Unless you drive an alternative fuel vehicle, you’d have to work very hard to ignore those rising gas prices. Like many American drivers, I am also suffering pain at the pump. In the Phoenix metropolitan area (PMA) where I live, regular unleaded (87-octane) gasoline averaged $3.79 per gallon on March 1, 2012.
Weekly Fuel Snapshot for March 1, 2012:
National Avg. $3.738
Arizona Avg. $3.760
Source: AAA-Arizona (www.aaaaz.com)
There’s also been no shortage of discussions on rising gas prices in the news media and just about everywhere else. However, what is absolutely amazing to me is how this topic is being treated by some as a recent or new problem for the United States.
For those of you who remember gas lines in the 1970s, you may also remember the OPEC Oil Embargo of 1973. Arab oil producing nations imposed an oil embargo on the U.S. for its support of Israel after unexpected attacks from Egypt and Syria. Jay Hake writes in his book, A Declaration of Energy Independence,”The boycott came as a shock to American drivers who had little awareness of their growing dependence on oil from the volatile Persian Gulf and who by early 1974 faced fuel shortages and gasoline lines around the country.”(Reference 1). The reality is that we have been addressing potential fuel shortages and rising gas prices for almost 40 years…..and in some circles, it is being discussed as if it is a new problem!
Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to solve our energy problems? This very question was asked by President Jimmy Carter during a national address to the American people on July 15, 1979. He went on to say that our true problems are deeper than gasoline shortages and lines…. the fundamental threat to American democracy is a crisis of confidence – the erosion of our confidence in the future. This address by President Carter became known as the “Malaise Speech”. (Reference 2)
Back in the 1970s, American citizens complained about the cost of gasoline at the pump. Will we use that same strategy in the second decade of this century in an attempt to reduce prices? I hope not. It is not a good business strategy, and it doesn’t solve this country’s energy needs.
As of today’s post, the cost of gasoline continues to rise.
- Hakes, Jay, Journal of Energy Security, 35 Years After the Arab Embargo, October 2008 Issue, www.ensec.org,
- National address by President Jimmy Carter on July 15, 1979, http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/153917-1