Eric Samuelsen, a frequent contributor to letters to the editor, usually makes a lot of sense. I agree with most of what he writes. But his letter on oil companies (Readers' Forum, July 3) was ridiculous.

To see why, let's suppose that one of Eric's plays suddenly became wildly popular — standing room only for weeks with people scalping tickets and driving prices higher and higher. Eric starts making a fortune as a result. Now the government comes in to say, "Unless you produce some of those old scripts in your files — the ones you don't think anyone will want to see — we're going to impose a 'windfall' profits tax on you for making so much money on your highly successful play."

That's the situation the oil companies are in.

It's time to be realistic about economics and not swallow the absurdities the national Democrats are promoting. And while we're at it, let's open up the oil shale and cease the ruinous corn-ethanol program.

Jonathan Neville

Salt Lake City