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SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2007
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SCOTT MORRIS

It’s time to flush away high gas prices

Getting to the bottom of high gas prices is like building a house.

If the roof springs a leak, the roofer blames the framer. The framer blames the mason. The mason blames the earthmover. The earthmover says he’s not responsible for acts of masons, framers, roofers or God.

Before someone finally fixes the leak, you’re pretty sure all these guys are working together against you.

You might get the same impression from OPEC sheiks, big oil companies, refineries, carmakers and politicians.

When it comes to gas prices, the buck spins like the numbers on the pump, stopping nowhere.

Does anyone else find it slightly suspicious that our entire transportation system still relies on technology developed by cavemen?

Fire is a wonderful thing, albeit somewhat dated.

Sure, when it comes to fire, the petroleum-based internal combustion engine was a major breakthrough — in 1863.

That was the same year Thomas Crapper invented the toilet flusher, Samuel Clemens became known as Mark Twain and Gen. Grant laid siege to Vicksburg.

Since that time we’ve reunited the states, critiqued Twain to death and lobbed high-tech communication satellites into outer space.

But we’re still flushing toilets and still pumping gas into cars.

Why?

Are we not smart enough to replace an engine that was designed almost 150 years ago? Are we not courageous enough to leave the Middle East in our rear-view mirrors?

What’s the holdup?

Is a new mode of transportation hindered by the absence of science or something more sinister?

Are presidents and congressmen really motivated to fund science that could save us from oil companies when oil companies finance their campaigns?

Why are domestic carmakers fighting so hard against higher fuel mileage standards?

Are overpriced hybrid cars, which still depend on gasoline, really the best we can do?

The roof is leaking.

And the guys who can fix it couldn’t be happier.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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