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The Oil and Gas Industry: Profits through Confusion

August 10, 2015

The Oil and Gas industry continues to make profits by confusing us with the production of fuel. Take for example seasonal gasolines. They don’t explain what this is exactly. The country, as a whole, does not need seasonal grades. There must be a generic available. Of course, as consumers, we’re never really sure which gas we are getting, there is no notice when it changes at the pumps, it’s not color coded for us! As much as I hate to say it, the answer is, “Profit through confusion” and we are the ones confused.

Oil pumps and rig over sunset.

Some of the higher fuel prices we are paying are coming when the price per barrel are at its lowest. There is a huge disparity between the price of the barrel and the price at the pump. What is the reason for this? Fuel surcharges! Shipping companies love to gravitate to the surcharge as reasons for rising prices; by setting their own shipping rates.

The EPA has placed surcharges on oil products that need to be removed by EPA contractors. By being green, there are those who charge us $3 per invoice for the used products that they disposed of. No matter if it’s paper towels or rags, we are charged for having it cleaned up and taken way. We are tied into it and are being forced to follow certain rules when it comes to fuel, well as other disposal items. This of course becomes the cost of doing business, and is the cause of product prices being inflated. We don’t see the value in it. We would clean it the same way that the EPA contractors would, but we are charged extra to have it completed by them. These surcharges may be small on an invoice to invoice basis, but when the orders rise into the thousands, it becomes very costly to do business. I believe in being green, however we can recycle our own used products, by investing in equipment, out there that removes the bad and we get to keep the good. We have and it is working. Then what is left as the disposable by products becomes minimal in the big picture.

We’ve been stopped in our tracks from charging the fuel surcharge, most companies will not allow this addition to our invoices. Yet, we get charged by other large companies for the same things. The EPA is involved at the pump and at what is going on in our plants. We often read about these companies that we have to hire to clean up our oil, and when they dump it illegally, not only are they fined, but we, their customers, are also fined. We have no idea or control where this oil or disposable products go or how it is handles once it leaves our facility, but we are still on the hook for their abuse.

We are obligated to provide our certifications to our customers, yet we hardly receive any certifications from these EPA contractors. When we do receive a certification from them, it is merely a piece of paper and we have no way of knowing if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

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