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Fuel for thought 

To the editor,

It would be nice if we all used our cars a little less. But let's take a look at how realistic that is in our society today. Look at the new suburbs—acres and acres of homes, and not a store in sight, unless the area's lucky enough to get a small convenience store. So how does one get milk? New socks? Where are all our big box stores going? To the industrial parks on the outskirts of town, poorly serviced by public transit. Penhorn Mall is rumoured to be about to be demolished. Its replacement: the new strip mall being built out on the highway. Anyone know what number bus heads out to the highway? None. Never mind shopping, what if you work there? How much will you have to pay just to earn a living? Unfortunately, the way things are set up right now, driving an automobile is pretty much the only way to get places.

Let's spread our view wider. All these goods we buy, like food and clothing, how do they get to the store? They need to be driven in on trucks. And who ultimately pays for the transportation? Not the producer. Not the transporter. Not the retailer. The cost is passed on to the customer via higher prices. Travel? It's more expensive thanks to the rising cost of oil. Delivery services? Now the cost of doing business is even higher, making it harder for companies to hire new employees.

The more money we consumers have to pay out to the gas companies is less money we get to spend on everything else. Like dining out, or going home for Christmas or fixing the leaky roof. We need lower gas prices to protect our economy. Perhaps, while regulating the price the retailers charge, we should also be regulating the price refiners can charge for the product they sell to the gas stations. The higher the prices, the more damaged our economy will become.

By S.M.

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