I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!


OK, that’s it. I’m done!  I’m mad enough again to take a stand! (you can too, see how below)

I’ve officially had enough, and I’m done sitting around letting it happen. This morning I paid $2.79/gallon for regular unleaded gas.  That’s $1.10 more that I was paying for gas in December 08.  It’s happening again.  Why?  Is there some shortage on oil?

Or is it just summer driving season, and the powers that be are out to make the most profits they can?  According to sources, there is no actual reason, other than investment run ups that is driving up prices.  If that’s true, we have a problem.

Today, I’m forgetting my column on marketing and imploring you to take a stand. If you don’t want to take a stand — if you haven’t had enough of being gouged at the pump — please stop reading right here. Come back next week, and we can discuss marketing.  Right now I am deeply concerned that oil prices are going to drive the economy back to ground zero again.

I can assure you that if we don’t take a stand on this issue, very soon there may not be a direct marketing industry. Frankly folks, we live in an oil-based economy, and there’s little we can do about it. Right?

Wrong.

There’s a reason ExxonMobil is the most profitable company on the planet. And no, I’m not singling out that one company. And I’m not for government controlling commerce, or profits, or even getting involved and regulating business. But really, enough is enough. Hey ExxonMobil, why don’t you create some good will and PR for yourselves and give some profits back during what’s seen as a time of crisis?

So here’s my stand. I’m calling on you and myself to act now, before someone on TV starts priming us for $6 gas prices for next summer’s driving season. Here’s a list of things you can do to help take a stand.

1. Make your voice heard, and contact your government officials. Here’s a link so you don’t even have to look for it: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml . I don’t care about your party affiliation or if you even have one. If you’re for alternative energy, say so! If you’re for more oil exploration within our country, say so! If you think the government is conspiring with big oil, speak your mind.

2. Drive less!

3. Car pool if you can. OK, I hate this idea. I love the solitude of my drive to and from work. But the less gas we use, the larger the message we send to the oil industry.

4. Tell everybody you know to take a stand. It’s your right to make our country better!

Maybe you won’t want to read my column anymore. Maybe you don’t think this commentary belongs in a catalog marketing forum. To you I say, sorry and too bad. You think your costs are high now? Very shortly you’re going to see an explosion in all of your expenses, thanks to the fact that everything you do requires fuel and transportation.

I’m doing my part by writing this article and practicing numbers one through four above. I’m part of the solution. I’m not sitting back and just taking whatever is dished out and accepting it!

How about you?  Post your comments below…

Some more details: http://money.aol.com/article/oil-prices-soar-above-71-hit-2009-high/520341

About these ads

32 Responses

  1. As long as we keep guzzling gas (demand), the oil companies will charge what they like…and we’ll pay it.

    Let’s get going with higher MPG on vehicles and alternative energy, as you said.

    Oil = DEATH

    • Jim

      True progress will be made in this direction when people still complain when oil prices have fallen (and then rise, fall, etc.)… otherwise it all sounds a bit like a knee-jerk reaction, which dulls the premise… the fact that people don’t complain when prices are low vindicates Lauren’s point…

    • Bob K. has nailed it!!

      As long as we have commodities markets that can be influenced by speculators, who make fortunes on market movement – there is an incentive to drive prices up (or down) – even with ample supply.

      IF you have never seen “The Smartest Guys in the Room”, a very inside look at the Enron scandal, buy a copy, rent a copy – but see it. The same ‘market ‘ forces that create mortgage market scandals and housing busts are at work every time you hear the words “Hedge Fund”.

      • Everyone should view this documentary. It clearly explains how the economy of our country and specifically California during its year of rolling blackouts were manipulated by a single company with a dominant position in the industry.

    • Dear Jim Gilbert:

      I understand you’re upset about the price of gas, and I will tell you a little bit about how I sidestepped the problem.

      I got out of a 1994 BMW 530 and into a Scion XB. I am a big guy so I wanted a large car, but in this case with a small engine. I bought the car in 2004. I knew that the war in Iraq had to be a sign of problems to come so I prepared.

