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I've heard a lot of complaining over the last few weeks about gas prices and how high they are. We're right to be angry, gas prices are skyrocketing, oil and gas companies are reaping enormous profits, our nation's energy policy is run by polluters, and our government fails to create a windfall profits tax, a higher gasoline tax, or demand conservation and efficiency or invest in renewable energy alternatives. This is ridiculous.

However, with Republicans in power and the Republican party run by oil and gas lobbyists, gas prices are going to continue to rise unless we the people do something about it. Yes, we need to work hard to elect Democrats in the fall, so that we can investigate market failures and possible price gouging and corporate collusion, but that will be too late. We have to start the change now.

The oil companies know that they can raise prices as much as they want and we'll keep guzzling their gas and giving them the huge profits they crave. What we have to do is stop giving them exactly what they want. If we want to see the companies hurt as much as we do, we should stop buying their gas. Drive less, bike and walk more. Think about stocking up on food and supplies for longer periods of time so we can drive less. Take a summer vacation a half an hour away instead of five hours away. Buy more fiel efficient cars (the Toyota Prius will cost you a heck of a lot less in gas costs than that huge SUV you probably drive now.) Use more public transportation. Buses and subways and trains are almost never filled; think about paying much less for a bus ticket than for a drive somewhere. If we're going to fix problems, we can't wait for government to take charge, especially when the government is run by the GOP, we need to start the revolution in our own communities and make a difference. Let's start a national movement to use less gas and see the oil and gas companies squirm!


Jeremy said...

Unfortunately your critique of the oil industry misses one fine point, they by no means set oil prices. We live in a capitalist society where oil prices are set by market forces. We cannot get angry at oil companies for running efficient operations that yield increased profit. They are no opec who artificially raises prices by decreasing output, if anything the oil companies try to increase output by as much as possible. It is true that in local ares oil companies do manipulate prices to target certain markets. However, the rise of oil prices throughout the country are a result of increased worldwide demand, not greedy oil companies. You are correct in saying that there is no reason any oil companies should receive the generous tax breaks they do from the government. I would say that what the government does need to do is to slowly raise the gas tax. We need to make oil expensive for the country, as that is the only way to change the dynamics. In europe gasoline is much more expensive due to taxes, and that is what encourages the people to drive smaller cars. The toyota prius is still not economical, as it takes many years to pay for the increase in price that the hybrid motortrain entails. If the government were to raise the gas tax and increase corporate average fuel economy standards then we really could tackle fuel independence.

Pam said...

>> We're right to be angry.

We are NOT right to be angry. We are so incredibly WRONG to be angry that it astounds me that people still think it's right. The rest of the world has been paying higher gas prices for years (and we should have gone along with them and gotten the difference between cost and pump price in taxes, I swear to you; high taxes on gas and legalizing and then taxing marijuana would do wonders for the national debt. If I ever get elected... ;-)).

Our gas being so cheap? -- it's a major factor in how easily and quickly we are ruining the environment. It makes people not think about how much gas they are using. And if higher gas prices make us actually think about whether we really need that SUV, or whether we should be driving 2 blocks to the library instead of walking -- even if that money goes to perhaps-crazed groups in the Middle East -- I am so incredibly fine with that I can't even express it.

Grow up, America. Look beyond the immediate present and stop complaining. You don't know how good you've got it. I'm sick of your whining.