Our nation is now seeing average gas prices at $4 per gallon. And with the spring and summer travel season coming upon us, it is sure to rise. $5/gallon gas? Looks like it may be a reality. Unfortunately, with the economy still not back on its feet yet, this is, for many, going to be more than just a little pinch in the pocketbook.
There are several factors that cause higher gas prices. (And they are not necessarily what most of us think they are.)
First of all, oil costs are rising. And why are they rising?
1. Iran. ~ The turbulent times in Iran are part of the reason why gas prices are moving upward. Iran exports over 2 million barrels of oil per day. Iran lies near the Straight of Hormuz, a major traffic area for shipping oil. With Iranian instability, the fear of attacks or sanctions have had a hand in driving the price up.
2. Some say higher prices are due to growing demand. This demand is, in large part, in China. The demand for gas in the U.S. has not risen, part of the reason being alternative modes of transportation and slow economy.
3. Refineries ~ Two refineries on the east coast have closed, and a third may close. While this is not necessarily critical (the U.S. refines plenty of fuel as it is), a third refinery may close, and this may bring a price spike.
Following are the 2 largest culprits behind high gas prices:
Big Oil and oil speculators.
Big oil corporations have made around $1 trillion (TRILLION with a T) in profits the past ten years, mainly in part due to government subsidies and huge tax cuts and loopholes.
Oil speculators may just be the largest cause for spiking oil prices.
Here is how oil speculation works. It starts with an oil future. An oil future is a contract between a seller and buyer. The buyer agrees to purchase a set amount of oil at a fixed price. This lets the buyer bet on whether the price of oil will increase in the future. As soon as the contract is settled, the buyer receives the oil for the price stated in the contract, even if the price of oil was higher at the time of delivery.
What speculation all boils down to is this: stock market oil speculators buy and sell as much oil as they possibly can, even though they will never use it. All they are looking for is a quick and easy profit. The price goes up with each trade, sometimes trading 10 or 20 times before it is even used. In a nutshell ~ speculators manipulate oil prices at the expense of the consumer.
With all these scenarios having a hand in the rising cost of gas, it makes sense to turn to the fuel that is renewable, clean, and healthy for our economy – hemp fuel.
A crop of industrial hemp can be grown in approximately 90 days. Hemp has large amounts of cellulose, which is a main component for fuel processing. Hemp hurds are 77% cellulose, making hemp one of the BEST carbohydrate sources for biofuel.
“Studies have shown that hemp’s biomass can be converted into energy and could replace nuclear power and our current fossil fuels.[Belle, Mika] Just by farming 6 percent of the US’s acreage this could be achieved. “Hemp grown in biomass could fuel a trillion-dollar-per-year industry, while at the same time create more jobs, clean our air, and distribute wealth to our communities and away from centralized power monopolies.” Hemp’s biomass can be converted into gasoline, methanol, and methane at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy.” (Voteindustrialhemp.com)
SIX PERCENT of our nation’s acreage could replace our current fossil fuel use.
If only that were our reality today.