4/13/2008

Rising Gas Prices

Gas prices in my area topped $3.50/gallon this morning. I was astounded when I went to gas up my little Honda Civic (thank God I traded in my '04 Jeep Liberty a couple of years ago). Yesterday, gas was $3.41/gallon. Unreal. Even with this fuel efficient '06 Honda Civic, it is becoming more and more a problem to pay fuel prices. I do a little computer maintenance as a sideline to supplement my retirement pay. I have had to increase my fee to customers as a result. They aren't happy about it. But, I am not happy about paying $3.50/gallon for gas either.

At one point, I had come to the conclusion that gas prices were contrived by the oil companies. There is a part of me that still believes that to be so. I have heard it is oil speculators that are part of the problem. There is also a belief that demand has far exceeded supply in the USA. A lack of oil refinery capacity is only going to make things worse for the consumer. I don't expect to see any development in refining capacity due to environmental issues and the reluctance of oil companies to invest in building since they are making so much money. I simply do not understand how people living at minimum wage are making it today. It's gotten to the point that people are leaving their cars at home and either car pooling (first time for many) or either walking or using their bicycle. I'm ready to buy a small motorcycle myself. It's easy to blame George Bush for this. But, I think the blame game goes further than just one man or one administration. Long term solutions are being talked about as alternatives to fossil fuel. But, that is all we hear is talk. Back in the 70s there was a concerted effort to find alternatives. Once fuel prices came down drastically in the 80s, efforts died out. I hope this time our efforts will find an alternative to fossil based energy once and for all. I don't know how much time we have left to find alternatives. Gas prices are predicted to surpass $5.00/gallon throughout the nation by end of the summer.

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