Friday, September 23, 2005

Gas Pains

While it doesn't compare to the actual suffering Hurricane Rita is about to dole out in the south, the pain is being felt up here already. Canadians aren't known as optimistic though. We will grumble and ache about the prices long before we feel fortunate about the fact that we don't have to fear for our lives, or endure heartache and loss of family and property.

This is small consolation for many who are getting thrashed at the pumps. Yesterday saw a few overzealous gas stations let their parasite flag fly high. With the possibility looming that Hurricane Rita may beat the living hell out of a refinery strip in Texas that is responsible for over 25% of America's refining capacity comes speculation of gas price craziness. If Katrina could drive prices to new highs when it hit the gulf coast, then Rita could do enough damage to drive prices over $2.00 a liter up here.

People were panicked over this possibility and ran straight to the pumps with their wallets in hand. Drivers blocked streets and created rush hour gridlock as they clamored to get "cheap" gas before the spike. People got in fights at the pumps and on the streets. A few gas stations helped to fan the frenzy by cranking prices up to unprecedented highs before any real increase from the storm actually occurred in the supply chain. The funny part is that most people bitch and moan about the gas prices while they do nothing to curb their consumption.

People in general will grumble about the gas companies being able to exploit them, but then they will run to the pumps carrying every available plastic fuel can they own. The hoarding will trigger shortages which, cause a price spike regardless of the hurricane's impact. They contribute to the problem and then complain about it. Prices may go up because of the storm damage, true, but we do damage of our own. How many of you who complain about the gas prices could take the bus to work, but choose to bitch about gas prices while stuck in traffic? How many will drive to a store they could easily walk to in 3 minutes, only to complain to the poor clerk there about the soaring cost of driving?

Think before you turn the key. Choose to use your brain and your feet before your mouth and your wheels and you'll find gas prices impact you far less. If anything, take the exorbitant fuel prices as an opportunity to spend a little more time at home with those you love instead of pointlessly cruising around the city. At least you have a car to put overpriced fuel in and a house to park it at that hasn't been bitch-slapped by nature.

Enjoy your weekend folks, I've gotta stop this rant before it gets more out of control than the gas consuming public. Let's all remember our fellow bloggers down in Texas and the like shall we?
Denny Shane and his family
Carol's family and baby Rachel
And many more who may be affected by this.....


Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Great post, Rainypete! I know yesterday, as I was driving home from work, they had already started lining up at the gas pumps.

It's scary.

8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

I live out in the boonies and there is no public transportation out here. I think there needs to be a better plan for these evacuations. It's like they say, 'everybody leave,' and then it turns into a stampede. There has got to be a better way.

8:47:00 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

the only real thing I am sad about is, that my husband came home an hour late last night because traffic was so bad with queued folks getting gas. I honestly feel its a crock that we are being charged these fees for gas, the gas co's are opportunistic assholes if you ask me.

9:59:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

That picture looks oddly familiar...

I was peeved yesterday only because amidst this rumour of gass hikes, I was literally OUT OF GAS! I NEEDED gas. Not a top-up, not in my red container.

I needed tit to get home to park the car so I wouldn't use it!

Besides, my Metro uses less gas, and any price increase has a negligable effect on my gas prices.

12:34:00 PM  
Blogger dan said...

once again, you are right on the mark.

1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

I like to laugh at people who panic over gas. Har har! It's GAS. It's not food. Hopefully high gas prices will encourage people to walk, bike, and take public transportation. Bus fares haven't gone up.

1:11:00 PM  
Blogger sands of time said...

I noticed yesterday how much less gas i was getting for my money.
I hope Denny and Carol and their families are safe and that not too much tragedy comes with this storm.

4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cody said...

I'm feelin it Rainy Pete.....the whole hoopla about gas and whining. Then jumping in huge SUV and waisting 20 dollars in a matter of two point five miles is a little self defeating. Thats why we should all ride bikes or perhaps scooters. Or maybe instead of speeding to work in a frenzy, we should take long walks and observe our suroundings all at once. Oh well, it will all pass....hopefully.

5:22:00 PM  
Blogger SquirrleyMojo said...

and 3 liters = 1 gallon ?!?!

5:53:00 PM  
Blogger rocks said...

You hit it right on the mark, rainypete and I must say, I am trying not to go anywhere. Of course, being the unemployed bum I am, I don't really need to.

I feel bad for those like Jodster, who just NEEDED gas, and without a choice is shuffled into the pile of crazies, tenth in line to pump up before the price shoots up again.
I wish I did live somewhere I could bike or take a bus to- it would be kind of nice not to have to drive everywhere!

6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gimpy Mumpy said...

