High Fuel Costs - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Consider This - May 1, 2006

High Fuel Costs

I’m sure you have filled up your car or truck with gasoline lately so it should come as no surprise that the price of gas has skyrocketed the past few weeks. How does that happen?


We hear the “experts” say that demand has increased; production is down, blah, blah, blah… and then the oil companies report record profits of billions of dollars and company executives are getting bonuses worth millions. Some reports say that the oil companies have little control over the costs passed on to the consumer. I’m not buying it…In fact I can’t say what I really think or KAIT would have to pay a big fine to the FCC…. or worse… I’d get a call from my pastor. But I will tell that response seems to me like it came from the north end of a south bound bull… if you know what I mean.


Consider This…


Every year as summer travel increases, the cost of gasoline traditionally increases as well. It happens every year… yet the oil companies act like this is a surprise. It is not a surprise… it’s a trend… Shouldn’t they know they should have more oil on hand? Call me ignorant… by the way I’ve been called much worse… but I just don’t get it… so I decided to do a little research on the topic.


Here’s what I found out.


Prior to Hurricane Katrina crude oil prices were averaging around 37 dollars per barrel… and a barrel is about 42 gallons. Post Katrina… the price almost doubled and reached $70 per barrel in early September. Remember how everyone was so upset to be paying over 2 dollars for a gallon of gas last year? Now we would be relieved to pay “ONLY” $2 dollars a gallon. We’ve fallen right into their trap. It almost seems that the oil companies said, hey we’ve finally gotten the price to over 2 dollars a gallon, now we can really stick it to them.


Another thing we discovered is that a gallon of gas is cut into several pieces that affect the price and everyone wants their share. 59 percent goes towards crude oil, 10 percent for refining, 11 percent for distribution and marketing, which includes shipping the gasoline to the to the local station, and taxes make up about 20 percent of the cost. The local gas station only makes a few cents per gallon so don’t beat up on them too much.


So what do we do? Hopefully Senators Lincoln & Pryor from Arkansas and Senators Bond & Talent from Missouri are fighting on our behalf in Washington . We’ll do our best to report on their activity regarding this issue.


Hybrid vehicles are becoming more common and Jeep just announced they are coming out with two new models this fall that will burn ethanol.


Many environmentalists would say we have created this situation due to our excessive use of automobiles. That may be partially true… but I don’t see many people giving up driving. However, it does seem to be pretty good timing for the launch of the new JETS public transportation program – rides are free in May… and we also encourage you to join us in the push to get our local leaders to realize that biking and running lanes would actually be a good thing.


Finally… if you haven’t already booked that summer trip… maybe you could reevaluate your plans. We are fortunate to have some great vacation options right here in our own backyard. Let’s consider staying closer to home this year by vacationing in Arkansas or Missouri.  Check out Arkansas dot com or  VisitMo.com  for some great ideas. We’ll also post those links on our website at kait8.com

It may not be much… and the big oil companies may not notice it… but at least it’s a start.

Viewer Comments:

Mike S of Cherokee Village writes:

ted fortenberry,your piece on the oil companies exactly my view, I think its worse than Enron and Haliburton combined,I just dont understand why its legal? Anyway I was surprised you had the stand-up in you to take on the [expletive]!

David W of Paragould writes

I'd like to applaud you on the VERY well spoken opinion on the 5/01/2006 showing of nightbeat.  Those words are probably echoed every day at various places of business, and households alike.  I wasn't even born during the oil fiasco that occured in 1973, but history often has an ominous way of rearing its ugly head with often the same things that have already occured....and yet we still refuse to learn from mistakes, and still 'buy in' to whatever our government tells us. 
Now we have a president in office who seems to have lost his mind, and is hell-bent on world domination before his term is out...a president in Iran who could be Bush's long lost brother, as he acts the same way...and bringing us back to the current situation, oil prices are skyrocketing...and yet we continue to pump our cars full everyday. 
Am I correct in saying that this government was created of the people, by the people, for the people.??  Seems that 'our' government has forgotten this...as the trend during the bush/regan years and now during bush junior years, show us this is clearly not the case.
I've heard alot of people talking about boycotting buying gas for a day, but that wouldn't work, as then the laws of supply and demand would take over...and others propose only boycotting certain stations.  I don't think either would work, nor do I have any ideas that would, other than a total revolt by the American population to let the government know..."hey...enough already!"   Not that I advocate Anarchy, but in my personal opinion....we're not far from it.
Once again...applause is due to the editorial staff and Mr. Fortenberry for that presentation...very well done.

Tim C of Strawberry writes:

Thanks so much for your 'consider this' segment on the high gas prices....It's going to take the media to keep the attention on this to ever have any kind of positive affect...Please stay after this problem...and please help put the weight on our local politicians, Lambert, Berry, and others to help... I have called Marion Berry and Blanche Lambert among others, and feel as though I have gotten nowhere... I mean nowhere...I have a daughter graduating high school in 10 days. and if she drives to work in Batesville, works 8 hours per day, for $5.15 per hour, after taxes and GAS for her truck, she will clear $19.20 per day... Now I ask you, would you have gotten up for work today, if you knew you were going to net $19.20 today ??? Thats what I ask Senator Lamberts office, and they laughed.. yes Laughed...Thought I was trying to be funny or something... I hung up on them, and will remember them at the voting booth...Please help bring attention to the elderly and young people trying to cope with a very small amount of money, and gas companies holding us hostage...along with OUR politicians. .

Bill E. of Doniphan writes:

Everyone is crying about gasoline prices but we have had the technology to be oil independent for the last 50 years.It is called Ethanol,a renewable energy source that the old moonshiners used to run in their cars.The government pays billions of dollars each year to farmers not to grow crops,why not let them grow the crops and turn it into ethanol.There is a company in California that is building a plant right now (without any government help)to produce ethanol,it is called Pacific Ethanol Inc.This would not only make us oil independent, but would create 10s of thousands of good paying jobs for americans that couldn't be shipped overseas.

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