Tired of big oil raking in all this profit while they also benefit from massive government subsidies thanks to the Bush administration? Is your children’s college fund going out of your pocket and into your local gas pump? Maybe you are a tree hugging hippie with a hybrid that used to cost $15 to fill up and now you spend $45. Or maybe you’re a hummer-driving logger who would run over a spotted owl if you saw one lying on the road. Either way, unless you are heavily invested in big oil, you’re probably not too happy with what’s happening at the gas pumps. There is no denying that big oil companies are taking advantage of us. But I for one am VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT!!!
I’m not invested in oil. I’m not a wealthy man by any stretch. It hurts me as much as it hurts you to fill up at the gas station. I feel the pain of the people on eBay who are selling their wedding rings to pay for gas. But I also know this: we as Americans drive and drive and drive, and until recently we had no concern over whether or not we were damaging the environment. Oh sure, we’ve all heard of people who carpooled, but we’ve probably never met one unless we live in California. We drive SUVs while people in Europe are cramming themselves into tiny cars like the ones a dozen clowns try to squeeze into at a circus.
A few years ago someone asked me, “What’s it gonna take to curb our oil usage?” I told them it would take more than global warming, more than war, more than the availability of alternative fuels. I said it would take very high gas prices. How high? Well, a lot higher than they are now.
We’re bitching, but how many of us have bought a hybrid? How many of us have written our local congressman or senator to ask why we don’t have electric cars? How many of us have done enough research to discover that this whole hydrogen fuel cell campaign was put together by the same people who bought up the battery patents for electric cars and then chose to sit on the technology so it can’t be used for another 12 years? How many people really understand that biofuel from corn is a worse idea than what we are doing now?
Until we are paying the true cost of gasoline, including the environmental cleanup and the health care costs associated with pollution, we will continue to drive like there is no tomorrow.
I was at the gas station in South Georgia when I overheard a guy talking about how he was thinking of trading in his pickup truck for a hybrid. I couldn’t help but smile. When a guy who wears a cap that says, “I’d rather push a Ford than drive a Chevy,” —a guy who drives a new Ford F 150 pickup with a gun rack, a confederate flag on the rear window, and a McCain bumper sticker—talks about trading in his truck for a hybrid, there’s hope for us all.