Monday, March 28, 2005

It's No Gas

An article in Sunday's Capital described how the rising costs of gas at the pump are affecting the costs of other goods and services. "Record high" prices of $2.11 per gallon in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area (and $2.13 nationwide) have been associated with a .4 percent increase in consumer prices in February.

When asked about the possible sources of rising prices, a representative of the Diesel Technology Forum offered: "the home heating oil season is drawing to a close", "massive snowstorms in the Northeast", and "lower sulfur emissions standards." Curious, no mention of the rise in world demand for oil. India and China have begun to ramp up consumption, and the US is buying all the black gold it can get its hands on. Increasing demand, paired with the fact that we have likely either reached, or are very close to reaching peak oil production augur much more difficult times ahead.

Pardon the mixed metaphor, but we're filling up our tanks on borrowed time, folks. This time last year, regular was about $1.70 per gallon in the DC area, and here's what the price was in other parts of the world in March 2004 in US dollars per gallon.

United Kingdom4.16

Our current path simply isn't sustainable. We can either begin to wean ourselves off of our addiction to oil, or we can have the pump rudely ripped from our collective arms. One way or another, things are going to change, and when they do, the repercussions are going to be far more universal and unpleasant than a $.20/gallon hike at the pump.



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