I'm rather perplexed at the number of diaries of late complaining about the price of gas. $4 a gallon is NOTHING--they pay twice as much for that in Europe. And before you point out that places like Iran and Venezuela only charge 50 cents a gallon, it should be pointed out that these are prices subsidized by their respective governments. Basically, they lose money for every gallon that is sold. They also have a huge production surplus for which most is used for their export market, hence why they can afford to sell gas at a loss for their domestic consumption.
I may be taking an unpopular opinion here, but I see nothing wrong with oil companies making a profit because of the high prices. In fact, I hope they make even more money than ever before. Perhaps then the average American will be able to DEMAND that their representatives provide better public transportation. It might even force them to think more about energy conservation as well and take that issue seriously.
Instead, most Americans feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to their cars. Even Democrats who should know better try to pander to this crowd by staging these "investigations" into alleged price gouging. Funny, these same Americans who complain about high gas prices now didn't complain one bit when the housing bubble went crazy and doubled, sometimes tripled the value of the equity in their homes.
Where are the investigations regarding the subprime mortgage industry which created the housing bubble mess? Instead, Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer want to bail out the over-leveraged homeowners. This is just a scam/ubsidy for the very industry which has caused this problem. Link: http://www.abcnews.go.com/...
There is something quite duplicitous when Democrats trys to be all things to all people, one, trying to adopt an environmentalist agenda and then telling the average voter that it should have the right to 99 cents a gasoline for gas at the same time.
Ethanol subsidies are another dead end--we could at best, supply 5% of our total vehicle fuel consumption if we geared our entire agricultural production towards this end. And besides, ethanol has priced tortillas out of the market for many poor Mexicans. Link: http://news.google.com/...
We need to educate the voting public about peak oil and its ramifications. Production peaked at approximately 85 million barrels per day in 2005-2006 and we will need to adapt and adjust our society and economy to that end. The American economy where it can only produce 40% of it's energy consumption is unsustainable, especially when it's currency is losing value VS emerging economies (India, China) who are buying these resources.
I'm not suggesting a return to 17th century agrarian lifestyles--this would trigger a die off of historic proportions. Hand and tool farming sustained the global population at 500 million inhabitants between the years 500 and 1500. It was fossil fuels, along with industry and the internal combustion engine that allowed society to progress. It could be argued that slavery could not have been abolished without industrialization. Fertilizers injected with oil & natural gas have improved crop yields tremendously.
The upside of the oil age is a bettery quality of life. The downside being is that it also created overpopulation. The human species natural instinct for consuming and reproducing as much as possible in the first 99% of the history of it's existence (which made sense, considering it's harsh environment) does not work well on the latter curve of the oil chart.
Oil is a miracle of nature, it provides a fantastic form of energy that needs to be preserved.