Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gas Prices

I don't claim to be the brightest bulb in the fixture...but I don't think I'm on the bottom of the food chain either. But I just don't get why we're paying upwards of 3 dollars-a-gallon for fuel in our cars.

I've heard all the supposed factors.... storms have hurt production, this is a high demand time of year, the oil producing countries have tightened their exports and lowered inventory, demand is out-pacing refinery capacity...all of that. Somehow I think there's more to it than that.

First of all, why the hell don't we have more refinery capacity if that's a problem. We've been hearing that same refinery capacity baloney for...say 50 years. Build another damn refinery if that's what it takes.

For America to allow foreign oil barons to control our economy in this way is simply unacceptable. If we can spend ba-zillions of dollars on wars, elections, roads, and a bunch of other stuff, we should be able to find a few billion to take those guys out of the picture. It's not like there aren't oil reserves in our part of the world to draw from.

Better yet, why haven't we come up with ways to eliminate the depency on oil in the first place? There are many other ways to make an internal combustion engine work. Why haven't they taken hold? Who's conspiring to hold back progress?

How is it that free enterprize and competition have seemingly gotten lost in all this. Why does the BP station have the same price on gas as the QT down the street...or the Shell a half block away? Didn't there used to be such things as gas wars...where the stations would compete for business with lower gas prices? I think so. Save me 5 bucks on a tank of gas, and I'll come in your store to buy my lottery tickets... or a loaf of bread...or a 12-pack of beer. Somebody at corporate is telling the local managers what the price will be...and that's it.

I'm guessing it's going to have to really get ugly before we change any habits. People will keep buying SUVs as long as there are "employee pricing" campaigns by the car companies. The big engine, gas guzzling trucks, Hummers, and kick-your-ass cars will keep rolling out of the showrooms as long as people are willing to pay 75 bucks to fill them up.

I don't know about you...but the hybrid cars are starting to look pretty attractive to me.

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