WASHINGTON — Americans paying $3 per gallon at the pump have it relatively cheap when compared with prices globally, say oil and gas company executives who defend their record profits as essential to maintaining supplies. In parts of Europe and elsewhere in the West, gasoline prices are more like $5 per gallon to $7 per gallon, said the chairman of ConocoPhillips (COP) Co., James J. Mulva. ‘This is a global business, and it’s not only that we need to add to supply, but we need to reduce demand,’ Mulva said. ‘In the United States alone, we have about 2 percent of world oil reserves, 5 percent of the population and yet we use about 25 percent of the world’s consumption of oil.’ Mulva and two other executives who appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ said they are optimistic about keeping a lid on domestic prices, unless their fears come true about the potential for damage to U.S. energy production from the hurricane season that began June 1. ‘I do understand why consumers are concerned. The thing that concerns all of us, I think, is that we’re heading into hurricane season again,’ said the chairman of Chevron […]

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