High Gas Prices A Bargain in the U.S.

Gas prices remind me of the song, Too High by Stevie Wonder from his landmark album Innervisions, arguably among the greatest albums of all time. And indeed they are too high, way too high, but I’m not complaining, at least not yet, for a couple of reasons:  First, they’ve been higher, remember the summer of 2008?  Second, gas prices are much cheaper compared to Europe. Our friends from across the pond in England pay the equivalent of $9.85 a gallon. And if you think that’s outrageous, Norwegians pay $11.54 according to a CNN report.

Europeans have always paid a higher price at the pump, but have learned to adapt by driving smaller more fuel efficient manual transmission cars.  Generally speaking, European mass transit systems are more heavily used than America’s mass transit system.  High speed rail is a more common mode of conveyance than say Amtrak in the states, and much faster.  While the pump price is higher, folks in Europe are less dependent on fossil fuels and more likely to walk or bike, and are far less prone to obesity than Americans.

The answer to high gas prices in America is not to drill, mine and frack the oil out of the ground.  Rather, the solution is to adopt a sensible national energy policy, one that invests in alternative forms of clean energy like wind, solar and biomass.  Let’s stop spreading the myth of clean coal, and safe nuclear power. Mass transit systems need to be developed and strengthened from coast to coast, city to city to encourage increased ridership on hybrid buses, subways and high speed rail. More car pooling systems should be organized, and highway lanes devoted to efficient transport.

Rather than subsidizing the big oil companies, why not incentivize Americans to walk and bike more or to use electric plug-in rentals for the times when a car is an absolute necessity? School buses need to be retrofitted to run clean diesel or on CNG.  Folks who insist on driving 2 mpg Hummers and other in your face SUVs that pose a danger to drivers in smaller fuel efficient cars should be required to pay a higher fuel tax.  The government and private industry should invest together on biofuel processing plants for jetliners. Jumbo jets can now fly on biofuel from used vegetable oil.  Here’s a slogan for a domestic carrier:  Fly and Fry.

Don’t let the Grand Ole Corporate Party fool or “fuel” you into believing that drilling, fracking, mining and more subsidies to big oil companies is the way to drive down oil prices. The best way to reduce the price at the pump is for citizens to unite and pledge to use less to drive down demand.  This would have a positive effect on our pocketbooks, the environment and national security; no need to shed blood for oil.  If Iran blocks the Straits of Hormuz, who cares?  And to heck with OPEC, oilmen with cowboy boots and big oil execs. It’s time for the 99% to stop sacrificing for the 1%. I mean come on.



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