Monday, April 24, 2006

This one's gonna get a little rough.

Well, I warned you.

Fuck you for posting and reposting and reposting that shitty bulletin about boycotting Exxon Mobil to lower gas prices. Fuck me for continuing to buy gas and not ride my bike. And Fuck All Of Us for thinking this is how everything has to be.

First the bulletin. I'm sure if you are reading this, you've seen it, an email forward or a bulletin about how some guy who used to work for coke and his Halliburton friend figured out a way to take the gas prices back for the people. I hate to say it, but if you think some asshole from coca-cola (a former executive no less) and his dipshit Halliburton friend give a shit about us and how much we have to pay for gas, then I hope you have no retirement when your older, because you are an idiot. The idea is that if Mobil Exxon isn’t selling any gas, well, they HAVE to lower prices, because they have to make money. That makes sense, right? This is the same company that owns all Exxon stations, all Mobil stations, all On-The-Run convenience stores, sells Mobil brand oil for automobiles and crazy other accessories, Esso (a world wide brand I guess) and that wonderful speedpass technology. Us not buying gas from them DOES NOT AFFECT THEIR BUSINESS.
The bulletin also says " Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas". This kills me two ways, but will stick with the easy one first.

We still have to buy gas, but from who? Shell? Chevron? 76? AM/PM? Mom & Pop's no name gasoline? Those are our main choices, lets look at something from FORBES magazine:

from the issue GLOBAL 2000: THE BIGGEST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD (I'm shaking already)

Rankings, Highest to Lowest
6 - Exxon/Mobil - Exxon, Mobil, etc.
7 - Royal Dutch/Shell Group - Shell, etc.
8 - BP (British Petroleum) AM/PM, BP, etc.
16 - Chevron - Chevron, duh!
22 - ConnocoPhillips - 76, Phillips 66, etc.

We are talking TENS of BILLIONS and HUNDREDS of BILLONS of U.S. Dollars in sales, profits and assets in 2005!

Sorry if I don’t expect not giving money to the 6th largest company in the world but giving it to the 7th to actually do anything but make my ass hurt every time I pump gas.

Oh Yeah! I forgot Mom and Pop stores.

From The California Energy Commission’s Web Site, page entitled: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: California Gasoline Price Increases

Does a free market really exist with gasoline? It seems all the gasoline stations sell at the same price.

This is untrue. There are differences between stations and prices. Some stations have lower prices because they typically do not take credit cards - they take only cash or ATM cards. Credit cards can add about two to three percent to the cost of the transaction. This extra cost is passed on to the customer in higher prices at the pump for the convenience of using a credit card. Other stations, such as independents and so-called "Mom and Pop" stations usually have lower prices because they do not have multi-million dollar advertising campaigns to convince you to buy their product. So, their prices usually are lower than the "name brand" stations.

The independents and non-branded stations buy gasoline usually on what's called the unbranded "spot" market. This is the wholesale market that is most vulnerable to refinery problems and the fluctuating cost of crude oil. The price is normally lower than the branded wholesale prices. But we can have unbranded prices soar higher than branded prices when the supplies get tight. So, the independents and "Mom and Pop" stations sometimes will have to price their gasoline higher than branded stations.

I’m not going to explain that one, it seems pretty easy to me.

A little reading, a little research and I feel much better about myself… but do I?


I refer back to the “Since we rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas”


We can actually stop buying gas. And stop paying car insurance. And stop paying for repairs on things we don’t understand and can’t do ourselves. We can stop driving.

Why not? It’s inconvenient. Well, it’s inconvenient for me to spend a hundred bucks a month on gas, but I do it, without a second thought. I know people who spend less, and I bet a whole lot of people spend more.

What all this information/thought/analysis/swearing comes down to is that I hate buying gas, and I hate that I don’t do anything about it. The easiest thing for me to do is stop buying it. To stop driving all together. I will be healthier. I will be happier. And damnit it if I won’t have an extra hundred bucks every month. Or I might have to work even less. That’s more time for my family, my friends, and to ride my bike.

So find a new job, one closer to home, ride your bike there and keep the money you save to buy a homeless person a bike, or give it to the government, or buy a bigger purse, whatever. Just realize that we can actually fit the solution to high gas prices between our legs.


Whit said...

OPEC & George W. need to go on a quail hunt with Cheney. In the dark.
You are right that it would be inconvienent to give up my car. If I lived in New York or Chicago with their extensive mass-transit systems it would be a little easier, but with my main option being a bus I can't bring myself to do it. Aside from the fact that I would be on a bus is the time factor involved in traveling that way. It would take much longer to arrive at my destination than if I drove my own vehicle. Is that time worth the differnce in bus fare and gas prices? To the planet, probably not, but to me I guess it is. As much as I love money, I value time more, and wasting away on that sticky seat is not where I want to be.
The fact that gasoline is priced so high when the price of oil is fairly stable is just ridiculus. The powers that be are basically raping us in broad daylight with smiles on their un-masked faces. They laugh and get rich while we stand at the pump clinching our ass-cheeks.
As for not doing anything about it, that's a big club that I've belonged to for years. Sadly, as pissed as the gas situation gets me- and it gets me really pissed, there are bigger things that I care about even more that I still manage to ignore on a daily basis like disease, hunger, terrorism, religion and genocide. I'm doing as much to fight gas prices as I am to fight cancer. That's a sad, pathetic and painfully honest statement.
When the enemy is most powerful and the odds overwhelming it is comfoting to get lost in our own daily lives and hope that it all just goes away.
It will eventually, though I doubt for any reason that will cause rejoicing. No, it will either fade into the forgotten shadow of lesser evils as something new and worse comes into play, or it will stop when it hits the end- and chances are we will all stop with it.