American consumers at the mercy of Big Oil | LETTER

President Joe Biden waves as he walks to Marine One. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In his recent letter to the editor, Jack Oliver criticized President Joe Biden’s decision to release a million barrels of oil a day for six months as an attempt to “get on our good side.” He questioned whether the oil is truly needed for our national defense. He also blamed the high rate of inflation on President Biden.

It seems that Mr. Oliver has failed to do his homework or instead has chosen to turn a blind eye to the real causes for these problems.

Currently, our national strategic oil reserve has a capacity of 714 million barrels of oil. Even releasing 1 million barrels a day for six months would still leave more than 530 million barrels of oil in reserve. In a recent ABC survey, more than 78 percent of Americans blame unchecked greed on behalf of the oil companies and not the president for the high price of gasoline. In 2022, ExxonMobile reported its largest profits in seven years by taking advantage of consumers coming out of the pandemic with plenty of expendable income, which most economists agree is also the main cause of our current rate of inflation.

Keep in mind that during Ronald Reagan’s first year in the White House, inflation was at 13.4 percent. It took President Reagan three years to reduce it to below 5 percent.

To cap off his letter, Mr. Oliver makes the feckless suggestion that the solution to lowering gasoline prices is for motorists to slow down and to drive less. No, Mr. Oliver, the solution is to stop the federal subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies — which totaled more than $5.9 trillion in 2020 — and for Congress to investigate these companies for price gouging.