So true. The ones who are complaining the loudest are cruising around aimlessly in their hummers.
One thing I do hope that this will eventually shed light on is the basic problem of sprawl. People wouldn't have to rely so much on their gas guzzling autos if we actually still lived in communities.
Hmmmmm, if we still lived in communities then perhaps we also wouldn't see such isolation and abandonment of our nation's needy. It all seems so simple from planet Mumpy! :P

9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

I have a lot of blogger friends in Texas! I hope they all get through the storm okay! I'll be anxious to see their next posts!!!

I am trying not to drive too much, but unfortunately I have another run to the airport with my mother tomorrow. At least I don't have far to drive to work.

11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

Some people just veiw gas as a right more than a privilage. ZJus tlike many other things they waste it and complain about the price but it never deters them from changing their habits. I do not own a car and have no posible reason to own one.
The layout of most cities has everything we all need within walking distance.
The time I do need a car I can cab it which costs me alot less than paying for insurance and gas and maintaining a vehicle.
Great post

3:40:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Good rant. I'll admit that about the only thing I'm doing to save consumption thus far is to get the kids to walk home from school. More exercise for them, less gas consumption for me. Now if I could just sprout wings and fly to work...

3:41:00 AM  
Blogger ms. creek said...

we're moving into town (because we are buying a house) but also so i can walk to work. i still think you brainy people need to come up with some alternate energy for us!

9:34:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Well, it's much easier to bitch than it is to change anything in our lives that may inconvience us.

I'm with ya buddy!

10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Scarlett said...

It sucks that you go by the liter. If gas was $2.15 a gallon.. I'd be coming to have lunch with you and fill up.

I was at the gas station yesterday, filling up at $2.79/gal. As soon as I put my gas cap back on, the workers came out and changed the sign to $2.99.

12:02:00 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

The situation is not easy for people getting hit by the storms. We don't have it so bad but I have no other way to get to work, no public transportation, too far (would take a LONG time to bike or walk!) to work or to a store to get groceries. Gas prices dropped to $2.69/gallon here (were up to $3.26) but are expected to rise again soon.

1:53:00 PM  
Blogger annush said...

as faqr as i am concerned, the government should make the purchase of bicycles tax deductible. That would be helpful in some way.

8:10:00 PM  
Blogger angela marie said...

Smiles & Laughter Carol did email and said that they are safe and sound, but it took them 12 hours to go about 165 miles! She said it was absolutely nuts. No gas or food available.

9:06:00 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

when i see more than one person per car then i will know that the gas prices are to high. this has been comming on for years now and every one acts like it just happened.

9:25:00 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

We get the effects of the oil prices here, too. And it's worse. I think it's around $1.50 per litre now.

11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kassi said...

Great post !!! Gas here has just come down to $1.52 a litre, but it's expected to go up again ...

And whaddya know ... we worked out you can actually bike TO the bike park, not just once you get there !!!

11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I have been hoping something would happen to cause the American car companies to get on the fuel efficient band wagon. Hopefully this does the trick. I think the people being most impacted by this are low income and need a car to get to work. You have a good point, the rest of us need to count our blessing.

8:53:00 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

we pay miles more than that normally, i suppose its what you are used too...and we had a mini petrol crisis, but it seems to be ok now...

i hope denny and carol will be safe and out of harms way

10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Great post, Rainy! I suppose I'm doing my part to ease off the gas crunch. I simply stay home. The only places I travel to anymore are the grocery store which is hardly walking distance (8 miles) and the bank which (6 miles). We don't have mass transit in our area and the only things within walking distance are cow pastures and corn fields.
Still, you make a very valid point!

12:54:00 PM  
Blogger deni said...

It's kind of the same attitude people have when they hear we are getting a snow storm, everybody rushes to the store like a bunch of idiots, stocking up as if we are going to be snowbound for months.

Yes, we get snow, and sometimes we get hammered, but geeze.

I have cut down my driving trips a lot, and consolidate the ones I do make, getting everything done in one trip instead of 5.

As for taking the bus to work, I would if I could, but the busses don't run that early.

2:53:00 PM  
Blogger ms. creek said...

we are down to $2.899 a gallon. it really stinks when "down" is $2.899, remember the good ol' days when the numbers of the gallons moved faster than the numbers of the dollars? I remember when my dad was appalled at the price at $0.35 a gallon. wow. i'm old!

7:12:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

I bike almost everywhere. Mostly so I don't have to spend as much time at home with loved ones, tee,hee..

10:51:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

A bunch of gas stations are being charged here in NJ for illegally boosting their gas prices multiple times a day (a no no). Hooray! At least somebody else is getting the shaft now too!

10:50:00 PM  

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