The True Cost of America's Gasoline

No doubt, all of us understand where the gasoline that fuels our cars ultimately comes from. And, lest we forget, the big oil companies -- benefiting from higher pump prices -- spend millions in ads reminding us. However, those 60-second sound bites don't describe the real story: How that fuel really got from the ground to the pump.

That's why you'll want to read this awesome four-part Chicago Tribune report on the true cost of sating America's unending thirst for fuel, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek.

The story unfolds with a tanker truck driver unloading some 7,700 gallons of fuel at a 24-pump gas station/convenience store over about a half-hour. Perhaps, Americans would complain a bit less loudly about the inflated prices they pay, if they understood the human toll it takes to make gasoline their cars were made to guzzle.

All it takes is having access to key proprietary refining data that tracks gasoline back to its true source, something the oil companies insisted for the longest time couldn't be done (for fear of consumer boycotting), but probably had all along, like risk assessments for the toxic medications the multi-national drug companies bring to market all the time.

Another reason, we should be seeking healthier solutions for our environment, like building hybrid cars fueled partially with tiny amounts of water.

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