The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 78
By the way, I pretty much discount the notion that the world is running out of oil;
that ain’t happening in my (or Al Gore’s) lifetime, and it probably won’t happen
in my grandchildren’s lifetime, if I had grandchildren.
Moreover, if you realize that the price of gasoline has only risen in concert with
prices of most other items such as milk and bread and a slice of pizza, a great
case could be made for saying that all the news about oil production and gasoline prices is nothing more than overly hyped excuses for raising gasoline prices
to match the retail prices of everything else. (In the mid-1960s when gasoline
in New York was around 30 cents per gallon, I remember paying about 25 cents
for a loaf of bread or quart of milk and 10 or 15 cents for a slice of pizza.)
Funnily enough, if you consider that all the greed exhibited to date has only
pushed gasoline prices in the U.S. to the point where it is just level with other
consumer items then maybe it could be said that $4 a gallon gasoline is a great
The reason why there’s such a great uproar over the price of gasoline, versus
the price of milk or bread, is that no individual consumer spends $50+ per week
to fill up on milk or bread or pizza (with some multi-vehicle households spending
two or three times the $50+ per week). So, perhaps the gasoline crisis is simply
a crisis of perception, not reality.
Either way, knowing that the price of gasoline is where it should be (by standards of inflation), doesn’t make any of us feel better unless you’re an oil company executive. And knowing that there’s no real end to the world’s supply of
oil doesn’t mean to say that temporary shortages can’t occur if oil production
levels don’t meet real demand or if there are failures in the pumping, refining,
and distribution system. And understanding that $130 a barrel oil price is just
because of greedy commodity speculators doesn’t mean that these same guys
can’t push the barrel price up to an amount that makes the per gallon price
double or triple what it is now.
THE REAL REASONS WE NEED ALTERNATIVE FUEL SOURCES
To me, the reasons to find alternative fuel sources are:
1. To take the weapon of oil production and supply out of the hands of
fear mongers or greedy speculators and those peoples that would like
to use it against us democracy-loving consumers.