Big Oil is Looking Out For Us
Is Big Oil looking out for us? About a week ago I saw a news story about a price increase in gasoline. The article was alerting us to as much as a 30 cent increase in prices due to the refineries switching to a “summer blend”. The reporter went a little further and told us that the change was being implemented earlier this year than normal because of the warm temperatures in California. He also stated the summer blend burns cleaner than the winter blend.
What I found interesting is that there was no mention that this was a regulatory issue. No government agency was demanding refineries to switch. Car manufacturers were not pleading with refineries to switch to help maintain the warranties on their cars. The story made it sound like the refineries could switch to the new blend when then thought temperatures warranted it.
As much as I would like to think Big Oil is looking out for us, something just struck me odd. Yes, I am cynical enough to think that in the midst of falling gas prices refineries could initiate a formula changing process early, adding 10 cents worth of additives and charging the outlets 20.
It’s also ironic that one of the industries blamed for global warming gets to take advantage of the warming to raise its prices.
Is there a slippery slope here? If refineries can do this can dairies? People burn less calories in the winter. “Winter Blend” milk will be 2% max. We can’t be adding to the obesity problem in the country. When temperatures go up in Spring, stores will be able to stock whole milk.
Maybe we can extend this to the beverage industry too. Sodas will have 20% fewer calories from October to April. Only light beer will be allowed at football games. Big oil may be on to something with this “Winter Blend” idea. Let’s hope it doesn’t get around.