Friday Open Thread by John Cole| April 27, 200710:48 am| 85 CommentsThis post is in: Site MaintenanceFacebookTweetEmailFOUR DOLLAR GASOLINE. Discuss.
Um, maybe it’s Hurricane Katrina Part Two: Electric Boogaloo?
Republican Talking Points:
1) That darn Democratic Congress!
2) Nancy Pelosi’s jet
3) Tree Huggers
4) Al Gore’s SUV
I saw that the price at the corner station had jumped by 20 cents this morning (to $3.15 for regular). It had been steadily rising for months, but 20 cents overnight?! Crikey.
I’m planning to move so close to work, I will be able to walk there and back. With a grocery store right across the street, who needs a car? I see where this raising of gas prices is going to backfire on them. I’m being outpriced, and I see no need to keep maintaining a car I can’t afford to drive.
If I give up my car (and others like me), I (and they) affect not only the gas companies, but the insurance carriers and auto service centers too (and don’t forget parts and fluids companies also). Hmmm, perhaps this IS the way to go! For once, these corporate hacks are going to do something that will really save me money. Why didn’t I see it all along? I was never supposed to have my own car!
Well, ya see…’cos the Democrat Party keeps encouragin’ the terrists, the terrists keep havin’ explodin’ gas in Iraq. That’s why the price is so high. Heh.
They do it because they can.
Sigh, I had to fill up my tank this morning and it was over $25 and I didn’t even get 450 miles out of the tank.
I love my Prius ;)
Has anyone ever gotten around to explaining where all the profits for the oil companies go? I mean, all that billions of dollars, does some of it go to R&D? Employee benefits? What?
Rich CEO’s toilet fixtures?
Has anyone ever gotten around to explaining where all the profits for the oil companies go?
Well, obviously a big chunk gets paid out in dividends. E.g. Exxon has 5.7 billion shares outstanding. At 0.35 cents per share per quarter, that comes to $8 billion a year in common stock dividends.
I live in the city without a car. I have a 5-minute walk the grocery store and veterinarian and 10-minutes to the train which stops as close to my office as possible.
Wow, I haven’t had a car for 10 years now. The only problem is that I’ve spent all the money I saved on beer. Wait, that’s not a problem.
A good portion of the oil companies’ profits also apparently goes to the necks of the CEOs. (I’d post a link, but you know the image I’m referring to.)
Joseph E. Davis
It’s a good idea. Too bad the money goes to fund petro-islamo-terrorists rather than into the hands of our federal government through a carbon / security tax.
My car gets 40 mpg on the highway. Actually, 41 by my actual measurement.
I laugh at your $4 gasoline! Ha ha ha!
Gas-powered internal combustion engines have been around since the late 1800’s…and we’re still relying on them.
Kinda more pathetic than what we pay at the punp, IMO.
I am glad I can walk to work.
I pitty all the owners of the gas guzzling SUV’s — oh wait no I don’t.
Jeebus. I’m picturing ppG walking on the highway with one of those roller-wheel measuring things, then using a volumetric flask to get precisely 1 liter of gas, which he then pours via funnel into his tank, as he end-weighs the flask to record how much didnt make into the tank, then precisely accelerates at exactly 3 m/s^2 to exactly 65 mph wherein he begins his mileage experiment sporting a lab notebook, safety glasses, and a MSDS for 87-octane petrol…..
Well, according to GasBuddy.com, if you’re paying $4/gallon, you’re getting ripped off… but yes, gas prices have been going up, and I predict that they will continue to go up in the coming months, for a number of reasons.
“Stupidity should hurt.”
Guess who’s going to make out like a bandit? Anyone selling a car that gets 60 mpg or more.
I’m STILL waiting for my Smart Car, dammit….(twiddles fingers.)
LMAO, you’re probably not far off the mark on that one!
Yes, but let’s be honest, how often do you drive on the highway dear?
I’m telecommuting today. I heartily endorse this event or product. More sleep, no commute of any kind, working form the comfort of my own home…I could get used to this.
I just calculated the MPG I got on my last tank of gas…19. It should be in the mid-20s, but I spent way too much time sitting in traffic. Yuck. If I could afford to get a new car, I’d get a hybrid in a second. 60 MPG city is sounding pretty damn good right about now.
