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A pain in the gas

Posted Thursday, January 3, 2008, at 11:03 AM

Ready to spend more on gas?

Oil prices reached $100 per barrel Thursday, fell briefly and were back up today.

One reason given for the price: Violence in Nigeria. Any excuse.

A reasearch group said gasoline consumption in the U.S. is declining because of high pump prices.

I guess they'll raise prices even more to make up for the loss. Any excuse.

The group said oil and gasoline demand in China and India are driving prices even higher. So...more profits mean prices must be raised. at least from the oil industry's view. Any excuse.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. announced it's negotiating the possible sale of its upscale Jaguar and Land Rover brands to Tata Ltd. of India. But Tata, if it makes the car in India (of course they will, it's the home of cheap labor), will buy gas there. So prices will rise there and here. Any excuse.

At least they won't have to look far to find telemarketers.

And a report by AP indicates the head of Occidental Petroleum earns $50 million a year. No excuse.

It's time to somehow, some way, fight back. Oil companies are greedy and consumers continue being ripped off. And there's ... no excuse.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

You're right, David, there is absolutely no excuse for this. They keep saying it's because of supply and demand, but there's no end in sight to their greed. The oil companies raise prices to make money, pure and simple. Same with OPEC, they raise the price per barrel based on how much they want to make. And of couse the Bush/Cheney group is so entangled with the Saudi oil people that there's no way they're going to do anything to quash the rise in prices, or encourage people to come up with alternative fuels. Don't get me wrong, I don't think ethanol or biodiesel are the answers to our problem. But they could certainly help in getting people to thinking about designing an alternative form of energy on which to run a car.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 11:29 AM

The problem is that as consumers we CAN use less gas but it is not just our cars that are hitting our wallets. Since most of the country's shipping is done by tractor trailer companies, their fuel cost make prices rise on our goods. We pay more to go and get things that we are also paying more for. I hope these oil company people are really enjoying all of that money and are sleeping well in their mansions while the rest of us are being pushed rapidly to the "poor house".

That little half percent drop in sales tax is a drop in the ocean of the prices we are paying. As in Shania's song: "UP UP UP CAN ONLY GO UP FROM HERE."

-- Posted by EastSideMom on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 11:50 AM

I've been taking a look at this neat little innovation that could really change things if it goes into mass production and is successful in the marketplace.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/automoti...

300 mpg sounds real attractive to me.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 12:40 PM

Brian, you're right, it really could change things...which is why the oil companies will probably do anything to keep it from being in mass production at a rate that's affordable to the masses. I'd love to come up with a way to fuel a car with something besides gas, then I'd post it on the internet for everyone to download and build themselves and make it public domain. That way the government can't claim the patent for themselves in the interest of "national security" and the oil companies couldn't make me "disappear" before I went public. Ok, that sounds a bit "conspiracy theory-ish", but that's what happens with alot of these inventions that people come up with to oppose "big oil". The only problem with my plan is that it's going to take someone alot smarter, or alot luckier, than me to come up with that device.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 1:18 PM

AMEN!!!

(Whatever happened to our local miracle car?)

I know we have enough makins' for biodiesel and electricity without having to go broke or destroy our environment to get fuel.

(Let's think local growth/production and public transportation,shall we?)

As for the bucks those head honchos get,we have plenty of people around here who earn at least 50 million dollars a year.

They aren't paid that much but they earn it.

Maybe we should try a system some of the business elite in Japan lived with.

NO one gets paid more than seven times the salary of the lowest paid worker.

Bonuses can be earned by increased efficiency,productivity and quality.

"Profits" are not made at the expense of the worker,the consumer or the general welfare.

We have done business like that here,too.

I think that resulted in firms who got rich by doing their best instead of their worst.

I hope we have business leaders who can encourage progress and find a way to make it work for them instead of blocking it for a tiny short-term gain.

Even if you make life boats and flotation devices,wouldn't the people on a sinking ship be more appreciative if you produced a way to stop the leak and keep them out of the water?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 2:08 PM

If oil does not respond to supply and demand, and oil companies can do as they want anytime, why don't they start charging $5 or $10 per gallon? Why have there been recent dips in price? I'm not taking up for oil companies, but it is still a business that supplies a need. Anyone can buy a piece of the oil companies since they are publicly owned. All you need to do is buy some oil stocks and you'll get to reap some of the benefits of the oil business.

-- Posted by cfder on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 5:17 PM

"All you need to do is buy some oil stocks"

Ok, these are the prices of some of the oil company stocks as of closing today:

Exxon Mobil - $93.83

Shell - $84.55

BP - $74.76

ConocoPhillips - $88.25

Marathon Oil - $61.88

The vast majority of people that are hurt most by the greed of these companies are the people that can't afford these stocks. I'm not saying that the oil companies don't need to make a profit, we ARE still a capitalist nation afterall. Oh, and they're charging about $7.79 a gallon in England right now.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 6:56 PM

But if there is no supply and demand, they should be charging that much here. They should be charging $10/gal or more. SOMETHING is holding the price where it is, and it's not conservation from the American people.

-- Posted by cfder on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 10:21 PM

High gas prices affect more than just gas. The prices of groceries are going up because of the hike in gas prices. The wages here are low and are not improving. How are you supposed to feed your family when you earn a living by using your truck. Sure there are gas economy cars that get 300 miles to the gallon that are being designed. The oil companies purchase them so that consumers can't get around paying the high prices. Even by buying a "gas economy car" by today's standards does me no good...I can't hook my trailer to a car. And biodeisel is an idea...but getting the recycled oil to make a substantial amount is not an easy task. Are people supposed to make it with their kids playing beside it, that's safe for today's american family. The only way to get the big companies from raising prices is if everyone decides that they have had enough and stop buying gas for a couple of weeks. That would put a hurt on them. At the rate things are going, the crime rate is going to start going up because people are going to have to start stealing to feed their families. How are you going to like it when someone comes and sucks your tank dry...it has already happened to me on two different occasions. If we don't fight now, it is only going to get worse.

-- Posted by evil camel on Sat, Jan 5, 2008, at 9:25 PM

Maybe thats whats been happening to my gas! Hum, didn't think of that since I dont keep much in it in the first place. Every time I stop at the pump I hesitate to fill up in hope that the price might go down... I know I'm a dreamer!!!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Mon, Jan 7, 2008, at 5:39 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.