No doubt about it, gas prices are high these days. But what is the problem, why are gas prices so high? Well it started with Hurricane Katrina. Most of the petroleum refineries in the U.S. are in the gulf coast region. When the hurricane hit, it wiped out many of those refineries, thus drastically shifting the supply of gasoline. With a shortened supply and no dramatic effect in demand for gasoline, prices soared. The U.S. refineries still haven’t recovered, but here is the most amazing part – U.S. citizens did not lower their demand for gas.
Question: But gasoline is a must have, how can I lower my demand / consumption of it?
Answer: By buying a more fuel efficient car and reducing unnecessary travel.
But the problem is, most Americans do not know how to downgrade. We think that we should always increase, and never decrease. Over the last 2-3 years, there has been no significant change in the sale of large automobiles such as full sized trucks and SUVs. Commercialism and the media have pounded it into our heads that must, absolutely buy the best and largest car we can (and usually cannot) afford. All advertisements focus on payment and interest rate only, nothing about maintenance, gasoline consumption, or longevity. So we as Americans just blindly follow the herd, trying to “keep up with the Jones’s” and buying that vehicle that is way too big, and way too costly.
I witnessed a news story that reported the answers that people gave to being questioned about their vacations and trips during a summer with expected increases in gasoline prices, and must responded by saying they would just grit and bear it. We must wake up if we are ever going to see any real changes. I know you have to buy gas, but limit your trips and joyriding. If we all cut back, then gas prices will fall to encourage more buying.
Another problem that is facing the gasoline market is potential pressures issued by democratic politicians. These politicians hope to reverse the tax break given to companies for oil exploration. Currently, most of the exploration expense can be depreciated over just a few years, giving companies an advantage to seek out new oil, and bring it to the market. But the democrats want to take this away to “”preserve the Eco-system””. This is ridiculous, and will cause oil producers to stop seeking out new oil deposits, and drive the price of gas through the roof!! We must not let this sort of legislation pass. Contact your representatives, and get the scoop on the latest legislation that is anti-oil and tell them you want low gas prices, not to save some species no one has ever heard about before.