I would like to respond to Stacey Schneider’s editorial of Oct.
(Are gas prices too high?).
I think a little more dissection of the price of gas is in
order. The petroleum industry is granted numerous subsidies, which
we all pay for, but not at the gas pump, so that they can compete
globally and so that we Americans can buy cheap gas.
Additionally, there are environmental, health and social costs
associated with that gallon of gas, which is not reflected at the
pump. To quote the International Center for Technology Assessment,
the majority of people paying just over $1 for a gallon of gasoline
at the pump have no idea that through increased taxes, excessive
insurance premiums and inflated prices in other retail sectors that
that same gallon of fuel is actually costing them between $5.60 and
$15.14. When the price of gasoline is so drastically underestimated
in the minds of drivers, it becomes difficult, if not impossible,
to convince them to change their driving habits, accept alternative
fuel vehicles, support mass transit, or consider progressive
residential and urban development strategies?
Until prices at the pump start reflecting the “true” cost of
gas, we Americans will always be dependent of foreign oil because
it is their oil. Think of this the next time you are lucky enough
to have a $20 bill.