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Dick Palmer: The real gas guzzlers are people

This is a festering monster affecting nearly everyone. The issue will get worse unless someone gives each of us an oil well or two. The price of gasoline will continue to rise until Americans and Canadians take charge of their own destiny.

This is a festering monster affecting nearly everyone. The issue will get worse unless someone gives each of us an oil well or two. The price of gasoline will continue to rise until Americans and Canadians take charge of their own destiny.
It won't be easy and there will definitely be some sacrifices, but our economy is based on supply and demand. It's a great process because the consumer is ultimately in the driver's seat. When things get out of hand, the consumer always has the final word.
There is no question the oil industry is flexing its muscles, and there appears to be nothing we can do about it. Some say gasoline prices will continue to rise to $2 per gallon or more and then gradually slide back to around $1.60. A grateful public, relieved by a clever marketing campaign to confuse the facts, will be tickled to death to pay $1.60 as a permanent pricing mechanism. No longer will we see $1.30 per gallon gasoline, and the rich will continue to get richer.
This writer has been talking about this issue for over a year. Suggesting that drivers slow down about 5 miles an hour under the speed limit was an option. Car pooling was another, planning shopping trips to conserve was also mentioned. Accelerating without jamming the pedal to the floor was another. In other words, just driving more sensibly will save millions of gallons of gasoline per day, but, of course, that will not happen unless the consumers get organized and take charge of the market.
When we stop and think about it, the entire automotive industry is affected here. Vehicles require maintenance, and thousands of auto and truck centers benefit from our patronage. Driving more sensibly will save tire wear, increase mileage and reduce other wasteful expenses. Auto parts suppliers and maintenance outlets will join the public's request for lower fuel prices because their livelihood is in jeopardy. Supply and demand is the bottom line.
If you live near a bus line, consider taking the bus to work just one day a week for starters. That will save you money and cut gasoline consumption considerably, especially if enough people do get involved. Don't drive unless it is necessary. Of course, it will be a sacrifice.
The other option is to sit back and turn the other cheek. Those oil barons are depending on this option.
What do you think? Talk it over with your spouse and the kids who also drive the family car. Maybe some other ideas will surface. Are you a gas guzzler? Think about it.
Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer news. He may be reached at 729-6470 or by e-mail at rpalmer@duluth.com .
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