Crude oil prices hit the landmark of $100 a barrel for the first time Wednesday and projections show the U.S. is using more and more petroleum products, not less, further driving up demand. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says America’s still not doing enough to wean itself from its addiction to oil.
Grassley says, "It emphasizes that we’re too dependent upon foreign sources of oil, particularly sources that come from the volatile Mideast where there’s extreme Muslim attitude and dislike for Western culture." Analysts say the higher crude oil prices will first impact prices for heating oil, jet fuel and diesel fuel, with gasoline prices creeping up later.
Triple-A says the average price for a gallon of gas in Iowa is averaging $3.02, that’s three cents below the national average. Grassley, who’s back in rural northeast Iowa during the holiday break, says he was walking in his hometown on Wednesday and noticed the widespread waste of gasoline.
Grassley, a Republican, says: "I think of all the cars that were standing outside the New Hartford post office, idling, while people were in getting their mail. If people are complaining about three-dollar gas, what they need to do is look in the mirror and decide what they can do themselves to conserve a little bit more."
He says America needs to zero in on three goals. "If you want the energy independence, we’ve got to drill more for oil in the United States wherever it exists. Number two, we’ve got to emphasize ethanol, biodiesel, wind to a greater extent, and most important, we’ve gotta’ start asking questions about driving our cars too much and starting saving some energy," Grassley says.
Grassley, who is 74-years-old, says he noticed the many idling cars at the post office while he was walking home, two miles, from the auto mechanic’s shop in New Hartford. He was having his 2003 Ford Taurus serviced — and he says he walked the two miles back to retrieve the car in the afternoon.