A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cheap gas: Enjoy it while you can

Written December 29th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Gas prices Monday: A far cry from $3 or $4 a gallon.

Gas prices Monday: A far cry from $3 or $4 a gallon.

We are enjoying the lowest fuel prices in years, as everyone knows. It’s a huge help to consumers, who now have more money to spend on other things, or even to save. But some people hate it.

Why do some hate it? For one thing it proves them wrong. For another, it undermines their campaign to get us to drive electric cars if we insist on driving at all.

Only a few years ago, self-appointed greens ridiculed conservatives who, in the face of gas prices around $4 a gallon, argued for more drilling. More drilling in this country would never bring back cheap gas, they said. After all, they scoffed, the price depends largely on the world price of oil.

As it turned out, the boom in more drilling in Texas and North Dakota — along with a slowdown in demand in Asia and Europe — has indeed had a big effect on the price. An energy analyst on one European online news program predicted Monday that the downward pressure on the price of oil could last for years, and he credited largely the increased production in America.

In Oregon, meanwhile, we have just re-elected a governor and increased the majorities of Democratic legislators who all want to do all they can to discourage us from using fossil fuels. For that, they need traditional energy sources to cost more, not less.

So they are pushing for the full implementation in 2015 of a so-called “clean fuels” program that will raise the price we pay at the pump. And in the coming legislative session, they also hope to enact a carbon tax that will have the same effect. Oregon elected these people anyway, and we’ll have to live with the consequences. So we better enjoy low fuel prices while we still can. (hh)

A lonely charging station at the coast last summer.

A lonely charging station at the coast last summer.

7 responses to “Cheap gas: Enjoy it while you can”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Your photo shows $2.33… Arco has it for $2.19 at I-5 & Hwy 34 as I was going to Lebanon yesterday. Fingers crossed it will get to <$2 as is in some states already…

    • Jim Clausen says:

      Let’s not forget the Mayor talking about a local gasoline tax… I’ve always gotten the impression Ray would jump onboard for a city gasoline tax… Ray appears to applaud lowering prices, ‘cept when it comes to the city raising the costs…

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        If I believe that it would help the city of Albany overall, I would have no qualms whatsoever in using my single vote to pay more of my taxes -and by extension yours, in backing that option. (Especially since the price of gas has dropped so precipitously!) However, there are other potential options to help with the highway infrastructure needs, so the “gas tax” may never see the light of day…

        • Bill Kapaun says:

          Tell ya what Ray- You can DONATE YOUR money to the City if you feel it really needs it.
          Just because gasoline prices are starting to reach the level they SHOULD be, doesn’t mean it’s inexpensive.
          That’s going to be the political ploy– Since gas prices are low a little extra tax won’t bother anybody. Would they ever remove that little extra tax when prices go up? We know the answer to that!

          Think of how much more driving people would do with lower prices. That’s going to result in greater tax revenues. SIMPLE! Instead of our various levels of govt. trying to punish gasoline purchasers, they should embrace them and make it as affordable as possible.

  2. Fact Checker says:

    Not sure why this is not common knowledge: OPEC nations are allowing oil prices drop in order to spite Russia and send its economy into recession. They view Putin as a big bully (see Ukraine) and want to teach him a lesson even if it means temporarily giving-up some of their profits. Think about it.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      OPEC did decide not to cut production in an attempt to shore up the price, but according to what I read, the reason was to protect its market share. (hh)

  3. James Carrick says:

    Nobody has mentioned increased domestic oil production and capability. This in addition to OPEC’s tactics. There is a glut of oil on the world market and OPEC does not control the price of oil to the degree it has in the past for just this reason. However, politicians will no doubt try to exploit this drop in the price of oil to raise taxes instead of allowing us to keep more of our income for spending how we see fit and thus spurring on this economy that seems to be doing well on Wall Street, but not so much on Main Street. This economy is not improving as much as the liberal media leads us to believe.


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