The Washington Times - May 22, 2009, 05:38PM

Do you recall $4 per gallon gasoline and a national Southwick survey that showed anglers throughout the nation were seriously reducing long-distance outings because of the deep dent that expensive gas put into the family budget?

Guess what? It’s happening again and nerdy news reporters on various TV networks actually suggest that we should be delighted because “gasoline is so much cheaper than it was a year ago.”

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They believe because of the [temporarily] lower cost American families will hit the road in huge numbers come the summer and holiday travel season.

Well, folks, in 2008 fishermen in Virginia saw gasoline for their tow vehicles and boat motors sell for as little as $1.89 per gallon; at $1.98 and 1.99 in many Maryland filling stations. Currently, the Virginia gasoline has risen to $2.29 per gallon in a number of stations; $2.39 in Maryland – and that’s for the 87 octane lead-free regular, not the high-test. The mid-grade gasoline required by a most outboard motors runs in the $2.50 per gallon range.

Will it level out at the current prices? If you believe that I want to sell you some smelly, useless swampland.

We’re being taken to the cleaners just as we were a year ago. The excuses given by the big oil companies are endless. One minute it’s that Communist China needs all the gasoline it can buy, then it’s the fault of unstable world-wide economies that dictate strange jumps in prices, and so on.

We’re saps for putting up with companies that act no differently than street corner hoodlums. Am I being too tough on the people who own the refineries and sell the precious liquid? As far as we know from news reports, the cost per barrel of oil has not risen nearly as quickly as the recent increases in a gallon of gasoline.

More increases are coming and we fishermen are dumbfounded by it all.