Oil Company Profits

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
High gasoline prices don't really hurt me. I don't drive that much and frankly, I've got the money to pay for my gas. That doesn't mean I'm pleased when I fill up. Just the other day I remember shaking my head at the total on the pump. Geez that's a lot, especially compared to years past. We really have little choice but to grin and bear it.

The price of crude, after all, has gone through the roof and aren't the prices so high because the U.S doesn't have enough refining capacity? All good reasons, right?

We assume the oil companies are doing the best they can during these difficult times to get us gas at the cheapest possible prices, right? Guess again. ExxonMobil's profit this quarter is almost $10 billion. Similar eye popping profits will go to Shell and BP. These companies have every right to make money — certainly their shareholders — myself included — expect it. When though, does profit turn to price gauging?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith


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