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Don't Rush Me

Gas prices really bum me out . . . so who do I blame?

Evil corporate types or an over-stepping, tyrannical buzz-kill government?

August 08, 2012 - Has anybody ever done a study of the infrastructure the American petroleum pipeline?

I swear there is at least one a year that bursts, blows or leaks and it is always a fast acting leak, too. As soon as that sucker blows, prices jump 30 cents a gallon.

What was it, last Thursday, that gas prices at some local service stations was over (let me type that again: OVER) $4 a gallon.

I hopped on line and googled "gas prices" and came up with this from the Chicago Trib:

" . . . That's due in part to a ruptured pipeline that spilled 1,000 barrels of crude oil onto a Wisconsin field before shutting down and cutting off a key supply of oil to the region.

"The blame also lies with several Midwestern oil refineries that ratcheted back production because of temporary and unrelated problems at those plants, experts say."

And, then this from Wall Street Journal reporter Drew Johnson:

" . . .Put this all together, and government makes far more from gas sales than all of the oil companies put together.

Exxon, for example, made only seven cents per gallon of gasoline in 2011. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 50 cents per gallon that federal, state and local governments rake in on an average gallon of gas pumped in the U.S.

"Most people have to drive—whether to work, to the grocery store, to pick up kids from school or for dozens of other reasons. For some families struggling to make ends meet, paying 50 cents per gallon in taxes may be the difference between driving to work and putting dinner on the table.

"So the next time you begin to blame oil companies, speculators or service stations for high gas prices, remember that no one gets richer off of gasoline than government."

* * *

I know, I know . . . depending on what side of your brain you think with depends on who you chose to blame for gas pricing.

If you am a lefty, your blinders lead you to blame evil corporate types. If you swing to the right, you zero-in on a tyrannical government.

Thankfully, your hero (that would be me) is an ambidextrous thinker. Both sides of the sticky gray stuff inside my cranium came to an agreement and two conclusions.

1. Everybody needs to stop pointing fingers at the other guy and start looking in the mirror as to why gas prices are high . . .

2. . . . because everybody is to blame, stop bashing the other guy and start solving the problem.

and bonus point #3. I really don't care whose fault it is. Gas prices near $4 a gallon, really bum me out!

* * *

A few weeks ago I wrote about electrical problems following me and I speculated about some special powers my body has. I wrote up a follow up, discussing our nation's power infrastructure.

I received a few reader notes calling me names, like "Static Kling" and "Klingon" and the following:


Some suggestions to go along with your new "Power."

How 'bout - calling yourself Shock Wave or if you ever have to diet you can call yourself Electrolight

You can also start to include your new "power" in your day to day conversations:

Hi ! "Watts up ?", " I saw your uncle the other day - how's you amp been doing?", "Boy that sure was funny, do you know any other jolts? ", "It's unexplainable, but when I went out to buy a new car I decided to get a Volt?", "When you leave work do you drive ohm ?"

Joe Gretka

Formally from Leonard

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at:
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