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Posted: May 8th, 2007, 11:23 pm
The price at the pump is now at an all time high. Do any members have comments about what might have brought about this situation ? As one who would NEVER think of trying to " aim " the discourse, I will NOT mention that OILMEN hold the two highest elected ( first appointed ) offices in the land.
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 8:25 am
Could be, but I don't think they own any of the oil fields in the Middle East or Africa or Russia or Venezuela or Mexico.
One thing that will help is if Congress would get off of their fanny and allow the construction of new refineries. It's not always the oil as much as the refineries can't keep up with the demand for gas. It would also help if there was a national standard of fuel rather than each state dictating their own recipe. It slows everything way down.
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 10:15 am
Speaking for New England, our all-time high happened back in March of '05, when we spiralled up to an avarage of $3.23 p.g. for Regular.
Currently we're averaging $2.91.
But, listen, wanna feel better? How'd ya like to finance the daily gasoline work-use for 22 employees, whose commutes vary from 27 - 83 miles a day, one way
, dependent on where their jobsites are?
There, not quite so bleak now, right?
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 10:22 am
If it is any consolation, some of the highest gas prices in Texas have always been at stations close to the Exxon "White House" complex near the Gulf Coast.
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 12:35 pm
Not the only reason, but a big reason is...the United States is still the biggest consumer of petroleum in the world, but the United States does not have the biggest need for petroleum. The United States is not the country willing to pay the highest price for petroleum. I don't know for a fact, but I think China is the country willing to pay the highest price. Plus, the United States is not viewed by oil exporting countries as a highly valuable consumer for future sales. Forecasting future trends, I think the United States economy is viewed as contracting, not growing. I personally believe the United States is slowly moving to what used to be called "Third World" status...economy-wise. It makes good business sense (on the part of oil exporting countries) to create strong trade bonds with countries having a brighter economic future than the United States.
A parallel example of what I am talking about is copper...an important commodity metal. I buy a fair amount of copper because I make things out of copper. The metal took a price dip last November as production increased to meet the demand. Copper price hit an all time high last October. The price of the metal has gradually increased since November and is now higher than last October's price. Why? Well, in the United States the construction industry is in a slump...but not in China. China needs copper to build houses and factories and China's need for the metal has boosted the price of the metal and it does not really matter what is happening in the United States.
Get used to commodity prices having nothing whatsoever to do with what happens in the United States. This country is becoming less and less an important consumer...global economy-wise.
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 1:40 pm
They may not own those oil fields you listed, but they have ways and means to combat imports from them. I may be talking through my hat, but I truly believe it is the American oilmen who have caused our present prices. I don't know about you, but coming from the age when you could fill your boat sized 1960 Chevy Impala with $5.00, it makes me cringe to have to pay $3.39-9/10th per gallon as I did yesterday. For $10.00 I put 3.02 gallons in my car. Never in my life have I driven around with less than a half a tank of gas. It's always been between full and half when I added to it. Nowadays, however, the half point mark is the topmost level. That is dangerous and stupid. I can't even go on a trip into the city to see my son because it takes too much gas. That is a sad sign of the times. I am not alone in this.
Posted: May 9th, 2007, 3:53 pm
I'm not holding them blameless, I'm just not holding them fully responsible. It's worse in Europe. In my suburban Baltimore area it's about $2.95 per gallon. (When I first started driving it was about 50 cents a gallon.) I understand how hard it is to keep the car running. I don't think what you do is dangerous or stupid as much as it is practical for you.
The goofballs in the MD state legislature are talking about increasing the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon. They are also thinking of implementing a plan where the tax increases as the price increases making it even worse. As bad as it is now I dread to think what it will be next summer.
Posted: May 16th, 2007, 6:50 pm
The gas station that I was at in San Diego yesterday charged $3.79 per gallon!!!!
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 4:17 am
Okay, I'm not big on high finance or numbers crunching, but I did look up 'oil in America' on Ask.com and after much back and forth screwing up, I finally came up with something I could understand.
In 1993, the Netherlands imported crude oil from us, see below:
Jan., 1993 - 1,572 (thousand barrels)
Dec., 1993 - 4,674
Jan., 2007 - 4,408
Feb., 2007 - 2,559
and nothing since February.
