When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 April 2006

Gas pains

A few thoughts on gasoline prices:

As a New Yorker, I don't own an automobile, but I'm already feeling the pinch from rising fuel prices. Everything that comes into New York City has to be trucked in; virtually no consumer goods are made or grown here, and we're already seeing prices rising and "fuel surcharges" being tacked on to deliveries.

I was out in California this week for some technical training, and when I fueled up the rental car, I paid something like $3.20 a gallon for 87 octane regular at a Shell station.

And you know what? I say, bring it on.

I'm disgusted when I see the Democrats trying to blame the Republicans for the current crisis, and when I see the Republicans bob and weave and try desperate Band-Aid measures to temporarily shave a few cents off the prices at the pump.

American addiction to cheap oil predates the current Administration and Congress by at least three generations. The current leadership most assuredly bears their share of the blame, but American oil production peaked a long time ago; we have become increasingly dependent on unstable foreign oil sources, and no major player, Republican, Democrat, or independent, has done one goddamned meaningful thing about it.

We are now in the uncomfortable position of being a nation of addicts with a pack of psychotics for high-level dealers and raving greedheads for middlemen. And like most addicts, we are deeply in a state of denial about the situation.

Frankly, the sooner gas hits about $7 a gallon, the better off we as a nation will be in the long run. It is my understanding that at around $6 a gallon, a lot of alternative fuel options suddenly start looking extremely cost-effective; there is going to be pain any way we play it, but we might as well try to grow up quickly and get over our extended, spoiled-brat adolescence as a nation... a case of arrested development that was made possible by using nonrenewable sources of cheap energy.

That particular party is over.

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