Gasoline Prices: Fury Road

Today I was sitting in my office when I overheard someone talking about the exorbitant price of gasoline.  They were trying to blame it on California’s emissions standards, specifically on the cost of the additives in our gasoline.

This really chaps my hide.  Does anyone care to do the math with me?

So I Googled:

The second result captured my attention.  It was a link to some study someone did back in May of 2001…when gas was an overwhelming $1.87 a gallon.   You read that right.

It stated that the cost of additives was a mere 5 to 8 CENTS.  This was part of an overall cost of 75¢ for refining.  This is about 11% of the overall cost if you stay with the top end of the range.

So, I checked to see how the current costs measured up.  As of August 20th, Refining Costs and Profits were only 57 CENTS!  Almost twenty cents less than 11 years ago, before the wars.  So, if we use the same percentage, that’s 6¢ that accounts for the cost of gasoline.  Guess what the largest percentage of the total retail price is?  That’s right, the cost of crude oil!  Imagine that.

Also, California is not the only state to require oxygenates in their gasoline.  Take a look at this map from ExxonMobil of all places.  I’m tired of people perpetuating this myth that California is an awful state that is trying to gouge its citizens.  It looks to me like we are fairly in line with a few other states.  Granted, our state is messed up and things do need to be fixed, but don’t fuel the fire that California is the only state that is having problems.  Pardon my pun.

Side note:  I also noticed this quote from an  AP article I saw in the Sacramento Bee:

Sunday’s action was the first time since 2005 – when gas supplies were affected by refinery disruptions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina – that the air board has approved early conversion to winter-gas blends.

Wait a minute.  I thought California was a gasoline island unto itself.  At least, that’s what I inferred from that Bloomberg article I quoted the other day:

“The Rockies, the Midwest, Gulf Coast, East Coast are all very connected by pipelines,” said Tim Hess, a petroleum analyst for the Energy Information Administration in Washington, D.C. “The West Coast is not connected to that system at all. It’s quite a bit dependent on its own refinery production.”

So, how did Hurricane Katrina affect us?  Is it like having an O Negative blood type?  You can donate to anyone, but only your type can donate to you?  I’m still skeptical that having the “winter blends,” as they call it, will do anything to significantly move the price of gas downward.

>Gas prices got you down?

>You know, it’s really sad when I long for the days of $2.00 a gallon gasoline. Seriously, what the hell is Congress doing? Get off your collective asses and find the corruption going on with the oil companies. Can’t anyone remember Enron? Seems like a similar situation to me!

I would also like to point out that I’ve been trying to get someone to do something about the price of gasoline for 3 years now.

I mean $4.45 a gallon? It’s outrageous. They say it’s going to go up another $.30 over the next week! What the hell? Break out the feathers and leather, it’s Road Warrior time.

There is some good news though. I read in Business Week that this company is working on a solar powered car! I’m going to start saving up for one now.

>How much less can I drive?

>Any ideas on cutting down on gas consumption? I’ve read all the lame ass Yahoo tips. I need some real world examples.

Right now, I’m done with going out to lunch. Unless I can walk there, I can’t afford to drive my car to the various local eateries anymore. Walking is tough at my house because shit is so far away. At work it’s a bit easier on the feet, but the homeless will harass a single walker, especially of the female persuasion. Trying to find a walking budding can be tough.

No more impulse shopping trips. I’m going to have to actually need more than one item before I spend the gasoline to get to the store.

I refuse to go over the speed limit. Since I don’t have any fires to put out, I also refuse to get to the speed limit as fast as possible.

I do have alot of stuff in my trunk. Cleaning it out will probably only help with the gas mileage. If I had a tire gage, I’d check my tire pressure regularly. But then again, I probably wouldn’t know how to inflate my tires if they needed it.

Someone in my office said her family spends about $1,000 a month on gasoline on their two cars. That’s almost how much I pay for rent!

>Gas Prices Drive More Consumers to Steal – Yahoo! News

>If you see Mad Max drive into your gas station, you know what he’s about to do…

Here in California, you can’t fill up at a gas station before you pay. You either use your credit card or have to give some cash to the attendant in the bulletproof box in order to get the pump to work. I’m surprised that they haven’t initiated that technology all over the country.

I’d like to know where the gas is $2.28 a gallon. Here’s it’s $2.34 on a good day.

>Stockton Man Accused Of Stealing, Selling Gas

>We don’t need another hero

We don’t need to know the way home

All we want is life beyond Thunderdome

Sing it, Tina! Ok, that’s not the correct Mad Max movie to associate this article with, but I like the song. Remember when Mel Gibson was a hot guy from Australia?

Anyway, it looks like the “Road Warrior” mentality has taken over a few folks in the San Joaquin Valley.

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STOCKTON, Calif. — Everyone’s looking for cheap gas these days, but when it’s being sold at an apartment complex carport, something could be wrong.

Police say Joseph Marchbanks, 32, would pretend his vehicle had broken down at a gas station, and then he would steal hundreds of gallons of gasoline from the underground tanks.

Joginder Lal owns a Beacon gas station on East Fremont Street in Stockton. He said he is outraged to find out that at 270 gallons of gasoline were stolen from his tanks at 3 a.m. Monday.

Police said Marchbanks was caught in the act when a man saw him at the gas station armed with an electrical pump and some large containers

Investigators said Marchbanks confessed to ripping off at least 10 gas stations in the Stockton area, including Costco at least twice.

“He would position his vehicles over the top of the manholes, and he would run one of the tubes down,” said Stockton Police Department spokesman Sean Fenner.

Fenner said the suspect recently bought a Chevrolet Suburban, which authorities say he confessed was for the sole purpose of stealing more gas

“He would take the gasoline that he got here back to a storage tank back at his home, where he would sell it to local residents,” Fenner said, adding that Marchbanks would sell the gas for $1.50 a gallon.

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“Master Blaster runs Bartertown”

Look at that article. It might not be pig shit used as an energy source, but it’s close enough.

>More thoughts on the gasoline crisis

>I’m using the term “gasoline crisis” because it is one for me. As I was driving to the store this morning, I was thinking about how I could possibly conserve gas. Out of nowhere, a huge white H2 appears in my rearview. He starts flashing his headlights because I was going to slow. Then it hit me…that’s the answer. Go slower. Not only do people have to stop buying those monstrous SUVs, but they need to slow the hell down.

I was a little kid when the gas crisis hit in the 70s, so correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t they impose the 55 mph speed limit to conserve gas? Maybe we should do that again. I’m pretty sure it’s scientific fact that going slower uses less fuel. It’s seems that a new campaign should be started, a protest if you will. Slow down, drive the speed limit or slower. Don’t give the oil companies anymore money than you have to.

I think it was a huge mistake to raise the speed limit. I think doing that might have contributed to the rising cost of gas. I know there’s a war. But, this gasoline price problem was going on before the war started.

>Limit totally reached…

>The news is saying the price of gas is going to go up a whole 25 cents over the next week. Can someone tell me what I can do to stop this? I suppose I could write to each and every representative in Congress asking them to please investigate this madness. But will they even read the letter much less do anything about it?

I guess I could just stop leaving the house altogether, but then I would lose my job. Eventually get kicked out of it anyway since I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. I can’t carpool. No one works near me who lives in my neighborhood. Besides, I really don’t feel like getting to know my neighbors.

The media doesn’t help this whole gas crisis thing. They just make it worse and worse telling us all how high gas is going, never figuring out why such a thing is happening. Isn’t that why journalists do? Figure out why something is happening?