Duluth News Tribune: State View: Gas Prices Effected by a Wide Range of Factors: There are certain misconceptions about petroleum and major American oil companies. First, the largest major oil company does not even rank in the top ten largest producers of petroleum when nationalized oil companies like the National Oil Company of Libya are considered. Second, local gasoline marketers determine the final retail price. Major oil companies like ExxonMobil do not own and operate stations in Wisconsin, but sell to local retailers at a wholesale or "rack" price. Third, the United States imports nine million barrels of crude oil per day and Canada, not Saudi Arabia, is our largest supplier. Fourth, demand for petroleum is increasing in the United States and will continue to do so through 2035 and beyond. Fifth, almost one-third of a barrel of crude oil is used for products other than motor fuel. These products numbering in the hundreds, include paint, fertilizer, plastics, medicine, carpeting and asphalt. Finally, according to the Energy Information Administration, out of every dollar spent on gasoline, roughly 68 cents is the cost of crude oil and about 12 cents goes to state and federal taxes for maintaining our transportation system. Refining, distribution and marketing, including profits, add another 20 cents. The Oklahoman: EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Says Natural Gas Production is a "Good Thing": The head of the Environmental Protection Agency told a House committee Tuesday that she favored natural gas production and said she didn't know of any "proven case" in which hydraulic fracturing had affected drinking water...The process, in use for decades, involves injecting chemicals, water and sand into a well to fracture rock and release gas. Jackson said natural gas creates less air pollution than other fossil fuels "so increasing America's natural gas production is a good thing."...Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said later that other EPA officials have said the same thing in recent years. "Lisa Jackson's statement today that she does not know of any proven cases of water contamination further demonstrates that states are regulating hydraulic fracturing effectively and efficiently, and there is no need for the federal government to step in," Inhofe said.
Murray Ledger & Times: Domestic Energy Vital to U.S. Economy: As gas prices continue to climb, this Administration's latest tax hike proposal is a frantic attempt to distract us from what can only be described as their war on energy production. Fortunately, Republicans have an alternative proposal that actually seeks to boost domestic energy production. It's a real solution to the nation's problem of high gas prices and not enough jobs, not a tax increase that would just make things worse. The Republican plan would return American offshore energy production to where it was before the Obama Administration clamped down on American energy. It would direct the federal government to continue with previously scheduled offshore lease sales in Virginia, Alaska and the Gulf. It would rip away the red tape that has hindered energy production by putting reasonable time limits on the review process for drilling permits. The Interior Department would have 30 days to review permit applications--to make a decision one way or the other--with two opportunities to extend that time period.