Tuesday, August 08, 2006

$4 per gallon

I've listened to oil company folks try to explain that their recent obscene profits were a result of high oil prices, and that the high oil prices result in high gas prices. Now, it might make sense that high oil prices produce high consumer prices for refined products. But, in every other manufacturing industry, when the price of raw materials goes up, profits get squeezed. Why isn't that the case in the oil industry? Because they also produce the raw materials, that's why. Now, with Alaska production shutting down, they're talking about $4 per gallon gasoline on the west coast. I wouldn't be surprised to see $4 per gallon nationwide by the end of the year. And even higher profits for the oil industry. Meanwhile, George and Dick and their industry pals are laughing their asses off.

The price of gas doesn't bother me all that much by itself; I don't have a long commute, and bike in good weather. What pisses me off is that there is no alternative to burning gasoline. A plug-in electric car would make sense for my family as a second car; it would allow us to cut down on fuel consumption. But there is no practical, plug-in electric available. Commuter Cars Corporation sells in interesting kit car, called the "Tango", but it costs $108,000! DaimlerChrysler sells prettified golf carts. Mitsubishi and Subaru are talking about maybe a 2010 model year introduction. Anyone want to guess what gas will cost then?

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