Wednesday, April 26, 2006 Bee County leaders urging boycott of Exxon Mobil Business:

"'I don't know what they are trying to accomplish,' she said. 'It's not going to make a difference on the cost of fuel, but it is a direct impact on us. It's ridiculous. There's nothing we can do about (gas prices).'

Mu�oz said dropping the price of gas at the family's stores from $2.79, as it was Tuesday, to $1.30 would leave them bankrupt.

But the concerns don't stop at the county government level.

In Washington, there's widespread grumbling about why the federal government is handing out billions in subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies that continue to raise prices on taxpayers.

Martinez said he hopes Bee County's resolution will further spark discussions in the board rooms of the nation's largest oil companies.

'The Commissioners Court said, 'Enough is enough,'' the judge said. 'We have to stand up for our people.'

Not everyone in the county is embracing the resolution.

'I think it's crazy,' said Katryna Rincon, 32, who was filling up at The Pantry South. 'I don't think it will really work.'

Rincon said she would continue filling up at the gas station even after the boycott begins next week.

County officials said they targeted Exxon Mobil because they are the largest oil company in the United States and hoped competitors, like San Antonio-based Valero, would be motivated to enter into a price war, driving the cost of fuel down.

Both the National Association of Convenience Stores and the American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday the county's efforts were misguided.

API spokeswoman Jane Van Ryan said major oil corporations own fewer than 10 percent, or about 16,000, of the nation's convenience stores.

And, she said, the price of fuel is determined long before it reaches the pump. Van Ryan said the bulk of its cost, about 60 percent, is determined by the price of crude oil, which rose to record levels last week.

'I understand politicians wanting to show action on behalf of their constituents,' said John Eichberger, the NACS' vice president of governmental relations. 'But, boycotts are the least effective and most destructive outlet for consumers in regards to the markets.'

Van Ryan and Eichberger blamed the higher gas prices on instability in oil producing nations, regulations that determine how gas is manufactured and increasing demand."

We need more economic lessons in this country. And besides, bottom line. Let the oil companies charge whatever they want. It's THEIR oil! Private property! Once the government sticks its nose into this, prices will rise even more, or we will have shortages. When government put more regulations on the oil companies before, and drained their profits, it meant they had less money to spend on finding new sources of oil, and environment regulations made it more expensive, so now we buy most of oil from the Middle East and Venezuala. That was stupid. Also, about 25% of the price of gas at the pump is taxes. Where's the outrage over the greed of the government?

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