Who are you going to blame? The Republicans running for president are relentlessly blaming President Obama for high gas prices. The Democrats are countering with legislation to end the $20 billion the top five oil companies receive in subsidies. Why are we paying subsidies in the first place. It' tax upon tax and we the taxpayers are footing the bill. When you think about it, what is $20 billion to the top five big oil companies. The legislation sponsored by a New Jersey Democrat said the $20 billion would be used to reduce the deficit and invest in green energy technology. The $20 billion won't even dent the deficit.
The price of gas varies as the price of a barrel oil fluctuates. Today (3/30) the price of oil is $103.29. This month the price has gone as high as $107.50. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Exxon stated that for every dollar increase in the price of oil, their profits rise by $375 million. That is profits not proceeds in the pockets of big oil.
Let's talk about green energy and the price of gasoline. That means hybrid vehicles. Firstly, the price of a hybrid car vs. a similar vehicle which runs soley on gasoline.is considerably higher. Then you have to talk practicality. The hybrid may be fine for running back and forth to the store or other short ride situations. In a practical sense however, if you want to drive to Lake George from Albany, the hybrid won't make it past Glens Falls running on the juice (by the way, you'll have to take route 9 because most hybrids accelerate poorly and can't maintain the speed limit on the Northway running on full electric power). And when you get there, where are you going to charge it up? To recharge the car at home you can't just plug it in to the outlet on your front porch. You have to install a charging station which costs who knows what. Just imagine the cars become popular and the NYS Thruway installs charging stations at their rest stops. Do you think for one minute that those are going to be free? They might for a while, but as soon as the cars become more popular and more stations are required you can bet that you will be swiping your credit card to juice up. One highly important fact according to a source is while the cost for recharging a hybrid vehicle only costs $1 dollar, it takes five and a half hours to fully recharge a totally drained battery. You can drive from Albany to Philadelphia in five and a half hours.
The bottom line is that we as citizens can do little to affect the price of gasoline. We can buy energy efficient cars and change our driving habits, but when you fill up your car or fill the heating oil tank in your basement you are at the mercy of big oil. Just keep in the back of your head that $375 million big oil makes every time the price of crude rises a buck.