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US Gasoline Prices are Too Low

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posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Jaryn change is always painfull but really what's wrong with encoraging more Public Transportation and more offers of Hybrids by the Car companies by forcing their hand by artificially creating a market for efficient cars and a public demand for Public Transportation.


What's wrong is that you ignored my point...it's not a matter of choice for a lot of people (yes, I am one of them), it's a matter of survival. Put simply, they do not have the income to support what you are proposing.

As to the public transportation, I can personally say that in my area, people would love to have some, but the state and local government isn't going to provide it. If there was a system in place that allowed folks who live in rural areas to commute to work without driving a gas guzzling clunker, I would support your idea, but as it is, I can not.


The Middle Class is the main driver of any Western Economy, they are the largest consumer of Gasoline and if you make gasoline high enough they will do some number crunching and decide it's finnaly time to trade in that 12 MPG Suv for a 60 MPG Prius. It's simple economics that will eventually trickle down in used car sales as cars these days have a First Owner life of approximately 5 years.


Yes, the middle class is the main driver and they need to get their butts out of those gas hogs and into something better, but you are proposing to force them by making it too expensive to do otherwise...what about the people who can't afford to 'move up' to that 60 MPG Prius? Until you come up with a solution which will address that, I have to assume that you are missing the point of my post entirely, that or you just can't accept the fact that there are a lot of people that can't afford to buy a new car and a surprising number that can't afford to buy a late model used car.

I personally know numerous people that couldn't afford a car that cost more than about $5,000...are you going to buy them the $22,000 Prius so they can afford to drive to work with your planned gas prices?




posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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smallpeeps
Very interesting information you provided there. I've been interested in fitting a 2 1/2 ton transport truck with the conversion to allow bio-diesel, for emergency use in the event of a disaster. I live in a very stable place, with few disasters worth mentioning, but there's always the possibility one will have to get up and go.

Much rather drive in style than hump over all these mountains, but beggars can't be choosers, and the gasoline supply is never stable enough to allow for inclusion of gas guzzlers in any escape plan.

This idea you've presented offers a very nice alternative. It's much easier, cheaper, and safer, to store a few hundred gallons of vegetable oil than it is gasoline. I could store them right in the rear of the vehicle, along with whatever else one might wish for in Mad Max world.

I won't even consider stockpiling gas because of the risks involved, and the ridiculous prices.

OTS
Very good article. I agree with you, generally.

I find it interesting that other oil producing nations pay much less for their fuel at the pumps, notably Iraq. Their fuel is CHEAPER than water (5-10 cents a gallon for fuel)! Now that's interesting, if I do say so myself.

The reason they pay so little is (I gather) because the country would revolt and enter into unanimous armed rebellion if they had to pay any more. The distributors in America have no fear of that. The domestic mob has been neutered, for all intents and purposes.

So I think your idea is viable, if only for the fact that Americans lack the capability to rise up and protest in true fashion.

I wouldn't mind seeing $10/gallon for gasoline, or even much more. It would bring us more in line with other developed nations. Refineries, transport outfits, and airlines will become much less profitable, overnight, meaning a huge reduction in the amount of fuel burned by those locations.

If you did it right, it would deal a crushing blow to the fossil fuel industry, because most people would either switch rapidly to alternate technology, or would engage in illegal activity to secure their fuel. The retailers and transport operations would be hardest hit. Highway banditry is all but eliminated in America, but gas prices in the double digits would change that practically overnight.

I know drive-offs at my local gas stations increased something like 30% for every dime of the price hikes in the last six months. It would stand to reason that if the fuel was valued, tankers, pipelines, and retail locations would become the targets of an increased number of thefts. Furthermore, the thefts would be better organized, better funded, and the criminals involved would be more proffessional, more efficient, more skilled.

It would be a very chaotic period, as the country switched gears, but all for the best in my opinion.

I'm totally biased, since I no longer drive. It's just down the mountain to a major town, if I need supplies. The worst case scenario involves me hiking for five hours up and out of the valley and down the mountain, and then five hours back up. No biggie.

That's total worst case scenario, if the town I live in turned 'ghost' on me.

Maybe the people most to blame are the midwesterners and suburbanites, who routinely drive great distances to and from work. If people lived where they worked the problem would all but disappear.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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www.bobbittville.com...

Hey WO, check out the link above. This guy claims his VW uses both diesel and fish oil! He says it starts up with diesel, then when the fish oil is hot enough, he switches it over while still running, and then runs off of the oil.

I think this cooking oil tech is awesome. Clearly this petrol problem could be solved quickly and easily. Just put ol' Dave Wetzel of Lebanon, TN in the White House. The guy looks solid enough for me.



...(How do I do the image sizing in BBCode again?)





