Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gasoline Confusion

I was so excited on Friday, at around 10:00am, to see that the price of regular at the gas station around the corner from my house had dropped to $3.47 a gallon. I swore this was a wonderful sign of things to come and just knew it would go down to about $3.25 by the end of the month. So imagine my dismay when I came home later that night and saw that price had gone up to $3.57!!!!

Apparently, this is all due to the hurricanes. Hurricanes disrupt gasoline and electricity production because most of our gas refineries are located in or near the gulf of Mexico. This hurricane season has seen 2 major hurricanes strike the gulf region and cause the cost of gasoline to go up almost $1.00 in some places. And although disruption of gas production is very real, a lot of what drives the price of gas up is actually fear and price gouging.

The fear that the availability of gas will somehow disappear and we will be sitting in long lines at the gas station like in the 70s is a bunch of BS. Not only does the US have strategic oil reserves that we can tap into in emergency situations, but 58% of all our oil is imported. Hmm, doesn't that mean that more than half of the oil we use isn't even affected when there is a hurricane? Furthermore, there are a couple of the oil reserves located in areas that have not been affected by Gustav or Ike.

This all leads me to believe one thing, these gas stations are gouging the hell out of us!! What other reason would there be for gas to go up to $4.99 in Knoxville, TN or $5.50 in Tallahassee, FL over night!!!??!!

If you or someone you love have been price guoged, please report it to your State's Attorney General. It's illegal and unfair.

Brown Tip

Walk it out!

Sept. 22nd is World Car Free Day. So do the world a favor and walk, bike, skip, take metro, tumble to work on that Monday. It's good for you and the environment.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Politics of the Environment

Over the past 2 weeks we've had the American pleasure of witnessing the Democratic and Republican National conventions. Both conventions served as a platform for each party's nominee to explain what exactly are they going to do for the country.

On the environmental side of things, I found the Republican ideas on oil drilling very interesting. During her acceptance speech, Sara Palin said under the McCain administration they would promote drilling in Alaska and other parts of the country, opening up more oil reserves, and promote clean coal. However, she did not talk about conservation or the impact of these policy choices on the environment. I understand the need to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, but is drilling everywhere really the solution?

Furthermore, does it really matter how much more oil and energy we can produce if we (Americans) continue to use too damn much if it? After all, oil IS NOT A RENEWABLE RESOURCE! This all just makes me wonder if politicians, or their speech writers, think through environmental matters the same why they think through economic and homeland security matters. Just one to grow on.

So my summer vacation is over and I'll see you next week.

Brown Tip:

CFLs not NFL

During this NFL season, I'd like to challenge you to replace all of your old light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. CFLs use less power and last longer than regular light bulbs thus allowing us to conserve more energy. Although CFLs are a bit more expensive you can usually find a coupon or rebate on them at your local home depot or Lowes.