Tell me about it. I live in Chicago. Every time I go to fill up my van I feel sick to my stomach. My husband and I are now paying over $70 per vehicle for a tank of gas.
I have never had a very good understanding of all the factors that influence how much we pay at the pump. But it is an understatement to say that recent developments have heightened my interest. So I was doing some searching for answers and came across this story stating that back in 1999 gasoline was actually selling for less than $1/gallon. Huh? Can that be right? From $1 to over $4 in less than 10 years? What is going on here?
Then it hit me. It's an election year. In November Americans will choose a new president, and on the issue of homeland security the difference in candidates is dramatic. I don't applaud all that President Bush has done, but he has my undying gratitude for keeping me and my loved ones safe from terrorists since that gut-wrenching day in September of 2001. John McCain, if elected, will enforce policies designed to continue that record of safety. Those who would like to hurt us know this and would much rather face a President Obama or Clinton than a President McCain. What better way to have an impact on this country's upcoming election than to send gasoline prices spiraling out of control right before the election? Panicked Americans who are looking for something they can do to effect a change will latch on to the presidency as a scapegoat: there's a Republican in the White house, so it must be his fault. Let's get a Democrat in there and see if things get better.
The reasoning is, of course, utterly flawed and in my opinion would be playing into our enemies' hands. But my fear is that many Americans will buy into it. And I will wake up on a cold day in January of 2009 and feel even less safe than I do today. And oil prices will probably go down for a while. But it will just mean OPEC has gotten the best of us again.
Here are several articles I found suggesting ways we can loosen OPEC's puppet-like control of us. The one by Rich Lowry is 7 years old but still seems quite applicable to me.