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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

This gouge is bleeding gas

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My story is like so many others. I was standing there, minding my own business, when I'm told if I need gas I had better go and get some before the price goes any higher. My response, like it is to most things, was "huh?"

Then my cell phone rang. On the other line was a frantic co-worker telling me to go and get a picture of the lines at the local gas stations. Once again my response was, "huh?" Although now I was beginning to worry since my low fuel light had been on for the last few days.

Quickly I got in my vehicle and drove to the nearest gas station only to see that the line was about four to five cars at each pump. People, including myself, were angry and disgusted at what had happened.

I consider myself an average guy and like many of you readers I sure don't understand a lot about the oil and gas business. But, why did the price of gas increase before Hurricane Ike even hit Texas? I would understand if gas prices went up because Hurricane Ike destroyed some major oil facilities but to raise it before anything even happens is just taking advantage of the consumer.

Heaven forbid if Hurricane Ike came ashore and didn't damage any of the oil facilities. Oh wait, according to news reports, early indications showed no major damage to energy infrastructure and only minor repairs were needed. Well, I sure am glad the thieves who set the gas prices took those precautions and charged us an arm and leg. Looks like everything worked out perfect for them.

If I had a nickel every time I heard the word "gouging" the last few days I wouldn't have to sell my house to pay for my next tank of gasoline. Now I know what eye gouging is but price gouging I am less clear on. So are most people because when I did a search for what exactly price gouging is all I got was a lot of double talk and people's opinions.

When you are sitting at a gas station and see a fuel truck pull in and fill-up the tanks, I can expect to see an increase in the price. But when you see them raise that price an hour later with the same fuel that to me is price gouging. When you see thieves raise the price of gas 50 cents or more in 12 hours, that is price gouging to me. And thieves who price gouge should have to bunk next to Big Ray in prison and explain to him why what they did isn't price gouging.

But let's be honest. The price of gasoline has been outrageous since 9/11 and it isn't going to get any better. We've proven that we will pay whatever the price to fill up our gas-guzzling SUVs and hot rod cars. And who can blame the gas companies for setting their prices high and trying to make as much money as possible? We would do that in any line of business. I'm sure if we thought we could sell newspapers at $5 a pop we would. Unfortunately, nobody would buy it at that.

I'm just the same as everyone else. I complain about the gas prices but I don't do anything about it. I would love to ride a bike back-and-forth to work but a.) that would require way too much effort and b.) since I live in Sikeston I really don't want to stray too far from home on a bike for the safety issue and c.) once again it would require way too much effort.

And I'm tired of hearing the Democrats blame the Republicans and vice versa. When you have a Republican president and Democratic Congress guess what, they're both to blame. I believe it is what my history teacher used to call checks and balances.

But at least we can look on the bright side. With higher gas prices there will be fewer people on the road, at least in theory. Fewer people on the road makes it easier on the environment which in turn helps saves glorious Mother Earth for our great-great-great-great-grandchildren. So I guess you can say that oil companies are doing their part to save earth. And you can bet I'll be thinking just that the next time I have to watch the price of gas spin upward like a slot machine.

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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins