No end in sight for gas prices
A drive down U.S. 522 on Monday revealed gas prices that ranged from $3.659 to $3.719 per gallon. Watching prices over the last two weeks, the highest price was $3.739 and the lowest was $3.499.
With the Memorial Day weekend and summer approaching, the cost of a gallon of gasoline is sure to go even higher.
We have all seen and heard the various network news programs predicting gas prices will top $4 a gallon – a prediction that will likely be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Whether the rise in prices is due to devaluation of the dollar, unrest in the Middle East, the recent OPEC decision not to increase oil production, the President's reluctance to release oil from the nation's strategic reserves, competition for supply from fast developing countries like India, China and Indonesia, unreliable refinery output or just plain old-fashioned greed by big oil companies (or all of the above), your pocket book is bound to be a lot lighter.
And the walkouts due to labor disputes in Nigeria and the United Kingdom this weekend are further disrupting supplies. Couple that with oil prices nearly reaching $120 a barrel and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where prices at the pump are headed.
The cost of gasoline affects the price of everything we purchase, from food and clothing to mailing a letter or sending a package. Nearly everything we buy is transported to market in some form of gasoline or diesel powered vehicle, either by truck, rail, air or a combination.
A recent Wall Street Journal article told how the Saudis are having more difficulty finding new oil and getting it out of the ground. At the rate the world is using up oil reserves, how long can they last?
One of the points Futurist John Petersen of the Arlington Institute made in a recent lecture at the Ice House was, We are at the beginning of the end of the age of oil.
Be that as it may, there is no proven technology yet developed that can replace oil and gasoline products.
Certainly, wind driven turbines that generate electricity, new solar-powered homes and businesses and hybrid cars are a step in the right direction.
Blending ethanol with gasoline will help, but in the long run oil supplies will still dwindle, prices will rise and our dollars (including those from the government's economic stimulus payouts) will end up in the hands of countries that are, for the most part, our adversaries.
It's hard to find any good news in this picture, except for big oil company executives and large shareholders of oil company stocks.
And, don't forget the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere that most scientists believe are causing global warming and melting the polar ice caps at an alarming rate.
So, the future appears bleak with no letup in sight for consumers. Will we still be able to afford those summer vacation jaunts to the shore or long drives to visit Auntie May?
Perhaps the winners of the November election will come up with some new ideas for alternative fuel initiatives and the energy to promote them.