25 May 2004

Gas

I’m back from a visit to Grand Rapids, where Erica’s brother graduated from college on Saturday. Most of their family was there for the party, and it was good to catch up with people I see only infrequently.

Our budget takes a hit every time we travel by car now, with gas prices at more than $2 a gallon (low-grade gas in Chicago costs over $2.25). I can’t complain too much over the cost, though: prices are significantly higher in Europe, the cost in “real” dollars is still less than it was 25 years ago, and we drive an old Honda Civic hatchback that still gets about 35 miles per gallon on the highway. But I miss the halcyon days of 1998-99, when we could routinely find gas at about $0.90 per gallon, when a round-trip from Northfield to St. Paul would cost less than $3. Sigh.

My hero Gregg Easterbrook has an excellent column in today’s New York Times that speculates how our current oil crisis could have been averted and, he contends, could still be corrected. The column alone is worth the hassle of creating a free account at the Times site.

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