Sooner or later I guess this topic was going to get mentioned here.

U.S. gas prices have doubled and more in the past couple of years.  It must be hurting millions of people directly (getting to and from work or school for example), and hurting many businesses too, which must deliver things and have things delivered to them and so they must raise prices on everything in turn to make up for it.  It seems the U.S. government has totally distorted how it reports inflation because gasoline and food prices alone are skyrocketing.  Maybe the drop in house prices is counteracting that some!

The politicians are arguing over causes and remedies, but while they do NOTHING, quietly, millions of people are driving a little less, maybe trading in the old clunker or big SUV for something much more efficient, sales of hybrids have skyrocketed, and the American people are being very sensible about all this.

We’ve all heard it’s ‘greedy oil companies’ that are the cause but that really isn’t the case – they process crude oil and refine it, etc., and pass along the costs they must pay.  Now global demand for oil and gasoline has been climbing and is projected to climb a great deal more as prosperity increases in China and India in particular, as they hold almost half the world’s population!  U.S. gasoline consumption has not increased significantly in decades.  Increasing overall demand puts upward pressure on prices if supply is not increased.

With producers (particularly OPEC) choosing not to dramatically increase supply, and with constant worries of wars in risky parts of the world, those who actually BUY crude oil and related products in huge quantities for their customers (refiners, power companies, plastics companies, airlines, etc.) have been bidding up the price of future oil purchases, trying to lock in prices, but there’s also some hyping as well, all causing crude oil prices to jump in the last year in particular (to now over $130 a barrel).

But there’s another, bigger, underlying reason oil and gasoline prices are climbing fast: environmentalists.  For decades they have rabidly pushed an agenda to stop any and all efficient energy production, claiming initially it might poison us all or pollute everything, but now, in a much bigger campaign, they have convinced millions that energy production, particularly oil and gasoline will actually destroy the whole planet.  Al Gore declared the oil product powered automobile to be the greatest threat to the planet.

Al Gore is clueless.  Perhaps because the most ‘dire’ climate models predict the planet only warming by about 1 degree Celsius this century, the ’cause’ was renamed ‘climate change’ from ‘global warming’.  Well newsflash: the climate has ALWAYS and will ALWAYS be changing.  Ice ages and HOT spells predate human existence.  There’s many underlying causes, including varying solar activity which even Al Gore has no control over.

So the U.S. has banned itself from developing known vast oil reserves in the so-called ‘continental shelf’ and many other areas.  This ‘policy’ is finally coming back to bite the U.S.  I have no problem with developing ‘alternative fuels’ but to not seek additional oil sources in one’s back yard, and instead rely on oil from tyrants and Kings in unstable regions is madness.

With still no coherent and viable energy plan, the U.S. economy is being seriously hampered by increasing oil prices.  There is no end in sight.