And now for your chuckle o’ the day. Remember the classic “President Bush is a man approaching genius yet is underappreciated” wingnut post? Mark Noonan is trying to get even nuttier, particularly with the claim that Bush “stands so far above his critics that they can’t, in their muddy dreams, really comprehend him.” Awesome.
Think of it as a way for Exxon to encourage all of us to help protect the environment. Honestly, I have begun to suspect that Big Oil has begun to suspect that their days are numbered. So might as well get while the getting is good.
You think four bucks a gallon is bad?
If Rudi Gulliani isn’t elected president you’ll be paying forty dollars a gallon!
And the sun will never shine.
The economists say it will have to get $6/gallon before most people will change their usage.
Gas for $4/gallon? Sure, John, I got all you want. Please send check payable to me.
And babies will spontaneously combust.
Has anyone ever gotten around to explaining where all the profits for the oil companies go?
It goes to me! Ha ha ha (said in my best Vincent Price voice)
My great grandfather bought shares in a new expanding company, Royal Dutch Petroleum. He also bought gilt edged bonds, guaranteed to pay the 5 1/4% coupon. They were issued by the Imperial Russian Railroad. Oops. I still have the bonds.
I commute 45 seconds down to my basement office. The grocery and liquor stores are a 10 minute walk away.
Times like this I’m glad I’ve never had a car.
The shittiest part is those of us who need a vehicle like even a minivan (wife is permanently disabled) are getting raked over the coals with these gas prices. It’s even worse when disability can’t even be considered a “second income”.
Okay, who leaked the pictures ……..?
Gas demand is price inelastic over the short run. Hence price spikes. Gas demand is very elastic over the long run. Hence, the industry will always ensure lower prices after spikes.
Lately, not much. Too busy. And, everywhere I want to go these days is pretty close by.
My future car is a BMW 1 series with a 4 cylinder turbo deisel getting 50 mpg and puttng out 250ftlbs torque. I believe it’ll be called the 120si and it’ll be on sale next year.
Adjusted for inflation, fuel prices have remained relatively cheap in the US for 75 years or so.
Even at $4 a gallon, it’s a bargain.
What the fuck is the excuse this time, I really haven’t heard? the best I can find online is refinery maintainance. No, seriously.
was sent this in an email, don’t know if it is real, but you have to appreciate the spin –
“Everyone likes to hype $4 gasoline because it’s
sexy,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil
Price Information Service, an energy consulting firm.
“The reality is that we’re nearing the highs of the
year, and within 30 days there will be more gasoline
on the market. You might see $4 in tony places such as
Beacon Hill or Beverly Hills, where they wear the
price as a badge of honor.”
Um, not quite:
This raising of gas prices isn’t going to backfire on “them,” because “they” have helped build an American infrastructure which is utterly dependent on cheap petroleum. You might be able to live in a car-free manner, but millions of American homes are built out in Suburbia and have little or no access to mass transit. The folks living in those homes have no choice but to drive.
We’ve spent sixty years building a car culture nation. We’re stuck with it.
-> More exploration!
-> More efficient extraction!
-> More refineries!
These first three are short-term items that will serve to keep the price from immediately shooting up $10/gallon.
In the long term:
-> More conservation, including:
-> More public transportation!
And, most important:
-> More fission power plants!
-> More fusion research!
Sorry, I don’t really see a long term downside–and mind, $4/gallon gas is going to more than pinch my wallet. However, this insane dependence on petroleum for energy has got to stop; it’s too important as a chemical feedstock. We’re burning the house down to keep it warm.
Gas was under $2 right before the SOTU. And before the election. In three months it has gone up 50%? don’t give me any of this “summer driving season” shit either. It is literally a dollar a gallon more, and there is no clear event I can think of to justify it.
I had to drive to a meeting in Detroit yesterday, and I noticed, “Good gas here is only $2.85, I’ll fill up after my meeting before I drive back to Ann Arbor (already in the 2.90s)”
When I left my meeting an hour later, gas at that station had gone up a dime.
This qualifies as an alternative fuel source, right?
Most likely the asshats at the oil companies saw that we were willing to shuck out over 3.00 a gallon when there was some “emergency” that pushed the prices up so now they are just artificially raising prices again.
