Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pain at the Pump '11

According to a CNBC Story, "the typical American household will have spent $4,155 filling up this year, a record. That is 8.4 percent of what a median family takes in, the highest since 1981."

The Missus fills up the Family Truckster every 3 weeks or so... she probably poured $2000 worth of gas into the tank in '11.

I spent maybe $500 on gas this year, and 90-plus percent of that was for two motorcycle adventures - to the California Redwoods, and to eastern Washington.

That's bad! A story last spring said the Energy Department estimated the cost would be $3235 for the year - up 28 percent from the previous year. Turns out that estimate was way low. Mamma mia!

$4155 - that's a big hit on the budget of us "99 percenters," no? I think of the stuff we would've gone without, if we'd spent that much on gas. That thought helps motivate me to get pedalin' on some of these cold winter mornings.

And speaking of cold winter mornings... like everybody else, I'm growing a bit concerned that I'm not seeing any snow up on those nearby mountains. December has been as dry as dust! But on the bright side, I sure love riding my bicycle on dry, traction-sand-free roads. That is a luxury this time of year.

From the story: "Next year isn't likely to bring relief." But taking up bicycle transportation could bring a huge amount of relief! Plus, if a few million people did it, it would modify the supply/demand equation in a meaningful way... maybe gas would drop by $1/gallon. (Of course, if that put everybody back in their cars, the price would go back up. Like most businesses, the oil companies will charge for their product what the market will bear.)

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