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Cheap Gas is Over – Conspiracy or Fate?

May 8th, 2007 by shawn · 6 Comments

Somewhere, right now, someone is deciding how much they want to squeeze out of our wallets this month. And we’re at their mercy: most of us drive cars, and most of those cars run on gasoline, and most of those cars are driven quite often each week – using a bunch of gas, and needing to be filled up over and over again. The Gasoline Gods have a dependent customer base. What are we gonna do…boycott gas? Nope. We’re gonna pay what they tell us to pay, and dutifully fill ‘er up.

And in case you’re been living in a cave with your head in a hole, gas prices are pretty high these days. And getting higher. Is this a natural phenomenon? I don’t think so. Can you say “conspiracy”?

It wasn’t too long ago when I filled up my tank with $.89-per-gallon gas at RaceTrac in Fort Worth, Texas. Those were the good ol’ days – only about six years ago. In the last six years, the price of gas has gone up considerably – now at around $3.00 per gallon. Take a look at U.S. gas prices over the last six years to see the upward spike that really took off right after Hurricane Katrina.

Now, I can understand catastrophic events causing things like that. But it hasn’t let up. And it’s getting worse.

Take a look at the current U.S. Gas Temperature Map and you’ll see that most people are paying aroung $3.00 per gallon for gasoline. (The lucky ones are paying $2.89 a gallon.)

There’s a lot of debate about why this is happening. Is it simply gas supply-and-demand? Some people think so – but not me. A lot of people are saying things like “Cheney’s lining his pockets” or “Bush wants to make all this money before he leaves office.” Well, I can’t say if they are or aren’t.

But I do see the oil companies getting rich, and I think it’s a simple matter of a snowball effect: they collectively started seeing that they can charge x-amount and we’ll still pay it…and here we are, still paying x-amount+1.

Is this whole thing just fate? Were gas prices destined to eventually rise to this level? No way! This was by design.

What I think is that it’s a simple matter of greedy executives who realized they can rape people. You don’t make record profits by being nice. You know why these fuel companies made record profits? Simply because they decided to charge more. If oil cost them more or if they were paying more to refine oil or if there was some other factor causing the price of gasoline to rise…well, the rising cost to us would offset the rising cost to them. But it’s not.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m all for companies making a profit. No problem there. What I am against is greed, theft, and taking advantage of people who have no way out.

We don’t really have a way out, until someone starts selling a cheap electric car.

But what do we do until then? Not much. But I do have a way you can save money on the gasoline you have to buy anyway. Stay tuned.

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    Comment by Bill Smith
    2007-05-08 04:18:57
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    Comment by PM
    2008-03-13 22:17:43

    Gas prices are indeed become something most people consider crazy. The timing is great for alternatives such as EVs to come on the scene in full force. Zap has a fully electric car that does 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds!

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    Comment by SB
    2008-05-21 19:49:51

    I totally agree with this article above.

    Drilling in Anwar = more oil company profits.
    Drilling in Anwar = our gas prices go to $10/gal !

    Why? Becuase they know they can get it! More greed.
    Why would oil companies roll gas prices back to $2/gal – just out of a “good-will” gesture?? – I don’t think so!

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    Comment by Where Are You Now
    2009-01-16 21:18:32

    I’m wondering where the conspiracy theory is now that gas is cheap again? Why is gas cheap again? Why not just keep charging $4 or $5 a gallon? Why is gas around $1.80 right now? If it’s oil company greed, why did the prices come down? Isn’t there enough evidence now that you were talking about things you had no idea about? Now that the prices are down, everything in this post is silly, short sided and plain wrong.

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    Comment by shawn
    2009-01-17 15:15:39

    Yeah, it’s cheap again. But the prices are rising now. So who knows what’ll happen? Regardless of what you think, however, the oil companies have been greedy. They have had huge profit margins and the consumers suffer. Maybe you don’t see it that way (maybe you drive an electric scooter or you walk everywhere, I don’t know) but the average American is suffering because of it.

    Comment by Jake
    2009-01-18 08:38:53

    Did you catch the 60 minutes piece on gas prices a couple of weeks ago?

    They suggested that rather than Arabs or the government, it was wall street futures traders who causes the last big upturn. The futures market intended for oil consumers like airlines to smooth out their expenses, has been fouled up by all kinds of major investing in it. They said there were 40 barrels traded on paper for every physical barrel.

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