Hard for me to imagine we could be lucky now when I remember pumping gas at .65 a gallon.
Yeah, well for ever six or seven who are stuck with it, I can see another one or two who can let it go. Those numbers add up to less profit, eventually.
If enough people go dutch (bicycles) or walk and stop driving, it will impact the companies who depend on auto related purchases. You may have a bunch of stuck peple in gated suburbia but cities didn’t get to be cities by being empty, you know?
I was under the impression it was due to banging war drums with Iran (we can’t depend on their oil anymore, you know, if we go to war with them).
As the Dollar falls, gas prices will increase. Didn’t the Euro just jump up agianst the Dollar yesterday? I bet that would have something to do with the higher gas price today.
That was 35 years ago, when a loaf of bread that now costs $2.65 would have cost about 60 cents or so.
Your $2.65 gallon of gas, a month ago, would have cost you 65 cents in 1972, too.
Inflation is the most important factor in fuel costs and has been for a long time. The street price zigs and zags around the CPI over time. Over time, it pretty much reflects the CPI gradient too.
No biggie. What’s really important here is that the industry manipulates the supply to keep the real price about the same over time, and thereby keeps the economy addicted to cheap energy. That’s a dangerous strategy in an extractive market with a fixed total supply.
Sir, I was not driving 35 years ago… now, 29 years ago I was. I’m under the impression gas was much cheaper than .65 then too.
By the way, about seven years ago, I lived in Orlando and I remember gas dipping under a dollar, explain that!
The Other Steve
I’m starting a new job on monday. It’s only a couple of miles away from my house. So I’m looking at buying a small scooter to ride during the summer to work.
The scooters get around 70-80 mpg, but cost a couple of grand. So I certainly wouldn’t be saving much on gas.
I figure this will also help my car last a few more years.
Of course, I could just ride my bike. It’s a thought. :-)
I wonder if gas will ever get so expensive and manufacturing so cheap as to make this VW economical?
Bullshit. The inflation-adjusted price of gas in today’s dollars was roughly $1.50 or less before 1974 and from 1986 to 1999, minus the spike for Gulf War I; in fact, it was lower than that after 9/11, and it didn’t break $2 until after Bush invaded Iraq.
I did. See my referenced post, and the term “zig and zag.”
Petroleum is a pretty simple supply and demand market. The price goes up and down. But over time, it averages out. See the graph I linked earlier.
Absolutely wrong. See the graph I posted earlier. The inflation adusted price has come steadily down over the decades until relatively recently, the 70’s spike being a notable bump in the trend.
Only lately has it gone back up but it hasn’t reached the levels of the 1920’s and probably won’t for a while.
Cheap fuel is the racket. That’s the obvious but all-too-ignored truth here. Unless the system keeps fuel cheap, we wouldn’t have the car-oriented infrastructure that we have. As long as we had the Shah of Iran and Saudi Royal Family dining at the White House, and things were cool, the ruse worked pretty well. Only now that the Middle East is a trainwreck, and now that peak oil production is either here or imminent, does anyone really care about this stuff. Only when the zigs and zags go outside the enevelope of apathy does anyone notice.
The difference between adjusted fuel prices in 2000 versus 1960 is hardly significant. Probably cheaper in 2000 in real dollars.
The price has been at and above $4/gallon for many, many years in Europe. Get used to it here, and as ThymeZone accurately points out, in real terms the price in the US has been relatively stable for decades.
Yes, stable, and mostly, declining. Spikes at the Depression, the 70’s crises, and now, being the exceptions.
But even with the spikes, we can’t get fuel prices back up to where they were 80 years ago.
war in Iraq= 3$ gasoline.
plus war in Iraq= 6$ gasoline.
bush family=big time oil family. their income is skyrocketing.
See the graph I linked to.
That’s true, it was decreasing since 1932 or so, until the OPEC crisis in the 70’s, and the Iran-Iraq war. After that, it was pretty stable, until recently.
At some point in 2000, it was; the price of gas went up a fair bit in 2000.
Keep your eye on the ball, Pb. The industry has played us pretty well. The only reason the ruse won’t keep working is because peak production and its aftereffects … which might be basically skyrocketing prices …. is either here or pretty nearby. And of course the ME crap.
