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Hot Air

Sep 12, 2008
As we wait patiently for Congress to come up with an energy plan, the current sources of energy dwindle away and the prices go up. Maybe we should consult with the Pope and other religious leaders. God's energy plan started with the discovery of fire. When we ran out of whale oil, He had someone discover crude oil. The big flaw in the original plan was to put most of the oil in the Middle East.

I'm not sure if rain dances ever worked, but I would like to hear some ideas other than putting our faith in God for the next alternative to pop up. Obama has suggested that we all properly inflate our tires to save energy by getting better gas mileage. This is a proven method. However, does Obama have any idea how many tires are under inflated at any point in time? I have no idea. But, I'll bet the ranch that it's a lot more than it was a few years ago when you could get free air at the gas stations.

Exxon earns billions each year and they pay taxes on those profits. If we assume that the price of crude is not within their control; then the profits are legit. Asking them to give taxpayers $1,000 to spend at Wal-Mart won't help the price of crude or reduce our consumption of energy. Why not require all gas stations to supply free air at the pumps. It would be a minimal cost and they can certainly afford it. We got rid of pay toilets. Where is the same outrage? Call your congressman and tell him you want free air.

It may be a little mysterious how the oil companies can have so much profit if they are buying most of their crude on the open market at $140 per barrel. The math works like this: crude goes up 133%, all cost increases are passed thru to the consumer so sales go up 90%. Margins stay the same so profit goes up 90% also. It's volume. With the same volume Exxon makes $15 billion. GM loses a little bit on each sale so with enough volume they lose $15 billion.

So just like T. Boone, I'm suggesting that air be part of the solution to make the USA energy independent. As far as I know we are not going to run out of air anytime soon. So use it in your tires and for your wind generators. For either use it doesn't matter if the air is hot or cold or is polluted. Washington D.C. is full of hot air, so let's put it to good use.

Not only can polluted air turn windmills and be put into tires; there is research going on to determine the positive effects of ozone and rag weed in the air. Preliminary tests indicate that if ozone or rag weed levels are high enough it actually helps to maintain air pressure by blocking escaping air and may even prevent flat tires.

My message to Obama is: I'll be glad to make my tires as inflated as your ego. But, I don't want to pay for it.
About the Author
Bob E Sherman is a columnist for the Waterfront News and author of the book Am I the Only One That Signals? http://www.bobesherman.com
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