April 20, 2006


Drivers curb use as gas goes up (James R. Healey, 4/19/06, USA TODAY)

Americans have cut back gasoline use in apparent response to increasing prices, separate surveys by the government and a petroleum trade organization showed Wednesday.

Gas use last month was 0.6% less than a year ago, the American Petroleum Institute reported, because "high fuel prices have led to decreased demand for gasoline and other refined oil products."

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said gasoline use the past four weeks was up a slight 0.6% vs. a year ago. Typical is an increase of 1.5%, and that's the growth rate assumed in many industry, analyst and government forecasts.

Cutting back just a little more could cause gasoline prices — which average $2.801 nationwide, up 57.7 cents from last year, according to motorist organization AAA — to drop dramatically, one veteran analyst says.

"If everyone decided to drive 3% less the next 30 days, prices would crash," says Tom Kloza, senior analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

Getting serious about energy (Cal Thomas, Apr 20, 2006, Townhall)

No study or special commission is needed to understand the root cause of growing energy costs. We've known it for years. Demand fuels cost. While there have been numerous efforts to curb demand or seek alternative energy sources since the 1973 Arab oil boycott, which began the escalation of gas prices, none has taken hold because the price always fell back to acceptable levels. From solar power, to windmills, to today's hybrid cars, nothing seems to have caught on sufficiently to force us to change our oil consuming ways.

Here's something that will: an enemy.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced a goal of putting an American on the moon by the end of the decade. That goal was achieved eight years later. What drove America was the "space race" with the Soviet Union. Communism was evil and we could not afford to allow the Soviets to get to the moon before we did. There were military concerns about what the Soviets might do with a base on the moon, but pride and prestige were also important factors.

It is going to take an enemy to break our oil addiction. The perfect enemy is the oil-producing states with a track record for funding terrorism and whose brand of religion produces young fanatics determined to destroy the West.

If we can get to the moon, virtually from scratch and in just eight years, we can become independent of the mullahs, ayatollahs, sheiks, imams and whackos like the president of Iran and assorted other world criminals who hate us and want to destroy us. This will call for strong leadership from President Bush and future presidents, regardless of party.

Various congressional investigations and reporting have revealed that the United States is subsidizing its own destruction because some of the biggest oil-producing states underwrite terrorism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2006 9:59 AM

Oh, Gee. Another whinge from Cal Thomas on how unserious we are about changing our ways. Aren't we conservatives tired of this scold, already?

Continuing on a discussion from two days ago, the current oil market has little or nothing to do with supply, and everything to do with speculators trying to make a quick buck on oil/gasoline futures.

Posted by: Brad S at April 20, 2006 1:23 PM

"Drivers curb use as gas goes up"

Only someone who is totally ignorant of simple economics, (like the staff of USA Today?) could write that headline or think it to be news.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 20, 2006 4:22 PM

If so many of Democrats are unserious about the War on Terror, to the point they really seem to believe all that's needed to win it is a change in the occupant of the White House, it's doubtful they're going to get serious about becoming energy independent, other than a few pie-in-the sky ideas for which the technology is as of yet unavailable for everyday usage (and when you look at what the Martha's Vineyard Dems did once it did become technologically feasable to put wind turbines off the Atlantic Coast, you can guess any other adavancement in clean energy that asks any iota of sacrifice of their lifestyle will be met with similar resistance).

Posted by: John at April 20, 2006 8:55 PM