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Monday, March 24, 2008

Price of Gasoline Hits Record High

According to MSNBC:

"The average price of a gallon of gas in the United States has risen to a record $3.26, and the cost of diesel fuel has soared to a record $4.06 a gallon, adding to pressure on consumers and the companies that deliver their goods.

[Trilby] Lundberg said there is no proof yet that rising gas prices have convinced people to drive less."

Want proof? I went to buy gas on Sunday, put 5 gallons in my car (which cost me $15) and proceeded to drive the exact speed limit so as to not risk using more gas than was necessary as I wondered which credit card I would be able to use the next time I had to buy gas.

In a related story, from CNN:

"Exxon Mobil made history on Friday [February 1, 2008] by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company, boosted in large part by soaring crude prices.

Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 per share. The company earned $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the year-ago period."

There is something fundamentally wrong with that. Free markets aside, the government ought to put price controls in place for gasoline. In the same way that the Federal Reserve can slash interest rates (or increase them) and tell banks what they can charge their consumers, the Government ought to step in and tell oil companies what they can charge consumers.

I'm waiting for either of the two viable Presidential candidates (sorry Hillary, you're out) to present a real solution to this problem.

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