Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gas prices

Back when gas was over $3 a gallon, I had told others that the oil companies kept raising prices because the newspaper headlines kept saying "Gas prices to keep going up", so what could the gas companies do other than raise prices? Well, you think that the media would have learned their lesson from that whole experience, but what do they go and do?

They saw that the prices were getting higher - REALLY high, actually - so they go and foolishly run headlines that say "Gas prices reaching record high". Well again, what could the oil companies do but keep up with the headlines? Up the prices went, to record levels. This was a whole vicious circle that only benefited the pocketbooks of the oil companies, so to you media guys: Knock it off!

Lately, however, gas prices have started to come down. One Shell station near me has actually reached $1.97 a gallon. I haven't seen prices that low in quite a long while. Headlines have been saying "Prices continue to go down". See, that's what they should be doing. Upcoming headlines now need to say "Prices reaching lowest level in years" so that the oil companies will feel compelled to honor that headline.

Okay, I've had my fun. :0)

You ever notice, though, that when prices DO go down, the spokesfolks of these oil companies will explain away why prices at the pump don't go down as fast as the prices of crude oil? They'll say such things as "Well, there's a multi-step fiscal process from the refinery to the pump. There's various local, state, and federal taxes and fees and ..." other blahblahblah stuff. What they're basically saying is that these various fiscal processes from refinery to pump inhibit instant responses at the pump when the price of crude oil goes down.

I might believe all that if it weren't for the fact that, when crude goes UP, the very next day, the prices at the pump also go up. So to these pencil pushers at the oil companies, I ask - if these multi-step fiscal processes inhibit instant responses at the pump when the price of crude oil goes down, then why doesn't this also work in reverse? That is, when crude goes up, why don't these same multi-step fiscal processes inhibit instant price increases at the pump?

I'm sure they'll have an explanation for that as well, but we all know that they're pulling our legs. They get their money one way or another, because they know we need our cars. If many of the places I go to weren't so far away on foot, I'd just walk everywhere to protest the control that oil companies have on our lives. It's the price we all pay, I suppose, for the convenience that our cars provide. I'll still use my car, but I won't enjoy myself!

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