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Having a Gas-Spaz Attack

While the blame seems to be focused on the Libya situation, I remain skeptical about its role as the sole reason for the increase. Is there really a future in oil?

By MEAGHAN ZIEMBA, Associated Editor, Product Design & Development (PD&D)

It seems as if my gas anxiety has returned with the increased prices of gasoline. I never thought that purchasing fuel would be a big part of my budget plan for this year, and I continue to get a bubble in my stomach every time it gets closer to the $50 mark when I fill up my small 2008 Hyundai Elantra.

I try not to get too frustrated with each fill-up because, I have to admit, I’m not too familiar with the politics that surround the continued increase. Furthermore, I am not one of those individuals who thought purchasing a giant SUV would be a great investment for Wisconsin winter.

While the blame seems to be focused on the Libya situation, I remain skeptical about its role as the sole reason for the increase, and I wonder why certain industries continue to focus on the future of oil production. Is there really a future?

New York Times reported on the debate surrounding the use of U.S. oil reserves located in Texas and Louisiana. Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated in this article how “the administration was watching the situation closely, but it expected oil production that had been lost in Libya would be made up by production elsewhere.” Mr. Chu, can you please explain where exactly elsewhere is?

We have all learned, at a rather young age, the differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, and have always known that oil falls into the non-renewable category. Sure, tapping into the reserve may be a quick temporary fix, but after that source gets depleted, where do we go from there and how much will fuel cost then? Are there other alternatives that we can look into right now, or are we waiting for all oil source to be completely unavailable?

Maybe my ignorance on the topic is blinding me from understanding certain industries’ reasons for continuing the utilization of oil, and not understanding the slow pace of incorporating other means of powering the transportation market, such as electric vehicles. Maybe I am missing the importance for our nation’s dependence on other countries for power sources. Nonetheless, I would like to know what the delay is and why some opinions are stuck in the oil.

Until then, I guess I should start to consider trading in my Elantra for a more efficient car like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf.

What is the future of oil and are we fooling ourselves by thinking the Libya situation will blow over any time soon? Why are some industries stuck on oil and continue to ignore the importance of finding alternative sources of power? Why do we continue to rely on outside sources and not take the initiative for powering ourselves? Post your comments below or send them to [email protected].