Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm a bit gassy

First of all, I have no idea why my last entry is so far down there, sorry.

On to the subject at hand. I don't understand why gas prices keep on rising. Last summer it was because supply was damaged by hurricane katrina (please don't assume that i'm being insenseitive *sp?* to that horrible event, there's far worse than gas prices as a result of the hurricane, i'm just sayin...) Then the "summer driving season" always drives up prices because more people are using a finite supply of gas, ok ok ok. Economics was never my thing.

Some research on the internet yields the answer that gas prices are climbing as gas stations are switching to the "summer blend" which kind of sounds like a beer to me, but anyways apparently the demand for ethanol is high so the prices are remaining high. Wait, I thought ethanol was going to make gas cheaper? They add ethanol to the gas in order to dilute some of the gas with a cleaner and renewable resource, and it's driving the price up. What?

I don't really understand supply and demand. I don't understand webpages explaining how oil is refined into gas and there's a whole chain of events from research to extration to production, blah blah. These things are beyond me, i've tried. Maybe i'll try some more.

But it seems to me that the reason gas prices are so high is that we'll obviously pay them. I drive more than anyone else I know, except for maybe my Dad when he was a DS (Methodist jargon, don't worry about it for all you non-Methodists out there). I buy lots of gas. I hate it. Last summer the prices rose, we paid. So why not test the waters a little more if you're an oil/gas company? Why not make more money if you can?

What I HAVE gathered from my limited economical education is that in our capitolist system, competition encourages lower prices, as two+ companies will vie (vye?) for your money and in the process a better and less expensive product results. But these oil conglomerates are sort of in a different boat than lots of other companies. Gasoline literally drives most of our economy, trucks bring all the goods to where they can reach the market, we transport ourselves all over the place, as our cities are not set up for pedestrian travel, or public transport. The oil/gas companies can do whatever they want as long as we're willing to stick with the status quo-- continue to bow to whatever they want to charge and refuse to stand up for emerging renewable energy resources. I realize that this is an oversimplification, but think about it: Do you know why gas prices rise? Do you wonder how long this will last? Exxon made more money than most countries last year....even though gas prices were rising and supply was in jeapardy...hhhmmm.....

Part of me feels horrible complaining about gas prices while war is going on, while people I met in Mexico have almost nothing, name any other awful thing there.

But it's even more horrible that middle aged and old men in suits are profiting off of all of this.

I hate being a slave to my car, but I am. What can I do? I walk to class every once in a while, ok. Big deal. I guess i'm hoping that hybrid cars continue to prosper, maybe I can get one of those in the distant future. I guess i'm hoping that the US can break free of all the politics of oil, our dependance on oil which 'fuels' (haha) our involvement in the middle east. I don't think it's too much to expect some ethics from companies regarding responsibility to the consumer.

I don't think much will come of this.

Next time my entry won't be so money focused.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The result of them testing the waters is

"Americans have cut back gasoline use in apparent response to increasing prices, separate surveys by the government and a petroleum trade organization showed Wednesday."