Marc at Cranial Cavity points the finger of blame at government taxes: "The real price gouger is the government. According to the Tax Foundation, in the last three decades government has collected more than $1.34 trillion (inflation adjusted) in gasoline-tax revenues — 'more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.' "
Townhall's Mary Katherine Ham suggests that the goals of Rep. Ed Markey, chairman of the House committee that held the meeting, are contradictory, since he wants to lower gas prices and "move beyond this oil economy": "One of the things that might actually encourage a move 'beyond the oil economy' are high oil prices, which discourage unnecessary consumption by motorists through perfectly logical self-interest instead of government-imposed conservation mandates or whatever heavy-handed measure it is Markey wishes for," she writes. "Making gas prices artificially respond to your whims makes the process of buying gas artificially painless, thereby removing all indicators for the consumer that he should have any concern at all about an oil economy." Polimom at the Moderate Voice agrees: "The best thing that could happen, strangely enough, is for prices to go higher yet. Until we cross above the point where the cost of renewable energy is less than non-renewable, we're stuck … and no amount of election year grandstanding will get us out of the spring mud."
ThisJustIn doesn't foresee a downturn in oil prices and therefore believes the oil executives' argument that the industry is cyclical to be defunct: "So suck it up, oil industry. We have been carrying you for a decade; it's time for you to carry us. And Congress, do what's right: Strip those tax breaks and either invest the entire amount in research for alternative energy sources or give the ailing taxpayers a real tax break (not the upcoming fake one)."
Read more about the oil execs' testimony.