Gas prices and popular (re)action

So, I’m sure everyone is noticing the rising gas prices that accompany summer and it got me to thinking: do they really need to be this high? See, I’ve read the articles [example] about Exxon Mobile (for instance) earning record profits, and I remain skeptical that they are passing those savings onto us.

The question, however, is how to do something about it. I’ve received chain emails calling for various grass-roots efforts. The most reasonable of them seems to be the “don’t buy from Exxon Mobile” idea. With the idea being that once they notice a hit in sales they would lower gas prices. But I don’t think enough people will get organized to make such action effective, and frankly, I think they could last longer than us.

What about political action? Is the big oil “interest” too much to overcome? Why isn’t gas a regulated utility, like electricity and water? [related: On Profit and Pump Prices.]

(Incidentally, I don’t currently own a car. In fact I probably have one of the smallest “carbon footprints” of anyone I know. I often walk to work, carpool to school, and take flights rarely. I do, however, probably need to replace some light bulbs. And to be honest, I’d really like a car, and I just bought a couple sets of plane tickets.)

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear what my readers think. So this is your chance to voice your thoughts (and/or vent your frustration if you feel so inclined).

Update: In terms of pratical short-term solutions, GasBuddy tries to help you keep track of what prices are like at the pump in your area. A nice little resource for those of us trying to stretch our pocketbooks.

According to this article, the sharp rise in prices this year [graphic] is partially explainable by a “series of refinery outages and breakdowns.” And oh yeah, they’re predicting that this summer will be one of the “worst-looking” ones we’ve seen. Goody.

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