Why is America tolerating the increasing price of fuel?

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Why is America tolerating the increasing price of fuel?

Source: Lancaster New Era Lancaster, PA Publication date: Feb 18, 2000

The United States certainly has the leverage to force OPEC nations and our trading partners to play fair.

Why don't we use that leverage?

The price of oil is rising beyond the limit at which the American economy and individual Americans can accommodate change without substantial suffering. Something has got to give.

Heating oil prices have eased somewhat with warming temperatures, but thousands of homeowners already have had trouble making payments on bills which have doubled, in many cases, over last year.

Some independent truck drivers are being forced out of business because diesel fuel prices also have doubled. They can't make a profit when they must pay hundreds of dollars more in fuel charges to drive long distances.

Now the price of gasoline is beginning to rise through the roof. Oil analysts say the cost of a gallon could go as high as $1.70 this summer. If so, the travel industry could be hard hit as vacationers reduce their driving.

The price of oil is rising because OPEC nations decided to reduce production last year. They have made oil more difficult to obtain and so more expensive. Even if they agree to boost oil production as expected next month, changes may not be seen at gas pumps this summer.

If foreign nations were attacking the United States with military weaponry, this country would respond quickly. OPEC nations have been attacking the United States economically for months and the U.S. government has watched it happen.

Blasts of bluster periodically issue from Washington, but that's about all. Complaining about oil prices without demanding that OPEC change its operating methods is about as effective as complaining about low-priced foreign goods undercutting American products and jobs without imposing restraints on imports. As the world's sole superpower and economic powerhouse, the United States certainly has the leverage to force OPEC nations and our trading partners to play fair. Why don't we use that leverage?

The next time you pay inflated bills for heating oil or diesel fuel or gasoline, send a note to your congressional representative and tell him how you feel about paying more to enrich a few Saudi Arabian sheiks and Venezuelan oil lords.

Conservation is another way to deal with this problem, of course, but no matter how carefully Americans use oil, if oil-producing nations limit the supply, we're in trouble. Promising economic retaliation if OPEC continues this pattern might make oil ministers think twice the next time.

Publication date: Feb 18, 2000 ) 2000, NewsReal, Inc.



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 20, 2000


I don't think the US can put that much pressure on anyone. How would we pressure Saudi Arabia? If we threaten them, they will probably align themselves more closely with Iran.

-- Dave (dannco@hotmail.com), February 20, 2000.

Let me see if I got this right, the oil is their property, we want it, and this author says that we have the RIGHT to dictate what price we will pay for the product, or we will bomb the S*** out of them?

Sounds like we are a bunch of addicts and we are mad at the pusher man, cause he got us hooked on cheep energy and now it is time to pay for what it is worth.

Get real, get life, GOT OIL?

-- Its (All@conspiracy.com), February 20, 2000.

What difference would it make if we complain more? OPEC has got us by the short hairs for sure. If they decide to reduce oil shipments by even 25% more, we're in for a real world of hurt. Hard to complain to the pusher now that we're hooked on oil, and have no real alternative. They can sell more oil to whomever they like, and cut us off.

If this country had any foresight, actually learned something from the 1970's energy crisis, and invested more heavily in alternative energy, we'd be MUCH better off. Unless the US can come up with ways to implement alternative energy on a large scale, we'll be stuck with oil til it runs out. And then we'll see our civilization collapse.

It would also help greatly if America would reduce it's consumption, and not be so wasteful.

However, since the corporate fatcats decided that they didn't want any real competition to the oil industry, there's little chance of an improvement in the situation. We ought to have efficient electric cars now, we ought to have space-based solar power sattelites, we ought to have some form of cold fusion in wide use. The technology exists, and if we can get out from under the foot of the oil companies and their fatcat buddies, maybe something might get accomplished. But it's very unlikely to happen.

Enough on the soapbox for now.

-- Bill (billclo@blazenet.net), February 20, 2000.

How much pressure have the Saudis put on America over the price we charge them for autos and warplanes?

