We need to get a handle on gas prices

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2001

Our View

Long- and short-term relief needs to be found for the continuously increasing gasoline prices.

Gasoline prices have surged again just before summer and vacations begin, making us all aware of our dependence on oil and its slippery price fluctuations.

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Some predictions say gasoline prices will creep upwards as suppliers tighten available crude and the busy driving season begins. If so, we have little room to complain and a great opportunity to gain.

If gasoline prices do increase this summer, this should be the driving force for us to push for legislation that can provide long- and short-term relief to our dependency on oil.

In the short term, the United States should allow oil producers to pursue all available oil in this country. A compromise needs to be reached between environmentalists and oil producers. We need a domestic oil policy that allows us to harvest available oil here while requiring oil producers to tread lightly on the environment.

At the same time, people paying for gas at the pump need to question what they are paying for and hold elected leaders accountable for the enormous taxes paid for a gallon of gasoline.

In the short term, the U.S. must create dialog with oil-producing nations and seek crude oil prices that are fair for both. If oil prices soar too high, it could be difficult for the U.S. to fulfill its obligation as a super power and operations like Desert Storm could become impossible.

For the long term, we need to encourage alternative fuels. As was demonstrated with the gasoline crises in the 1970s, it’s not healthy for our nation to be dependent on foreign oil. This problem has been around for 30 years and we have made little progress in limiting our dependence on crude oil.

It’s time to think about our future and a future without crude oil.


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