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BONNER COUNTY FUEL AND ATTITUDES RISING

Higher fuel prices at the pump are leading to increased prices for other commodities.

FUEL

BONNER COUNTY FUEL AND ATTITUDES RISING

By Christian Schwab

Once known for its reasonable cost of living and unique community outreaches, Bonner County, Idaho has seen many changes over the last 7 years. Older residents believe those days are over, as more and more of the area becomes a haven for tourists, mainly due to the many lakes within its borders.

High end jobs have been replaced by low wage service jobs, small businesses feel disenfranchised as special treatment goes to a select few, and resident’s are starting to feel a pinch as fuel prices substantially started to increase a few weeks ago.

Higher fuel prices at the pump are leading to increased prices for other commodities, such as food and clothing, and is helping to increase the costs of other necessities.

Our elected officials, like Senator Shawn Keough, don’t seem to understand the necessities for which the fuel taxes are meant to pay. They, instead, choose to increase the State’s infrastructure to unsustainable levels.

Idaho needs over $200 million to repair or replace existing projects, but they vote to unnecessarily double the infrastructure projects. Doubling the need for funds going forward, possibly tripling if we add increased wages and pensions through the project’s life expectancy.

In our area, a perfect example was the proposed Hwy 2 curb/highway rebuild project. This called to double Highway 2 from Sandpoint to Oldtown making room for future use. However, Washington did not plan to do any upgrades for another 20 years. This would have left half of the highway virtually useless while residents would still pay for maintaining it. The City of Sandpoint put a halt to the proposal due to the fact it would split the city in two, making it a safety issue for children and our disabled persons trying to cross the highway within this prominent business corridor.

All across the country researchers are seeing one thing in common from infrastructure to global warming. This aspect is the simulations each department has come up with which use past numbers in an attempt to determine what the future ‘might’ hold.

These simulations have been wrong every time because they can not make a prediction of an individual’s pattern of thinking. Additionally, the government statistics are changed in even years after the initial studies or reports are finalized.

Evidence of this can easily be seen in recent years when looking at the jobs reports and NASA’s warming charts. NASA’s original data had AL Gore stating “Arctic Summer Ice Could Disappear In 2013” which isn’t even close to the reality.

Fuel prices should not rise much further as research has shown the demand hasn’t increased, fuel exports haven’t decreased, and production is substantially increasing. The only changes have been the big Union/Government backed hedge funds which have moved into the energy sector, as they depend on the markets to pay their retired employees pensions.

This sector had been dismal through 2015, but, electric companies raising their rates has helped the industry see a profit on their stock offerings in the first quarter of 2016. This should be good news for locals stuck in the low wage service industries (which replaced the good jobs in the logging industry) due to keeping fuel prices down, delivery rates stay lower, which helps keep commodity prices lower.

However, all around the State and Country the confidence level in Local, State, and Federal Government (who want to believe things will get better) is at a 6 month low according to a CNN poll conducted on the 28th of April. Businesses see a decrease in profits, limited back orders, and wages continue to be stagnant.