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Thu, May 20 2004

Notice The Word "Strategic" In Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein don't really fall along my line of thinking very often these days, and when I read about their urging the White House to dip into the oil reserve, I had further evidence that they are just not on the same wavelength with some of the rest of us on the planet.

You can see from the Department of Fossil Energy the ways in which we have used the oil reserve in the past. It makes very little sense to set a precedence where we begin to release the oil every time people are whining about filling their vehicles, if we have not first done all we can to encourage people to conserve the fuel they use. I'm not picking on folks with SUVs. If you want one, go for it. But if you know the vehicle you want to drive is a gas guzzler, think about that when you buy or lease the thing. I do feel bad for the folks who are struggling to make ends meet as it is, and are now faced with filling their gas-efficient car to the tune of more than $2.00 a gallon (in California) so they can get to their minimum wage job. But if we go into panic mode as a nation, it won't help the individual consumer for long.

Let's spend some time working on long-term solutions. We have lived high on the hog (or deep into the pipeline) for a long time now. In California there are people who commute an hour or more each day to work at a job that pays well, so that they can live in a bedroom community where their home is less expensive. We have whole gated communities designed for nothing but homes, with no jobs close by and no place to buy supplies. We don't build neighborhoods anymore. We have rows of cookie-cutter homes in huge developments that are isolated from the rest of the world. Instead of walking to the neighborhood store, we get into a vehicle and drive for 30 minutes to get to a gym. We can't keep living like this and still expect the price and supply of oil (and all it brings with it) to not reflect our lifestyle. We've had our fun, and it's time to think about what it means in terms of consequences.

Yesterday was supposed to be a "don't buy gas today" day. It's not a bad idea. But if all we do is skip yesterday and buy today as usual, we have missed some great opportunities. And if we rush to use our oil reserve just because we are peeved at the pump, how will we recognize a real oil emergency when it does come along?

posted at: 06:56 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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