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Gas attack

Don't let anybody fool you. It's all about the oil.

Oil equals money. And that stuff corrupts faster than a bad computer virus. Just ask the executive branch of the federal government.

People should understand that the recent gas prices have more to do with oil-money than they know. Gas prices have risen over $2 per gallon in recent weeks, and that -- easily enough -- is tied to profit for oil companies.

What people don't understand is that we don't have to be under the thumb of the big oil barrens. Take the hydrogen car for instance. It was mentioned in the state of the union speech a couple of years ago.

President Bush said we could limit the need for salary-eating gasoline with the hydrogen car. He conveniently forgot to mention that the technology is still 20 years from being feasible.

It's a popular solution because water is the car's only byproduct, but it's not a solution for right now. Why not do something to help alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels that will have an effect this instant?

(That's easily answered: Bush and Cheney were both in the oil business. They and their buddies stand to make tons off us poor saps at the pump. Of course they support a future cure to our oil addiction. They'll both be retired and rolling in dough 20 years from now. But that's a whole other column.)

There are many things that can be done today to lessen our need for gasoline, but they won't be because there are still powerful people looking out for the business. Electric cars were recently pulled from testing. Why? No one will say.

There are also hybrids for sale. One of Honda's gets 51 miles per gallon, and Toyota's gets 55. Just in case you're interested, that's my next car. If I can do my part to save the environment and my wallet at the same time, believe me, I will.

And for all of you die-hard SUV drivers, there are hybrid versions of those that get about 30 miles per gallon. Not bad for an SUV.

Even more than that, our government had the chance to tell auto makers to sell more fuel efficient SUVs. There are ways to make the vehicles lighter and more streamlined. Both would save on gas.

But if you profit from gas sales, why bite the hand that feeds you. Individuals did what's best for their pocketbooks, not for the country as a whole.

The one silver lining in the gas debate is this: gas still costs less here than everywhere else in the world. I was in Ireland last summer where gas cost about one Euro, which equals about $1.30.

Not too bad you say? That's $1.30 per liter. It takes four liters to make a gallon, putting their price at $5.20 per gallon. Still complaining?

I once said as long as we pay more for a gallon of milk than a gallon of gas, we're fine. That's being threatened right now, but until someone figures a way for cars to run on milk, people will always complain about gas prices.



Web posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005











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