I quite enjoyed Jonathan Neville's intelligent and thoughtful letter (Forum, July 8) taking me to task for my argument regarding oil companies. In fact, I'm of two minds regarding gas prices. In the abstract, I think $4 a gallon is probably a good thing, incentivizing conservation, innovation and a shift away from fossil fuels. But practically speaking, I'm a playwright who lives in Provo but often works in Salt Lake — I dislike paying so much at the pump.

Oil companies have chosen not to drill because it's risky and costly and they're already making money. So if we want oil companies to change their business model, we need to create some incentives. The threat of windfall profit taxes has led to more drilling already. Is this unfair to oil companies, to single them out? Of course. But oil is more important to our economy than successful plays. Meanwhile, I'm in the market for a hybrid.

Eric Samuelsen