Portney’s Complaint

Devon Portney

I thought the purpose of forcibly turning an oil rich dictatorship into a civil war ridden democracy was to gain its alliance. Why on earth am I going broke paying for gas?

Since the beginning of this ludicrous war in Iraq, the price of oil has skyrocketed, and it has done so in record time. If all things inflated at the rate of oil, everything on the dollar menu at McDonald’s would be three dollars.

As I empty the cash in my wallet in order to fill my gas tank three quarters of the way, I contemplate just where all this freaking money is going. The oil companies have had record high profits this year. I was under the impression that the reason for the rise in oil prices was that the war needs continuous funding. Paying three dollars a gallon is bad enough to support a war that was completely unnecessary. But are we paying through the nose for gasoline simply to enhance the already comfortable lives of oil executives? If the price of anything goes up, it should be due to increased demand. Are people suddenly driving that much more? I certainly haven’t noticed any more cars than usual on the roads.

This is another aspect of the war in Iraq that benefits those who need it the least: old, rich, white conservatives. These are people who don’t mind sending young men and women off to die and don’t mind reaping the benefits. Now that we’re at our wits end with the war and Bush’s approval rating is at an all time low, they have found another way to wring hard earned dollars out of hard working Americans.

I urge everyone to consider a hybrid for your next car. The hybrid is no longer just for the environmentally conscious, it is now for the financially conscious as well. A hybrid car will get you up to thirty miles more per gallon. It can go over three hundred miles without refueling.

The hybrid car uses both gasoline and batteries. Gasoline powers the engine, which powers the transmission. The batteries power an electric motor, which powers the transmission. The car is designed to only use gasoline at higher speeds.

The hybrid also saves energy in other ways. Every time you brake, the energy loss from the car (the car would have continued without additional gas) is stored in the batteries to be used later. The electric motor can also help slow the car down, relieving the brakes and extending their life. The car also shuts off the engine when stopped at red lights. The electric power is available for the radio and windows.

Not only would driving a hybrid save money and energy, it would stop filling the pockets of oil executives at record speed. We all know how much oil companies need the money.

It’s the all too familiar story of the rich getting richer, while the middle class disappears. Are we destined to become a country with only two classes; the obscenely rich and the peasant poor?