Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gassing up in Sisters

The recent spike in gas prices has put the hurt on everybody. It costs me around $80 to fill the tank on my pickup truck. Thankfully, I don’t commute far and I can park it and walk when I get to work.

We also own a Subaru Forester, which does pretty well on mileage. So by being mindful about our driving, consolidating trips and driving conservatively, we’re managing okay.

But man, it hurts to pour that much money down the gas tank. Everybody is thinking that way. And that makes people feel insecure about the economic outlook.

High energy costs always drive inflation and that combined with a slow housing market will have a negative impact on Sisters’ economy. But tourism may actually be helped by high gas prices.

Sisters is a tank of gas away from the region’s major metro areas — a relatively inexpensive getaway. Local business that cater to tourism, the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, the lodging industry need to put the pedal to the metal on an advertising campaign to convince people that it makes more sense to drive to Sisters than to fly to Disneyland this summer.

If we can do that, our major industry may come out of a long summer of pain at the pump feeling a lot better than some folks out there, who are going to see a steep decline in travel.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. The problem with the current gas/oil crunch these days is the so-called environmental movement. It is mostly politically motivated, with disregard to actual environmental issues.

    Take the case of using corn as biofuel. One of the reasons that food prices are soaring is because corn is used in all foods. Environmentalists do not care if food prices are high as long as the Earth benefits. Don’t worry about food shortages, the Earth is cleaner! So what if people are hungry!

    Our society is also suffering because of the political stifling of new energy sources. It is almost impossible to drill for more oil anywhere in the USA because somebody will protest it no matter how remote the site. There are no refineries are being planned or constructed to refine any new domestic oil in any case. Nuclear energy is not popular, even though it is probably the cleanest high-production energy source. Even wind farms are shunned because some people would rather have clear views our coasts and fear that birds might be harmed.

    If we did all of the above, this country could be independent of foreign oil in 10 or 20 years.

    The fact is we need more energy sources, not fewer. We can all agree that as long as these new energy sources are as clean as what we are doing now, we should use them.

    There is no reason to believe that the only way to have a clean planet is to return to the Stone Ages and have to walk everywhere we want to go.

    Michael P.

  2. In response to the above comment.

    And the reason why gas is going down now is all because George Bush just said he wanted to unban off shore drilling meaning: All it takes is for someone JUST TO SAY they will drill and the investors will bank on that for future profits.

    Now if we actually did something then gas prices would plunge like there is no tomorrow including if we build refineries to store gasoline. We can get buy for a long while while scientist look for better energy. :)

    We can drill sideways underground for 30miles which will create way less oil mess above anyways.

    If the Middle East has severe war problems they can stop giving us gas anytime and use it for themselves. It's their country not ours.

  3. Oh yeah: Gas is well below 4$ Dad had to pay 35$ instead of 50$ to get to work in Portland.

    Shows how much it changed just for someone talking about doing it without actually doing anything.

    He commutes a long ways and has no other choice.