[edit on 24-9-2005 by smallpeeps]



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Smallpeeps, I'm not an economist, and I don't know about the total costs of vegetable oil. I do know that vegetable oil is made from things like corn, which requires a lot of water (another resource that's becoming more and more important, as potable water becomes more and more scarce) a lot of fertilizer, a lot of land, a lot of seeding, harvesting and processing -- and you still end up with a hydrocarbon-based fuel which, although cleaner than petroleum, is still going to foul the air.

The business about the individual getting "free" vegetable oil is simply silly, since we're not talking about one person opting out of the system and hitting up the Mickey Dees and KFCs -- we're talking about changing the society. I personally (and I have not pencil-whipped this) think that both vegetable oil and ethanol are simply not cost-effective. One strong piece of evidence is that the ethanol lobbyists for the states which grow a lot of corn are pushing for large amounts of tax offsets and subsidies, which means to me that agri-fuels can't compete on their own.

Perhaps one good approach would be to take advantage of the state of the art in genetically engineered plants and develop a plant which does not use a lot of potable water and produces large and easily-refined agri-fuel. But again, they're still hydrocarbons!

This is a tremendously complex problem, and although I knew the answers to this (and everything else) when I was twenty, that was forty years ago, and I seem to have become more ignorant as the years pass!



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
...although I knew the answers to this (and everything else) when I was twenty, that was forty years ago, and I seem to have become more ignorant as the years pass!


Isn't it amazing how that seems to happen to all of us as we get older?



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 10:16 PM
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I personally believe not only should gasoline taxes be raised, but half the sum collected for highway development should be immediately divertedoduce not only a rail system within metro areas but also across the land.

Why continue to build lane after lane of interstate highway system when within two years the new lane is full, and constrution started on another? It is a terrible waste of money. Quit building lanes and build trains. When the population gets stuck out on the interstate, and sees the monorail moving swiftly above them they will finally get the idea to get out of the dad burned auto.

However, to help do this must raise taxes substantially like in Europe. These taxes over there encourage Europeans to use public transportation. I lived in Germany in the 70s in the service, and did not own an automobile. I moved freely within Europe with no problem getting me anywhere I wanted, and cheaper than using the car.

Before someone says "can't" remember "can't never could do nothing".



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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I'm with Jaryn on this that many people here in the US can not afford a big gas tax. If you want to start a recession or depression here in the US, I propose that would be a good way to get one started by just raising the gas tax by $2 a gallon to make it $5 or $6 a gallon. That way, many people would no longer even need to drive to work and they would have to sell their car just to get some money to pay some of the bills.

I know someone that is living painfully from paycheck to paycheck and had to declare bankruptcy. I believe they are going hungry on occasion because they don't have enough extra cash due to the price increase of gasoline. They can not use any credit cards for the next 3 years. Now if you increase the price of gasoline by just $2 a gallon, they will somehow have to pay an extra $220 a month to cover the extra gasoline cost of driving to work. I don't know how they would do that. It's very easy for everyone with nice jobs or a nice retirement plan to sit back and say, yeah gas prices are too low, we should enact a $2 a gallon tax to force everyone to become more efficient.

As far as hybrids go I've heard that they are not cost effective for a majority of people here in the US. If you already drive as little as possible, live close to work, and already drive a somewhat fuel efficient car like me, hybrids don't make much sense. I heard there is a large extra cost up front and you have to replace the batteries every 3 years or so at a cost of several thousand dollars. The extra cost for me makes a regular car a much better and cheaper alternative. I do not believe raising the gas tax would improve the economy here. Therefore I am not proposing raising the gas tax to somehow force people living on the economic edge to suddenly cough up money to move closer to work and somehow get a more efficient car that they can't afford now.

I've heard about some solar thermal technology used in a large scale that can compete with current electricity providers.
www.businessweek.com...

www.businessweek.com...
The solar thermal combination has better than twice the efficiency of the old solar panels at approximately a 30 percent sun to electrical energy conversion rate. Using a combination of hydrogen and electricity, I can imagine our environment and our oil based transportation system becoming transformed. I would prefer our government use massive incentives to spur this conversion rather than tax those who can't afford it right now.


[edit on 26-9-2005 by orionthehunter]



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 11:36 PM
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I give up!

For some unknown reason the majority here can't seem to grasp the idea that not everyone is wealthy (what some of you refer to as middle class) and therefore have no option of getting a hybrid car, etc.

You raise the gas prices or the taxes in the extreme way so many are advocating and there would be a huge surge in the number of people that could no longer afford to work and therefore no longer afford to live.

The fact that this escapes you means to me that either you are too isolated/blinded/stupid to see the way a large part of the US population lives, you refuse to acknowledge it, or scariest of all, you see it from some sort of 'who cares, society would be better off without them anyway' type of attitude.


I wish you luck in your chosen society if something of this sort does ever happen...it will be comical to see you all trying to raise/harvest your own food, do your own landscaping, dispose of your own trash, repair your own possessions, build your own homes - basically to do all the things that low or minimum wage people do for you now.

Parting comment: I agree that we need to move away from fossil fuels and gas guzzling vehicles, but what you are suggesting is ludicrous.



