Gas--North of 4, Heading Toward 5 | Nose Under the Community Tent | Paul Losch | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

By Paul Losch

Gas--North of 4, Heading Toward 5

Uploaded: Mar 3, 2012

I tanked up my Prius the other day. $4.25/gallon. Glad I get 40+MPG.

I recall a few years ago when gas prices for a time went over $4. "W" was President at the time, and he expressed surprise at a press conference that gas prices had crossed that threshold. "Out of touch?"

I live in a neighborhood that could be called "Prius Nation." I have not done a scientific count, but my sense is that at least one half of the folks on my block have a hybrid car.

This leads to a larger issue, some of it economic theory and some of it national policy.

Economic theory: supply and demand. Energy takes many forms. It is getting increaslingy expensive for the most part. It is a global matter, not a US matter alone.

Focusing on gasoline, go visit China or India to understand what is going on. Demand is increasing worldwide, supply for oil has not kept pace.

As for other energy sources, nothing comes easy. Solar, nuclear, fracking, inter alia take time to develop, and are better sources of future energy than is gas.

What's more, (and I am guilty as charged,) there is so much waste. In my case, the house I live in was built in the 1920's, and it leaks so much through its single pane windows to make your head spin. I cite myself as an example, and there are folks like me all over the place in the same situation.

Policy: I find tiresome statements that gas prices can go back to $2.50 or less. I also find tiresome those who argue against developing alternative energy sources. This largely rests with the private sector, the Shells and Chevrons of the world, but there is a role for our national government in fostering developments that will provide for future energy demand.