Thursday, April 3, 2008

The high price of gas and diesel...Yikes!

Before I get going here, I'd like to invite you to check out my new radio program on Blog Talk Radio. So far, I have two shows recorded and you can listen by visiting my host page located on the web at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MyRVLife


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Today's topic…one that’s on the minds of many…the extremely high cost of gas and diesel fuel. The oil companies made a $123 billion dollar profit last year. That’s sickening. The oil execs are completely out of touch with reality…of course they are. While you and I struggle to get by, they drive whatever they please, live in big fancy homes and live the lavish lifestyle. You and I are paying for it.

Gas has cost more than a gallon of milk for a very long time. Now it costs more than a happy meal at McDonald’s. How much more do they thing we can take? And our government gives the oil companies…of all things…tax breaks! Don’t these guys realize that you can’t get blood from a stone? The greedy jerks are breaking the backbone of America while they laugh all the way to the bank.

Just yesterday hundreds of truckers across the U.S. either crawled very slowly down our highways or they pulled over as an overt sign of protest against the rising cost of fuel. On average, it costs $1140.00 for a trucker to fill his tank just one time. My friends, that is absurd! It’s a crime! I did my part: I stayed home…didn’t drive the coach, the car or the motorcycle. I’m only one person, but I wanted to show my support.

The only way to stop big oil from robbing from us “regular” people is to do what folks did in the 70’s. Stop buying gas! We need to take a vacation from the pump for about a week. Just fill up on Sunday and don’t go back to the gas station until the following Sunday. Don’t buy gas!

Little Jane can miss gymnastics and little Bobby can miss soccer practice. It might even be nice to have everyone home together for a change. But, we all have to get together on this or else things will only get worse.

People, it’s just basic economics…supply and demand. If the market will bear higher prices at the pump, the oil companies will charge them. If we take a stand and stop buying gas “en-masse” for just one week…guess what? The oil companies will get the message and prices will come down. We need to stop whining and just buck up. We need to “just say no!”

I’d like to read something to you from the website http://www.boston.com about the April Fool's Day 2008 trucker strike:

Using CB radios and trucking Web sites, some truckers called for a strike Tuesday to protest the high cost of diesel fuel, hoping the action might pressure President Bush to stabilize prices by using the nation's oil reserves.

"The gas prices are too high," said Lamont Newberne, a trucker from Wilmington, N.C., who along with 200 drivers protested at a New Jersey Turnpike service area. "We don't make enough money to pay our bills and take care of our family." Newberne said a typical run carrying produce from Lakeland, Fla., to the Hunt's Point Market in The Bronx, N.Y., had cost $600 to $700 a year ago. It now runs him $1,000.

On the Turnpike, southbound rigs "as far as the eye can see" staged a short lunchtime protest by moving about 20 mph near Newark, jamming traffic on one of the nation's most heavily traveled highways, authorities said.

"We can no longer haul their stuff for what they're paying," said David Santiago, 35, a trucker for the past 17 years.

Charles Rotenbarger, 49, a trucker from Columbus, Ohio, said he felt helpless.

"The oil company is the boss, what are we going to be able to do about it?" said Rotenbarger, who was at a truck stop at Baldwin, Fla., about 20 miles west of Jacksonville. "The whole world economy is going to be controlled by the oil companies. There's nothing we can do about it."

Jimmy Lowry, 51, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and others said it costs about $1 a mile to drive one of the big rigs, although some companies are offering as little as 87 cents a mile. Diesel cost $4.03 a gallon at the truck stop.

Meanwhile in Washington, top executives of the five biggest U.S. oil companies said they know high prices are hurting consumers but deflected any blame and argued their profits -- $123 billion last year -- were in line with other industries.

The threat of nationwide $4-a-gallon gasoline, perhaps this summer, and $100-a-barrel oil is producing strong political reverberations, even as lawmakers acknowledged there is little that Congress can do to bring prices down.

Now…this business about the oil refineries being affected by Katrina…remember when gas prices shot up right after the hurricane? Well, truth be told, that gas had been sitting in the refineries for months. The gas we were being charged more money for had absolutely nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina. The oil companies are just plain greedy! No one who actually works for a living…I’m talking about the middle class here folks and also let’s not forget those living on fixed incomes can possible benefit from higher prices at the pump.

So, let’s put things into perspective. Those big juicy steaks the oil company executives eat, the cars they drive, the gas they put into their vehicles tanks, everything they consume is delivered by….you got it…truckers! And now truckers can’t afford to deliver the goods.

But here’s the kicker: the rich guys can afford to have their consumables flown in, delivered, etc. They can afford to find a way around a shutdown. You and I my friend, cannot! We don’t have that luxury. We will have to pay more for everything…from toilet paper to potatoes! …and there could be shortages of necessities. Not good!

Now let’s talk about how that affects you and I, Mr. and Ms. RVer…it’s not pretty! We won’t be able to take long trips in our rigs. No more cross-country outings, long summer trips with the kids and/or grand kids. We will become more limited in our choices of where we can travel and where we can work camp or volunteer. Our overall quality of life will be affected and diminished. I don’t know about you, but it makes me angry to think I won’t be able to come and go as I please because I won’t be able to put gas in my tank. I won’t be able to drive my coach as much. I won’t be able to see things and do things I’ve always wanted to do.

As a full timer, I relish my freedom to roam and explore. I love the call of the open road. It saddens me to think that one day…in the not so distant future I may not be able to answer its call to adventure. As a citizen of our great nation, (yes despite all the muckity-muck on Capitol Hill, I’m still a red-white-and-blue, all American girl) I believe it is my right to pursue my American dream and enjoy my personal “pursuit of happiness”…which is living in my 32 ft. Winny, traveling all over hill and dale to experience the sights, sounds, smells, flavors, textures, all the wonderful delights that our country has to offer.

So, here’s what I’m asking you to do...think about what I’ve said here tonight. Call your congressman or congresswoman. Tell them to take away the tax breaks congress is giving the oil companies. Contact the RV lobbying groups who have friends in Washington and tell them to make a lot of noise! Cut back on your consumption on gas and diesel.

We all need to be in this together…or we will find ourselves stranded on the one way street going in the wrong direction toward the point of no return.

…unless of course…we are already there!


In my next blog, I'll detail my adventure up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings just north of Silver City, NM. Incredible!


Until next time,


~Barb :-)

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