Monday, April 17, 2006

The Evil of Oil...

This is a subject that I tend to avoid because of its speculative nature, but now that oil is generally broaching $3 per gallon just about everywhere in this part of the country, its time to gripe, but just a little bit. Its no surprise that gas prices are currently ebbing so high, after all the price of light sweet crude just crested above $70 per barrel. Prices appear to fluctuate based on need, availability, and production. Recently, prices seem to fluctuate based on the musings of governments in countries like Iran, Iraq, Chad, and Venezuela. What's worse, these days it feels as though the right person sneezing the wrong way will result in a price increase at the pump. This is a precise example. Amid all of these concerns, we have to wonder if this is really the cause of the price increases. Especially when this is how the executives at Exxon get to retire. Under basic principles of supply and demand, the cost of fuel shouldn't fluctuate in such an outrageous manner. In the end, the average consumer gets screwed at the pump. The net affect on the consumer is the increase cost of everything since you have to pay for had to be shipped and the increase in fuel is pro rated for each item to absorb the increased cost in overhead for the product. Eventually, the increased cost of fuel affects the cost of everything we buy, causing a net increase in the cost of living. The average consumer is then the victim of uncontrollable inflation.

On the other hand, Brazil uses a fuel source known as E85 ethanol, which they use sugar and corn. Currently, American fuel uses 10% ethanol. Brazil is self sufficient in terms of energy and oil. ethanol is a good option, and will probably solve the issue in the interim. However, we can't just create a new form of oil, we really need an energy replacement. Until that occurs, ethanol and hybrid vehicles appear to be the best option. I for one plan on purchasing one as soon as possible, if anything to solve my budget problem from having to shell out $30 to fill my ten gallon tank.

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