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Should Oil Companies be banned
from Owning Ethanol Plants ?

11/18/05  Dan McCullough
For many , the time of alternative fuels has finally become a viable option to pure petroleum based fuels . E85 is 85% ethanol and 15 unleaded gas . It's appeal is not only that it typically cost less than unleaded , not only that it shifts and lowers our dependence from  foreign based oil to supporting American based Agri- Business; but to many,  the greatest appeal is simply that E85 is a fuel product that actually directly competes with Big Oil.

When gasoline prices skyrocket  the question of whether Big Oil is price gouging  always emerges , whether it is true or not the bottom line is they can raise the price to whatever price they want because there have been no viable fuel options..until now with E85.

Big Oil companies are making billions each quarter , Exxon Mobil for example earned 10 BILLION in the 3rd Quarter of 2005 alone , Royal Dutch Shell made $9 billion and British Petroleum made 6.5 billion.

These companies have absolutely no competition other than to each other and some have question if that's even competition when they all sell product within a few points of each other. How many times have we seen all the stations in our Cities selling gas within a few pennies of each other. And is it really competition when they all are making eye popping profits , it looks more like a profit sharing plan where they all partake.

E85 typically sells for .25 to 70 cents less a gallon than Unleaded , that pricing creates a true competition to the Oil Companies gasoline products .If the Oil Companies are allowed to buy into the ethanol industry more than they already are then E85 no longer is a viable pricing option . The oil Companies will simply price the Ethanol/ E85 Fuels at the same or higher price than unleaded gas to protect their Oil Interest and once again placing the consumer in a situation without options.

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