Gas Price - and why I'm starting to become a conspiracy theorist....

At some during the past couple months I've become a conspiracy theorist - no, not about Aliens, the Kennedy Assassination, Free Masons or any of those other theories - I'm talking about the price of Gasoline. There's something going on here that does not compute for me and I'm going to lay it out in plain English (the good old American kind) see if you can follow along.....

1. Crude oil prices are lower than they were last summer (not much but a little) and they are lower than they were a couple months ago - yet the price per gallon has actually gone up (this in some ways contradicts several economic laws), while consumption has remained fairly steady - but if you believe the "reports" we will see a HUGE increase in consumption this summer (of course they never actually say how much more, instead "they" use dramatic words like HUGE).
2. I travel between two cities every week - one a major regional hub in the US - and difference in the price per gallon between the two cities has stayed within $0.15 to $0.20 range. With the larger city (the one I travel to) being higher. During the past month, that has changed dramatically, with the larger city's gas prices remaining fairly constant, and my home city now being $0.40 higher per gallon. (that's almost a $0.60 change in price, once again does not compute). Does that mean that the smaller city is now providing price supports for the larger city? That if the millions of people in the larger city realized what's going on they would revolt, but people in the country are "dumb" and can't figure this out?
3. The price of diesel over the past couple years has alway been higher (by a couple cents) than gasoline, until this last rise in prices. Diesel has remained constant through all this (one of those good news, bad news things I guess). Once again, over-the-road trucking (who I would assume is the largest consumer of diesel) is controlled by many large corporations and if this group decided to investigate alternatives would have a very negative affect on big oil.

Who's behind all this, the Council of 300? Big Oil? A cabal of US politicians and the OPEC? The Illuminati? Aliens? or some other "wizard of oz" type of person, pulling all the levers and moving oil prices higher?

I have no idea. We've had the last 30 years (since the oil embargo of the '70s) to figure out how to get off our dependency of fossil fuels - especially those related to petroleum (gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, etc.) and we (as a nation) has done very little. We are the world's largest consumer of these products, have embedded them into millions of products we consume on a daily basis, and now we are reaping the benefits of allowing other countries to be the "provider" of this raw material.

Case in point, it was the Japanese auto makers that perfected the electric/gasoline hybrid (another import), while our own efforts of creating an electric car (GM's EV1) failed due to lack of both consumer and government support.

Is there a conspiracy here? You have to believe that at sometime during the past 30 years someone has designed and built an "automobile" that will run on water or garbage or newspaper or even air - but the rich and powerful ( i.e. big oil, US government, OPEC, auto makers, etc.) have either squashed it, bought it or debunked it - before it could be commercialized. That these groups are in essence keeping us dependent on gas/petroleum for their own personal gain (you know, money).

To a point, I'm going to follow these lines of thinking - because since the mid-70's we have created thousands of things - from advancements in communications, computing, entertainment - but we can't figure out a way to propel ourselves down the road better than a gas guzzling car, truck or SUV? I now have more processing power in my cell phone than they had in the largest computer, your iPod has more storage capacity, the simplest electronics gadget in the world is thousands of times advanced from those produced in the '70s.

BUT WE STILL DRIVE CARS POWERED BY GAS!! Why is that? We still heat our homes with heating oil. City buses are still powered by diesel. Is that the best we can do in 30 years - or are there people that don't want us to use anything else?

Does Moore's Law not work in the world of the internal combustion engine (which if it did, 100 mpg cars would be normal, not the exception). And if doesn't apply, then why are we still using an "old" technology? How many generations of the CPU have we seen over the last 30 years? Versions of the basic battery? Improvements in our entertainment medium (think music or film)? But we are still stuck with a gasoline powered internal combustion engine that averages about 25 mpg - the car I drove when I first got my license got about 12 mpg - that only a 1X improvement in 30 years!!!!

So yea, once I really started thinking about it, I believe in some type of conspiracy - it's either that or believe that we're all very stupid - and the evidence doesn't support that.

1 comment:

  1. Arnie,
    I really don't understand why we are being punished at the pump when the price per barrel has gone down.
    I do question whether or not we may have brought some of this on ourselves. I have lived my life in Gulf Coast States and am very aware of the opposition to offshore drilling on our own turf. We have depended solely on the middle east to our own detriment. It is also true that the United States has fallen grossly behind in making advances in technology.
    I live in an area where public transportation is almost non-existent. It is grossly inefficient where it does exist. Public transportation still uses gasoline and diesel, but if we could use it more often the demand would be less and prices could be driven down. Post Katrina (non)recovery in this area is exacerbated by the rising fuel costs which will, in turn, cause the rising costs of everything else.
    We do need transportation fueled by sources other than oil, but we also need many other solutions to the problem.


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