Guide to Albany
The Daily Take By Jonathan

The Summertime Blues

     Yes folks, it's here.  The unseasonably 80 degree weather we experienced last week only heightened our expectation of the upcoming summer.  The mild winter we were blessed with, hopefully will translate into a smooth segue into summer.  What is here however is the yearly spike in the price of gasoline, which seems to occur as soon as spring begins.  While the price of gas has been steadily creeping up towards the $4.00 mark, it was just two days ago when the price of gas eclipsed four bucks in the gas station in my neighborhood.  It seemed that the owner tried real hard not to pass $4.00.
     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 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.

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Yeah, I would say we have no business subsidizing big oil companies. In 2008, when gas prices spiked like this, Exxon Mobile made one billion in profits in ONE QUARTER>

while i agree that we have no recourse regarding the price of gas, i cannot agree with $20b for oil companies. gas and oil are FINITE natural resources which will eventually (albeit not in our lifetime) run out. if we are going to give energy companies subsidies they should be earmarked for the research and development of new energy sources. that begets the question of oil dependency however, and companies with interests and lobbyists who "can't" afford or have no desire or interest in breaking our dependence on fossil fuels.

I agree.The oil industry gains a lot in every oil price increase.How about using a bike in short distance travel?Aside from it saves our environment,it is a good exercise also.Hybrid cars are cool,I like them.

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Jonathan Mazur

I began writing after a 25 year career in engineering, most recently as a Project Engineer for a structural steel fabricator and previously as a Project Representative for an ENR top ten International Environmental Engineering firm. It was there that I received formal writing education in order to write the Technical Manuals associated with the projects I was assigned to.

My first love and still my passion is for the media. My Dad did a radio program on a local Albany radio station and I hung around the radio station from the time I was in grade school. I eventually did some radio work on my own, on that station and a few others. I read a lot of newspapers both in print and online and I watch the news. In the city of Albany, there is never a shortage of political issues, so there is never a shortage of topics to write about.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, so if you do, or you do not, send me a comment. You can do so by either utilizing the comment option associated with the blog, or you can e-mail me at I also invite you to visit my website at I am a Veteran and a Yankee fan. My wife and I live in Albany.

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