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John L. Coates, Perham, Minn., Published April 12 2014

Letter: Biggest crime of the century is corrupt trading in crude oil

The crime of the century is the New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil prices at the pumps.

I am 81 years old and lived through all the raises at the pumps. At first, oil companies each had their own prices, at least a few cents apart. They had gas wars. The prices at the pumps were from their expenses plus profit plus any taxes.

Then along came the ’70s. This is when the oil companies got tired of the past ways of doing business, so they got our politicians to let them have a big increase of about 25 cents per gallon at the pumps. After that, we saw more raises at the pumps.

Then they came with the New York mercantile crude oil prices to control the pump prices. The New York mercantile is for speculators, not to control pump prices. I wrote Republican Rep. Steven King of the 5th District of Iowa and one of his representatives called me. I asked who gets to bid on the crude oil at the New York mercantile and he said the oil companies for one. I would guess that a 5th grader can figure this to be a racket, huh?

I also wrote President Barack Obama and he wrote back that we can’t drill our way to lower prices at the pumps. I also wrote Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and she wrote back saying this needed to be looked at. I believe she passed the buck just like our politicians on both sides of the aisle. Do you see maybe they are all in bed with the oil companies?

Just think of the inflation these high prices at the pumps have caused over the past 20 years or so. Rich people probably look the other way but most of the rest of us working class can’t afford their crap. I work at McDonalds to help make ends meet. I’m not the only one of us seniors.

People, it’s up to you to get our politicians to do the right thing. I wonder what oil companies are doing with all those billions of dollars besides spending a lot of it on our politicians. They’re not putting any food on my table.

So, write, call or scream at the politicians to do the right thing.