Archived Story

William Crandell: Gas prices make electric car attractive

Published 9:26pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

By William Crandell, The Democratic Voice

When I was in high school, I worked at a full service gas station back when you could still get your windshield washed and your oil checked for free.
The price of gas then was about 80 cents per gallon and people were complaining that was too high. It was also right around that time that the media started running stories that gas would someday be $5 a gallon and too many of us that seemed ludicrous.
A couple of weeks ago I paid $4.19 a gallon and it wasn’t the first time gas had almost reached $5 a gallon in our area.
I think it’s only a matter of time before oil companies permanently push the price past the $5 mark whether it’s justified or not, so I’ve decided my next car is going to be electric.
For years, I have heard excuses about the increase in prices from the oil companies always putting the blame on the lack of refineries, international oil speculators, increased demand, etc., and yet the top five oil companies made $120 billion in profit in 2012 and between 2001 and 2011, they made $1 trillion in profit.
Since they’re the only game in town, big oil never has to take a loss and they are not suffering from the unpredictable world oil market. Instead they are putting that misery off on the average consumer who is just struggling to survive in an economy that is being bled dry by their price gouging. Meanwhile they receive tax breaks and subsidies from the American people that equal $7 billion a year and are the main recipients of corporate welfare.
I think electric cars are the only viable solution.
They give the American public the opportunity to break their dependence on oil, lower emissions and help to drive the development of alternative forms of energy production.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently developed the Egallon calculator located on its website and it is designed to show consumers how much they can save by buying an electric car.
According to, gas in America currently averages $3.60 per gallon while according to the Egallon calculator it costs $1.14 per gallon for an electric car.
Let’s face it, even with their new slick designs electric cars are still not considered cool.
It’s the American way to own a big gas guzzling monster but I’m old and I don’t care about being cool anymore.
I care about being able to get back and forth to work and still being able to put food on the table and a roof over my head.
Gas companies could care less about the plight of the poor and the middle class. If they did, they would accept the fact that they may not make as much profit next year and accept some loss in order to aid the American economy. But then they don’t have to care unless we make them.
William Crandell is a community activist and active member of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Democratic Party. He is also a member of the South County Democratic Club where he has served as their communications director and as the chairperson of the SCDC Blue Tiger Community Action Committee.

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