4.26.2005

Gas prices - not what you'd expect

Bush Urges Saudis to Boost Oil Production


Asked whether pump prices would drop, Bush said that would depend on supply and demand.



Ok, I'm no economist - not by a LONG shot. But here's my take on the whole gas situation...


Gas prices are going up. They will continue to go up because we've managed to keep gas prices low for so long that the pressure on the market has finally reached a boiling point.

Gas in Europe is upwards of $6 per gallon (roughly translated from the per litre price). SIX BUCKS per GALLON! Holy schnikies, batman! And we're bitching over $2.50 per gallon.


PUHLEEZE....


How about we stop driving our H2's and Excursions that get 10 miles to the gallon (on a GOOD day) and start using mass transit and hybrid vehicles instead? I'm sick of all of the whining that I hear on a DAILY basis about gas prices and how big of a strain it is on all of us.


Horse puckey (ala COL Potter).


I drive a mid-sized SUV. It gets decent gas mileage (about 15-18 miles to the gallon) and I try to limit my driving, drive with the a/c off as often as possible, keep the tires inflated properly, group my errands together - all to help minimize our gas consumption. We sold McGyver's Land Cruiser - primarily because it was a gas hog that got (on a GOOD day) 11 miles to the gallon. And now - in the interest of, once again minimizing our gas consumption, we've downsized to a Honda Civic hatchback that gets 30+ miles to the gallon. If I could afford a hybrid, I'd own one.

I'm all for President Bush working with the Saudi Arabian government to boost production and I'm completely in support of exploring our own oil reserves in Alaska. But to think that these 2 things will have much impact on the current increase in gas prices is ignorant.

Gas prices are going up due to naturally occuring inflationary forces. Gas prices are going up because our demand for it has not backed off even though the fever-pitch of our griping has increased ten-fold. Gas prices are going up because our refineries are at their limits (whether those limits are self-imposed...i.e. collusion between the petroleum companies...or due to facility limitations is the topic for another day).

We are no worse off than we were a decade ago...it just took 10 years for gas prices to catch up to us.

This is reality people. Adapt and overcome or be assimilated. Something like that. Ride your flipping bike to work or take the damn bus. But QUIT COMPLAINING unless you plan to DO something about it.




Linked to Greyhawk's "Open Post" at Muddville Gazette

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know, I do all the same things you do. All of my errands in one trip, tires inflated, vehicle tuned and running well. I'm fortunate, most weeks, my vehicle leaves my driveway only once as I work from home. I don't complain about prices, because I usually fill my tank about once every three weeks.

However, try to keep in mind that not everyone lives the same type of lifestyle. Not everyone has the same options.

We live in the sticks, and we have livestock. Those errands to town also include picking up several hundred pounds of grain, or alfalfa, or lumber..etc. Because of that, I drive a truck. Nothing smaller would tow a livestock trailer.

We have no public transportation. No buses, no taxi's and for most, riding a bike isn't an option as the towns sit about 20 miles apart. We also have fun winters..where we are lucky to see a snow plow once a day, but it's usually every other day. Yep, we all have 4 wheel drive.

My daughter drives a full sized vehicle, she'd kill for a hybrid, but 60% of the accidents out here involve deer. Hit a 200 lb animal at 55 mph, even with airbags, it's not pretty.

Yes, it's the choice we made when we choose to raise our children outside of a city and in a rural setting. We don't deal with crime, we have wonderufl neighbors and live in a community where we all help each other out, but we pay a price for it.

We need to be placing pressure on vehicle manufacturers to increase the mileage on ALL types of vehicles. They do have the technology. If there was a full sized pickup that got decent milage, I'd be all over it, but there's not, and the current regulations let the manufacturers slide.

Tink

Homefront Six said...

I agree - pressure DOES need to be placed on vehicle manufactuers to develop cars that get better gas mileage. Pressure needs to be placed on government to be more aggressive in pursuing alternative energy sources. Pressure needs to be placed on the petroleum industry to back off on the collusion they are participating in.

But what it comes down to is that we have been spoiled ROTTEN as a society in terms of what we pay for gas. If more people chose to live as you and I do - scaling back on their vehicle usage, etc. then MAYBE the demand would drop and therefor the price would drop.

It just seems that the people who complain the loudest are those who are LEAST willing to make the changes in their lives that would help ease the burden on all of us.

Anonymous said...

Americans just don't have a clue when it comes to what others pay for gasoline. The last time I was in Germany, in 2002, I think it cost about $50 to fill up the rental BMW with unleaded regular which translated to about $4.50 per U.S. gallon and that was when we were on the right side of the Euro conversion. Would be north of $6 per gallon now.

We can complain about the big SUV's and the guzzlers and wanting to have hybrids.

I'm retired now and have two vehicles that tend to get mid to high '20s mpg on trips. Only doing about 400 miles per month on each which translates to 1.5 tanks per month so it isn't a great burden right now.

The real problem is the envrionmentalists. They don't seem to know what real science is, just the emotional, not in my lifetime or in my back yard. As a result a small group has prevented modern technology from building new capacity in refining in this country.

When the rest of us finally get tired of living under the tyranny of the special intrestests such as the environmentalists we will deal with it. I guess we haven't reached the choke point quite yet.

