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Pat’s Bits & Pieces- Summer gas prices – ridiculous!

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondant

I was just looking at some old columns for inspiration and came across one written for June 18, 2000 that was complaining about the high prices we were paying at the pumps that summer.

It said, “We won’t be going very far with that gas guzzler this summer – can’t afford to with the gasoline prices flirting with $2.00 a gallon.”

Man I wish we were having that problem again…

It’s 2013 and these days we are lucky if the price is only double that. Every time I make a trip lately, it seems the prices are up 30 cents, or maybe down a nickel, and they are never anywhere near $2 a gallon anymore.

We all quickly get used to paying those higher prices, don’t we? And meanwhile the gas refineries just keep on getting richer…
No one even seems to know why the prices are so high. I think the answer is “just because they can.”

That recent $4.25 price left everyone gasping.

Yesterday the Free Press reported that the average price in Michigan is down to $3.95 a gallon (that was on Monday), and the prices may fall a bit further according to analysts.

By the way, the national average is $3.61 a gallon according to AAA. Michigan no longer has the highest prices in the U.S., but we are still up there in fourth place. The highest prices are in Hawaii, Illinois, Alaska and California, the article said.
$4 a gallon gas doesn’t seem to be slowing the traffic on the freeway down. We may be griping about it but you can still see cars, trucks and campers headed north every single weekend.

We will be joining them too as often as possible, heading up to the camper (at least we don’t have to haul it anywhere) as much as we can over the next couple of months while the weather is nice.

At least our old “gas guzzler” truck is gone now, replaced this summer with a used SUV that goes twice as far on a gallon of gas as that old rattletrap did.

That is one thing we are seeing more of on the roads – economical vehicles. If you can’t get the gas prices down, at least we can get the mpg up.

In browsing the Internet I found a site called fuelfreedom.org that is advocating a fight to bring gas prices back down to $2 a gallon. Sounded pretty good to me. I may have to investigate that one a bit further. They said the average American family pays $4,155 annually for fuel, as much to fuel our cars as we do to own them. Also that we spend more money on transportation than on clothing, healthcare and entertainment, combined.

They claim it doesn’t have to be that way, saying, “The U.S. already has everything we need to switch to cheaper, cleaner and American-made fuels today.”

Meanwhile, there’s speculation out there that prices may drop even more as supplies increase, although that could always change if there are storms. After all hurricane season is just around the corner again. In fact, gas prices change just about like our Michigan weather.

Speaking of weather, the thermometer is going down a bit too, with cooler weather and some rain predicted at the end of the week.

Predictions that we are in for a cooler summer this year seem to be right on the nose – at least so far. Seems like by this time last year, we were making regular trips to the beach with the girls. This year, I think they have only gone swimming a couple of times so far and the Fourth of July is only a little over a week away now.

Cool or hot, travel or not, these summer months still seem to fly by.

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