Friday, August 12, 2005

Gasoline: Cheap At Twice the Price

Oh, all the hullabaloo about gas prices being "through the roof," and even at $3.00 a gallon, gas would be cheap considering inflation and it's true worth. You'd think we were spoiled. (Didn't know those trucks and SUVs would look like dinosaurs so soon, did you?)

Why is it that for so many years, a gallon of gas cost so much less than a gallon of milk?

And why is it that over the last decade, a gallon of gas cost less than a gallon of fancy water?

Of course, the Coca-Cola Corporation and its deciples have proven that Americans are not addicted to water. Nah, they can darn near well do without the stuff, except for showers, plants, lawns and dogs. But drink the stuff? Why, it tastes like... water.

Come now, not a botiquey microbrew, but you can get a gallon of decent BEER for about six bucks. Now why shouldn't a gallon of decent gasoline cost about the same as a gallon of beer? I mean, like water, milk and Coke, beer is renewable. It's a very simple substance, mostly grain. No fancy supertankers, offshore drilling, tundra trashing or putrified refineries required. And some of the OK beers cost less than "the better" waters, too, so go figure.

Now whoa and hey, come on pussyfooters - or lead footers, more likely. This country, this PLANET would be better off if gas cost $6/gallon. Sure, there'd be some pissin' and moanin', but soon and for decades, the nation would be better off. We'd learn real fast how to make up for gas at not only twice but even thrice the price of the not so good ol' days of dirt cheap gas. Because that wasn't just dirt cheap gas, it's been dirty cheap. We've made a stinkin' mess of things with $1.20 gas and even $2.40 gas. And it's been reported this week that we may not see even the slightest decrease in demand for gas until it tops at least $72 a barrel and $3 a gallon at the pump. (And no wonder: adjusted for inflation, gasoline was most expensive around 1920, through the 1930s, and for about two years in the 1979-81 era. Since the late 1980s - for the last 17 years - we've gotten used to by far the cheapest gas prices EVER.)

Watch the Middle East ease off (us and each other) when we proove we can get along with, oh, let's say, a mere 85% of the gas we're consuming now - millions of barrels a day - A DAY! Americans suck it up in their gas tanks a lot more than they suck it up and do what's right for everybody else and themselvs included.

The only bad thing about pricier gas is that the oil companies are already making obscene profits. And the new energy bill (shame on all who signed it!) just handed many millions more to those self-same oil companies in subsidies, encouraging them to drill. Let me tell you, at anything over $50 a barrel, they're encouraged to drill alright, and at $70 a barrel, they're laughing at the rest of us. No, if we're going to have pricey gas, let's do it the way the Europeans do, not with outrageous profits but with fuel taxes that go directly to solving the pollution problems the fuel consumption causes. Now friends, THAT makes sense. So with every gallon, we'd be contributing to solutions and better health for all, not just wreaking havoc all around us.

The airlines have just announced a round of price hikes, attributable mainly to rising jet fuel costs - and also the summer demand. They want to charge as much as they can, of course. And Americans aren't backing down yet, so charge 'em, that's capitalism. (Can't have rampant, boom growth capitalism and complain about rising prices at the same time - that's the blood of this money roulette.)

But let me tell you. With just a one week advance ticket, you can get on a bus and ride from Seattle to Miami for $79. Why, it would cost you that much in gas to get from Seattle to Twin Falls, Idaho (the state next door) IF you had an efficient car. You'd be paying considerably more than the price of that bus ticket just to get half way - and still have way almost 2000 miles to go. Go figure that one on your pocket calculator.

Sure, a lot of other nations are smaller and more compact than we are. That's not their fault, and it's not not our fault, meaning it is our fault in terms of how we've laid out our towns, cities and driving habits with lots of waste. And the way we're going, this will come back to haunt us and our phenomenal energy consumption.

So let's go smarter. Let's go less. Let's move closer together and closer to shopping and work. Let's make those precious gallons count. And let's take a stroll, take the train - or hop a bus.


At 8/13/2005 3:08 PM, Anonymous rfruth said...

Ya may have heard about the experimental hybrid car that gets 250 mpg

Metro (mass transit) use is down in this area (Houston) yet demand and pump prices are way up so we (the gereral public) know there is a better way but it would involve common sence or heaven forbid putting one foot in front of the other which might lead to gasp persprition.

At 8/14/2005 2:51 PM, Blogger tcoe4kiut15hgbb said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/15/2005 8:51 AM, Blogger John Curry copyright 2005 said...

Ignoring CAFE standards by building SUV's just set the stage for the current prices. But Lawrence is right Tax the S!ht out of it and take care of this planet. Invest in better transportation technology, clean the air, reduce the number of cars on the road, and for God's sake don't make any exceptions. . . looks like I will be selling the truck. lol.

At 8/15/2005 7:35 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

The deleted comment above was ridiculously long and convoluted SPAM, obviously hitting on any posts involving gasoline.

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