Posts tagged: oil

Are Rising Gas Prices Your Fault?

After a blissful period of lowered gas prices, credited to the Saudi oil glut, we are facing once more rising prices, this time blamed on the steelworkers strike and consequent walkout of refinery workers. Surprise, surprise! We knew the relief of lower gas prices wouldn’t last, but what is interesting to note is that there is relationship between the two events.  There’s no stoppage at the affected refineries—substitute workers are keeping things going. But gas prices are still expected to rise, because, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, there is a “perception” of an interruption of refinery service. Uh-huh. So the fault is with those of us peons who think that prices are going to rise. Wow, didn’t realize we had the telekinetic power to influence gas prices! So why do they keep rising, then?

And make no mistake, prices will rise. Despite no real change in refinery output, prices have already leaped higher on the West Coast, where negotiations between strikers and oil companies have broken down. Remember, there is no decrease in worker service in the refineries. The huge jump (65 cents a gallon, wholesale) is being blamed on maintenance shutdowns and seasonal price trends. Interesting. So the price drop we so briefly enjoyed has been blamed on one thing (the Saudis), while the increase will supposedly be because of an unrelated issue (the strike and “seasonal” reasons). And of course, the oil company profits have not dropped.

All of this would acceptable if we knew that those huge oil profits are being invested in finding alternative fuels rather than slipping into the pockets of oil industry CEOs. In fact, I actually would not be surprised to find out that this strike is actually just one more manipulation of the oil companies to give them an excuse to raise prices to last year’s levels.

There have been untold volumes written on the avarice rampant in an oil industry that thrives on holding the world hostage rather than increasing funding for research and development of renewable power sources.  Pools of fossil fuels, while vast, are finite and will not last forever. We need to focus on ways to utilize solar, hydrogen and electric power to end our headache-inducing dependence on a volatile, unreliable oil industry that is itself fueled solely by greed.

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