Monday, March 12, 2007

Gas Prices Approach $3.00 in CA:
I Guess I Should Be Happy For The Oil Companies!

I went to the gas pump this weekend. And I've only got one thing to say about it. It sucked! U could not believe that I was paying $2.93 per gallon to fill my truck. It's so much friggin' fun to watch that pump go up like a lottery jackpot...$25, $30, $40, $50, $60! Holy crap! Maybe I should write my new friend Ed Nabor in Georgia and ask him to fill up my tank!

But hey, I shouldn't feel all that bad now, should I? People in other parts of the world pay more than I do, right? I mean in London they pay $5.79, Amsterdam $6.48, Havana $3.03 and my personal favorite - Caracas $0.12! That blows my mind, 12 cents! I could fill up for 3 bucks and still have money for that AM/PM hot dog with all the fixin's!

So why are gas prices so high? There are a number of factors at work at the pump. Tight supplies and speculators (who the hell are the "speculators?") helped send our prices rising for the fifth consecutive week as California, with unleaded regular averaging nearly $3 a gallon, overtook Hawaii with the nation's most expensive gasoline, the Auto Club said Friday. Check out this graphic I found online. Why is California the only state in RED? Are we our own country or what????

But hey, the big oil companies have other reasons for the price on.

For starters, gasoline prices almost always rise as summer approaches because demand goes up as people go on vacation and use more gas. Refiners anticipate this and starting about now, they begin building up stockpiles of gasoline. If they make enough, and can keep running at full capacity through the summer, gas prices may not rise too much from here.

But if demand gets too high and/or they can’t make enough gas, prices will go higher. Sometimes this is because a big refinery has to shut down for maintenance or fire. Some parts of the country, namely mine, also see local spikes in prices because some states require “reformulated” gasoline in the summer months to meet clean air standards. So you can only sell a specific blend for a particular region. If supplies of that blend get low, the price goes up. I say screw the blend. My truck doesn't run any better because of it. Keep my prices down!

Now for my Big Oil Corporation Hat. The question I ask you is this: why should an oil company -- or refiner, or gasoline dealer -- charge less than the market price? If they did, who should they give all those profits back to? Me? Should our government set price caps on gasoline prices? If it did, why would oil companies continue to make gasoline? Without profit, what's their motivation? You see, the oil companies can justify their prices!

In my opinion, one reason oil supplies are tight today: not enough money has been invested in drilling new wells. I'd rather see oil companies making the cash they need to poke new holes in the ground. And let's start drilling on our own territory. Make those derricks look like cool little Survivor Islands.

Sure, oil company executives and investors are pocketing a nice chunk of change with their $50-oil-price windfall. I know that most of the money I'm spending to fill up my gas tank is going to big oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Iran because the United States produces about 10 percent of the world's oil supplies (and falling). OPEC produces four times that much. So let's get off our butts US Oil Companies and get them drills-a-drillin. Let us see some Beverly Hillbilly type gushers. Let's stop giving the money to other countries and keep it here where it belongs. We'll have more oil and keep more people employed in the process.

Wouldn't we rather have the money going to U.S. oil companies? At least I'm not paying $5.79 a gallon like those people in London. No wonder they drink excessively!