Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Maybe it's the government that are the ones spreading this misinformation. Or maybe it's the oil companies. Maybe it's both! Maybe it's neither.

According to this report, gas prices have dropped $0.25 in the last two weeks. I know for a fact that prices have not fallen that much in Washington. Why is that?

Is it because the prices really aren't falling, and this survey is another example of poorly executed information gathering? Or is it because for some reason gas prices are falling everywhere except for Washington? Is it price gouging? Is it collusion on the parts of the oil companies and station owners? Did everyone misplace their numbers for lower prices on their signs, so they're all keeping the prices artificially high?

I don't have the answer, all I have is the information. Gas prices are still extremely high, about 50-70% where they should be, and there has not been a large downward trend anywhere near the upward spike in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Oil prices are down to $60 per barrel, and wholesale gasoline has heavily dropped also (the last figure I saw was $1.80 a week or two ago, but I can't find a link). So why the high prices?

Voters in Washington should especially find this information amusing, as one of incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell's platforms lately has been that the Bush Administration needs to get gas prices lower. If they're lower everywhere except Washington, maybe she needs to focus her attention and efforts toward pressuring Gov. Gregoire? Is she the one to blame?

There is little doubt that Washington Initiative 912 is going to pass, but other than a possible deterrent effect on Washington drivers (keeping them off the "outdated" roads), there's little reason for the State to keep gas prices high. So what is Sen. Cantwell going to do? In reality she's probably just going to shift the focus on other issues when she comes up for re-election; but it sure would be great if someone was able to step in and help the people of Washington fight off these astronomical gas prices.

Pretty soon, we're all going to be living in a Mad-Max world and people will be killing eachother for their gas.


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