Friday, May 26, 2006

Gas Prices

I paid $47 dollars to fuel my car this morning. I realize many of you pay more but you must realize that I drive a humble compact car with a small gas tank. Because I ride my motorcycle as often as possible I fill up my car about every other week.

I had a conversation with a Seattle lefty about the price of gas, and she complained endlessly about 'big oil' and their price gouging. I told her that she should be thankful as I know in the past that she and other Puget Sound Bolsheviks have dreamed of the days where gas prices would be higher so that we would all pile into buses or take the upcoming light rail that goes nowhere. She has just had a baby and doesn't see the practicality of taking the bus at this time. I find it amazing how 'progressives' are experts in how everyone else should live.

She demanded that our government do something about the price of gas. Knowing this is just a trap and the average Seattle-ite knows bumpkus about real life economics I just let her continue. I asked, "What would you have them do?"

It didn't take but a minute to uncover what it is she really wanted. She suggested finally that the price be controlled. I did my best to explain to her that the laws of economics cannot be changed anymore than the laws of gravity.

She said, "Yeah, yeah...the law of supply and demand. I believe that's just an excuse to charge more so they can take in all these outrageous profits."

Unfortunately this country doesn't have a supply and demand problem, it only has a demand problem. Our supply will not grow without more refineries. Everytime we (and other emerging nations) demand more oil, the supply in our country stays the same. Under this arrangement our prices will always go up until we either increase supply or demand far less.

I can't increase the supply of oil in our country so I'm demanding less. I drive less and take my motorcycle anywhere that I can in place of a car.

If the government fixes the price of fuel we will see gas lines and shortages. There won't be any left to even fill up my motorcycle that gets 60+ mpg.

Here's a tip for my Seattle area liberal friends: Wanna get prices lower? Tell your congressman to let oil companies build more refineries and then find a way to use less YOURSELF. Try taking some of the advise you so willingly dish out to others.


Esther said...

No kidding!

Our government already has done something about the price of oil: they've regulated everything so that we do very little domestic drilling and cannot build more refineries. I don't know why the oil companies are the badguys in this when it's the government that restricted the supply. People can be so illogical!

Robert the Grump said...

Dude, you sound like a shill for the Republican Party. Here you have a situation where there is a commodity that has a limited supply and then there is no more. You have a rising demand worldwide. This product is partly responsible for global warming. And your Republican solution? Build more refineries.

What's your solution for gun control? Make more ammo?

Let me educate you. Using more oil more quickly isn't going to fix the real problem. It will only lower the price of oil temporarily while exacerbating the real problem. Which is that oil is a finite resource that pollutes our environment.

The real solution is lower our dependence on oil. We tried to do that in the '70s during the last oil crisis. It worked, for a while.

You are a known Jimmy Carter basher, but you damn well know that Carter did the right thing about oil. He pushed through laws that forced automobile manufacturers to have a fleet average for fuel economy that got tougher year by year. Under Carter we lowered our imports of oil from around 4 million barrels a day to one million.

Then OPEC eased the price of oil and we were swimming in it. Prices went down and the next several presidents relaxed their enforcement of the law. SUVs, for example, were allowed an excemption from the fleet economy law.

Idiots like Bush even encouraged the sale of massive trucks and SUVs by granting huge tax breaks on such "farm" vehicles as Hummers and Suburbans.

So now that we have the technology to have the most fuel efficient cars in history, we have crappy fleet economy, worse than in Carter's time, and we use eight million barrels of foreign oil per day.

Tracy, you did your part by buying a motorcycle and a economical car. It's the SUV driving @$#@!! that mess it up for all of us.

Take away the tax loopholes for grossly oversized vehicles. Subject SUVs and trucks to the fleet mileage standards. Grant tax breaks to people who buy extremely fuel efficient vehicles. That's the short term answer.

Long term, develop bio-diesel,electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles until one of them is worthy enough to replace today's gas-sucking monsters.

That, my friend, is progressive thinking.

At least you aren't a Neocon. They would advise invading Iran to take our oil back. You know, our oil that somehow got under their ground.

Tracy said...

Our view of this isn't as dissimilar as you make it seem.

I don't necessarily want more refineries, but if we don't address the supply end of the equation then the discussion is over. Pay more for gas or don't use any. Period.

As for lowering our dependence on oil, I'm all for it. I stand behind it with my lifestyle. I'm no vegetarian, meat is murder, save the whales, drive to go see Ralph Nader in my Land Rover Puget Sounder.

I drove the most economical vehicle I could drive into Seattle to bash Jimmy Carter personally...oh and I wished he and Roslyn a Merry Christmas.