Letter: Here we go again
When in my early 20s, in the early 1970s, while living in California, I experienced gas rationing and a huge spike in price. It was caused by the Middle East oil embargo. Based on my license plate number, I could only buy gas on certain days and no gas on Sundays. At the time, I drove an old VW bug, which got 30 mpg, so I did get pretty good mileage. That experience impressed upon me the sensible idea to always drive the highest mileage vehicle I could.
So, here we are, 39 or so years later—many gas price spikes later—and every time it happens we still act surprised, complain, get angry and talk about drilling more. Drilling more really won’t help that much because we consume far more then we can drill.
The world market has changed. The demand for gas has increased in China and India. We also have the instability in the Middle East and Wall Street speculation to blame. However, I believe that the real fault for being in this situation again lies with us. We never make a serious sustained committed effort to change our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic.
We complain and blame the current political office holders. There’s no doubt our politicians deserve a good share of the blame, but we the American people always demand the fast, easy answers and they always give it to us.
In our history we have examples of pulling together and doing big things. Have we become a country of such spoiled brats that we can’t suck it up and do the hard work to change the paradigm? We always talk about the future for our kids; well, let’s do it for them. Let’s work for 21st century energy answers instead of clinging to the 19th century answers.