in perspective relative to the investment requirements for the industry as well as the need for sustainability over down cycles that are likely to follow the market upswings.
As a business owner, what would you do? You are dealing with a potentially limited natural resource requiring a huge capital investment in order to distribute. There has to be some middle ground here: I understand that a business must be profitable in order to justify staying in business; however, does this justify virtual "rape" of the American economy?????