      I also bought an 99 300D Mercedes and converted it to run on vegetable Oil. Hedged my bets on fuel availability.

      When someone comes out with a 60 mpg diesel car, I will trade the scion in and move on that car.

      If the economy were better, I would be looking at the Tesla sedan!

      Got to get off that oil man.. until then, buy the most fuel efficient car you can.

      Don’t join them… beat them.

    • Jim Gilbert, please note that your following statement is factually incorrect: “There’s a reason ExxonMobil is the most profitable company on the planet.”

      In fact, Aramco’s 2008 profit was about 5 ½ times greater than ExxonMobil’s; that is, approximately $250 billion vs. $45.2 billion. Aramco’s profit was close to 85% of revenue. There are two reasons for this extraordinary percentage: 1) It does not cost much to extract oil from the Saudi desert. 2) Saudi Arabia enjoys monopoly – more precisely, oligopoly – pricing power. ExxonMobil’s profit, on the other hand, was just over 10% of revenue. The reason is that ExxonMobil is what economists refer to as a price-taker, not price-maker; that is, it does not have pricing power.

      SOURCES:

      1) Forbes.com is the source for the Aramco data; that is, “The 100% state-owned Aramco manages all its own projects and invests in the latest technology. It’s easily the most profitable company on the planet: This year, after amortization of capital expenses, it should net upwards of $250 billion on $300 billion in revenue.” (The entire article is fascinating. I highly recommend it.)

      http://www.forbes.com/global/2008/1124/092.html

      2) NYTimes.com is the source for ExxonMobil’s profit; that is, “ExxonMobil’s 2008 profits were $45.2 billion.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/business/worldbusiness/30iht-31oil2.19816076.html

  2. Jim,

    While I agree big oil is complicit in this, I’d like to suggest a different cause of the rise in gas prices (actually there are two other causes but one is the value of the dollar which only explains a portion of the increase). I believe the major cause is market manipulation or speculation, if you want to be politically correct.

    Hedge funds and other large investors are driving prices up just like they did last year. Why? Easy: greed and a total lack of regulation. A relatively small amount of people are getting rich (-er) off the backs of the rest of us. I thought our wonderful congress was supposed to fix this but apparently they’re too interested in re-election. Maybe it’s time for term limits!

    Stockpiles are actually high right now so I’m not sure of big oil’s involvement to any great extent. So much for the “free market” economy being a self-correcting system.

    Keep beating the drum!

    • Thanks for adding to the blog, Bob. Excellent points!

      • Jim,

        I believe Bob is right on with his comments about the devaluation of the dollar. Oil is priced in dollars so as the dollar value falls, the price per barrel of oil rises.

        What we should really be fed up with is paying another country for a resource that is readily available here. We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not go after their own oil and energy resources.

        Sorry, but oil is driving a lot of industry and vehicles today, why shouldn’t we go and get the oil that lies within our own boundries. Not only would it create jobs, (real jobs, not stimulus made up jobs), but our own oil in the market would help bring down the cost per barrel the speculators are driving up.

        The country as a whole needs a good solid energy policy that works for the USA. Not for the politicians or their lobbies. We need to look hard at nuclear as our 1st resource for electricity and oil as a secondary resource for transportation.

        We have not build a new oil refinery or nuclear power plant in this country for over 20 years. It is time to make an energy policy that makes sense, and creates new opportunities in jobs and energy cost savings for us.

