This archived article was written by: Leland Lobato
A couple of weekends ago I was getting ready to attend my cousin’s wedding in Salt Lake City. I was ready to celebrate her happiness with her new husband, and to have a good time. I was looking quite good that day, in case anybody is wondering.
I left work and run a few last minute errands with my good friend Tyrone Bonner before I left. First thing we did was go to the gas station to fill up my car for the trip. At the gas station I proceeded to put the equivalent of what would be a pair of Michael Jordan shoes into my gas tank. I am by no means a completely serious person, but am on the same level as a heart attack when I tell you I could have bought myself a nice pair of shoes with what I spent on gas that day.
It was never my intent to rant and rave about things in this column for I know not what ranting is, and to the best of my knowledge, raving is something that happens all night long in the middle of nowhere with loud techno music while ingesting various chemical substances. I am, however, about to rant and rave.
Being that this is my viewpoint I suppose I could spout a lot of facts and quotes about the gasoline situation we are faced with. Here’s one: gasoline for October delivery fell 7.87 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $1.82 a gallon. Prices fell to $1.81, the lowest since Aug. 5. Gasoline reached $2.92 a gallon on Aug. 31, the highest since trading began in 1984. Futures are 48 percent higher than a year ago. Or how about this one: according to the Minerals Management Service (MMS), as of 11:30 a.m. September 15th, Gulf of Mexico oil production was reduced by 842,091 barrels per day as a result of Hurricane Katrina, equivalent to 56.14 percent of daily Gulf of Mexico oil production (which had been 1.5 million barrels per day).
The MMS also reported that 3.411 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas production was shut in, equivalent to 34.11 percent of daily Gulf of Mexico natural gas production (which had been 10 billion cubic feet per day). If you get online and type “gasoline” in a search engine you will have access to all the same information that I obtained. I used Google.
I could spout facts, but I am ranting and raving, logic, reason and rationality have no place here. The truth is, I could find facts, figures, statistics, and what have you all day long, but to me it’s all excuses for a mistake made by a person too egotistical to admit and correct it. Someone somewhere is responsible, or can do something about it, but they do not because they consider the cost too high. They need to either learn to deal with it or fix it. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. There is nothing that could be said to me that would placate my feelings on this whole situation. To me, this feels like getting kicked in the genitalia then being asked to pay the person who kicked me for taking the time out of his/her day to come from wherever he was to kick me.
I just put $30 into my gas tank and only have just under three quarters of a tank. I blame President George W. Bush, the republicans, big business, oil companies, terrorists, everybody who owes me money, SUV owners, conservatives and liberals for not getting along and the wealthy. You know, the usual suspects.
Angry have I become by the gas prices being this high. I believe that I am on the verge of experiencing my first, and hopefully only, heart attack. This situation is, simply put, wrong. I tend to think of things in terms of wants and needs. There is no reason whatsoever for my fuel to be as much something rappers acquire to show their status as ballers.
I want cool shoes, but I need gas. I am not sure about what the rest of the populace, but I believe that the necessities in life should be inexpensive. Not only inexpensive, but affordable to every single person in existence. From the New York executive with a Manhattan penthouse, to those who may well be related to me that just came across the border last night and will most likely end up working hard for little compensation. At the risk of sounding stereotypically American, gas is a necessity not a luxury.
Gasoline is necessary for me to lead my life as I commute everyday at least 60 miles. I have two jobs, one for bills, the other for fun. This rise in gas prices has taken away my fun. Not only that, but it has infringed on my constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have life, and what I assume is liberty given my limited understanding of the word, and my life experience, what I am now without is happiness. I shall only pursue it, for I can no longer afford it.
I am not alone in this dismal situation life has placed so many of Americans, and the world. Just the other day I overheard a young man talking to a young lady on his cell phone telling her not to text him so much because gas prices went up and he had to conserve. I have had to tell someone not to text me because we did not have the same provider so her texts were not covered under my unlimited-text messaging plan. I have also caught random bits of conversation where one person was telling another that they had to sacrifice something they wanted to do because they have to pay for gas.
Honestly, I am not as angry as I seem to be, but mean every word of this. Also I have been a little dramatic in the telling of my experiences and feelings about the whole subject. As Americans, we will all just take it in stride and complain a lot, similar to the way I am doing right now. Like everybody else I will deal with this as best I can, by riding my bicycle and walk more often. As much as I feel for all of my fellow, poor, college students, whom I believe will be among those most affected by the gas prices, this is just the way things are until someone pulls their head out and figures out a way to solve this problem. Until then I am going to get me some new shoes because they will last me longer than a tank of gas.
For information the cheapest gas in your neighborhood or community, go online to www.gasbuddy.com/, in Utah, try utahgasprices.com/