-- JB (noway@jose.com), February 20, 2000.

Why is America tolerating the increasing price of fuel?

Seems to me that the rest of the world has been tolerating America's artifically low gasoline prices for some time now. That time is coming to a close. Looks like the good ol' USA will just have to start paying realistic prices for oil, that's all.

I guess SUV sales will get a little soft, and shoe and bicycle sales will go up. Not a bad thing, IMHO. Be even better if we quit burning fossil product so we can go to the mall, and started saving it for high-tech components that can only be made from petroleum.

Looks like we might have to go into more local production of goods and services, too. Shipping iceberg lettuce from Arizona(!) to Alaska might become a thing of the past.

Or learn to live in a lower-tech environment. Not a bad idea either. Dunno if that's gonna happen, though. Still, fewer tailpipes spewing out there is a good thing, regardless of whether or not we continue to advance technologically. We will need petroleum for further tech advancement, it that's what everyone really wants; we've gotta stop burning it up.

My $.02

Peace and Love,


(And before someone else says it; yes, my Travel Air doesn't need any oil or gas.)

-- Shimoda (enlighten@me.com), February 20, 2000.

Final answer: Drive less!

-- fatanddumb (fatdumb@nd.happy), February 20, 2000.

I asked this Ouestion before.Can anyone give me the Price we paid to the OIL PRODUCERS(not the middlemen etc) 12 Month,6 Month and 3 Month ago for a Barrel of Oil???Lets also hear it in Percentage Increase.Lets see where we stand on that,before we start bombing or blaming someone.

-- Energie (oil@gas.coal), February 20, 2000.

I agree! Pressure them to ship more oil so we can drive our 10 mpg SUV's. The nerve of OPEC!!!!

-- haha (haha@haha.com), February 20, 2000.

Yup, let them charge us whatever they want for their oil.

After all, fair is fair.

And next time Saddam gets that lean, hungry look, and starts moving in on the bastards, let THEM do the dying to PROTECT "their oil".

After all, fair is fair.

Seems to me that those sheet-heads have a damned short, and damned convenient memory. It wasn't THAT long ago that we sent our sons and daughters to DIE for those greedy c*cksuckers.

-- Charles Underwood Farley (c@u.f), February 20, 2000.

So do we have a shortage of crude oil? It hasn't been proven to me yet. If we had a zillion more barrels of oil than we do now, would we have anymore gasoline or fuel oil? Is the problem a shortage of oil or a shortage of finished product? These guys never really look into the matter, they are just assigning a convenient scapegoat.

-- Y2kObserver (Y2kObserver@nowhere.com), February 20, 2000.

How dare they charge so much?? Well, as my English friend said, "You Yanks have always had a free ride with such cheap petrol." We are just now coming up to what Europe has been paying all along.

My Gawd, some folks may have to give up driving an SUV or, cut down on the number of Big Macs they gulp down. WAhhhh

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), February 20, 2000.

One of the things that amazed me about G. Bush Sr. was his total inability to articulate a coherent thought, leading me to believe that maybe he never had one. The actual rationale for Desert Storm was to deny Saddam a buhzillion dollars in pocket money that he might use to pay terriorists to tear up the world, although G. may have not actually known that. The Buchanites who were against Desert Storm knew that they could make a deal with Saddam to get all the oil needed at a good price (After all, he would need the money and we were the best market around) What they refused to consider is what he would do with the money once he got it. But Margaret Thatcher knew. And that is why we went to war.

-- Richard C Trochlil (trochlilbb@neumedia.net), February 20, 2000.

By the way, when the price of gas was half that of milk, we just know that all the oil producing sectors were maintaining their facilities to 100% of capacity. Them complex gizmos need constant maintenance or bad things happen very quickly so even though they were losing money to do so, we know they were keeping their basic maintenance right up to standard just out of the goodness of their hearts. Sure they were. You don't need any Y2K plot to explain why a refinery went down. Just not sending the boys out to tighten bolts will do it.