        Jim is right contact your elected officials, if they hearing nothing from their constituants, that means they are hearing from the lobbiests. Call, write or email your Senators and House representatives, tell them what you want in an energy policy. If they do not listen vote them out and elect someone who will listen. Take back your government, get involved….for the people, by the people…

      • Jim,
        I agree with most of the comments above, and felt you (Jim) raised some good points. I also have changed my driving life style in the past 4 years, and (like most I’m sure) was starting to enjoy having gas below $2.00 a gallon last winter, but so long as gas & oil are publicly traded commodities we will continue to pay whatever prices gas and oil companies want us to pay. I will follow suit and send emails to our elected officials (like I did last year when oil rose to over $100 a barrel) but again until gas and oil are not publicly traded, or when there’s a realistic, cost effective, viable, alternative fuel source we won’t see any change. I don’t mean to sound negative or have a defeatist attitude, I too have been raging about the price of gas ever since it rose above $2.00 in 2005. Also, hybrid vehicles are not the solution as most still use gas, and they’re not economically priced for the everyday middle class person who is conscious and actually wants to use less fossil fuel and save money. The only answer I see is for people like you Jim, and all those who have commented, to continue to talk about this, and create forums for others to voice their concerns/opinions, so our government officials (who get paid from our tax dollars!) will be forced to take notice. I again agree with Jim on the point he made about how if gas prices continue to climb it will again cripple the economy, but if it does again it may not recover this time.

    • Bob – You are exactly right about this.

      I track the barrel price – and it rises and falls with the Dow like clockwork. This means speculators are betting on economic health in western countries – when more people are working, more oil products are used…

      I have to say on this original post – government is not the answer here. Pickens spent all kinds of money last Fall during the election – he is nowhere now. What happened – the prices came down temporarily, the election happened, and the news media went to other things…

      We’ll have a substitute here only when private industry figures out how to do it – and still use the infrastructure we already have. Until then, all the government money will be flushed.

      Frankly an easy band-aid would be a simple law to force bulk purchasers of oil to actually take inventory. This would take option traders et. al, out of the market.

  3. I think you pretty much nailed it. But honestly I have the feeling the US will never get out of the deadly grip of oil multies. Why? Let me explain:

    1. Why are hybrid cars here so unpopular?
    Lexus for instance is known fir outstanding hybrid cars – in Europe!
    As far as I know they don’t even offer them here.
    The reason is simple, people here don’t want them.

    Why is Diesel of even better alternatives like Bio Diesel not used?
    People don’t want it.

    Why do so many people here depend on oil?
    Because they want to.
    I have never seen a modern country ( and I have seen a lot) where renewable energy (solar, wind, water) is used so little and oil so much.

    As long as people think that they have to drive the biggest cars to show off.
    As long as people don’t care mure about this planet.
    As long as people don’t start to change themselves, nothing will change and folks like Exxon will be able to do whatever they want. And we will pat the bill.

    I drove a Lexus hybrid in Europe and reached up to 64 mph.
    If there would be demand, they (and many others) would do much more.
    Car pools are good, but they don’t solve this problem.
    Carpools with hybrid (or even better elektro cars) would be much better.
    But as long as people love to drive hummers, trucks and big cars to just show off (or why would you need a big jeep in a city?), we will stay what we are. Puppets on strings, directed by the big oil guys.

    • 64 mpg not mph, sorry typing on the phone is pretty hard

    • I don’t agree on this 100%. ONE of the reasons I don’t buy a hybrid car because the batteries aren’t recyclable and the fuel efficiency isn’t as high as it can be. So the benefit doesn’t outweigh the environmental risk. The Europeans have different emission standards and regulations and therefore we DO NOT get the same choice in cars as EU has. The reason for that is a political mess, but basically the BIG AUTO here in the US buy their politicians and backwards legislation is in effect that is ANTI-Green…and US Citizens foolishly TRUST their government. Can we speak with our wallets? SURE…but government assists the American car companies. Not just this time with the bailouts either; it’s been paying US car dealers for some time supplementally, but most people don’t pay attention.

      Another reason I don’t buy hybrids is that I don’t buy new. I like to run my cars forever.

      I do own a big SUV, but it is not a daily driver. It’s when I am either driving more than 5 passengers OR when the roads are bad. Here in the Mountains of Rural Colorado, little Prius won’t cut it everyday and forget what would happen if I hit an Elk (not found on the AutoBahn). Fortunately, I work from home and am not a daily driver. But my point to this is that it’s not image or greed that puts me into my SUV. It’s functionality.

