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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Those ever-rising gas prices

Posted Monday, March 3, 2008, at 9:41 AM

Ahh, spring! Time for sunshine, blue skies ... and higher gas prices.

Those sunny days are, I'm sure, one of the millions of excuses Big Oil uses for pumping up pump prices.

I'm looking at a fax from the AAA Auto Club South. It says prices will rise as the interest rate falls (devaluing the U.S. dollar) and because oil refineries will shut briefly for spring maintenance and to switch from winter to "more expensive" summer blends.

The AAA includes a chart showing the national average has risen from $2.45 to $3.16 since this week last year.

Meanwhile, from our Associated Press wire this morning: ..."Light, sweet crude futures rose as high as $103.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (today), reaching an inflation-adjusted record high."

Boycotting gas isn't the answer; we've got to keep moving. A mass move to smaller vehicles with higher gas milegae wouldn't help, because gas companies would likely use lower profits as an excuse to raise prices (as in "We have to have a certain income level to operate our refineries" or something similar.

Is there anything middle-income Americans can do to defend ourselves against profit-mad firms driven by bonus-mad multi-millionaires who could less about how high prices affect the non-rich? Sometimes I doubt it.


Comments
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I tried to post a blog this morning & don't know if I goofed up (probably) or what happened.

Here is my question, which runs right along with your concern.

Has any presidential candidate of any political party addressed the cost of oil? I don't recall hearing this as an issue.

If someone mentioned working toward a solution to reduce the cost of crude oil and thereby reduce the cost of gasoline, and it seemed that this person was sincere and knowledgeable about what he or she needed to do, wouldn't the voters rally behind that individual?

Everyone talks about health care, which is a major issue. The subject of troops in Iraq is another topic. No one mentions the ever increasing cost of gasoline, which affects not only our driving expenses but also the costs of goods we purchase.

Why is the cost of crude oil not an issue in this election? Perhaps that will be part of Ralph Nader's platform.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 10:22 AM

The president has virtually no power to reduce the cost of fuel oil short term. Crude oil price is driven by speculative markets. Investors drive up the price by speculating it will go higher. The only cure is either reduce consumption or increase production. Either of these will drive the cost back down. The president can't affect either short term. Long term is a different story.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 10:38 AM

I think Hilary Clinton mentioned it in a few speeches in Ohio and how high it is and how the middle class Americans are struggling to deal with it and that government needs to work on dealing with that issue. I don't remember her offering any plans or solutions so she might have just been playing the crowd but at least she acknowledges the problem with gas prices.

I added up my fuel costs for a month and it came somewhere between $140-$160 and that is just me living in Wartrace and driving to work in Shelbyville and maybe going to Tullahoma or Murfreesboro once a week in a mid size sedan. I can't imagine what people pat who travel more or drive bigger vehicles have to pay. I would have never thought I would spend that much for fuel in my life. It is crazy.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 10:38 AM

We actually have access to plenty of oil right here in this country.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/danvers/news/...

Oil is not in short supply ... the will to drill is in short supply.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 10:44 AM

In my opinion nothing will be done about the cost of oil.

Brian Mosely's post & link is one example of something our government could do to reduce the US dependance on foreign oil. however when your top two government officials make millions or possibly billions off of oil, then it is unlikely to happen. In addition one has to wonder how many in the House & Senate are also making money off high oil prices.

Too bad we don't have another TX oilman running for

President<(sarcasm)

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 11:01 AM

One thing I'd really like to know is why the United States government is supporting a monopoly. According to our federal laws, monopolies are illegal, yet we continue to support a foreign-based monopoly (OPEC) by refusing to drill domestically and buying our oil from OPEC countries. We've got enough reserves to drill and supply ourselves for way longer than OPEC could survive without us being their consumers.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 11:37 AM

How much are the top two executives making off oil? I've never seen any numbers.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 11:40 AM

Here are lists of salaries for hundreds of chief executives:

http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/pay...

and

http://swz.salary.com/execcomp/layoutscr...

-- Posted by David Melson on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 12:19 PM

My bad I meant the two top chief executives as in president and vice president.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 1:04 PM

Those emails got deleted along with all of the other things. No problem I sent a letter Certified Mail stating I can get that data back with no problem if they allowed me access to the hard drive.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 2:59 PM

I drive 120+ each day to work

from Bell Buckle to Mt. Juliet.

Just hope it will come down soon but that is not likely to happen.

-- Posted by roadrunner on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 3:03 PM

Then your name is completely accurate. LOL.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 9:27 PM

I just don't like those little fuel saver cars like the Toyota Prius and the like. They are too expensive for no more driving than I do and some guy with a diesel truck could pick the thing up and take it away. I want, but have yet to get, an SUV. If I have to drive with semi trucks, I want to think I or my passengers could survive if involved in an accident with one.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 1:52 PM

You probably mean tractor-trailers by "diesel truck," mmp84, but think about this: A diesel 3/4 ton or one-ton pickup truck, like those people use to pull horse trailers, supposedly can get up to 20 mpg and the engine will last several hundred thousand miles.

Go to Europe and you'll see small, economy cars with diesel engines.

Today's diesels run smoother, with less of the rattle and smell they once had.

A few more diesels are going to be offered in smaller SUVs and regular cars in the next year or two, some auto enthusiast magazines have reported.

If Americans could adjust, diesel could save a few dollars. Of course, the gas companies would probably hike the price of diesel fuel.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:06 PM

If Americans could adjust, diesel could save a few dollars. Of course, the gas companies would probably hike the price of diesel fuel.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:06 PM

*Hate to be the bearer of bad news but diesel is already outrageous!

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 11:11 AM


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