Americans are angry over gas prices and looking for anyone to hang. Oil executives are hauled before Congress so congressmen can cover their butts this election year but the fact is big oil suckles politicians with cash. Our fiscal policy has not made oil any cheaper, while the American peso slides, making each drop of crude oil that much more expensive.
American manufacturers - and many others older than 35 - contracted amnesia after the 1970s OPEC shenanigans and forgot waiting a half hour to purchase gas with a five-gallon limit. Americans should construct that noose for themselves, since they are in large part the reason that $6 to $7-per-gallon gas is entirely possible in a couple of years.
American egos were fueled by larger engines and behemoth dinosaurs that many bought into while gas was cheap. Sales of vehicles that averaged less than 20 miles per gallon skyrocketed, while these same vehicles rarely carried more than the driver. Now, just like the dinosaurs, they will soon be extinct.
When you consider where our "fix" comes from, do we really want to continue funding Middle East sheiks or South American dictators? The pain you are feeling at the pump is the pain of ignorance and ego. Until we are ready to educate ourselves about "all" energy issues and make conservation an American lifestyle not a personal virtue, and until technology catches up to ease the pain, the best prescription is the large bottle of analgesics or a length of manila rope.
Everyone has noticed the rise in the price of regular gas but has no one noticed the price of E85. If you go to e85prices.com and select Ohio, you will find the spread between price of E85 and the price of gasoline is a constant 9 percent to 22 percent. If I am not mistaken E85 only contains 15 percent gas so, in reality, only 15 percent of the product should have risen since its introduction in this area.
Looks like fraud to me. Another instance of poor people being ripped off. If this price keeps going up, I will buy 15 percent gas and get the rest from my liquor store where a gallon will certainly be cheaper.
Over the past year, oil went up 40 percent, gasoline 30 percent, dairy products 11 percent, and transportation 8 percent. Come to think of it, what didn't go up more than 4.1 percent, the official inflation rate?
How about your wages? With the fastest-growing economic group being those making $5,000 to $10,000 per year, probably not. Social Security income? That was figured at a 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase.
Even if you were fortunate enough to not have used any of the products mentioned above, you would probably be indirectly affected anyway.
The official unemployment rate is 5 percent but they stopped counting veterans leaving the military, those discouraged and no longer looking for a job, those whose unemployment benefits have run out, and those who do not qualify for unemployment benefits. How many are they altogether? Well, nobody knows.
So, what do those who represent us in Washington think of all this fudging of the facts? What ever gave you the idea that somebody in Washington represents us?
James P. Struble
Lately much has been said and written regarding the current oil crisis. Unfortunately, the automobile and the automobile industry have become "whipping boys," as if only they caused the crisis.
Everyone forgets that the automobile is the magic carpet that man had dreamed of since time immemorial. Nothing can take its place. It has formed our lifestyle and our cities. With it, we can cross town or country, and I do not think anyone wants to give up the mobility the auto affords. So where can we realistically conserve petroleum?
I haven't heard anyone mention the railroads. How much diesel fuel does a locomotive consume? The only thing the diesel engine in a locomotive does is generate electricity to propel the train. It seems to me wasteful to have every engine generate its own electricity. Trains are run in many places by electricity alone. Electric trains have been in use for well over a century all over the world, running on electricity produced in plants operating on a great variety of fuels, some of which are renewable, such as hydroelectric.
Please, lets stop whipping the car we love and need and look at other realistic sources of saving petroleum.
Of course TARTA will cut bus service. Now that gas prices are outrageously expensive, many people will turn to bus service. The city wants to cut some of the service because it is using the threat of a cut as a means to increase the bus fare. Oddly enough, we will probably see an increase in taxes somewhere along the line as well.
It's a strategy that's used a lot when the city wants to charge more for something, although a reason to raise prices on consumers is no longer an issue. City officials seem to think we give raises to ourselves like they do. So, as far as they are concerned, we have plenty of money and just don't want to take it out of the jar we have it stashed in.
If crude oil was considered a finished product instead of a commodity, the price would not spike. As a finished product, similar to an auto, refrigerator, TV, or stove, there would be no way to bid up the price, as is done with commodities. Only a relative few people are bidding up the crude oil price and if they chose, they could bid up the price to $1,000 per barrel. There is no one to stop them.
Interestingly, major oil companies actually are two companies. Company A pumps the oil out of the ground and ships it through pipe lines for $10 a barrel. It is then sold to Company B, which is the refiner for the spot market oil price, which might be $110 a barrel. This is a profit of $100 per barrel for company A. Company B, refines the oil into gasoline and must charge $3.80 a gallon, because of the high crude oil price charged by Company A.
This could be stopped tomorrow if the government wanted to, say, nationalize the oil companies. We need to put a stop to these excess profits right now. There is no shortage of oil (most of our oil comes from Canada), only a shortage of backbone.
Times are difficult right now with the rising prices of food, gas, and just about everything else. We also have a crisis of obesity.
What a wonderful opportunity to do something about both of those situations. We can walk or ride our bikes to work. It will save gas, improve our physical and mental health, and it's good for the environment.
This is a win-win-win situation. If we live too far from work, we can drive to within a reasonable distance, park, and walk or bike the rest of the way, gradually increasing the distance away from our place of employment as we are able.
Some people may believe that they are not healthy enough to do this, but there are very few people whose health cannot be improved by walking, even if it starts as only a block. If done consistently, stamina and strength will improve.
Most importantly, walking or biking will make us feel really great, providing an opportunity to think about what is happening in our lives without the interruptions of telephone, television, etc. I am always amazed by the thoughts, daydreams and insights that I've gained while quietly walking.
Plum Leaf Lane
Is the May 2 letter writer aware that "click it or ticket," "light up and pay up" and "smile for the traffic camera" are for the benefit of us all?