Gas Prices More Volatile Than Electricity Rates

“In the Driver’s Seat” brings you news and commentary from Plug In America’s board and staff. We’re considering creating a guest blog as well, which would feature posts by a selection of Plug In America’s most active volunteers.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some samples of the kinds of posts that might appear on a guest blog. If you like them, leave a comment to let us know that you’d like to see a guest blog from Plug In America — and if you have a good idea for a name for the guest blog, post that too!

First up — some thoughts from Plug In America co-founder (and actress) Alexandra Paul:

Alexandra100 “In the middle of January the United States average price of gasoline jumped 8.6 cents per gallon from the week before, to $2.75. This is 97 cents a gallon more than the same time last year, despite 8.3 million more barrels of gasoline available nationally, and a lower demand overall!

Hmmm if I were the driver of a gasoline powered vehicle, the unpredictability of this would make me nervous. According to Fadel Gheit, senior oil analyst for Oppenheimer and Co., this is ‘a good example of prices disconnected from market fundamentals of supply and demand, as was the case 18 months ago when oil prices peaked above $147 a barrel.’

“Electricity rates fluctuate too, and it can be hard to understand why, so I would be disingenuous if I didn’t acknowledge that, as an electric vehicle (EV) driver who does not make my own solar power, I am vulnerable to the whims of my power provider, the L.A. Department of Water & Power (LADWP).

Certainly, the complexity of their bills irritates the heck out of me, and electricity prices do not stay the same. But my provider is local (so local, in fact, that I ran into LADWP general manager David Freeman in the airport recently), which means that, not only am I supporting a community company that buys energy from within the United States, I also have more of a say if I should be unhappy with some aspect of my electricity provider. In fact, I have shown up at their headquarters with other Plug In America activists when the LADWP wanted to cut its in-house plug- in fleet and I had the opportunity to be speak my peace directly to the LADWP board.

No transportation option is perfect, but a plug-in car gives drivers the option to power their vehiclesfrom their own solar panels, and therefore not be beholden to oil or electricity conglomerates. For those who don’t have rooftop panels, Plug In America is working towards a U.S. grid powered by renewable sources like wind and solar. Until then, electric utilities still provide a cleaner, domestic fuel than oil companies.”

Pictured: Alexandra Paul

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