Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Great Gas Crisis

Despite our political differences, there is one thing that most Americans can agree upon. The gas prices really suck. Here in the Cincinnati Tri-state area the gas prices can range anywhere from 2.99 to 3.21. If you are lucky, you can fill up for 10 to 15 cents less at one of the gas stations connected to a local grocery store chain if you swipe your grocery card.

I am one of the lucky ones who has an automobile that can run on ethanol or regular unleaded. There aren't too many stations offering ethanol but I went ahead and tried it anyway because it was at least 25 cents (or more) cheaper than regular gasoline. How can you beat that right?

Well....during the two weeks that I used it, I found that I was actually filling up more often than I was before. It seems that ethanol has a funny little kickback that while you are saving the environment you are actually consuming twice the amount you normally would if you had chosen regular gasoline. So ultimately that squashed all of the "I am going green" feelings that I had by fueling up with it. I must admit it did smell better than the other stuff.

In August 2005, I blogged that gas prices were 2.55 a gallon and that was with my 10 cent discount. I guess we really can't complain too much since we are really not too far away from that price today. Back then I would have expected us to be at 4.00 a gallon by now. Thankfully we have not reached that plateau.

I heard this morning that the gas companies are, once again, in the top 10 revenue/profit generating companies in the U.S. With no one pushing them to build more refineries, they have lots of money left over every year because gas prices continue to stay elevated. I have to ask myself...........if someone had a proposal to build just five new refineries in the U.S. and those new refineries would mean lower gas prices........would I want one built in my neighborhood?

I don't know if I am inconvenienced enough to say "yes" to that question. What about you?

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