The Franklin English Dictionary’s definition of profiteer is “A person or corporation who makes excessive profits at the expense of the public.” That’s the word that runs through my mind every time I spend $170 or more filling the fuel tank for my diesel pickup. The last time we had run-away fuel prices, gas and diesel cost were at $4.00 a gallon and the cost of crude oil was $150 a barrel. We experienced filling stations without fuel, stations had lines blocks long waiting to fill-up and some stations with 10-gallon limits. Today crude oil prices are between $100 and $110 a barrel. There are predictions that gas and diesel will be at $6.00 a gallon soon. There are no long lines at the pumps, no 10-gallon limits and the stations have all the fuel you need if you’re willing to pay the price. Meanwhile, the oil companies are booking record profits.

Back in the good old days, Congress’s foremost concern was the welfare of the country. Today, growing the parties seems to be the order of the day. Back then Congress would have had the oil company’s CEOs in Washington asking them tough questions about their profit and cost ratios but that’s not happening today. Big corporate profits mean big campaign contributions and lobbyists well supplied with cash to grease the wheels in Washington. Recently one of the oil companies sold a Gulf Coast oil refinery to Mexico. Oil companies won’t spend billions building a new refinery with electric vehicles growing in popularity. At this point in time, why would Congress allow the sale of one of our refineries to another country?

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing decisions, as to their constitutionality, made by their Supreme Court predecessors. Currently Roe v. Wade is under review by the court. I would hope they look at decisions made by the Court as to corporations and their involvement and funding of political candidates and elections. After all corporations aren’t people; they can’t vote and some pay very little taxes, but they have a profound influence on our elections.

—Tom Janicki,