"The $1,000 Fill-Up: Truckers Aren't the Only Ones Hurt" [May 12] states, "It appeared there was little that lawmakers or the Bush administration could do—even if they were willing—to quell the stampeding global oil market."
This should make Americans ask the fundamental question: What is the difference between what a public nonprofit utility company provides and what a private for-profit oil company provides? After all, they both sell energy to all U.S. citizens. The difference is that natural gas and electricity are sold in the form of a public good whereas oil is sold in the form of a private good. Accordingly, on the grounds of promoting national security, Congress should convert all oil companies to utility companies. This would eliminate the windfall profits and force the oil industry to earn just enough income to cover operating expenses just as natural gas and electric utility companies are required to do. The resulting drop in gasoline prices would further stimulate the economy and lighten the energy stranglehold on the U.S. by the Mideast. In this case, desperate times call for deliberate measures.
I just finished reading in your May 12 issue about how the high cost of diesel fuel is hurting the trucking industry, which is leading to fewer trucks and higher consumer prices. If this is the case, why not, instead of taking the federal tax off gasoline, just do it for the diesel using vehicles? Even subsidize them with gasoline taxes for a while because that $30 it would save each gasoline user for the summer isn't worth it. For now, it might be the wiser choice.
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.