Cost seventy-five bucks and change to fill up my Jeep Wrangler the other day.
That’s why the Wrangler says home most days and I ride a Harley-Davidson that gets more than 40 miles to the gallon.
A $15 tank full of premium gas takes me about as far as a $75 ration of regular in the Jeep.
At the breakfast table of the Blue Ridge Restaurant in Floyd, Virginia, the locals don’t talk about foreclosures, jobs or abortion. They gripe about the cost of gas.
“Can’t afford to go anywhere,” says John Echols, a former executive who moved to the Blue Ridge Mountain community to retire and enjoy life in an area where prices are generally lower than in the city.
“When gas prices go up, the cost of everything rises as well,” Echols told Capitol Hill Blue. “Food prices are up because it costs more to get it to the store.”
Echols says his retirement package has survived the economic downturn, the housing market meltdown and the stock market rollercoaster but he’s not sure it will weather the storm of gas prices.
So who’s to blame? President Barack Obama? Congress? The oil companies?
“The President can’t do a goddamn thing about gas prices,” he says. “Congress? The folks can’t tie their shoes without trying them together and tripping over their own feet. It’s greed, pure and simple. Greed of the oil companies and greed on those who supply the oil.”
Others at the table nodded as Echols talked. He left a tip on the table, paid his bill and left the restaurant.
Another at the table asked: “Who was that guy?”
Said another: “He moved here five years ago. Worked up in Washington.”
“For the government?”
“No. He was a market analyst.”
Others shook their heads.
In 1980, Marlon Brando played the CEO for an Exxon-style oil company in “The Formula,” a movie based on Steve Shagan‘s novel about discovery of a secret formula for synthetic gas. Brando’s character helped bury the formula to protect the oil companies and their relationship with the oil-producing nations.
In one scene, a vice-president of the oil company argues that they get away with a big hike in gas prices. Brando’s character nixed the idea, telling him to cut the increase in half.
“You don’t understand, the vice president said. “Research says we can to the increase and blame the Arabs.”
“You’re missing the point,” Brando replies. “We are the Arabs.”