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‘Industry rationalizations for price-gouging’

Like many, if not all, Atmos Energy customers, we have been absorbing the sticker shock of the recent skyrocketing of natural gas prices. The article in The Durango Herald on Friday includes a public service announcement from the Southern Ute Utilities Division, which “blames the low storage levels on an increased natural gas demand in the Western United States, pipeline infrastructure limitations, and reduced flow from Canada to the Pacific Northwest.”

Does any of this sound familiar to you? What we have here is the typical industry rationalizations for what is almost certainly, at least to some significant extent, price-gouging. As subscribers to the Herald, we expect better. This is weak journalism. To simply report what an industry or corporation is saying without a thorough investigation is not adequate journalism.

During these high inflationary times, we the people have been fed an increasing barrage of propaganda from many media sources, aimed at distracting us from anything but the primary cause of this inflation. There is no secret here.

There is one thing – and one thing only – that is the primary driver of this economy. Ask any economist or school of business. Profit and exorbitant executive pay is the name of the game. Let’s all of us subscribers to the Herald insist that it researches this profit motive before publishing any more industry lip-service pieces.

Brian Clark