Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Gas prices go up. So Dubya decides to ease environmental restrictions (global warming is bunk anyway, right?) to keep prices lower this summer.
What will get a majority of people to conserve gas, buy fuel efficient cars, carpool, use public transit? High gas prices (see the 1970s).
Easing the environment rules will allow refiners greater flexibility in providing oil supplies since they will not have to use certain additives such as ethanol to meet clean air standards. The suspension of oil purchases for the federal emergency oil reserve is likely to have only modest impact since relative little extra oil will be involved.
The high cost at the pump has turned into a major political issue, with Democrats and Republicans blaming each other for a problem that is largely out of Congress' control. Republicans are worried that voters paying more than $3 per gallon would punish the party in power. Democrats want to make that happen.
Yeah. Good. Let's play the blame game like a bunch of damn grade schoolers arguing over who has to get the ball that was kicked over the fence into the face of the neighborhood Mean Dog. Such long-term planning made by those concerned with the well-being of their Nation and People!
The president said Democrats in the past have urged higher taxes on fuel and price caps to control fuel expenses, but he said neither approach works. Instead, he called for increased conservation, an expansion of domestic production and increased use of alternative fuels like ethanol.
Once again, what will promote conservation? High prices at the pumps! Gotta get them lazy people out of their cars.
Portland is a good example (more so than most places in this country that I've seen) of a city with a population whose majority is not only concerned about the environment, but is doing something to back up their words (granted, a lack of funds may also contribute): I've never seen so many people getting around in something that is not their car: buses, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, roller SKAtes, and shockingly enough...on FOOT! Crazy, I know.
There are also investigations being opened to make sure Bad People aren't doing Bad Things to make more money:
"Consumers around the nation have expressed concerns about what they have perceived as anticompetitive or otherwise unfair conduct by the world's major oil companies," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. Their letter said federal agencies had substantially increased efforts to monitor, detect and prevent any violations of the law.
Not that I expect high moral values from oil companies, but come on. How do our gas prices compare to prices around the world? Let's look:
|Nation||City||Price in USD Regular/Gallon|
|Puerto Rico||San Juan||$1.74|