America is its own enemy concerning gas prices

The Squawkbox has been full of comments and complaints about the high price of gasoline and the newspaper has headlines about the rising price of a barrel of Sweet Texas Crude. Prices now are pushing $4 a gallon and are predicted to surpass $4 in the coming months, which may derail our fragile economic recovery.

As always, we are following the human tradition of blaming someone else (generally, whoever is currently living in the White House) for something we created by demanding things we want, i.e., more powerful cars.

Our gasoline prices are created just like the current situation in Greece where Greeks are blaming their government for the austerity measures required to keep them in the European Union because they went on a spending spree for years, busting their budget.

But guess what? We could lower gas prices. With just a few adjustments, gas prices could easily be in the 50 cent to $1 range. Not only could prices be lower, the other benefits would include lower toxic emissions, lower commodity utilization, lower traffic death rate and injuries and much more. There would, of necessity, be some sacrifices.

So, how do we get to these lower gasoline prices in just a few years? Alas, it would require action by Congress to pass yet another law. A simple law. It would read something like this: All road vehicles can have no more than 100 horsepower.

Will that happen? Not likely. The politicians, industry, and drivers would not let it happen-at least not until prices reach the $10 to $20 a gallon range. To quote Walt Kelly’s Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”




waltspecht 3 years, 7 months ago

The origional VW 36 HP got around 40 MPG. The Austin Healy Sprite got 36 MPG. The Mercedes 180 D got close to 50 MPG when driven correctly. The origional VW diesel Rabbit got 45 MPG and with a BIA turbo installed 60 MPG. All had manual transmissions and no air conditioning. Vespa and Lambretta scooters got close to 100 MPG and were a joy in city traffic. If they could do it then, why can't we do it now? Remember when no one but the very rich drove their kids to school every day? Remember when students couldn't drive cars onto school property, and a lack of parking kept those that had cars from bringing them to school? Plus school activities were set up to not require a car to attend them. Your right Bill, we are spoiled roten


QUIK 3 years, 6 months ago

For sure Mr. Bates is on to something. I would like to take it little further, to ask what are other developed countries doing about energy and the higher cost of crude? I believe they are going full force into electric cars (China for sure). China reminds me of what I have been telling my son for years ("Don't keep making the same mistakes that I have made, but try to make new ones") and they have learned from America's energy dependence. Does anyone besides me think that the time has arrived to develop a source of transportation beyond pouring gasoline into a motorized vehicle?


Janine_O 3 years, 2 months ago

Many consumers have been feeling the pain of this high gas prices, and it's getting more expensive. A number of people are not happy about it. Regrettably, because of how the petroleum industry works, there is very little to actually do about it.


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