Well, here we are again. The was a little burp in gasoline supply, the speculators jumped in and -- voila! -- the consumer saw gas prices rise between 40 and 50 cents a gallon in two days. Has anybody wondered why? I'm not a genius or a financial guru, but I think I know why. No, it's not our Middle Eastern brethren, nor is it the oil companies. Rather it's the tree-hugging do-gooders, the EPA and financial speculators.
You see, the conservationists convinced the EPA years ago that every major metropolitan area has a unique air quality problem and accordingly each area needs a special gasoline formula to combat those pollutants. As a result we now have boutique gasoline, a formulation that is different according to the air quality of each major city. And what happens when something is customized? The price goes up!
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Now I enjoy the outdoors and am all for the environment, but there needs to be a balance between clean air and the consumers' budget. Right now the balance of power is in the hands of environmentalists and the EPA. Lets get rid of boutique gasoline.
The other factor is the role of the financial speculator. They are the ones bidding up the price of oil and gasoline on the futures market. We need to find another pricing mechanism to replace this market. Today I saw a story in the paper that there was a problem with a pipeline in Wisconsin and also refinery problems in Whiting, Ind., and Lockport, Ill. All that needs to be reported is the word "problem" and the speculators bid the prices up. This needs to stop.
Our lawmakers need to step in and protect the consumer from being pillaged and plundered.
Paul M. Lyczak