Hitting the Brakes on Gas Cost

My low gas light came on yesterday and I just couldn't bring myself to fill my tank like I usually do. $45 a hit was just too much to take yet again, so I just got $20 worth. It came to a whole whopping just over 6 gallons.

And even though I'll have to do this all over again in half the time it usually took, I can be pretty sure that I'll be paying even more each time.

And I have changed my driving habits because of the cost of gas. I cut my vacation in half and didn't go visit a friend who was having a hard time or give myself a much needed break. I avoid running errands at lunch time, instead mapping out a drive from work to home that is as close to a straight line with the other stops in between. I try to maintain a constant speed and avoid rapid accelerations and hard breaks. I use cruise control. The air conditioner stays off unless I'm on the highway, though even then, I avoid using it. Staying at 65 mph not only keeps my driving record clean, but it also gives me better mileage.

Granted, none of that is a significant hardship. Of course the budget has been shifted around to be able to pay the increased gas cost, but I'm still getting to work, seeing friends, etc.

I'm lucky.

Right after Katrina hit and gas prices went through the roof, I saw a number of students and parents who found that the cost of getting to college was more than they could afford. Most of our students commute, several from over an hour away. If they have internships, they usually need to drive to campus then drive to their site then perhaps return to campus. We worked with the local, but new, bus company to try to better accommodate our students' needs.

We set up a way for student, faculty and staff to connect with others who they might be able to car pool with, but did it with a great deal of trepidation. Car pooling runs the risk of physical danger and when the gas crisis under Carter faded, most colleges dismantled their car pooling mechanism simply for the sake of safety. But now we had to find an option for those students who needed that linkage, in spite of the safety worries.

So, when those oil companies earned more profit than they'd ever seen before, I knew it came at the cost of students stopping their education or putting themselves in possible danger in order to continue school.

And though I have a hard time looking at that part of myself, I do hope that their profit comes with a heaping dose of Karma too.

$3.15/gallon @ $20 got me a bit over 6 gallons

31.9 cents of that $3.15 is NYS tax.
18.4 cents of it is Federal Gas tax.

Unless there's a one-tenth of a penny coin out there that's also legal, that's 50.3 cents per gallon that's not for the gas, but the tax.

Bill Frist, in the typical generosity of the Republicans, offered each of us $100. Whether it was a free-bee, a 2007 tax rebate, or income in 2006, I still don't know. By the time it got here, it probably wouldn't even pay for 2 tanks of gas. Thanks a lot, Bill. But what could I expect from a creep who tortured cats?

Michael Arcuri is the only candidate in the NY 24th CD race who is calling for a temporary suspension of the Federal gas tax. That would bring my immediate gas payments down to $2.97/gallon. WOW Gas below $3/gallon!!?? And given that this Badministration could figure out how to give so many tax breaks to so many who need it so little, giving us 18 cents/gallon shouldn't be hard.

Another feature of Mike's plan is to end the "royalty relief" that allows oil companies to just take oil from American public lands. Windfall profits are a lot easier to get if you don't have to pay rent. Everyone else pays rent or mortgage. Why to the oil companies get to live off our land for free?

And Mike's also supporting developing new fuel sources. With the full range of higher education options, including the Community Colleges and trade schools as well as the 4-year colleges and Universities, the potential of developing new energy sources can have the additional benefit of helping our district.

For more coverage on Mike's comments on gas prices, see News 10 Now.

When I was in junior high, another student made an electric car for the regional science fair. It was the neatest idea, it made sense, and it seemed like a given that someday I'd be driving one.

And maybe it'll even be developed by one of my students?


Hybrid hypocrisy

Sometimes, pointing out the shenanigans of the Republicans feels like laughing at other people's troubles. But when someone slips, it's an accident and even when we do laugh, it's less a laugh at them and more at the things life oft pulls on us. But Republican's cover their walk with banana peel themselves then cry "foul" when we laugh. But when it's not an accident, but rather the reasonably expected consequence of action, yea, we're laughing AT them.

Can you imagine a bunch of Republicans sitting around saying "We gotta do something about these gas prices. Well, something more than just cashing their checks I mean."

"Yea, lets do a caravan in hybrid cars and show how good and green we are."

"I call lead!"

And off they go, petting themselves on their backs at how green they look. Smile at the cameras. Quotes against the cost of gas. Photo shots reminding us it's time to overcome on our dependence on gas. Grimace at the gas prices. Smile at the cameras. Get back in the zippy little hybrid cars to get back to the important business of running this country.

What, you really expect me to believe that hybrids are made without rearview mirrors? I'd sooner believe that their short-term memory is so impaired that they forgot they just left a group of news reporters and camera-people.

But what I'd bet on is that they just didn't care that we'd see them slink back into SUVs for the few blocks to the Capitol Building.

Environmental Republicans.. just looking green is good enough.