Rising gasoline prices a look at our futures

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

In case you haven’t looked at the the price of a gallon of gasoline lately, let us inform you. The average price in Butler County for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.02. For more premium grade fuels, the price is well above that.

These escalating gas prices, coupled with last year’s dramatic increases, are only the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come.

When the major oil companies released their earnings figures earlier this year, they reported record-breaking profits.

Why? Because they are charging more for a gallon of gas than in years past. They also are quick to note their costs are rising, and they are simply passing the increase along.

That may be true, but it should be a warning signal.

For years consumer watchdogs have preached about the rising demand of petroleum and the inability of production to keep pace.

Yes, demand is rising, and production can’t keep pace, but there’s another factor. Petroleum is a fossil fuel. That means it’s not renewable — at least in our lifetime. Maybe in 200 million years, when we’re beyond dust, a new load of crude may be found. But that crude could very well be &uot;us,&uot; after all, crude oil today was yesterday’s dinosaurs.

The point is as demand continues to increase and production decreases, it’s high time someone began putting the pressure on the automobile manufacturers to seek alternative ways of powering our cars, trucks, and beloved gas-guzzling SUV’s. Electric fuel cell power needs to be explored. Hydrogen and other gaseous engines need to be researched. There must be an alternative. Because in the end, we’re all going to run out of gas and that idea is not appealing to many of us at all.

Happy driving!