Thursday, May 24, 2007

What is wrong with America?

MEQUON, Wis. - Motorists pulled in to Harvey Pollack's gas station Thursday, honked and gave him a thumbs-up — because he wasn't selling any fuel.
The owner of Towne Market Mobil in this suburb north of Milwaukee shut down his pumps for 24 hours, hoping to start a movement aimed at persuading oil companies to lower their prices.
"Somebody out there is making money at these prices, but not me," said Pollack, 57. "So I just thought: What can I do to help the consumer?"
Yellow caution tape surrounded Pollack's six idle pumps for his protest, which drew dozens of drivers. One in a green minivan rolled down her window and shouted "Thank you!"
Maria McClory, 38, drove 10 miles out of her way to buy a diet soda from Pollack's station after seeing local television coverage of the protest.
"I just wanted to support them and thank them for making a statement," said McClory, who drives about 100 miles a day for work in her sport utility vehicle.
Other drivers were more skeptical.
Jeff Bensman, 52, pulled in expecting to gas up his Honda sedan. He said he appreciated the protest but did not think it would make much difference.
"Most other places are going to be open in the area," he said.
Jack Sobczak, general sales manager for Lakeside Oil Co., a contracted Mobil distributor that supplies Pollack's station, said Bensman was probably right: "The demand will just move down the street to the next Mobil station."
Pollack and station general manager John Schwartz agreed to experiment with a pump shutdown after an Internet-based push for a one-day gas boycott went largely unheeded last week.
"Somebody's got to be the first to try this," Schwartz said.
The Mequon station sells about 3,500 gallons of gas a day, Pollack said. He estimated the station would lose only $1,500 on the protest because some losses in gas would be made up by people buying convenience store items or more gas on Friday.
Pollack, who also owns a Milwaukee title insurance agency, said he bought the gas station in 2003 as an investment but he has not turned a profit in 30 months because gas margins are razor thin and he cannot sell enough volume to compensate.
Pollack said he has virtually no control over the price he charges for gas. The company usually makes 8 to 12 cents per gallon after suppliers' prices and credit card fees. On Wednesday — the day before the protest — that added up to $3.49 for a gallon of unleaded gas.
Schwartz called that "outrageous" and said even he can't fill up his SUV at that price.
"If it keeps going like this, my kids will never be able to afford to drive," said Schwartz, who has an 18-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter.
If you don't understand all the ironies in the article- then you are not thinking. We have to change our habits people. It is the driving 100 miles per day in an SUV that got us here, and will not only eat our pocketbooks with oil prices, but is also eating our atmosphere and our health.

We need to structure our lives so that even when gas reaches $5 or $10 per gallon that we will just blink and smile that we don't need it!


Glen said...

Gas are so high because of energy traders. A couple years ago they ran up the cost of a barrel of oil $10 because the US goverment was stock piling reserve. Then they add some more costs because there MIGHT be a problem somewhere about something, They traded the energy costs up again because of a POSSIBLE problem (you pick, war, rebel upraising, south americam, cold weather,hot weather, need new in the Hamptons). I love this spring price increase because of a cold snap in the north east.There is not a shortage of product. There is a problem of energy trades sucking all of our money out of our pockets to line theirs.
Just remember what the energy trader did to natural gas prices for they own gain. IMO

May it's time to do a protect walks all around the Palm Beach, Hampton and where ever they people live.

Have great day.

Lady Phoebe said...

I enjoyed your post.

Half of the homes on my street either have a shiney hummer, or an escelade parked in the drive way. These are not parked in the large garages because they don't fit in the large garages! I looked at how much I was paying for gas in my truck. I get 22 mpg in the city. If I ride my motorcycle I get 56 mpg. At these prices I won't pay more than $11.00 to fill up my bike, but nearly $50.00 to fill up my truck. The bike is more fun anyway, and I love the look on people's faces when they complain about gas prices and I tell them my last fill up was 11 days ago and cost me $9.07. Who is speaking louder? The 100 complaints from my coworkers this week after they drove to work, or my quiet lack of gas consumption?

Anonymous said...

I like to focus on what's right.