Once again, too many tabs clutter my browser top. Time to clear the queue!
The South Dakota Department of Tourism published a new report on gas prices last week. From 22,830 self-selecting respondents, we learn that folks take 3.6 vacations a year (really? Is that counting day trips to Sioux Falls?). Using a 1-to-10 scale, nearly 80% of respondents rated their concern about gasoline prices 7 or higher; 39% picked the full 10.
55.6% of respondents said high gasoline prices have altered or will alter their summer travel plans, thus further confounding efforts to blame decreases in Deadwood gaming revenue on South Dakota's new indoor smoking restrictions. Among those changing travel plans due to gasoline prices, the most popular alterations include looking for bargains, vacationing closer to home, and cutting back on other trip expenses.
Not changed by gasoline prices, or by prison time, or by killing a man: Bill Janklow's lead foot. South Dakota's most famous felonious former politician had a quick trip through Clay County on June 27 interrupted by an unexpected meeting with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Janklow contributed $59 to Clay County infrastructure.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce apparently thinks higher gasoline prices are a good thing. The Chamber is launching a campaign to promote the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The Chamber says Keystone XL boost American energy security and decrease our reliance on crude from bad dudes overseas. The Chamber completely ignores evidence from Keystone's builder TransCanada and oil market analysts that, with American demand past its peak, the real purpose of this pipeline is to ship toxic tar sands oil right across the prairie to the Gulf of Mexico, clear the "glut" of oil in the Midwest, raise the price of crude oil and gasoline, and quite probably export that Canadian oil to China.