Energy: Embarrassment of Riches

A Spindletop of money lets off an uproar of controversy

Once again, the nation's energy debate deteriorated into a cacophony of angry charges, bitter recriminations and defensive denials. As irate Americans paid their first newly inflated heating bills, Exxon and other oil giants last week reported a new Spindletop of profits. For a people unshakably convinced that somebody must be ripping them off on energy prices, here was smoking-gun proof.

The specter of Big Oil wallowing in billions raised a number of policy issues that could change the structure of the nation's energy institutions....

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