Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Gas Prices

It seems like the price of gas is falling just as fast as it spiked last summer. Yesterday afternoon I saw gas prices that seemed so low I was excited. Excited for $2.48/gallon. What is wrong with me? But compared to $4.25/gallon, paying less than two and a half dollars a gallon seems like a total bargain.

Funny thing is, when I first started driving, the year we replaced dinosaurs with automobiles, I paid a whopping $.29/gallon for gas. Yes, you read that right. I can remember my father, a notorious tightwad, being upset that gas was THIRTY CENTS A GALLON! Because, being a tightwad, he always insisted in including that .99 in the price. This is a man who would go all over town to find the cheapest gas to fill up his Jew Canoe.

Of course, I also remember when stamps for a first class letter cost $.04 and candy bars were a nickle. Because I'm an old fart. But what does that matter when gas prices are again falling into an almost normal price category?

I haven't changed my driving habits at all. I don't drive hither and yon. Mostly I don't drive at all. I use a full tank a month, so I really don't have the right to complain much about how much gas costs. I don't commute anywhere. I only drive the Girl to and from her job, which is right up the road and takes a whole 5 minutes to get there. Otherwise it's doctor appointments, occasional shopping excursions, and an errand or two. However, that doesn't mean that I don't get to appreciate the fall in prices because I know how much those insane prices this summer affected so many of you. The poor folks that moved far from their jobs to be able to afford a nice house at a decent price, those are the people who hurt the most during the huge spike this summer. When people were spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gas, that affected their ability to buy necessities like food.

What bothers me is that the heating oil companies, at the height of the price hikes, used scare tactics to rope customers into locking in their heating oil prices. With tales of $6.00/gallon heating oil prices, gullible and frightened customers locked in their oil price at over $4/gallon. Now heating oil prices have fallen into the ~$2.50/gallon range, but those customers that locked in are going to be paying almost twice that for the same oil as other customers who didn't fall for the scare tactics. I think that's criminal. I can understand locking in a maximum price, but to charge people way over what the oil is worth due to frightening advertising that the companies themselves made is just morally and ethically wrong. It will be interesting to see if the state legislature takes action to control this greed. I don't have high hopes.

I don't know how low the gas and oil will go, but watching it fall is invigorating after so many weeks of gasping at the high prices, isn't it?

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Blogger Rhea said...

Maybe your daughter could bike to work?

27/10/08 12:16 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Rhea, she could walk TO work, but she gets off late at night and it's just not safe for her to be walking or biking that late at night. She's not particularly street savvy and I wouldn't feel comfortable about her being alone on that Big Steet by herself.

27/10/08 4:39 PM  
Blogger Kmommy said...

I was just thinking about that today (the heating oil companies). I am glad this year that I did not lock in a price... of course last year I regretted not doing it! :)

27/10/08 9:39 PM  

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