Gas Could Be Cheaper

Posted: 04/11/2008 by that's Elbert in Delaware, gas, government, USA

This is a picture of the gas prices at Shore Stop on 4/11/2008 in the afternoon:

As most everyone has noticed, the price has been climbing steadily all week. Today’s price on a barrel of crude oil sits at $110.14. Our wallets are crying “uncle”, well, they may just be crying.

There are those, mainly on the left, who wag their fingers at what they call “big oil” and criticize them for making money. Well, really their criticism is that “big oil” makes too much money (profit), as though they know how much money that anyone should be making. Our Democrat-controlled Congress hauled the CEOs of “big oil” before them to question why they made money in their business. According to Frank Calio’s column in the April 10 edition of the Laurel Star:

When a congressman asked the oil magnates if they ever considered dropping the price of gas, there was immediate silence, so much that you could hear a pin drop.

I would bet that the silence came from shock. Mr. Calio doesn’t name the congressman, but I would have to wonder if that congressman actually ever ran a business or even knew anything about running a business. Doubtful? Yes.

One of those CEOs should have answered our nameless congressman sitting in his ivory tower, “have you ever considered lowering the gas tax?” I’m sure that silence would have followed that question too.

According to, Uncle Sam tacks 18.4 cents on a gallon of gas, and in Delaware Mama Ruth tacks on an additional 23 cents. That comes to 41.4 cents in taxes on every gallon of gas. In other words, that gallon of gas is really $2.865 not $3.279 as it is pictured above. What would it do to your wallet if our government suspended the gas taxes for a period of time? My wallet might stop crying.

Actually, if the government wanted to help lower gas prices, it would allow drilling in ANWR and off of our coasts, in addition to relaxing or removing the burdensome restrictions on construction of new refineries. That would go a long way to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

  1. Dana says:

    We thought $2.85 was expensive. Let’s say they dropped the taxes tomorrow. In a week we’d be complaining about $2.85. I lived in Alberta from 1999-2002. During that time, gas was about $0.90 per liter, which works out to about $3.60 per gallon (if you factor in the exchange rate on the depleted Canadian dollar at the time, you could say the actual “real” price was closer to $4.00 per gallon). It was the highest price they had ever seen in recent memory, but the world didn’t implode and everyone figured it out. Right now, gas there is about $1.07 per liter. I’m a capitalist and all that jazz, I believe in free market and lower taxes, but when it comes to gas prices, I don’t believe lower prices do us any favors. The best way to lower our dependance on foreign oil is to use less of it.

    If there was a way to earmark gas tax money to build better, more walkable neighborhoods, to encourage people to live, work and flourish in the beautiful, real towns that this state already has- like downtown Seaford for example- and encourage thoughtful development that encorporated schools, stores, libraries and churches… if people felt safe putting their kids on a school bus instead of driving them door to door and idling in the school parking lots…

    We need to figure this out. We are smart. Lowering gas prices isn’t going to encourage the kind of innovation that we need to make real changes to improve the quality of our lives, decrease our dependance on foreign oil, and maybe clean up some of our mess in the process.

  2. Solutions to our energy needs are a lot more complicated than what can be covered in this post. “More walkable neighborhoods” is one definite need. There are several spots in Laurel that aren’t safe to navigate by walking, but it’s done anyway. I know that Laurel requires that sidewalks are put on new construction. When my neighbor rebuilt after a fire he had to add one. Laurel is also requiring two properties on Discountland Road to add sidewalks.

    School bus safety is important, but I know in Laurel the school district does not bus kids in middle and high school that live within one or two miles from the school. Our home is about 1.3 miles from the high school so my kids are on foot unless my wife or I drive them. Walking is an option we’ve used due to our cars being broke down or other reasons. I don’t want my kids to walk in the rain or cold if I can help it, so we take them/pick them up.

    I’m blessed to live and work in my town but if I lost my job, I’d be driving somewhere else because there really aren’t any IT jobs in Laurel, and I doubt that any are on the horizon. I’m sure I’m not the only one in that situation, so in the case of driving to work, I might not have a choice. It’s safe to say that this is the case for 95% of the people in our area, or at least it’s been that way for most of my life (40-some years).

    I do have to ask, what do you think about using the oil we have under our own soil as opposed to buying abroad? That would most certainly take the edge off our foreign oil needs.