Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Gas Prices

I have seen gas prices move from about $2.41 to $2.59 per gallon over this week alone. That's a 7% increase. The good news is that when the economy crashes next month, gas prices will fall again. Both sides have idiotic solutions to the crisis. The green types say drive less. Sorry, but I need to drive to work so that I can have nice things like food and lights. About 97% of my driving is work related these days. I consider it a tax for people who live in Rome and can't possibly find a job here. Buying a hybrid/electric/wesson powered car is also stupid, as it would cost much more than buying expensive gas.

The other side would say high gas prices are a sign of progress. To those people I would like to note that I can change my party affiliation at any time. New refineries are years away and ANWR won't even be tapped for a decade.

What can we do? I have two ideas that could be implemented immediately.

1. Cash discounts. I'm not a fan of credit cards and now I'm actively against them. Credit card use by gas buyers and their associated fees charged to gas stations have "forced" them to raise gas prices even more to compensate. Why don't they give a cash discount? If Visa and Mastercard want to screw merchants, they should reward those of us who shop the old fashioned way.

2. One national grade of gas. There are less than 150 refineries in the country and they're running at nearly 100% capacity all the time. Problems this week are leading to the gas price explosion. Each state gets to set its own stadards. We have California botique gas, New York's "MTBE, oops, now we have to add ethanol" blend and the nice polluting gas in the west. There's also the summer and winter blends. I think the feds should step in and recommend a very clean but uniform standard. And if Californai isn't happy with it, they can build a refinery for their own crazy gas.


  • At August 14, 2005 7:58 PM, Blogger Martin said…

    I would suggest we use BP gas as a standerd. Its really awesome for your car.

  • At August 21, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger Craig said…

    I think you've hit on something with the "boutique" gas statement. The government's attemtpt to regulate gasoline usage has resulted in a patchwork of conflicting and ultimately unsuccessful laws.

    A few years ago, Congress determined that gas should be injected with MTBE to increase mileage. Whoops, the MTBE leaked out of the tanks and contaminated the water. Now attention in Washington has been turned towards whether or not we should protect the manufacturers of MTBE against lawsuits -- we should.

    Congress should just stay out of it. Gas prices are probably destined to rise. But at the same time, there's an incredible amount of exploration going on in an attempt to cash in on the profits that can be made now.

    In a couple years we'll likely see gas prices drop -- albeit not back to 1.25/gallon prices. But we can take care of this on our own.

    We don't need Congress to pass laws about oil usage. When it gets too expensive I might even take the (gasp) subway to work -- if it went there. In the meantime, I'll just pay the 2.65/gallon. It's my decision.

    Why Hillary or Chuck should have to come to my aid escapes me. If gas gets even more expensive (and the train still doesn't go past my work) I might even buy a hybrid (double-gasp) --- or maybe not.

    We'll figure this out just like all those people who had whale-oil lamps did.


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