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Gasoline Essay, Research Paper

Why are we paying so much for gasoline? If you haven?t noticed you must not drive, but there has been a drastic increase in gas prices in the past year and a half. It seemed like just the other day when I was at the gas station and I said ?Can I get 20 dollars on pump 3 please?? and that would guarantee a full tank of gas. But those were the good old days when gasoline was a low, low, low price of .99 cents per gallon. 20 dollars has my gauge reaching for the halfway mark on the gas meter. Nowadays it takes double that money to get a full tank. Anyone who drives a SUV has it the worst of all drivers. SUV?s have some the largest tanks and get the worst mileage. The last time I went to the pump it cost me 40 dollars to fill up my tank. That breaks down to almost $2 a gallon. That?s me dedicating a whole day?s worth of work toward filling up my gas tank. Who is to blame for all this?

The major culprits behind all these rising prices are the Big Oil companies. They decided not to produce their standard gasoline inventories due to the high costs of crude oil before Memorial Day of 2000. The cost of crude oil is $34 per barrel. Which leaves the Midwest fuel market highly vulnerable to supply disruption especially since supply in the Midwest is depends mostly on pipelines. In turn, three major Big Oil pipeline disruptions wreak havoc on the market because of the lack of gasoline inventories. With the lack of supply, brought on by decisions by the Big Oil companies, gas prices skyrocket in the Midwest. Now, the Big Oil companies gather record profit margins as a result of their own supply mismanagement. The Big Oil companies blame ethanol (a fuel made from corn to reduce emissions from the cars), to cover up their profit. Now, guess who is stuck with paying the price at the pump???

I was reading the paper and I read ?California gas prices fall? and it mad me laugh. What did it fall to? The average price in Sacramento is $1.92 and falling a whole .2 cents from a month ago. Only a year ago you could have bought that same gallon for $1.46. The state average is now at a $1.85 with Lake Tahoe at the top of the list at $2.10 per gallon and Salinas at the bottom at $1.86

When the prices are $1.20 or below I would call that a fall but .2 cents is only a slip.

Right now there is only one logical solution to the problem and that is by using ethanol-blended fuel. Ethanol is produced through a fermentation and distillation process that turns the sugars in the corn into alcohol. Ethanol utilizes about 7 percent of the U.S. corn crop annually. It greatly reduces tailpipe emissions, helps to hold up the agricultural economy, and directly displaces imported oil. The price of ethanol is cheaper than unleaded gasoline. Because the price of oil is at it?s highest while the price of corn for the use of ethanol is at it?s lowest. A bushel of corn, which is like 2.5 or 3 gallons, is equal to 1 gallon of gas. Since the 1970?s cars can burn up to 10 percent ethanol. In the Midwest they use 10 percent ethanol and the rest unleaded gas. Ethanol is clean burning and reduces toxic emissions by 22 percent and greenhouse causing gases by 40 percent. It is renewable because we grow more corn every year that can be used to produce more ethanol. Gas can never be reproduced because it comes from oil. It is made in the U.S. from corn in the U.S. so we don?t have to deal with the importing of oils that primarily come from the Middle East. It is a great deal for is as consumers and helps the farmers and the economy, and helps us save money by balancing the trade with the Middle East. It enhances engine performance by increasing the octane in the gas and cleans and prevents engine deposits. It even acts as antifreeze for your fuel line.

The Big Oil companies know what they are doing and it was a smart move by them. Everyone in the U.S. drives an automobile and to drive you need gas. You need gas, without it you can?t drive. There is no alternative that you can put inside your tank to make it run so you have to pay the going rate. Since the gas prices have gone up there has been no change in the amount of gas that is being bought in fact there are more people buying gas now than before. So, why would a seller want to lower the price of their product if people will pay for it no matter what the tag says? The prices of gas may slide but never ?fall.? The Big Oil companies will continue what they are doing for as long as we pay the price. If you don?t like the gas prices you better stock up on shoes and start walking because they aren?t going anywhere but up.

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