Holy hell, gas is expensive
Gas prices in Salem have shot up nearly 40 cents per gallon in the past two weeks. I mean, $3.35 for gas, and I read today that the price of a barrel of oil reached a new high today. Whee!The problem is that I can’t just blame that sniveling jerks at the oil companies. Yes, they have done everything they can to protect their market using whatever tactics are available. But you know what? If we Americans didn’t drive so damn much, if more of us took the bus, walked, rode our bicycles, replaced one of our cars with a scooter, we wouldn’t be so beholden to those oil industry jerks, to the crazy dictators (I’m talkin’ to you, Hugo Chavez) and to the Middle East.But it’s not that easy. We were a one-car family for two years, and it was difficult — but hardly impossible. I rode the bus or rode my bike or commuted with Stefanie, and our car was a Corolla so it gas mileage was always stellar. Then I started commuting to Portland every day, and since Stefanie has to travel for work, we needed a second car. Then last year, we had a baby and found that two cars were almost required. The only good news is that Stefanie and I now split time working from home, so most of the time only the Corolla gets used.We hope to give Andrew the Corolla when he goes to college, and I’m hopeful that eventually we will buy a place closer to downtown — and therefore closer to work — so that we don’t have to replace the second car. I like the idea of walking or riding my bike everywhere and of living close to everywhere we like to go: the movies, shopping, restaurants. And the idea of being able to go home for lunch is incredibly appealing — and saves money.So what do you suggest we Americans do to help the environment and solve our oil addiction?