Thursday, May 17, 2007


Pump it Up

$3.24 at the Mobile and $3.27 at the Shell. Gas prices keep going up and Attorney General Blumenthal is pounding his chest, threatening to sue oil companies for price gorging. I take out my bike, spend hundreds of dollars replacing the chain and gears, and then promptly get back in my car. My dad drives an extra 15 minutes to a gas station that is five cents cheaper than the one he passes on his way home. While I'd prefer to keep my money, I'm not convinced that the rise in gas prices is a bad thing.

We're lazy Americans. Most of us claim to care about the environment, but a quarter of the "green" folk who buy hybrids also own SUVs. Only eight percent of Americans carpool. The buses to the high school remain half empty, as parents shuttle their 14 year olds back and forth each day. We don't really care about the environment.

If this gas hike continues, maybe we'll be forced to reconsider how and what we drive. I think this is the only way American society will reshape our relationship with oil. We can't have it both ways. We can't point out the inequity with which we get involved in Middle Eastern conflicts compared to African conflicts when we demand the oil. We can't scream about green house emissions when we demand the oil.

Really, we have a pretty sweet deal here. In Europe the average price is over $6/gallon. True, their public transportation systems are frequently better, but we can work towards that too. It's simple supply and demand.

This summer I'll be biking to work. I'd like to say that this is my hippie streak, but I'm just a cheap American whose not willing to pay the price for gas.


sptmck said...

It's your hippie streak: the first step is admitting you are.

IC said...

Kindel, this is the second straight week we're in complete agreement. I regularly tout higher gas prices.

A difference, I assume, is that I'd want to funnel the profits made from a higher gas tax back into society - say schools, health care, and all the other helpful things liberals believe in.

Still, our premise is identical. We know better than the American people how to regulate their money. You sound like a liberal to me!