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Life, liberty and cheap gas

Every summer when oil supplies dwindle and oil demand soars, the price at the pump inexplicably goes up as though it were a law or something.
The oil companies almost always point to refinery production problems, and federal investigators support those claims, proving that the government is in on the Big Oil conspiracy. Sometimes it’s better to trust the gut of public opinion rather than ‘facts.’
As of Friday, the highest price for regular grade gasoline could be found in California at $2.99. The state average was $2.32. However, smart Harrison County residents drove to Franklin, N.J., and filled up their tanks for $1.94.
The occasional hippie in a hemp-juice-powered hybrid car will remark that prices are considerably higher in Europe.
That’s true. But Americans deserve better, because Americans are great. This is the land of Shakespeare, Gandhi and Jesus.
Most of the European price is the result of taxes. The United States also adds tax to gas prices, but not nearly as much, and it helps support highway infrastructure. In fact, it helps support the best highway infrastructure in the world.
This proves that if Europeans were more efficient engineers of highways, they wouldn’t need to charge as much for gas.
And Americans drive fast on those highways. In fact, Congress recently voted to increase maximum speed limits of 65 miles per hour to 70 mph. Members noted that drivers already drove 70. It stands to reason they’ll now drive 75.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, fuel use increases 20 percent from 55 to 65 mph and another 25 percent from 65 to 75 mph. Americans are going to need more gas to comply with the law.
There are also American appetites to consider. Americans simply want more gas, and, as Americans, should get what they want.
When driving Ford Excursions and Cadillac Escalades and Hummer H2s, the single-digit gas mileage is justification enough for lower gas prices.
There’s no reason the driver of a European Smart Car should be able to travel 300 miles for less than $12 while the driver of an H2 pays more than $74. Fairness is a flat gas system that charges per mile rather than per gallon.
And SUV drivers are a brave and unselfish lot, getting behind the wheel of vehicles that require as many as 244 feet to go from 70 mph (coincidentally, the new speed limit) to a complete stop.
Valor be rewarded, not punished.
They are also talented, maneuvering hulks like the 6,600- to 7,600-pound Ford Excursion along the same roadways and into the same parking lots as automobiles one-quarter of that size.
And the courageous Cadillac Escalade owner must endure emissions that rate a zero or one out of 10 on the EPA’s air pollution scale. Though in some craven states which require stricter emissions they rate a two or three.
The carbon monoxide and carcinogens that Americans do not fear to release into the air is truly enviable.
The government must crack down on the oil companies which are clearly cheating consumers, otherwise the United States could face the same tragic end as Europe.
What kind of future would there be in an America where people drive less, take public transportation more, buy more fuel-efficient cars, and sometimes walk to their destinations?
It’s a future that sounds distinctly un-American.