To me, this means the Netherlands, after at least 14 years, if not more (the chart starts at 1993), has found somewhere else to import their crude oil. Practically every country on the chart is similar. Therefore, we are losing money in export charges to dozens of countries, meaning we (the American consumer), has to make up that loss.
So now, tell me this. How many of you have SUV's, vans, and other full, or over-sized family automobiles? Twenty years ago, when gas was plentiful, and reasonably priced, the big push was for smaller, gas economical cars. In the last 15 years, however, it's been on the big autos. Why? My daughter moans to me that it costs her $60.00 (or more), to fill her tank, but in this instance, she gets no sympathy from me. Get rid of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is what she hears from me!
So it's not just the oil companies, it's Detroit also. I couldn't understand why the big turnaround from small cars to big SUV's. Why, in God's name is a big van or SUV in almost every driveway? People are stuck with them, that's why. There is no market for used SUV's, so they have to keep pouring their paychecks into the stupid things. Why hasn't Detroit come back with the small, gas economical cars yet? On top of all of it, all sorts of new gadgets and toys are added like heated seats, moveable front and back seats, etc. Don't people realize each of those things are another drain on the engine, and each window has a motor to raise it up and down. When the seat, or window stops moving, it's not just a cog that needs to be changed, it's a motor, for each seat or window. When are Americans going to learn to let the Joneses have what they have, and drop it at that?
It's like that Home Depot commercial, where they go from a backyard grill to two decks on one house, continually upping each other.
If you've read this far, send me some answers, Okay?
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 7:29 am
American consumers & lack of perspective:
I find American consumers to be among the biggest whiners on earth. Who made anyone buy those ocean liners masquerading as land transportation? How dumb can you be about basic economics? What about the fact that Americans consume so much of the earth's resources even though we're only a fraction of the population? What about our delusional self-image as entitled to a new car every other year or to drive the biggest SUV on the block? Have any of the people complaining about their gas bill considered what the average price of a gallon of gas is in other countries? Why don't we take some personal responsibility for this situation rather than just complaining?
Some of these questions reflect the fact that so few Americans are encouraged to think critically about advertising, the way we live our daily lives, or how we affect the rest of the world. I also find it disheartening that there is little historical awareness of such turning points as the Highway Bill in the 1950s that was pushed through Congress during the Eisenhower Administration by GM, the oil companies, and
the UAW to create the massive construction of interstate highways at a cost to the railroads, mass transportation or new energy source development. The decades-long lack of management and labor cooperation and our mutual responsibility for our economic and civil comity have led to at least some of the issues that we're faced with today. God knows in this day and age, there's enough access to information for consumers to think rather than just react all the time like chickens with their heads chopped off.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should get into that self-loathing pattern that predominated in American life for so long, but this entitlement jazz has to stop sometime soon. I also realize that many people at this point have to drive alot just to keep their heads above water, and our culture doesn't encourage a person to have a moment's peace to think through their choices.
All I'm hoping for is a bit more balance and a government that actively encourages r & d into alternative energy on a national level for universities and private entrepeneurs, pronto. By pronto, I mean now, not after 2008's election.
Having first learned to drive within living memory of the oil crisis in the '70s, gas mileage has always been a priority for me in choosing a car. I've never wanted an SUV and currently drive the most economical car I can afford, (American made btw) and I tend to be that turtle in the right hand lane who's (horrors!) driving 55 mph on the Thruway. If I had the shekels, I'd cough up for a hydrogen car or some kind of hybrid. As it is now, I walk alot, and only drive when I have to. Currently costs about $35 a week to buy gas for my small car. I'm taking a trip down South next week, and, rather than fly, have chosen the train as my transportation, (especially since I can stop in NYC and Washington briefly back and forth). I'm a demon recycler, though I notice on garbage day that few of my neighbors seem to share my desire to lessen my wastefulness. I also prefer my local farmer's market for freshness and to support local farms, and don't buy strawberries from Chile or California or wherever.
Does all of this really help lessen my impact on the consumption of fossil fuel overall? I dunno, I doubt it, but perhaps it means that I may be a little healthier, and will have some spare change left occasionally.
Please forgive my rant on this topic, I'll take my soapbox and go now. Sorry.
