High Gas Prices Make Me Want to Cry


gas pumpThis past weekend, my hubby and I decided to drag the kids to Costco after church on Sunday. We’re obviously masochists, I know. Our Costco has a gas station that sells fuel for about $.25 less per gallon than the average local station. When we pulled into the parking lot, the lines for these discount pumps were eight and nine cars deep. 

People were waiting for half an hour or more to pay $3.75 per gallon of gas. I just hope they weren’t letting their engines idle -- that sort of defeats the purpose. By the time we waded through the crowd in the warehouse store with our 12-pack of chicken breasts and so-cute-we-had-to-buy-them matching pajamas for the girls and were on our way home, the price of unleaded had gone up to $3.77.

Supply, demand, and speculation over the woes in the Middle East have contributed to some pretty pricey gasoline. Let’s face it: There’s a limited amount of oil in the world, more countries are developing industrially, and the place most everyone gets their oil from is, for better or worse, in the midst of a revolution.

Of course the cost of energy is going to go up. It’s written in The Law of Common Sense, right in between "what goes up must come down," and "never stare down the barrel of a shotgun." (You can find this book in the ‘Welcome Newbies’ section of the Republican bookstore, along with Facts Are Not Hard and A Convenient Truth.)

As more countries develop, they’re going to want more of the oil. As more buyers compete for a limited supply, the price goes up. The United States currently imports 58 percent of our petroleum, even while we sit on huge supplies of our own. As for other sources of energy, we hold one quarter of the Earth’s coal reserves, yet our politicians have made it practically impossible to build new power plants to process it. Want to talk natural, renewable energy? Let’s put a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod. Oops, don’t want to mess up the view of the rich residents. Solar panels in the Mojave? That would “spoil our desert,” according to U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein.

We have lots of ways to bring down the cost of energy, but our hands are tied by bureaucrats that elicit empathy using events like the 2010 oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico to shut down progress. The rig explosion (and subsequent oil leak) was not because drilling for oil is bad. British Petroleum was not following standard safety procedures, and they were exempted from safety inspections.

We need affordable energy. We need a way to get to and from work, to heat and cool our homes, to power our laptops and refrigerators and the labs where scientists discover new cures and our televisions so that we don’t have to miss a minute of Castle.

Aside from enforcing safety regulations, get the government out of the way. Put solar panels in the desert and wind farms on the coast. Drill the heck out of the barren wasteland of ANWR. Bring down the cost of energy so that we Americans can do what we do best: Innovate.

Maybe someday we’ll even be able to use our own body heat to power our cars. Like The Matrix -- only with the humans still in charge.


Image via futureatlas.com/Flickr

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sofia... sofia0587

I don't even leave the house anymore unless I have to and if I can walk somewhere I do lol! It is rediculous but its only gonna get worse.

Pbutt... Pbuttercup0625

Yeah, I'm in CA, and you know its bad when you get excited for $3.88/gal for the unleaded because that is the cheapest around.

DebaLa DebaLa

Yep we're at $4.49-4.89/.99 in parts of LA. And counting.  >:'(

The alternatives? You had me at "Common Sense," Jen!
√ Let's put the wind farms on the subsidized nonproducing farms,
√ Solar panels on the roofs of large corporations,
√ Palin on ANWR as an on-site consultant, and
√ Nuclear reactors in garages, so you can power your car
    with your *glowing* body heat 


nonmember avatar Joshua C.

Where is there evidence that drilling in ANWR will significantly decrease the price of gas ever, much less now? It might sound like there is a lot of oil there, but in the grand scheme of things we'd be destroying the environment to pay about $0.02 less per gallon!

PonyC... PonyChaser

Drilling in ANWR may or may not bring the price of gas down, especially not in the short run. But it would lessen/eliminate our need to suck up to those in the Middle East, Venezuela, etc. Currently, our dependence upon them for oil causes us, in part, to turn a blind eye to the human rights violations they commit, among other things. We are at their mercy for oil, they know it, and they exercise that power daily.

A friend who lives in AK told me that most Alaskans are all for drilling in ANWR, and put it into perspective for me. Picture a football field. That field represents ANWR. Now place a postage stamp on the 50-yard line, climb to the press box, and locate that stamp. That stamp represents the drilling field that would be placed in ANWR. So "destroying the environment" is really a misnomer. ANWR is massive. The drilling field, by comparison, would be miniscule.

Our cars are not the only things that we use petroleum for. Nearly everything we use - including those wind farms that people think are the answer to everything - are run, in part, by petroleum/oil products. It is unrealistic to simply say that we don't need it. I'm all for bringing alternatives (including nuclear power) into the mix, but unless and until they prove to be more economical AND as versatile as oil, we're going to have to live with petroleum products.

We should find a way to rely on ourselves and our own resources

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