Saturday, April 16, 2011

4 Dollar Gas

More than 55 years of living and 40 years of driving and for the first time in my life I paid more than $4 a gallon for gasoline.  It was $4.03 to be exact.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised living in California.  Fortunately I only had to pump half a tank at a tad over $30.  The higher price at the pump has me thinking twice about any trips for fun.

I don't go out of my way to find cheaper gasoline but I have stumbled upon a station not far from my home which is generally 10 to 15 cents a gallon cheaper than what you can usually find in Sacramento.  It's mildly disturbing because the increase in prices has nothing to do with demand and everything to do with speculation. 

I can recall a time in my youth seeing the price for a gallon of gasoline at under 20 cents a gallon.  Heck, when we first moved to Florida you could find gas under $2 a gallon still.  But I think the days are approaching when $4 dollar gas will be the norm. 

Now the government find itself with a growing dilemma as people drive less and search for vehicles that run on alternative fuels like electricity and natural gas.  It's costing Uncle Sam and the state's precious tax dollars.  Gasoline taxes go to maintain our highways.  The government has to figure out a way to make people pay for simply driving or our fabulous system of interstate highways will become a complete mess.  Anyone who's driven between Sacramento and Reno can tell you just how awful an interstate can be when it's not properly maintained.

My guess is that at some point our vehicles will come with transponders that account for our mileage or freeways will simply become toll roads.  It's an awful dilemma.  $5 here we come.

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