Saturday, May 26, 2012

O, say can...a-da

Yesterday, just in time for the weekend, gas prices around here hit a record high again. Nearly every station was posting regular at a dollar-fifty-point-something per litre. Or, if we’re talking US gallons, nearly six bucks.

It sounds as though some of the high prices have to do with ‘problems’ at Cherry Point, the Washington state refinery we see at night from the local beach. Yet as if to further confuse the issue, fuel prices across the line in Bellingham, Washington are hovering around $4.25 - $4.50.

But then today, oh miracle of miracles, I guess we’re supposed to feel that we’re living in the land of bargains, as the cost of fuel has dropped a whole five cents a litre (almost a 20 cents difference if we’re talking per US gallon), and is down to the still-not-cheap $1.45.

Naturally, although countless reports and studies have proven the oil companies are not in cahoots with each other when they set their numbers, the gas stations once again nearly all show the same identical price.

Comparison shopping beyond the price of gas – for clothes, running shoes, electronics (even house siding manufactured in Canada) – reveals that prices are often at least a third less if you shop in the U.S.

Especially where we’ll soon be permitted to bring back more when we shop across the line, it’s seeming more and more as though ‘they’ (yes, the proverbial ‘they’) are doing all they can to make life so expensive here, when they make the offer for us to become the 51st state we'll gladly fold our maple leaf into the red bars of the stars and stripes and start singing a different anthem.

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