      Obviously, I am not a city person and FLASH is not me, so perhaps I’m the minority in your eyes. But I see it the other way around. Perhaps is a simple matter of perspective?

      I understand the sentiment that oftentimes people don’t seem to care. But I disagree with that as well. MOST people I know want to do well for the planet and want to make the right decision, but mistakenly spend their time blaming each other in judgement rather than looking for the common ground and fighting big government. Why? Because it’s easier to blame the simple mistakes small people make than to combat the big huge complicated mess that’s been left to grow over the years in our government.

      On a side note…alternative energy sources are wonderful for cars and other fuel burning vehicles, but even if we stopped all of our driving completely our oil consumption continues in the making of our clothing, containers, rubbers…etc. Automobiles are just the easy scapegoat. We need to look at everything we use and rethink, reclaim, and recycle.

      So… I agree with the sentiment that we need to do something. But, have to congratulate the author of this blog in pointing to your congressmen as the means to be heard. Pointing fingers at your neighbor is not a solution, rather it’s part of the problem. Our fat congressmen LOVE IT when we fight amongst ourselves because it leaves them free to run “unchecked”. No time has been more obvious than during the recent sessions in 2009 where Bills have been passed into law that literally made me discouraged to the point of panic.

  4. All good starting points. You should also learn to live greener like bicycling to work and the store, walk to errands, not only good for less gas use but good for the waist lines too.

    Build the right buildings here’s an example I did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYk2C0LL1k
    And http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=588608768 oh and, http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/geodesic_domes.php

    Work from home by computer, telecommute or move closer to your office.

    While your at it, visit: http://www.theorionproject.org/en/fax.html
    you can fax all world governments from this page and ask them to donate to “The Orion Project”.

    The Orion Project scientists already have technology to power everything by electro magnetics! They just need the funding to make prototypes for industrial trials to show the world how burning oil is destroying not only the environment but also the economy. These folks have the answer to it all. Help them spread the word and there will be jobs for the world’s economy for hundreds of years to come simply retrofitting all the oil burning vehicles currently in existence.

    • There are many more solutions everyone should become aware of like:

      Turning Trash Into Power

      Zero Waste plasma gasification

      This will be the new way of how we deal with garbage this is amazing

      And

      REGENEDYNE Wind Turbine

      OVER UNITY MOTORS BREAKING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS

      Geothermal Energy Process

      And perhaps the most exciting New Bio fuel:

  5. Jim,

    Do what I did, buy a motorcycle and reduce your gas consumption while reducing your impact on the environment. Not everyone needs to commute by car!

    This past Monday (6/15) was Ride To Work Day an annual event: http://www.ridetowork.org/

    We can still have gasoline powered vehicles and moderate prices if we all just act a little smarter about our transportation choices. My 75-year old neighbors take turns riding their 150cc scooter to run errands. Wise folks!

    Thanks!

  6. Actually, if gas were at least $4.00 a gallon we would be in better shape as a country. What? Yes, if gas was at least that high per gallon INNOVATION would take over and we’d jump start our country to seek ways to ween ourselves from dirty energy. Read, HOT, FLAT and CROWDED by Friedman. It’s an eye-opener.

    • Jeff, good point, my original call to action mad has hell article came out last year when gas went up over $4. It takes a lot to get us to change. But I think that the good news is this… change seems to be in the air, all around us. As we get to the end of the first decade of the new century, we seem to be going through a transition.

      Jim

    • can agree more. This cheap gas dream is over. Sorry for the ones that can’t live with out a big gas guzzlers, you get use to, like the rest of world did.

  7. Wow, now I am truly frightened. All of you think this is an environmental issue? Grow up, please. This is a supply-side issue. The world has plenty of oil, even right here in our own country, and it’s the environmentalists that prevent us from getting it. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH USING OIL to power our economy. There is no proof ANYWHERE that the extraction, refinement and burning of oil to power our cars is “killing the planet.” SHOW ME… the proof does not exist!

    If all of you environmentalists out there would use your brains instead of spouting what “feels right and good,” then the price of gasoline would not be so high. Don’t dictate to me what kind of car I must drive! Take your holier than thou attitude and shove it.

