Friday, August 10, 2012

Affordable? No. Necessary? Yes.

Just about everyone's favorite subject to gripe about...gas prices.  Whether you loathe them, or accept them, the truth is, you're going to have to face them if you plan on driving.  Over the past weekend, gas prices in Texas have jumped a stout 13 cents a gallon.  This jump is considered a "plateau" (meaning prices aren't expected to rise any further for a little.)  But, "the real truth is, no one knows...there are so many variables at play." (  I know not a more sinking feeling than visually seeing the dollar amount climb 3-4 times as fast as the gallon input.  But hey, doesn't this beat the 4-5 dollars per gallon some experts predicted by the end of summer 2012?  It sure doesn't feel like it.  But who are we to complain?  Experts claimed that gas prices could have reached 6 dollars a gallon by election season, and thus become a huge national debate.  Instead, shouldn't we feel lucky that gas is a little more than half of what was proposed?
Well, I for one, don't feel lucky at all.  The Middle East and the oil trading companies have such a strong hold and monopoly on the oil business, that no one can drive their price down.  If we could somehow manage to produce more appealing and better running electric/alternative fueled cars, we could possibly force the gas companies hand at lowering prices.  Heck, any attempt is better than no attempt.  Another method we could maybe attempt is seen in fracking.  It's not exactly a new-age technology, but if we could incorporate it into an engine, it could possibly be even more efficient and environmentally stable.  
Basically, this all comes down to one thing.  Oil companies' monopoly on the reserves in the Middle East will continue to fluctuate the price for a barrel of oil as they see fit.  There will be nothing that gets in their way, provided we don't have a better way to break the monopoly.  
While this is an issue across the nation, Texas should actually consider itself lucky.  The national average as of this weekend for a gallon of gasoline was $3.66 while the Texas average was $3.49.  But, there is no guarantee that we won't surpass that national average.  Who cares that we own the lion's share of oil that is manufactured here in the states?  Obviously not the Middle East.  Their prices will continue to fluctuate until we tap into our "rainy day" reservoir.  But let's be honest, that won't be happening anytime in the near future. There are only two things that would cause that.  One, being a depletion of the oil in the Middle East, and the other would be a world war.  While neither of those seem appealing, we are stuck at relying on the gas lords for prices and will continue to be that way until someone (or some new technology) breaks that monopoly.  Till then, I'll see you at the pump, draining your wallet, like the rest of the nation.

That's the way Scott sees it

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that gas prices are increasing to gruesome amounts, but I do not think that a switch to electric/alternative fueled cars would be a simple task. As you said above that any attempt is better than no attempt. Currently electric cars do not look so great, which is probably an incentive people do not buy them. Anyways Telsa Motors ( is making series of electric cars that actually look nice, and is appealing to the customers. This could soon help with the switch.
    Also the Government is trying to make incentives of electric cars, due to the problem you stated above. One of them is to give up to $7500 in tax credit for those who buy electric cars. Right now it is an ongoing situation. Recently the funding Obama originally planned for the electric car companies severely decreased ( as of June 2nd. The article also says many companies that were/are planning to make electric cars either haven't made their first delivery yet, gone out of business, or stopped production. So far the switch over to electric cars is not going very smoothly, with a lot of bumps in the road (no pun intended). I .am not saying there are currently no electric cars, but just not a majority, because there are currently electric cars.
    If we can make a successful switch to electric cars then we would not have to rely on the Middle East for gas as much, and people with these cars can avoid the high prices. This will diffidently take a while for a major switch and to break the monopoly, but for now most of our nation is stuck with having to use the expensive gas.