Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The liberal definition of 'responsibility'

Oregon liberals need little motivation to hate the oil companies (heck, sometimes I'm not fond of them myself!), but a story in this week's Willamette Week details a kind of forest-for-the-trees perspective that made me laugh.

The story talks about how gasoline sold during colder temperatures is denser than gas sold in warm temperatures. Officially, gas is supposed to be sold at 60 degrees, so the public gets gypped in warm-temp sales because the same amount of gas takes up more space in your gas tank (thus, you get more for your money in cold temps). It's called the "hot fuel" debate.

How much does this affect our pocketbooks? The Kansas City Star did a series last year on the issue, and estimated that it costs Oregon drivers $10 million every year. The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles reports that in 2005, the state had just more than 2.8 million licensed drivers, so that averages out to a cost of $3.50 per driver per year, or less than seven cents per weekly fill-up.

But hey, those evil gas companies are already making record profits, and the estimated nationwide cost of hot fuel is somewhere around $2 billion every year, so Oregon is one of several states to file a class-action suit against the oil companies for the "scam."

But that's not what made me laugh.

At the end of the Willamette Week article are (as of this morning) two comments, one from "Jeff" in the Chicago area, wondering if any such lawsuits have been filed in his area. He writes (emphasis mine):
I have noticed that my vehicles seem to burn through gas extremly fast and I am suspect that the stations here may be doing the same thing. I have 2 mercedes that must run on 93 octane and an escalade that requires 89. This is costing me a fortune. If anyone knows of any lawsuites being filed here I would appreciate your letting me know.
So, it's the classic liberal mentality: blame someone else. "Jeff" has three expensive cars (a new Escalade starts at $55,000, includes a 26-gallon gas tank and gets 13 miles per gallon for city driving, so he probably spends $80 with every fill-up), and he could solve his fuel problems by getting cheaper, more efficient cars. But he doesn't want to change his personal behavior, he wants to sue the oil companies.

(This would be a prime spot to mention the mansions and jet fuel bills of Al Gore and John Edwards, but I'll let Max tackle that.)

Personal responsibility? What's that?



  • At 4/06/2007 10:42 AM, Blogger OregonGuy said…

    My dad was a pilot. He taught me to always buy gas in the morning.

    I rolled my eyes. "Dad, what kinda savings do you think you're achieving?"

    "Son, money doesn't grow on trees."


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