    Very Sincerely,

    • A bit harsh Mark. We cannot be so polarizing if we are to make a difference. Try getting 4 people in a room to agree on anything… it’s very difficult. Now try to have people agree on something when people are heated about it… impossible.

      Jim

      • My apologies, Jim, but I am frankly very tired of being “nice” while Rome burns. These are serious times, and people need to wake up. I wish I could pinpoint the time when individuals started feeling it is their right to dictate how others should live, what they can buy, how much they can earn, what they can eat, and what they can drive.

        1984 has arrived.

    • Mark,

      I just want to ask if you have ever heard of “Acid Rain”?

      I read Scientific American every month and have for over a decade, you are miss informed; there is a load of scientific proof that burning oil DOES hurt the environment. To say otherwise is just plain stupid.

      Economies come and go, they are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Stop thinking with your wallet and start using your brain for a change.

      Look at the vast die off of Bees. There are direct correlations to the burning of fossil fuel to the pollution that is killing the earths’ Bee population.

      Your knee jerk reaction to that might be to hell with the Bees, you’ll get stung less. But the educated response is that without Bees our food supply is in jeopardy since we rely on Bees for pollination; hence we end up with massive food shortages, sky rocketing food prices for what is left and eventually massive starvation and die off of people.

      Not something I look forward to for my family to experience although the writing is on the wall.

      You can drive whatever car you want until Obama dictates otherwise.

      But wouldn’t you prefer to be part of the solution then to be just another problem?

      Very Sincerely,

  8. Personally I believe gasoline should be at least $6.00 a gallon. Let’s add a $3.00 tax to solve the deficit problem and stimulate business to design more efficient modes of transportation.

    Slowly increasing prices does nothing to motivate consumers or businesses to make change.

    We as Americans waste far too much.

  9. Right on Bill
    In Denmark gas is $7.00 a gallon and we have no big problem with that.
    Please think about your carbon footprint and climat change.
    Your and mine kids are forced to solve the problems you/we create

  10. [...] I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore! [...]

  11. Spoken like a true American Jim. Only worried about your wallet and penalizing the oil companies. No regard for consumption at all. Price in uk is over $6 and has been for ages . You talk about the oil companies making masssive profits but what are they in relation to their turnover? Given the amount they have to spend on exploration etc is it unreasonable for them to make a 10% profit as was the case with Shell last time i looked? If you local shop turned over $100k a year would you begrudge him a $10k profit?

    I’m not even really sure what my final point or stance is but reading such insular, self absorbed twaddle made me want to write something!

    This is a finite resource and will be gone one day. We need to start planning for its future and its replacement and not moaning about how much more of it we could be squandering if only it were cheaper.

    • Wow Dan. You missed the point. Did you just read the provocative headline, or the whole article. Because in my article I offer some solutions like carpooling, and even a way to contact our local gov’t.

      I agree with you on one thing – it does seem that you are “really not sure what your final point or stance is”.

      I am offering people a forum for discussion, and a way to make a difference. I’m trying to spark something here.

      However I thank you for commenting and welcome your point of view.

      Jim

      • fair point i was rambling!

        I was struck though by the tone of your article which seemed to be “hit them where it hurts I want cheap petrol” rather than reduce consumption for the sake of the environment. You did sound like a spoilt child stamping their foot to get what you want and not seeing the bigger picture.

        That said i agree the companies should not be allowed to price fix to make exorbitant profits. I was right about the 10% of turnover on companies such as exon mobile… Aramco was a shock at 85% though!

  12. I didn’t think anyone noticed that gas is going up again. 7-11 has the gas at $2.89 here, and down the street Exxon has it for $3.09. Driving around the gas prices are all different. There is no shortage now. No one is watching, and the prices are getting worse. I will definitely write a letter. Thanks for the link.

  13. Let’s not forget that Electricity will run the same course as Oil now that Cap/Trade may actually pass.

We love comments. Go for it. We dare you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,416 other followers