Straight Talk About Gas Prices
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The truth is, weâ€™re basically screwed in the short term and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Why? Because we as a nation have:
- Invested woefully small amounts in improving our rail and public transportation infrastructure - if youâ€™ve ever stayed in Las Vegas, you know how well this has worked out.
- Remained dependent on oil and coal instead of looking toward wind, solar and even nuclear power as good solutions where appropriate.
- Done jack-squat to improve gas-mileage standards in our cars.
- Allowed oil companies to write our national energy policies.
- Decided for some bizarre reason that invading and destabilizing a major oil-producing country in the Middle East would somehow create magical oil ponies that would last forever and ever.
All of these stupid-ass decisions mean that our demand for oil and gasoline is highly inelastic in the short term - that is, we canâ€™t reduce our consumption when prices skyrocket because no alternatives exist and we need it to get to work. The solution, of course, will come when we develop alternative fuels and admit to ourselves that destroying a national wildlife refuge just to get less than two yearsâ€™ worth of new oil is not a sound solution. In the meantime, though, weâ€™re just going to have to deal with the pain (and as someone who has a pretty long commute every morning, I know what the hell Iâ€™m talking about).
Also, Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t note at this point that none of this stuff is nearly as important as Barack Obamaâ€™s bowling score.