-- Richard C. Trochlil (trochlilbb@neumedia.net), February 20, 2000.

That certainly was one of the more stupid articles to hit this forum. I don't know what those leverages are. Would someone spell them out to me? On the other hand, other countries pay the same per barrel for crude as we do. Its just that other countries charge their citizens more taxes on that fuel. I am quite certain that oil is an international market and not priced differently to different countries. If it were, we would have been paying the highest prices long ago. We are the most overall hated nation in the world. Grant you they all want to come here to live and for us to send them all money..........!

-- Taz (Tassi123@aol.com), February 20, 2000.

IMHO :: Some food for thought:: 1) Until the situation can be dealt with I am in favor of the local, state, and federal to elimate all taxes on fuel for the independent truckers, at least until the flow/price can be stabilized. This action would allow the truckers the ability to continue to move America's needs at a reduced cost. NOT A TAX CREDIT, real dollars. I was around for the last price increase, from .38 per gallon to 1.55 per gallon. It was a considerable hardship for all income earners. Espically when the tankers were in the Atlantic filled to the brim with oil.

-- robert knight (rknight@nb.net), February 20, 2000.

Lets just pray that the hacker attacks don't begin to target OPEC operations and oil corporations responsible for oil and gas increases.

-- concerned (godforbid@thatwouldbeterrible.com), February 20, 2000.

NATO only has to pick fights to test its new hardware and use up it's obsolescent material every five years or so. Kosovo was too recent; give it until 2002 or so and they'll be have some nice new toys to try out.

-- _ (_@_._), February 21, 2000.

Why is America tolerating any of the crap going on? Get off your keyboard and do something about it. Discussion and speculation over the internet is not enough to let your representatives know your feelings. E-mail and faxes are too convenient for deletion and the big round file bucket. Be seen, be audibly heard!

-- turkeylurkey (lurker@lurker.com), February 21, 2000.

For most countries (maybe all?), the only leverage they care about is bribes or force. Or the neccesity of banding together against a common foe for survival. Quid pro quo. Normally, it is couched in more diplomatic terms, of course.

So how is our military doing compared to its state during the Gulf Crisis? How is our "force" leverage doing, in other words? What are AWOL rates like (perhaps shows morale of what we do have)? Our other leverage is bribery, but higher oil prices "one-ups" that, doesn't it?

Also, is it possible that one of our benefits (secretly negotiated, maybe) for intervening in the Gulf was that oil production would stay high for 10 years? No info here, on my part, just a wild conjecture.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 21, 2000.

I recently saw an article discussing the price of gas after it was adjusted for inflation. Very interesting. Look at $0.359 per gallon prices in the sixties to 2 or 3 times that now. Look at the price of an auto or a home, 4 to 10 times what it was then. (Hint: normal car loans then were 3 yrs because people could afford the pmts and they could still sell cars.)

I think the yoyo pricing is what keeps us from developing alternative power supplies and other related technologies. If prices stayed high, and other options became available, profits of OPEC countries as well as oil & gas corps would decline permanently. The use of solar power might might be more attractive, at least for homeowners, if the time recquired to recoup the investment was shorter. Individuals might start choosing, and corps might start making, more energy efficient vehicles if fuel became a significant consideration in the buying decision.

Being born in 1953, it still blows my mind that a bottle of water costs as much or more than a bottle of soda pop.

If I may quote, "Just my 2 cents worth."

-- JCC (Wolverine_in_nc@hotmail.com), February 21, 2000.

If the Oil industry is truly experiencing Y2K-related problems, particularly with embedded systems that handle flow-control, our government certainly knows about it. Perhaps the OPEC nation's inability to get enough oil out of the ground and into tankers is the real problem, not politics. Of course the Clinton administration would lie about this, as usual, deny that it is Y2K-related, and blame it on OPEC.

-- Flash (flash@flash.flash), February 21, 2000.

Go buy yourself a Rhoades Car and quit complaining!

-- Lucy (y2kpreps@usa.net), February 21, 2000.

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