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A Matter Of Opinion

Tue., June 17, 2008, 9:46 a.m.

Letters: Gas shortage

Excerpts from two letters that ran today:

Oil production has peaked for dozens of nations in the last decade (U.S. production peaked in 1971), while global demand continues to rise. It's simply supply and demand. If the American public wants somebody to blame for the current price of petroleum, they need look no further than a mirror. An exacerbating factor is the fact that we've built our cities under the assumption that oil will always be cheap, making it difficult to live without driving.

When will oil prices go down? When we quit using it. -- Andrew Ruud, Spokane

Mr. Barnes suggests that somehow there is a gasoline shortage. Is there? Have you seen any lines of people trying to get gas and failing? Have you seen any signs that say "No Gas Today"? Nope.

But this nonexistent shortage is the Democrats' fault. Why? Because they won't allow drilling in ANWR or the continental shelf or oil shale or tar sands. Regard: In the last few years, 10,000 drilling contracts have been granted to companies who are not drilling. Since 1979, there has been only one request to build a new refinery – which was granted. Currently the refineries are operating at 85 percent capacity. If there was such a shortage, wouldn't they be operating at 100 percent capacity? Wouldn't all those drilling contracts be in progress? Wouldn't we be waiting in line hoping that we got our gas before the pump ran out? Where exactly is the shortage? -- Jeff Brown, Spokane Valley

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