Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How about them gas prices, eh?

There are a lot of things I don't understand, but one of the biggest is the economics of oil. If you can believe everything you read, it appears that no one is responsible for record high oil prices. Oil companines say they're not responsible because because they make all their money by drilling and not refining (so where are those record profits coming from?). The countries who have the crude, to the extent they comment at all, just claim they're charging what the market will bear. Consumers who buy enormous, gas-guzzling SUVs aren't responsible, because it's their right to buy environmentally questionable vehicles. Congress isn't responsible, because...well...just because.

So, who is it? Loony Islamic fundamentalists who try to sabotage oil production facilities and bomb pipelines in Iraq? The oil companies? The American consumer? The Chinese, because their booming economy puts pressure on the market?

I think no one has clean hands in this mess. Every one of us is part of the problem, much as no one wants to admit it. If we had a responsible government that wasn't bought and paid for by special interests (including - surprise! - the oil industry), we'd have long ago funded a major national program to seek alternative sources of energy for the good of all, instead of the stupid things with which our elected reprehensives pad transportation bills (multi-million dollar bridge in Alaska to serve an island with a population of 50? Niche museums in Congressional districts?).

Time to wake up, folks. Accept some responsibility. Let your Senator and your Representative know that you expect them to act on the oil price issue...not by slapping a band-aid fix on the problem, or holding useless hearings that provide only hot air and political posturing, but by coming up with a real plan to address a real issue that affects real people.

If you don't, all those people who are making the record profits from the oil will laugh at you all the way to the bank.

Or maybe you prefer walking?

Have a good day. More tomorrow.


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