Otherwise, the Suburban and Expedition would still be kings of the road, and we’d be happily paying these guys to make huge profits at our ultimate expense.
It’s basically a boiled-frog model.
I remember paying 87 cents a gallon for E10 in the midwest in 1998.
Now that I think about it, I probably misunderstood what you were saying in the first place, because I think we’re actually on the same page here. My apologies.
Apropos of nothing, I fucking hate Bill Simmons of ESPN.com. Forget that he’s basically clueless about sport, of that he’s an insufferable Boston homer, or that he’s uncool enough to cop a name like, “The Sports Guy,” or that he’s the only gag writer on earth who can make Jimmy Kimmel less funny. What really pushed me over the edge is his column today over on ESPN (no link–I refuse to put more money into his pockets), in which he links himself with the late David Halberstam.
Nauseating. The dude’s a shame pimp.
Feel good while you can, you non-drivers and 40 mpgers. State and local governments are already freaking out quietly at the notion of lower gas sales–and the accompanying monster hit to gov’t budgets. They’ll find ya, never fear.
Oh the stupid, how it burns
I know this one. Accoding to Lewis Black, those profits go for “personal ball-washers” for the top executives and $20,000 umbrella stands.
I wash my own, and the bathtub suffices nicely for the umbrella, but that’s just me.
Irony burns too
For a real world datapoint, my last tank was 52 mpg in my Prius. I’ve never attained 60, but my high was 57.
Wha??? His mailbags are only the funniest collection of random musings you’ll ever read! Wow….I feel like you just punched my mom in the face. Not….sure…how to…control…amazement.
Otherwise known as hookers.
Meanwhile, those oil execs have played us for rubes.
Oh, and we elected one of their stooges president. So there’s that.
Is that something I can order online?
and the similarities are scary
*I think so but I heard rumor the “affordable” model was a dog and a jar of peanut butter but don’t quote me on that…
*Ok I know that was wrong but…it was funny.
Yes, I hear animals are into that sort of thing.
Some sources say…
Sit Ubu, sit!
When I lived in Germany in the late ’70s, gas was over $4.00 a gallon. I always wondered then how anyone could afford to drive anywhere. Luckily they had great public transportation.
I wish I could. I managed for 10 years sans car when I lived in the city. It was wonderful…no hassle, so much less expense. If I wanted to go away somewhere, I’d just rent a car for the weekend.
But…I now live in the country, and am about 12 miles from work. I probably could bike, but it’d be at least an hour each way, with no way to shower once I got to work. Well…this time next year, I’ll hopefully be in my new house, which is about 3 miles closer to work. So maybe I’ll start biking on nice days.
Open thread, so I’m placing this here:
The call-girl scandal is starting to claim victims
Where’s the popcorn?
I get an average of 48 mpg in city/highway driving, and since I live in a rural area I do lots of highway driving. Though that is on my motorcycle…lol! But it has a stereo MD player, fairing and I have full gear for bad weather. So the high gas prices are not killing me too much. But my poor 351W equipped Mustang has been sitting in the garage undriven for over three months now. I pull it out and fire it up every week or so, maybe a quick trip to the store, but that is about it with an average of 14 mpg with it (but that is with a very healthy build on the 351).
Regarding the cost of fuel in Europe, you should take into account the fees that the governments put on the fuel there. They are MUCH higher than our fees, so the high prices are attributed to taxes (government theft), not outright theft (at least corporate theft). So that is not a fair comparison without taking that into account, IMO.
I heard a few days ago that one state (escapes me which right now) is looking into raising fuel taxes as they are losing revenue with people cutting back on gas usage. So we may soon exceed the European costs of gas if that happens. It is a vicious circle, and we are stuck in the middle.
Our Olds gets 32 combined city/highway, and I use that on rainy days. Otherwise the motorcycle is my preferred method of travel. The wife likes it too.
Dayum, pretty soon people will be giving head at the pumps just to get money for gas.
Rome Again writes: “Where’s the popcorn?
I suggest tortilla chips and salsa, in honor of the unnamed Central American ladies who have most recently been providing Tobias’ massage-related-program-activities.
Petrol products are great for highly motile vehicles. Dense, not to corrosive and decent energy/weight ratio.
Not so good for fixed facilities.