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Singing the gas guzzling blues

December 30, 2010 - Bill Speer
Looking back over the blogs I've shared here there is a theme that emerges - gas pricing.

While I apologize to readers for being so focused on the subject, I do so because I believe the price of gas, like the cost of food, is one of those items that impacts all of us. Other price increases we often can control, but gas, like it or not, we can't. Thus, it is an important element in determining your economic health.

With a gallon of gas now well over $3 a gallon, I don't see where that can be healthy for any of us. According to, the price of gas in Michigan Monday, Dec. 27, was 52 cents per gallon higher that this time last year and 32.7 cents higher than last month. Think about that statistic for a minute. If you put in but 10 gallons of gasoline into your vehicle, you are paying $5.20 cents more than you would have last year.

If you enjoy eating out at a fast food restaurant from time-to-time, you know are talking basically the price of most value meals.

That is a significant difference, and why I am so concerned. Given choices between another fast food meal or gasoline, the choice becomes one of necessity as you go with the gas. However, the restaurant has just lost out and that is going to adversely impact the local economy.

If this wasn't bad enough, the news media covered a speech this week by former Shell Oil Co. executive John Hofmeister, who predicted gas would reach $5 a gallon by 2012. While most experts believe that will indeed happen this decade, they think Hofmeister's prediction of 2012 was too soon.

One also has to wonder what these rising prices of gas will mean to Michigan's auto industry, which after years of turmoil seemed on the mend. The high price of gas is bound to set back the industry yet again.

This isn't how any of us would have hoped to have started out the New Year.


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