It reminds me of when I lived in a small town in Massachusetts in the mid '80's. We had a town meeting form of goverment the purest form of democracy in the United States. Every one had a chance to vote on almost everything that came up before the town. When no one cared, there was a special town meeting held to ban the use of pesticides to kill mosquitoes. Only about 100 "save the mosquitoe" types showed up and it passed. After the rest of us scratched and grew concerned about Eastern Equine Encephalitis, we had another special town meeting and the spraying resumed with great abandon by a vote of over 1000 to the original 100. The lesson to be learned is if we want it bad enough we can mobilize on any issue.

No matter how much more the Saudi's pump or how much we get from ANWAR, we don't burn crude oil in our cars, we burn refined products. If you have a fixed amount of refining capacity then we will be forever held under the yoke of supply and demand (translation: higher gasoline prices).

Add to that the additional burden of multiple grades and formulations of gasoline to meet regional environmental needs, mandated by federal legislation and we are lucky we aren't spending $5 per gallon on automobile fuel.

Yes, it is still necessary to have fuel efficient vehicles, but they only help the problem going forward. More refining capacity is a must for the present.

We are spending less, in real dollar terms than we were at the end of price and wage controls in the early '80's but I still pine for the Atlanta going price of 80 cents per gallon in the late '90's.

Keep up the good blog.

niblick

Anonymous said...

I WAS BORN & RAISED IN THE COUNTRY.

1] OWN AN OLD USED DODGE PICKUP TRUCK. IT GETS 15 TO 18 MPG. USED FOR HAULING REALLY BIG STUFF.

2] OWN A USED FORD ESCORT STATION WAGON, STANDARD SHIFT. IT GETS
35 TO 38 MPG. I BOUGHT IT USED FOR $3500 BUCKS FROM AN OLDER RETIRED COUPLE. YOU BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH STUFF YOU CAN GET INTO IT WITH THE BACK SEATS FOLDED DOWN.

3] MY WIFE DRIVES ANOTHER FORD ESCORT AUTOMATIC. IT GETS 30 MPG.

TYPICAL MONTHLY GAS BILL IS LESS THAN $60/MO.

SUFFER YOU SPOILED SLOBS WHO CAN'T ADJUST TO REALITY.

Anonymous said...

niblick,

I agree 100% on the refining capability as well as the enviromentalists. I'm a California refugee..'nuff said ;)

Add to that at one point my husband hauled gasoline. Something like 22 different blends every spring. It was insane.

Homefront, I agree we're spoiled. I have an idea of what you pay for gas.(my sister lives in Kona)Even on base it has to suck, I know there's not much of a difference out here in flyover country. I have to admit, I DID whine this winter, we heat with propane and the prices there have incresed substantually as well. In the last 5 years the price went from 53 cents per gallon to 1.14, that got a little painful. I lusted after a corn stove, but our homeowners insurance won't cover stoves or fireplaces out here...yep, whining again.

The country has a tendency to run in cycles. We went through it back in the late 70's with the shortages and odd even days. The country downsized, the manufacturers stepped up mileage and sales of small vehicles soared.

I argue with myself about the free market system. When prices rise, the country does cut back, larger vehicle sales are sliding at the moment. It may again push the manufacturers to push fuel milage and look at sources of alternative energy.

I'm sure the answer is somewhere in the mix of all of the above, but I don't have the brain to tell you exactly what mix. Refineries' alternate fuel, better fuel economy, duct taping the environuts..

Until the right mix is found, I do what I can to keep my budget in line and accomplish what I need to accomplish every day.

and anonymous..I had a little gold Ford Escort as my second car until 3 years ago. We called it Toto as it was a "dog" and we bought it in Kansas. Great mileage. But you don't want to know what the car looked like, nor what I looked like after a 180 pound buck ran in front of me at dusk. It crumpled like paper, so did I. That's why my daughter will drive a full sized vehicle as long as I have a say in the matter. I don't care what it costs, she's worth more. Stay safe.

Tink..who is rather windy today. :)

barks said...

the US has NOT, thanks to the tree huggers, built a new refinery in nearly 30 years. as a result, even with refineries working at full capacity, the oil companies can not keep up with the demand. on top of this, these same tree huggers have gotten restrictions and regulations passed that cause many different kinds of gas to be produced and used in different parts of the country.

i know one friend who lives in a large mid-west city, can drive in the four different directions and buy different kinds, not grades, of gas and pay as much as 7 cents a gallon difference in price.

there has been a new refinery approved by the EPA that is to be built along the CA/AZ state line, but it will not be online for about 5 years, so no help there for a while. also, anytime there is an accident at the operating refineries, it cuts into the production and raises prices.

also, the oil market is like the stock market, let someone say there's a problem, and the prices react.

i drive a small car that gets 30+ mpg, and i mainly go to and from work (less than 5 miles each way); i've quit going to my dog shows unless they are local, and i miss them, but until i can afford to spend the money on gas, i'm not gonna go.

**it happens; i gripe about gas prices, but i pay them cause i'm too old to walk that far or ride a bike on the narrow roads here. it's a trade off to me.