Letter of the day: Keep oil at home

The article in the Dec. 31 edition of the NDN states that while the U.S. is still the world's largest importer of crude oil, it has become a major exporter of refined oil — gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc.

This information confirms an article written by Jim Jubak, an author for MSN Money magazine. He states that in September, the U.S. exported 3.2 million barrels of refined petroleum and imported only 2.2 million barrels.

I hope you find that information as surprising to you as it is to me. In part, it explains why we continue to pay over $3 per gallon of gas at the pump. Apparently, oil companies can make more money selling overseas than in the U.S.

The U.S. is using less fuel because of a weak economy and more efficient cars and trucks. In August 2011, a peak driving month, U.S. consumers used almost 8 percent less gas than they had four years earlier. In contrast, gasoline consumption continues to climb in faster-growing emerging economies.

Why not decrease exportation of refined oil and make it available for consumption in the U.S.? Wouldn't that reduce prices we pay at the pump even if Big Oil charged us the higher prices they receive from other countries?

As the NDN article states, "the more fuel that is sent overseas, the less supply cushion there is at home." On the other hand, I have never known Big Oil doing the right thing, unless, of course, it adds to their bottom line.

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