Just As I Thought

Republicans, gas prices, and hypocrisy

Remember back in the late 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president and the price of oil started to tick upwards? Remember when gas approached $2 a gallon and the Republicans went crazy, demanding that the president release the Strategic Oil Reserve to drive prices down; and lambasted him (as usual) when he didn’t do it?
Back in 1999, it cost me $18 to fill up my tank. Because I was driving a Prius, I only filled it up twice a month.
Today, I have an Audi TT, which obviously has worse fuel efficiency than a Prius. But I also drive less than half as much/half as far every month than I did back in DC. I drive less in a month now than I did in a week back in DC.
And today it cost me $40 to put gas in the car.
Golly, I haven’t heard a peep from the Republicans about this. No calls to open the Strategic Oil Reserves. No calls, surprisingly, to cut taxes on gas. No demands for higher mileage from car makers, just demagoguery about ending our reliance on “foreign oil” and drilling in Alaska, and a pie-in-the-sky plan for hydrogen cars (which will never come and wouldn’t solve the problem anyway).
Not that the Democrats have done a damned thing, either.
Everything in our lives is touched by oil, a sad and troubling fact. And we are now deeply into an economic crisis based on oil and housing that will probably lead us into a new kind of depression. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are being poured into an illegal and ill-advised war in Iraq. If someone had simply given a real reason for the war — we need to take their oil now before the whole planet collapses — at least that would have been honest. Problem is, things are so screwed up there that the oil isn’t flowing.
I fail to see what we can do as individuals. I do lots of little things — save energy wherever I can, use CFLs, walk instead of drive when I have close by errands, recycle, etc. etc. etc… but this stuff has no real impact on our dependence on mineral goo. I can’t think of anything I can do aside from picking up and moving to a cave somewhere and live with no technology, no communication, no travel, no plastic, no nothing.
Unfortunately, that’s where we are all headed, I think. And sooner than we realize.

1 comment

  • The price of gas must stay low if we want the economy to continue to do well. Beware of the party that clams to want to help the poor but keeps coming up with new tax ideas to hurt them. The latest Clinton idea would add $0.50 a gallon to the price of gas. Making it harder for the poor to get to work and buy food and other things that would increase with transportation cost.

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