Energy Prices Up, Spendable Family Income Down

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Energy Prices Up, Spendable Family Income Down
April 2006
Hugh Jensen

No hurricane this time. No significant shortage in available oil, not even a holiday to blame. Just old fashioned self-serving greed. The rising price of gasoline and oil products follows no logic. Fueled by greed, gasoline prices are again on the rise. Eldersburg routinely has two gas stations, which proudly display prices ranked highest in the state. Perhaps the name should be changed from one of royalty (Crown) to one of description (Dewey Cheatem and Howe). I recommend we as residents in Eldersburg refuse to purchase gas in Eldersburg unless the stations are ranked in the bottom 20% statewide. Did you know that last week gas in Reisterstown was 30 cents per gallon less than Eldersburg? How does that work? Property is less in Eldersburg, groceries are less in Eldersburg, even restaurant prices are less in Eldersburg, yet gas prices are among the highest in the state. A whopping $2.90 today at Liberty Road and Ridge Road.

It is a simple fix. Buy your gas in Reisterstown at the Royal Farms near the corner of Route 795 and Route 140. Drive to Westminster and go to Hess. Plan your trips and shopping around getting gas. I am confident if we as consumers exercise our right to choose, the Eldersburg stations will mend their evil ways and reduce their prices. Perhaps a few of the more greedy stations will close up shop and Eldersburg could foster a members Coop for gasoline. Share the cost for all members. Sell the gas at cost (including overhead).

Electricity is also on the rise. Increases expected to exceed 70% by June of this year. It will soon be cost effective for those in the country to install new high tech windmills or diesel power stations. Electric companies are traditionally on a similar profit plane as Oil Companies. Industry rollups are reducing competition and resulting prices are on the rise. Service did not change. No harsh winters to blame. No unplanned events affecting energy delivery. No massive power outages. Not even a rogue squirrel chewing on the overhead lines.

Sadly, we have our previous administration to thank for the increases this year. It is part of an agreed plan, which was voted on and approved several years ago. The fact of the matter is the balloon is now due. Hard to believe? Contact your representative and ask them. Our families are held as financial hostages. AGAIN !

The cost of living is increasing at a rate of roughly 5% per year, while home prices skyrocket, gas prices increase 15% this year (at times dramatically higher), electricity is rising almost 72%. Education costs are climbing. Many colleges report tuition increases exceeding 12% per year. Our family dollar is being stretched to the point of becoming a thin green line.

Families should not be forced to decide whether to buy clothes for the children or to purchase heat to stay warm. We should not have to plan our travels around gas pump prices.

Drop me a note at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell me what you think.

”Family Man”
Hugh Jensen


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