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 11:49 PM
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In theory, raising the gas tax may work to improve efficiency and would help spur energy conservation. However if you regard reality instead of theory, a sudden increase in the price of gasoline would create a lot of hardship as it already has for some. I would love to tell the president and our elected leaders to forget all about some middle eastern troublemaker because our electricity and transportation system is no longer oil dependent. I believe in using the carrot to promote solar rather than using the stick against the middle class.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 01:00 AM
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For those that can already afford a hybrid (not me
yet) you can really "go all out".

www.lexus.com...

Room for kids, large breed dogs, equip., etc.

[edit on 26/9/05 by redmage]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
It won’t take much; every tropical depression that makes the jump to hurricane; every hint of a tsunami, and any other natural disaster will send out a signal for the futures market to hiccup, oil prices to inch up,


There are two things that determine oil prices: OPEC and NYMEX. OPEC works with personal agenda and sets the price, NYMEX works with every speculation and news cast on a daily basis that determines the retail end - a very unstable outdated way of setting pricing.



Originally posted by Off_The_Street
The $3 we’re paying right now for gasoline covers the costs of producing, transporting, and refining the petroleum and a hefty profit at almost all levels of commerce. But it doesn’t pay for the pollution and the global warming and an imperialist foreign policy. The only way we can do that is to impose a hefty tax to cover those real costs – about $1 to $150 a gallon comes to mind.


Pure rubbish.



Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Nothing will solve the problems we face until we completely wean ourselves from hydrocarbon energy. But until we find the right mix of safe and clean energy, a high gas tax and the fuel economy it would drive is a great way to start.


Energy? You haven't even scratched the surface. Petroleum is in everything from Shampoo to the ice cube trays in your fridge. Were not going to "wean" ourselves from oil, it's the very lifeblood that drives our ENTIRE industry and global economy.

Environmentalist's generally have this odd notion that they're economists as well, and understand how markets work, rather than working in ther generalized speculations of commodities and industry. It's the old addage "I'm a professor, so I'm a genius in every field," fantasy at work. I'm not saying your an environmentalist, however there are plenty of academic voices with PhD's shouting their tree hugging philosophy from the pulpit having no clue of how economy actually works, and what it means to have an economic meltdown.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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This country has been warned of this development for over 30 years and everyone sat on their arses thinking the problem would just disappear.

President Carter was laughed at one night when he gave his infamous "sweater speech." He even installed solar panels on top of the White House to show his concern and the gov'ts in alternative energy.

When will Americans learn to take heed of such warnings, and quit listening to the monied that have their hands in your pockets wanting to pull out that last dollar.

We are by far the most wasteful, inefficient, industrialized nation in the world. Our people were and have been warned.

Maybe next time the term "environmental wackos", and "liberal" won't be viewed in quite the same context? All runs together. Instead this nation goes out and votes on 30 second sound bites packed full of half truths. This country had better stop thinking, "What's in it for me", and begin the "What's in it for WE."

If one is concerned about families getting to work give them a ride, and start making sacrifice. Although, this country is asked to sacrifice we can't yet figure out how to get a grocery buggy into the stand instead of strewn all over the parking lot. These damaged carts add up to higher costs also.

Those that do not vote progressively end up having their country regress. That is what is happening today. No longer can we worry about today. We must start learning to worry about the future, our children, etc. The future is now smacking us straight in the face with reality. The future becomes today a lot quicker than one realizes.

This country has a lot of growing up to do. We complain about gas prices yet I drive by Burger King and 20 cars in the drive thru line? Must not be hurting yet!!!!!!!!



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by madmanacrosswater We complain about gas prices yet I drive by Burger King and 20 cars in the drive thru line? Must not be hurting yet!!!!!!!!


Actually I heard that gas prices in the 80's would be about $3.30 in today's dollars taking inflation into account. Considering I was a college student without a full time job and the car I had back then was a guzzler only getting between 8 or 10 miles per gallon, I'm still better off now. I think complaining is now an art form here in the US where we have become the land afraid to be politically incorrect.



posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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I think complaining is now an art form here in the US where we have become the land afraid to be politically incorrect.


What I stated above is "politically incorrect". However, just the truth. I have yet to figure out these days what "politically correct" is. I certainly am not one for I do point fingers and say what needs to be said. If it offends anyone that is why I strive for. It begins to make one think-I don't like to hear what he says, but he is right.

What IS politically correct these days? Skirting the issue or meeting it head on?



posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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As to the public transportation, I can personally say that in my area, people would love to have some, but the state and local government isn't going to provide it. If there was a system in place that allowed folks who live in rural areas to commute to work without driving a gas guzzling clunker, I would support your idea, but as it is, I can not.


It will be supported by the gov'ts when the demand arrives. As long as people climb into their car, turn the radio and air on, and cruise into town without thought to what they are doing things will remain the same.

When the bus stations and bus stops become packed the politicians will wake up.



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