Flint Township View

Drop in gas prices has us laughing all the way to pumps



It started a few weeks ago. We all began to notice it was costing a little less every time we went to the pumps to gas up. When gas dropped below the $2 mark for the first time in what seemed like forever and it was costing about half as much to fill our tanks — I began to wonder how long this could last.

Essentially, from the way it is being told in national news, the U.S. has become the biggest producer of petroleum products and the market is flooded with gas, driving prices down. I’ve also heard the OPEC countries are trying to drive down prices to hurt the foreign oil markets.

Regardless, life seems good. Unless, of course, you are wealthy and have invested a lot of money in the oil market. Economic markets took a big hit Monday as oil slipped past the $50 a barrel mark and investors are now looking for other, safer commodities to invest their money in.

I’ll apologize now if I don’t really care about how rich people invest their money, I’ll take $2.20 gas (as it currently stands while I’m writing this). I’ll take it even lower than that because for years we’ve been paying outrageous prices at the gas pumps and we’ve made the rich even richer.

I remember when gas hit its highest prices back in 2008, when it was close to $5 a gallon, and I lived in Fenton and had to drive to Davison daily to go to work. That was an expensive commute. But in time prices came down and I now live closer to the office, so gas prices haven’t been unbearable — but still not great.

So please forgive me Wall Street moguls, but I’ll take that cheap gas and I’ll be happy to put some of what I save at the pump back into our economy. This break in gas prices is helping with something none of us have had much of lately — extra cash in our pockets.

If investors are looking for some place to put their money, maybe they ought to try alternative energy sources.

It would be fantastic if maybe someday we had affordable electric cars. Or maybe cars that run on another source of power, like hydrogen or solar power. Invest in the future, don’t keep feeding the petroleum beast and instead focus on putting oil to rest.

I know that’s probably wishful thinking because as long as cars run on gas and gas is derived from crude oil, people with money are going to use it to make more money and exert control over the economies of the world.

In the meantime, we’ll take cheap gas prices and wait for the powers that be to maybe someday come to their senses. I don’t think that will be any time soon, but I’m going to guess someday we will have to change the way we do things if we are to remain a mobile society.

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