11 July 2008

Fuel Theft

Last month, as gas prices were skyrocketing, I witnessed my first gasoline theft. The cashier just shook her head as a man drove off with $80 of unpaid gas. I talked with the cashier, and she said that it has been happening more, and that it is always young men. She said, she will be standing there, looking at them, even make eye contact as they are filling. Then, when she is checking out another customer, suddenly they drive off.

Now I am seeing more stories like this: a man with an 800 gallon tank in his pickup truck, stealing gasoline from gas stations. What will we see when prices get up to $5?

A similar story.

I see now that the Democratic Response to the Drill More campaign is to blame speculators for the high prices. I got an email from Delta a few days ago urging me to write my congressman, "Drillmore" Chabot, and ask him to stop people from speculating on oil. Whatever. It is a free market, a world market in which demand continues to rise. And although there is lots of oil all over the world, the easy kind that bubbled out of Jed Clampett's field is gone. The rest requires pumping sea water into the ground, deep sea drilling or boiling tar sands, which of course costs more. Cheap oil is over. Sorry.

For the record, I think we probably should allow continental shelf drilling, but I also believe gas taxes should be raised. The gasoline taxes we now pay do not cover expenses. They should cover all road building costs and all military and environmental costs directly linked to bringing oil to our shores.

If gasoline was fairly taxed, maybe there would be some money left in the budget for transportation alternatives.


5chw4r7z said...

I know its an emotional subject but, when it comes down to it, gas is just another thing to buy, if you don't like the price don't pay it. I don't know why, but I totally amazed at people on the news when interviewed go on and on about how they are getting raped for gas.
Oil companies are making record profits on oil, because, they're in the oil business.
Can't believe there are still a few gas stations letting you fill up without prepaying.

Anonymous said...

You're either going to feel the pain in your wallet or your feet. As for those who choose to steal gas; once they get caught, the thefts will subside. With all of the surveillance equipment at gas stations, getting license plate numbers, their arrest is just a matter of time.

Mark Miller said...

Regarding the gas tax...
We could always go back to the pay as you go plan they had in "the good old days".

This picture was taken in 1892 at the intersection of routes 4 and 747, facing south. The house in the background is a law office today.

Can you image paying tolls all the way up to Hamilton?

CityKin said...

pretty good find on that photo Mark.

I was reading an article the other day that said our military provides escorts through the Red Sea of all American Oil tankers, and it got me thinking more about all the expenses that the general public pays to bring oil to our shores.

Tolls may be a more realistic option as technology will allow camera readers to send invoices to license plate holders etc.

WestEnder said...

I often fill up at a station in Loveland and it canceled the pay-after-pumping option on the pumps closest to the exit. A sign is posted that it's only prepay because of too many drive-offs.

re: continental shelf. This is an unnecessary option and nothing more than an election-year campaign tactic. It is unnecessary because deep-sea drilling technology has recently come into maturity providing access to billions of barrels of oil & natural gas previously unobtainable. They've been doing it for years in the Gulf.

Take a look at the stock prices of companies that provide deep-sea drilling technology. You'll be sorry you missed the boat!

It never ceases to flabbergast me that whenever a subject is brought up by politicians, the public tries to decide which party it should believe instead of learning about the issue themselves.

Anonymous said...

"A friend came home from a business trip to China a couple of weeks ago. "I'm scared," he said, "They're adding a thousand cars a day in Beijing alone."

The US has approximately 4% of the world's population, and accounts for 27% to 35% of the world's daily oil use, depending on how you calculate it.

China has approximately 20% of the world's population. We are teaching them to live like us, but they have no oil of their own."