Sunday, June 8, 2008

$4+/gal Gasoline -- The Days of Change

cartoon courtesy of

Associated Press is reporting:
" Drivers are paying an average of $4 for a gallon of gasoline for the first time. AAA and the Oil Price Information Service say the national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to $4.005 overnight from $3.988. But consumers in many parts of the country have already been paying well above that price for some time.

Gas is expected to keep climbing, putting greater pressure on consumers and businesses, because the price of oil is soaring in futures markets. Light, sweet crude shot up nearly $11 a barrel Friday and approached $140 for the first time."

It was inevitable -- the Era of $4.00+/gal gasoline is officially here. And it may not entirely be a bad thing.

After months of debate on the floors of Congress, it seems that the politicos in Washington are no closer to being honest with the American public that before. The GOP wants to convince you that if only the oil companies were allowed to drill in ANWR and off the coasts of Florida and California that gasoline prices will come down. They want you to believe that Exxon will choose to only supply oil to US consumer if a foreign entity like China or India offers to buy it at a higher price. Do you believe that Exxon will turn down a profit?

The Democrats want to convince you that they will one day find the gumption to take on "Big Oil" and their windfall profits and government subsidies.

What neither side of the aisle wants to tell the American public is that it's time to get a new attitude about fossil fuel consumption. Proposals like drilling in ANWR and a gasoline tax can only offer temporary relief from pump prices
, at best. In order to address America's fuel needs Americans need to begin rethinking how they live and even where they live.

While America begins transitioning from dependence on fossil fuels
e all need to get use to the idea of "conservation. We need to get serious about smaller and more energy efficient cars and homes. We need to support local farmers and manufacturers and reduce the need for imported goods. We may need to rethink the importance of saving our small towns so Americans won't have to commute so far to work or school. We need to commit resources to making our cities safe and improving our public schools so families won't feel that they have to flee to the suburbs.

In short, it's time for Americans to get serious about the things that should have been addressed 20 years ago.

Oil is a finite resource and Americans aren't the only ones in the world who have a need (or desire) for it. In fact, the countries which manufacture and export goods have just as great a need for oil as the countries which import and consume the goods.

These are the days of change.

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