May gas cost more

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu May 10 22:43:43 PDT 2001


From this side of the Atlantic, I am encouraged to learn of the rising petrol (gas) prices in the USA.

This is more than mere schadenfreude. The very low price of gas in the US compared to Europe is one of the single most important advantages the US economy, and the entire population of the USA have, compared to the rest of the world. It places you almost literally on a different planet, economically and politically, from the rest of the world.

If the price of gas rose to comparable levels it would not only be an act of justice on the part of God, it would assist the possibility of dialogue between the USA and the rest of the world about the environmental threat to the planet.

But in terms of US radical politics too does it open a new front of popular awareness? During the last administration, a significant proportion of the US population, from their own anxieties, could see the damage that tobacco capital has been doing to the interests of the people and the political system. With Bush's close relationship to the oil companies, a substantial price rise will be hard for him to brush over, expecially if the companies go on making massive profits. A decision now to drill all the virgin nature reserves in Alaska will not help him in the short term. Are there not openings now to agitate and argue effectively that energy production must be accountable to social foresight - including on a world scale?

Chris Burford

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