May 23, 2007

So, gas prices are going up, again. I'm getting emails from MoveOn with "$4.00 per gallon?!" in the subject line. They are collecting signatures for a petition to Congress saying "Gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families."

And, then, like a dose of reason, this Canadian blog post shows up on the radar.
Does it not seem strange that gasoline is as cheap as it is? Most people would say it's not cheap, as they're currently flying off the handle with rising prices. They're even organizing gas boycotts to stick it to the man. Of course, these boycotts are absolutely ineffective and fucking lame, as the boycotters are likely to fill their tanks before or after the date of the boycott.

But really, gas is dirt cheap. People manage to piss and moan about the price of a litre of gas, while they have no problem paying more for a litre of bottled water.
The writer then goes on to cite a Canadian Broadcasting Corp article about most expensive liquids. Gas is significantly less expensive than maple syrup, slightly less expensive than a Coke, and just slightly more expensive than liquid nitrogen.

Yes, it's a bit alarming to fill up the car and pay almost $50 for it. But it's made me a somewhat more aggressive about consolidating the errands and taking the bus for outings that don't involve groceries. And it's good to remember that what we're paying at the pump doesn't reflect the complete cost of unrestricted gas-guzzling. While I'm sure that Big Oil is doing everything in their power to rake in as much money as possible before the oil in the ground runs out, I'm also pretty sure they are being subsidized in some way. They aren't being asked to pay for the environmental damage they are facilitating. Perhaps, instead of making price gouging a federal offense, we should be petitioning that Big Oil be fined or otherwise presented with a bill for greenhouse gas clean up.

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