The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 April 2004

Your basic viable energy policy

Bruce grasps something that a lot of our politicians don't:

People are asking what the president is going to do about gas prices. I say, "why should he do anything?" Are we willing to admit that we WANT the U.S. government to create artificial prices in the market. By doing so you only risk prolonging the use of oil for industries that would be better served, long term, by moving to alternatives. Not to mention the consumption of inefficient vehicles based on an unrealistic expectation of fuel prices.

All else being equal, we tend to buy whatever's cheapest, which guarantees that nothing will speed the transition to more fuel-efficient vehicles quite as effectively as high prices for fuel. Your standard statist, claiming to be sympathetic to the plight of the poor or some similar smarm, will pursue policies that, were there one gallon of gas left on planet earth, would require that it be sold for a buck and a half, preferably to someone other than Donald Trump. We don't know for sure how long we will be awash in cheap fuel; the least we can do is enjoy it while we have it, and be prepared to move on when we don't.

Incidentally, prices are off about four cents a gallon in my neck of the woods; the going rate at the name-brand stations is generally $1.599, plus or minus a cent or two. I'm anticipating $1.85 a gallon for the slightly-shorter-than-usual World Tour '04 this summer, which will hurt, but it won't hurt as much as staying home.

Posted at 8:04 AM to Political Science Fiction

Prices have begun to subside here too. They hit as high as $1.659 at the cheapest stations in Newnan, but have dropped to $1.599 -- whence they had surged to the aforementioned high price a couple of weeks ago. I tried not to buy gas above $1.60 a gallon, but though the spirit was willing my truck's fuel tank was weak.

Posted by: McGehee at 4:48 PM on 7 April 2004

Top price I've paid this year has been $1.639. With judicious shopping I probably could have trimmed a penny or two, but there's a limit to how far I'll drive to save thirty cents a tank.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:03 PM on 7 April 2004

Heh, I saw 1.499 at a 7-11 earlier today.

Posted by: Aniwarp at 9:21 PM on 7 April 2004

I have to admit, I pay very little attention to gas prices. On purpose, I live close to work, and I don't often drive without a purpose. And if it costs more to drive WITH a purpose, well, then, so be it. There's an explanation, and I'm a consumer. If I choose to consume, I can't whine about the prices when there are alternate means of transport (feet, bike, bus, light rail - combination of all of these).

It's like you said in your comment - save 30 cents a tank if you're watching closely. Big whoop - I bet (pure, pure conjecture) most of the complainers don't clip coupons or watch sale flyers at the grocery store).


Posted by: hln at 8:55 AM on 8 April 2004

Thanks for the link Charles.

Posted by: Tom at 5:38 PM on 9 April 2004