Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jumpin' High Prices, It's a Gas, Gas, Gas!

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:58 AM Permalink

I have not started my usual pattern of readin' and surfin' until something strikes me to which I feel I might able to contribute, and that touches me personally, good or bad (though lately it seems things are mostly bad and growing worse).

I didn't have to do that today. As I was scratching the sleep from my eyes CNN had on a lengthy report of high gas prices, how high they might go, why they are so high, the record profits of Big Oil (which should have answered their question about why prices are so high, duh!), and then their report turned to the lack of refinery capacity as if that were the problem.

BULLSH*T. There is not a human being in America, 'cept the little chirrun who blessedly don't have to concern themselves with this yet, that doesn't know the inevitable up/down, back and forth cycle of pricing games played by Big Oil to squeeze every penny they can from their fellow Americans, no matter how much they hurt the public, no matter how high other prices such as food, clothing, housing, and disposable commodities go, and no matter how many might go hungry for lack of ability to pay their ever higher-spiraling prices.

Every spring the prices automatically go up (have to switch blends, dontcha know, it has nothing to do with peak driving times, right?), prices will reach their peak by Labor Day, the prices will then slowly go down, but not quite as cheap as before, not by much, just a penny or two, and the cycle continues unabated to the point we find ourselves where we are now: record high prices that have, in my lifetime, gone from 23¢ per gallon during my high school days (I'm 54) up to the current California prices that are running from $3.49 to over $4.00 per gallon, over 15 times higher using the lower figure.

A price increase of over 1,500% since 1971, the year I graduated high school. Up 1,500% in just 36 years. In 1971 the average cost of a new car was $3,742. Had the price of cars gone up at the same rate as the gas that propels them, the average cost of a new car would now be $56,130 (Fifty-six thousand!).

Yet we still play the same old record year-after-year, the public complains, the press excuses and downplays the price rise and lobbies in behalf of Big Oil for more refineries or looser environmental controls, Congress screams and threatens to do something but they never do, and Big Oil has increased the cost of gas by 1,500% since 1971.

When does the game stop? How much profit is enough? Why should Big Oil be allowed to let prices run amok? Has the price of ANY other product or commodity ever risen 1,500% in less than 36 years? Will we keep playing charades while prices go up another 1,500% in much less time, probably, or do we clamp down now? Can we clamp down or has Big Oil already corrupted the political system so badly that they and they alone call the shots?

It's time for answers, but there is no one in power asking the questions. I wonder why?

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At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, More fuel to the fire....Chevron is closing CA refineries from May to Nov. for maintance. Unprsidented! They are shooting for $5 bucks a gallon. We ain't seen nothin yet.


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