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What Do You Think?

May 20, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: Why do you think gas prices are so high and climbing?

"Don't they always get worse as the summer vacation season approaches anyway?"

"Hmmm ... Bush and his ties to big oil and the industry that helped him get elected? His families strong ties to the Saudi royals? The price of gas has doubled since this administration has taken office and you can bet the Bush family and all his cronies and those who helped an incompetent man win the White House are making out like bandits while real Americans suffer."

"Lack of refining capacity. Switching from winter blend to summer blend, mixing all the additives to meet EACH STATE'S emission standard. ZERO new refineries have been built in over 40 years, which means a lot of gasoline, a lot of different blends, a lot of switching of equipment to blend a little of this and a little of that, and a lot of backlog at the few refineries that do ALL of the refining now. AND ... lack of political leadership to call for ONE STANDARD RECIPE FOR ALL STATES to ease the refining process."

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"And, a lot of CEOs making hundreds of thousands of dollars and then receiving bonus of $10-$40 million because their oil companies made so much money."

"Per usual ... lack of political leadership."

"The more I read this post, the more disheartened I get. THE majority of the people who post on here absolutely hate this country and everybody in it. I can hardly wait for the Chinese or the Arabs to take this country over and show you poor miserable people what you really had that you did not deserve or appreciate. THE disrespect shown by the majority of you for OUR president is sad."

"We live in a democratic capitalist society. One day, you're poor and with luck, you buy a lottery ticket, then WOW, you won millions. Only in America. Oil prices are high, yes, and we Americans are working on alternative fuel. Let's give it (alternative fuel) a chance to be perfected. Meanwhile, cut back on unnecessary driving, folks."

"The price of gasoline has not yet reached the point where the public will demand something cheaper for transportation than the automobile. We have spent far too much public monies just to support the automobile industry instead of assuring a convenient and adequate public transportation system. Only in such a city as New York City is there anything like an adequate public transportation system. Where are the buses for Hagerstown?"

"There is more than one reason, but not 'all of the above' that were listed. Greed, stupidity and laziness would cover all the bases. Greed of the oil companies, naturally. All companies and investors are in business to make money; as much money as possible. Stupidity and laziness on the part of most consumers who are unwilling to change their wasteful habits, thinking they are entitled to as much cheap gas as they want."

"The Bushes probably have plenty of friends in the oil patch, but the president doesn't have nearly the powers some of you attribute to him. A president does not have the power to manipulate oil or gas prices or any other commodity prices in our free enterprise system. The oil cartel sets crude oil prices and they always take as much as the market will bear, i.e., as much as the stupid Americans are willing to pay."

"America has some of the least expensive gas in the world. The price of a liter of gas in Chile last year when I was there was $2.65 (American dollars). In El Salvador. It was $3 per liter. In India four years ago, it was $2.15 a liter. About three liters to a gallon. You do the math. I drive 40,000 miles a year with my job. My gas bill is over $400 monthly. Believe me, I am no happier than anyone else. But I will not waste a lot of energy blaming any one person or group. I will try to spend my energy making a difference. I purchased my first bike in well over 20 years, other than ones I bought for my children."

"I totally agree. The general public has a part to play for high gas prices. We continue to consume without any thought how it will affect us. Car companies are as much to blame. Only now are they producing cars with high gas mileage. Bet they could have done that years ago, but nobody, even our government, never pushed for higher gas mileage."

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