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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Gas Pump

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A not so funny thing happened at the gas pump the other day.  I’m putting some of that liquid gold in the tank and the guy on the other side of the pump starts talking to me.  “This is crazy!”, he declares.  “Yep, sure is”, said I.  Things went down hill from there.  Most of the language he used I can’t use on the air and won’t use on here, even if some of it might be acceptable in this environment.  But on the off chance that someone under the age of 18 might be reading this, I’ll keep it PG.  In a nutshell, the dude is mad as hell.  He’s mad at the government, the oil companies and Texas.  His anger, I tried to explain, was not exactly placed in all the right areas.  Being who and what I am, I attempted to explain, as best I could, that the market situation had more to do with speculative investors and TOO MUCH government rather than too little.  I spent a good 90 seconds giving him my perspective on it.  He looked at me with a “what the hell did you just say” expression and then he smiled and said “Drill, baby drill!”.  He got in his car and drove away.  I never exchanged names with him, but I’ve met a half dozen people just like him at the pump.  The angry Texan.  All they see is $3.50 gas barreling (pardon the pun) toward them at speed of light.  They hear the empty suits on t.v. talking trash but offering very little in the way of down-to-earth explanations.  I guess my explanation was not down-to-earth enough, or maybe he just didn’t want to hear it.  It’s easy to blame President Obama.  And much as I would love to be able to pin this mess on him, I cannot.  He’s not powerful enough, or, sadly, smart enough to orchestrate this.  His actions and even, in some areas, his inaction has led to several messes, but the condition of the markets is not one of them.  There’s a good reason the power brokers on Wall Street don’t want oil prices set by supply and demand.  If it were, oil would be about $40 per barrel.  That’s my own assessment, not based on anything scientific.  But, when you gauge it accordingly, it makes perfect sense I think.  The guy at the pump did not see it that way.  He’s mad as an old wet hen.  We don’t need to government to exercise more control over the oil and gas industry.  That’s part of the reason we’re in this mess to start with.  But I’m afraid that’s exactly where we are headed, unless our elected officials in DC get their thumbs out of there backsides and quick.  Then, the guy at the pump will be more than justified at aiming his anger at Washington and Austin.  Then I’ll be the one who gets to drive away angry and confused.

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