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10 July, 2008 - A Common Sense Solution

I’m sure that most of you, and probably all of you, share the same frustration and anger that I feel every time I pull up to a gas pump these days. My most recent stop in the Chicago area, Regular gasoline, $4.39 a gallon; well over $70.00 to fill the tank on my vehicle. I hear the experts say “Well, we are going to have to live with it. It is supply - demand, growing demand around the world and a limited supply. So, you are going to have to live with it, American drivers.”

But I decided that over the 4th of July weekend, I would conduct my one-person rebellion against high gasoline prices that come from foreign oil. I arrived home from work Thursday night and didn’t have to go back to the studio/office until Monday morning, and from Thursday night to Monday morning I put exactly twelve miles on my car. I probably burned 1-2 gallon of that expensive gasoline, and it felt good.
I did the cookouts at home; watched the fireworks from Washington, DC on television, and didn’t really drive anywhere.

But there’s more to the story because I felt even better on the Wednesday after the 4th of July when I discovered I wasn’t alone. The weekly petroleum inventory report showed that despite analyst expectations of a draw-down of 200,000 barrels of gasoline over the 4th of July week, we had an increase of 900,000 barrels of gasoline! I wasn’t alone in my one person rebellion. It does prove that we can cut our dependence on oil, if we make a concerted effort to do it.

I recently spoke to a meeting of agricultural engineers and to get their attention at the outset, I said “I have a short message. Let’s work together to ban ethanol from the planet, and we’ll no longer have hurricanes, diarrhea, sore throats, hunger, starvation or high food prices, because ethanol is the reason all of that happens.” I got their attention and then I quickly suggested that we tell all the ethanol critics and opponents that they should transfer all of these reasons to the real culprit, expensive foreign oil, because in my opinion that is where we find the root of all the challenges our economy is facing at the moment.

If every visit to the pump doesn’t drive us to turn to alternative sources of energy; nuclear, solar, wind, soy-diesel, ethanol; something renewable that we can produce annually in this country, then we will be at the mercy of foreign oil producers forever. My message to the presidential candidates...the first one who promises a crash program to pay more than lip service to seriously work on the energy crisis in this country gets my vote!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.


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