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 10:42 am
If we all did what you do, chances are we would be a lot happier, not for doing it, but for what it would save us. When I moved into this apartment, a friend gave me a set of Rubbermaid bowls, but the box still stands, filled, in a closet. My leftover bowls are Cool Whip, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, small, medium and large cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese, containers. As for plastic jars, like instant coffee, mayonnaise, etc. I use most of them in my crafts. I cut them, slice them, and whatever, to re-use them. Some are planters. I paint flowers and gold glitter on empty milk and half and half jars and use as vases. I cut up kleenex boxes for use in the back of picture frames, or as picture frames. They are so pretty, I can't see not using them for something else. My garbage is basically food. Very little plastic or paper gets thrown out.
This is not because of my present financial state, I did this when Mr. L was alive and we both worked, and quite some time before the county handed out recycle bins. The white, or aqua semi plastic bags from grocery stores, K-Mart etc. make great gift bag stuffers in place of tissue paper if you cut off the store name and cut into strips.
Believe me, if you take 2 minutes and look at something before tossing it, you may come up with some great ideas for recycling in your own home. Take an empty big mouth mayo jar, glue on small pictures from DVD and CD ads you receive as junk mail, and set it on your teens desk as a pen/pencil holder - it's a good place to put all those loose pens rattling around in your kitchen catch-all drawers.
Believe me, I've got a million of them. Your idea of fresh produce is great, I wish I had one around me. If I need only 2 or 3 items from the store, there's no way I'm driving that car, you stop after dropping the kids off, or do without until tomorrow.
Well, I wish I could do your photo of the soapbox, but since I can't yet, I'll jump off in theory.
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 2:20 pm
You always here "when I was a kid stories"
But when I was 18, I worked for KAY-B-GAS-O-RAMA and High Test was .36.9 a gallon. in the 70's People would say give me 10 and I got Ripped off because I gave the Guy 10 dollars worth and he wanted 10 gallons while that would have been $3.70 ( that Bum) If you watch films from the 40's gas was .17 cents a gallon. In less than 30 yrs. gas went up 100%. I drive 50 miles a day round trip to work and back and these prices are killing me. I brought a 4 cyclinder car because of this and I'm still at the pump 2 or 3 times a week. I was even thinking of moving closer to work because of the price of gas.
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 4:22 pm
I can pinpoint the moment when I became 100 percent cynical...if the subject was people in the United States and conservation of energy, water, land and other valuable resources.
Several years ago, I was watching an episode of "This Old House". I think everybody reading this message has watched the show. So, I won't bore you with what "This Old House" is all about. However, if you have watched the television show and if you have read the "This Old House" magazine...you know everybody involved with the show/magazine is trying as hard as they can to be a "green" citizen of planet Earth. Well, I was watching an episode of "This Old House" and the old house to be remodeled had a bunch of old solar heating panels on the roof. The solar heating may have been old, but the solar panels still worked. The episode I reference was all about removing the solar panels because...Steve Thomas said, "...we hate to remove the solar heating, but all that stuff on the roof does not fit into the aesthetics of our house remodel." Uh...huh. Okay...fine...and while you are considering house aesthetics...why don't you remodel the house with some great big windows in every room...you know, to let in all kinds of wonderful light and let out all that expensive gas/electric/oil heat? Bah...
By the way...I quit watching "This Old House" after watching the installation of a 5000+ dollar Viking stove in the kitchen of a remodeled shack. A shack located on Martha's Vineyard. A shack the homeowner decided they would rent out most of the year. Bah...humbug.
Posted: May 17th, 2007, 9:19 pm
So now, tell me this. How many of you have SUV's, vans, and other full, or over-sized family automobiles
Sometimes it isn't what you drive, but how you drive. By reducing my little side trips, I've managed to make my last fill-up on my Explorer last from April 30th until now and I'm still above a quarter of a tank. Of course, some people have a longer commute than I have and I understand that they can't cut back the way I have. Had I been in that situation, I probably never would have bought the SUV. But I did and I was thankful for it when the big pre-Valentine's Day snowstorm hit our area and four-wheel drive was a requirement for getting to and from necessary functions.
On the flip side, I have seen people with economy cars who feel they can drive anywhere they want, anytime they want just because they aren't using as much gas as those big ol' gas hoggin' SUV's. Now, my wife's car is a Corolla and my daughter's is a Honda Accord, so we do try to economize a little bit, too.
I look it as being on a diet. Reduce your intake of feul and increase the amount of exercise you get.