Robert R. Firth, president and chief executive of Atlas Pipeline Mid-Continent is mad, and he doesn’t want to take it anymore. "We get bad press all the time about high oil prices, pay rates and gasoline prices,” he said, even though producers, midstream companies and refiners don’t control the markets. “We don’t set the world oil price.”The press reports pay rates, salaries and bonuses awarded to chief executive of major oil companies, which, in a vacuum, may seem too high. But comparing those salaries with those of top athletes, actors, and singers tells a different story, he said.“The U.S. consumes 20% of the world’s oil, but only makes 4% of world supply,” he said. The top U. S. executives must be compensated to keep that talent in the energy industry. With regard to gasoline, “we run supply and demand on a narrow edge, and we have to import some to meet demand,” he said. While U.S. consumers think the price of gasoline is high, it should be volumetrically compared to bottled water and insurance rates, and less necessary luxuries like I-pods, cable television, and teenager’s cell phone bills which, he says, can run into hundreds of dollars per month. Firth would like to see more press coverage on the facts behind legislation to force alternative fuels into the market. “For example, ethanol has really screwed up the economic face of Iowa. That’s what happens when the government imposes energy legislation.” Energy industry professionals should make an effort to learn about the business and educate others. Good resources are the IPAA, EIA, TRRC and OERB. “Be an advocate for this industry. Be entrepreneurs and create jobs,” he said