?Gas Prices Are Hurting – What Can We Do About This?
Is there relief in the future?
Probably not. Gas prices are high and they will not go down too far. In fact, if you think we’re going to go back to the days when we could buy a gallon of gas for $ 0.99, I think you should think again. We may see a small drop in prices, but not much. In the days ahead we are more likely going to see prices stabilizing well above $ 3.00 per gallon. Why is that?
First of all, we are in a different world today than we were about 10 years ago. The fast growth of China and India is being fueled by a lot of oil and this huge demand is the main reason for the high prices we are paying. There may be some speculation, but not enough to take the cost of fuel to where it is. The main reason, I repeat, is the rapid growth of consumption.
Let’s not get desperate, though. In Europe, the average price of a gallon of gas hovers around $6. In the Netherlands gasoline costs almost $7 dollars a gallon. Therefore we shouldn’t complain. The main reason why fuel is so much more expensive in Europe is that we still produce part of what we burn and we have lots of coal to help out. Europeans don’t have such luck and have to import almost all the fuel they need.
Offshore drilling is not going to help much either. In fact, I think we should not drill in search of more oil. What the country should do is to conserve, to cut down on the consumption of oil. The auto makers should begin the production of more efficient cars right away because they can. After all, they do it in Europe. General Motors and Ford own several European brands which are producing much more efficient cars than the ones they make in America. They have diesel powered vehicles which are very efficient and cause almost no pollution. What are they waiting for? They should be selling those cars right here and now!
But what about the owner of an old car or truck? How is he going to cope with the high prices of gas? Well, there are different things we can do, depending on the way we use our old trucks. If you have a truck with a big V8 engine and you drive a lot you’ll have to reduce your mileage substantially. Instead of using your truck everyday get a small car and drive it most of the time. If you travel long distances with your truck, cut down on that too. In other words make a little sacrifice and drive less, a lot less. The more you cut down on your driving the more you’ll be saving.
A radical solution to the high cost of fuel is to install a smaller engine or even a diesel engine in your truck. It may sound strange and it is not natural to have an old Ford or Chevy truck with a diesel engine. But it’s been done in many countries where fuel is much more expensive than here and these trucks work very well. Diesel prices are higher than gas prices but the diesel engine is much more efficient. Diesel engines burn as much as 30 per cent less fuel than gas powered engines and not only that: today’s diesel engines are much quieter and cleaner than they used to be in the recent past. There are many kinds of changes, fabrications and adaptations you can do to your classic car or old truck in order to be able to drive it without worrying about the cost of fuel. How would you like to have an electric classic car or old truck? It’s possible, you know. No gasoline, diesel, methanol, cooking oil, water, nothing. You can drive all day and simply plug your truck at home for recharging overnight and be ready to drive again in the morning. Sounds crazy? It’s not. And it’s not too expensive nor too difficult to do either. Check ev-america.com.
Is this something you find too hard to do? Well, then don’t complain about gas prices. And don’t think this will be over soon, because it will not. The real truth of the matter is this: conservation is the solution to our fuel problem. We have to learn how to live with less and we will have to do it this time. If we had started in 1973 when we faced our first oil crisis we would be laughing now. Drive less, walk more, slow down, change your oil, fuel and air filters, keep your tires at the right pressure and, above all, don’t drive without a good reason. I repeat: conservation is the solution to our fuel problem and high gas prices. Lower prices will only make everybody spend more again and this crisis will never go away. Learn to conserve fuel and we’ll all be much happier and safer.