Low gas prices have a cost

November 4th, 2014 by Ken

I went to fill up my car recently and to my surprise I was paying $2.79 a gallon.    I can’t remember the last time I paid less than $3 a gallon for gas.

It was a bright spot in a rather dismal economic market.

Lower gas prices mean more money in the wallet and more disposable income.   It means a dinner out, a new pair of jeans,  a new toy for the kids, or a bill being paid that might have been put off.

Gasoline for our cars is one of the most expensive items in our monthly bills – – right up there with rent, utilities and food.   And that cost of driving the car has increased substantially in the last six years.   Wars in the Middle East, trouble with Russia and other international events impact the price we pay for gas.

But, for a few years now, we’ve had the promise that gasoline supplies in North America will soon bring lower gas prices at the pump.

We’ve been told that new extraction methods for oil sands in Canada and new drilling techniques  in North Dakota and Wyoming, will bring lower gas prices.

I didn’t believe it.  But – – now its true.

The reason for these lower gas prices is the fact that more oil is being produced around the world, and for us, particularly, here in North America.

New extraction techniques work.

One of these is called fracking where hot water and chemicals are pumped down into oil bearing shale, which then releases the oil that can then be pumped back to the surface.

I don’t know if fracking causes groundwater contamination.  From the way it works, it would seem that the chemicals used would eventually find ground water – – but I’m no scientist.

All of this oil has to get to market.   The best solution is through pipelines, but these are being held for environmental and political reasons.   The industry has turned to oil trains in the meantime.

There are environmental questions to all of this new oil.

All I know, is that we should be cautious until we can know the extent of the environmental impacts of these new drilling techniques and shipping.

However, I do love lower gas prices.


Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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