GAS Costs $2.00 Per Gallon
- By John R. Prukop <email@example.com>
- Executive Director CCW Coalition:
- Citizens For A Constitutional Washington
- The graying trucker wore a detached look
as he topped off the tank of the blue and chrome 18-wheeler.
The meter on the pump clicked $235.00, at just under $1.76
per gallon. "That's a lot of money for fuel," I
commented, "How do you independent guys make it?"
He focused on me for a moment, and then answered, "I'm
going to put this one on my Visa, if it isn't already
- That same week, in a Middle Eastern
country, a busload of Americans were stretching their
legs during a fuel stop. A W. Blumhorst, calculating the
conversion of gallons to liters and native currency to US
dollars in his notebook. He watched the attendant pump
diesel fuel into the European made bus. "Do I have
this figured right?" he asked the English-speaking
bus driver "Is it possible you are buying fuel for
four cents a gallon U.S.? Are you really going to fill
this bus for a $10.00 bill...? Maybe I should take a
gallon home to Missouri or they will never believe me!"
- One week later the American evening news
featured a parade of Independent truckers driving their
tractors through the streets of Washington D.C.
protesting run away fuel prices. Truckers will tell
anyone in Washington who will listen that at $2.00 per
gallon for diesel many independent trucker cannot afford
to fill their tanks. The per mile cost of running the rig
consumes his operating margin, leaving not enough to send
home to the wife and kids. No matter how many miles he
drives or how much load he pulls, he just cannot cover
his payments on the rig plus his family's expenses back
home. Like other small businessmen with an investment,
the trucker is caught in a price squeeze.
- He can only do what he knows how to do,
drive and run up the credit card bills while he watches
his equity in his rig disappear and pays for a break.
Soon, he will tell you, that he will be three payments
behind on his rig and there will be a bank collection
agent looking for him at the house. Not a pleasant
thought for the family to face while the trucker is on
the road. The payments and interest on his investment
continues whether the truck runs or sets idly in a truck
stop, as some have done.
- The truckers do not agree on what they
think the President should do to lower fuel prices. As a
stopgap measure they hope Clinton will, like a merciful
king, take off the 24 cent per gallon federal tax on fuel.
They reason that with a 24 cent drop in diesel prices
they might again eke out a few cents a mile and
eventually paying off the rig, hopefully before it needs
new tires or a major overhaul.
- Indeed, the trucker's action is really one
of desperation. The effect of the vaulting oil price has
only begun to hit most American consumers the way it has
impacted the trucker. We notice higher gas prices but
most of us do not measure our lives from pump to pump. We
consumers are downstream from the price increase. Sure,
it hurts to fill the car, but we have a tendency to
forget that the cost doesn't stop there. Soon we too,
will feel its effect in every product we consume or use,
from lettuce to airline tickets--- even insurance,
utility costs and the cost of government itself will all
be escalated by the oil price rise. For America still
runs on energy, and energy is still oil.
- The trucker will soon be joined in his
plight by millions of independent farmers caught in
exactly the same mousetrap of leapfrog cost for
everything they must purchase. They too face competitive
revenues and grinding interest payments on their capital.
And as the independent farmers continue to be driven to
sell out to the multinationals, the fuse begins to burn
on a food price explosion unprecedented in our history.
- The economic sophists deny the trucker's
solution will solve the problem. Those bright young men
work for the corporate high-rise world and the cloisters
of the multinationals who can afford the gas. They will
scoff at the trucker's "simplistic" economic
theory. They will speak of fuel economy, marginal
efficiency of the trucking industry, and the need for
international control of "OPEC " and other
greedy producers. Their answer will be more international
controls over prices and productions quotas. They will
say the trucker is the victim of "fragmentation"
in an industry that needs consolidation. In other words,
their solution is that the independent trucker (like with
the independent farmer) must go out of business. What
they do not say is if that happens every consumer will
share the cost in drastically higher prices for basic
goods and services.
- The trucker is correct in blaming
Washington. Many know or suspect what Mr. Blumhorst
learned on his trip to the Middle East, that there is
enough oil in the world to keep energy prices low if they
were only allowed to buy it. It sell for pennies a gallon
in those producing countries that are not in the good
graces of our self serving Government leaders and their
- The trucker feels the source of the
problem in his gut. It is too bad we do not all feel it.
Beware those who try to complicate the answer of high
fuel prices are hiding the real answer. We should follow
the trucker's problem and blame Washington. But until the
trucker and millions of consumers who share his problem
come to an understanding of why the oil price is
escalating, it will not be solved.
- In fact, there is plenty of oil, refining
capacity and transportation to get it to us, but
inexplicably, we are not allowed to have it. The problem
is very simple indeed and the solution could begin before
the trucker's next payment on the rig is due and is
within the reach of the elected congressman. That
solution is to allow us, the American consumer, to
PURCHASE OIL FROM WHOMEVER WANTS TO PRODUCE AND SELL IT.
- In this series of " Heads Up!"
we will examine the common sense of oil, and with it the
future of food, transportation, housing and almost
everything else you consume or use. The questions to be
answered are, "Who is really to blame for high
prices? Why? What is the impact on the rest of the world?"
- Gasoline is selling for a nickel a gallon
in Iraq, and a single dollar will buy 25 gallons of
diesel fuel because Iraq is not allowed to sell its oil.
In Iraq children are starving while American bombs still
fall regularly on the survivors. Yet American truckers
and farmers cannot produce and haul food for lack of fuel.
- Would you like to help millions of
Americans learn why? If so, put your shoulder to the
wheel of the Truth Machine.
- See the WHTT bookstore (http://www.whtt.org/bookstor).
Ask about the audio tape interview, "An American
Visits the Children of Iraq."
- "Heads Up!" -- Copyright 2000,
story may be reproduced in full for non-commercial use.
- "Reason obeys itself; and ignorance
does whatever is dictated to it." --Thomas Paine,
Rights of Man ("Conclusion")
- "All laws which are repugnant to the
Constitution are null and void." --Marbury v.
Madison, 5 U.S. (2 Cranch) 137 (1803)
- CCW Coalition: Citizens For A
Constitutional Washington John R. Prukop, Executive
Director 11910-C Meridian Ave. E., #142 Puyallup,
Washington 98373 TEL: (253) 840-8071 FAX: (253) 840-8074
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