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LETTERS

The aggravating rise in gasoline prices

April 25, 2006

President Bush recently stated that he understands the pain of Americans paying higher prices for gas (April 23). When was the last time Bush pumped his own gas and paid for it from his own pocket? He doesn't appreciate that $10 now buys maybe 3.3 gallons of gas.

If he purchased his own gasoline, he would note that independent and national brands of gas are now charging similar prices. Is there a collusion? The prices suggest that the oil companies are gouging the public and that Bush is not the compassionate conservative he claims to be.

LORENZO MOTA

Lakewood

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Gas prices do not rise by themselves; every time the pump price goes up, it's because of a conscious decision by a person (or persons) to raise the price.

Have you noticed two particular ways gas companies gouge? When suppliers raise the price of crude oil, gas companies raise the pump price immediately, but when crude oil goes back down, they keep gas prices high, saying they need to pay for the higher-priced oil in the pipeline. When suppliers raise the price of crude oil, gas companies raise the pump price not just enough to cover their extra costs but also to make an extra profit, blaming the entire increase on the price of oil.

DAVID GRIMES

Huntington Beach

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Oil prices and oil company profits rise and rise. Bush and Cheney do nothing. Being that they are from the oil industry, this isn't surprising. Bush said we weren't invading Iraq for its oil; that was one time Bush spoke the truth, and we sure didn't benefit. If he invades Iran and Venezuela, there would be even more oil we wouldn't get. It's a good thing North Korea doesn't have much oil -- it saves the trouble of invading that country to not get oil.

MIKE KIRWAN

Venice

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