An email rant from my friend, T-Bone, ran through my mind over the weekend when I was filling up with gas for $2.17 a gallon.
Gasoline was priced at $1.85 today at our company store by the office. It's $1.89 at a competitive station down the street. Hear anything about a global conspiracy to bring prices down?
Despite the fact that he works for BIG OIL, the T-Bone is correct. All summer, the morning news (the only TV news I watch) kept a daily update about all-time record highs, and how people were skateboarding into work because they couldn't afford to fill the 30 gallon gas tanks of their SUVs with $4.25 gas. Now gas prices have recently dropped because, just like the tech bubble, the housing bubble, and the tulip bubble before it, the oil bubble was fueled by a mixture of true market forces, and speculators driving up the price. Where are the stories? Since it's not doom and gloom, the media is off seeking their next method of scaring the heck out of you.
Now, if you want to talk about someone gouging you, let's look at the Chicago taxi drivers who are threatening to strike if they are forced to roll back the $1.00 fuel surcharge they got in April, now that gas prices have fallen below $3.00. (Well at most places. I did see a Mobile on Lincoln with gas at $3.29 last night, but the the Shell up the street 1/2 a block was at $2.69.)
As with any game of chicken, someone blinks, or there is a big train wreck. Wall Street isn't so good at the whole "blinking" thing, so we had a train wreck, an artifical bubble burst, and prices are normalizing. End of story. For now.
Not to say that prices won't eventually head back up, and that we don't need to start coming up with different methods of energy production, collection, distribution, and management. But do you really think BIG OIL is solely to blame? Or should we jump on the blame Wall Street bandwagon? Or should we look in a mirror and around at our fellow travelers on this big blue marble?
Carp, that was preachy! And not even a tangent link on 'big blue marble'? I so disappoint myself.