Posted by: Jim | November 9, 2006

Stock up on Gas

The price is already going up.

The reports are coming in from all over.

What could be the cause?



  1. But where will I store my gas? The only storage device I have is a 16.1 gallon tank, and it is installed on my car.

    I was sorta hoping we’d at least break $2.00 on the way down, but…whatever. $2.09 is not bad, but even $1.99 would have been a pleasant flash back to the past.

    There is a dormant gas station in Henrietta, Texas that still displays $1.05/gallon. I smile as I drive by it, remembering the old days…

    What’s the lowest price you can recall for gas in your lifetime (even before you were driving)?

  2. I remember $.25 a gallon. That was when I was in Junior High.

    Compared to a year ago, $2.00 a gallon is good. When the price per gallon goes up over $5 (and it will soon), and stays there for a few months, you will then be happy when the price per gallon falls to a mere $4. When it goes up to $10 per gallon (and it will within the next 4 years), you will be ecstatic to only pay $7 per gallon at the pump.

    This is why it’s a shame that Prop 87 failed in California. I think the price of gas *should* go up, because it’s the only way to impact the necessary changes.

    Removing America’s dependance on oil would be good in so many ways …..

  3. I totally agree, however I do not share your accelerated pessimism with regard to the rise of gas prices. I do not think it is economically prudent to allow gas to rise above a certain level. While that level remains a mystery to me, I certainly hope it is not $10/gallon, because I’ll just go buy a bike shop now and reap the rewards! Heh.

    No, seriously. We do not NEED gas, just like we do not NEED milk (although I need milk more than gas), yet the price of milk has remained relatively stable, not climbing to ridiculously high levels. I really don’t think the average American will have $100 to donate to the pump in one fill-up. The cost of living index would not have time to catch up.

    …or perhaps a sudden and silly rise in gas prices may make the need for alternative fuels more immediate and spark change that much faster.

    Gas sucks. It makes me think too much. I’m going to go read the sports page.

  4. Yeah, kinda saw that one coming a few months ago. Kinda makes me glad that I don’t have a car.

    I think the lowest I remember was around $.75/gallon. Unfortunately I don’t remember exactly when that was…

  5. As long as we are dependant upon gas for our basic material needs, the price of gas has no ceiling. The price of gas is the seed out of which the price of everything else grows.

    You depend on petroleum products at at least 100 points along the way for that gallon of milk to get into your refridgerator. You require petroleum products to keep your refridgerator running. (You shouldn’t be drinking cow’s milk anyway–it’s bad for humans! LOL)

    If all gas providers were–today–to illegally raise the price of gas to $100 a gallon, people would pay it. Not ALL people, but many would. Why? Because gas is the essential ingredient to virtually every social recipe.

    Gas is our society’s lubricant. It isn’t just the thing we need to put in our cars, it’s the thing we need to eat, dress, stay warm, and entertain ourselves.

  6. In much of Europe the price of gas has long been unsubsidized and thus more reflective of its true cost. It’s not unusual to pay the equivalent of six or seven dollars a gallon, which is one reason why alternative transportation methods, fuel-efficient cars, and alternative energy sources are much better funded and utilized there.

    Fritjof Capra, the brilliant and very prescient physicist, sociologist, systems theorist and author, was a pioneer in describing an integral socioeconomic model way back in the seventies and eighties — and part of his relatively simple overarching model is this:

    Everyone knows, or thinks they know, about the law of supply and demand, the so-called free market, the invisible hand. Whatever your take on the subject, it is important to take into account ALL the factors of a resource in analyzing its viability in the economic strata. In other words, when it comes to a nonrenewable resource such as oil, the price should reflect several inarguable elements: 1) There is a limited amount of it, and eventually we will run out, period; 2) Emissions from burning it as fuel create toxic byproducts that cause immeasurable damage and have stratospheric costs that we are only just beginning to understand; 3) The limited nature of the resource and its random scattered geographic locations create rivalries that result in gross inequities of wealth and poverty, power and subjugation, and as we have seen, devastating warfare. None of these factors are taken into account when oil companies and cartels set their prices; after all, they don’t have to clean up the air or rebuild the bombed cities or pay for the hospital bills of the wounded or think about how the infrastructure built on cheap fuel will fare when it’s gone. They just go by what the market will bear, and count the profits or attempt to make up for the losses.

    If oil reflected the true total cost to civilization and humanity of burning it at the rate we do, gas would be fifteen bucks or more per gallon and thus not a viable energy source for the kind of uses we put it to — and thus we would have had to long ago find and fund alternatives. A gasoline engine would be the equivalent of a machine that runs on gold — and so human ingenuity would have already come up with something much more viable.

    Of course, the problem is that we have a system in place that relies heavily on cheap, subsidized, see-no-evil, live-in-denial fossil fuel burning. To go from that house of cards to a different energy model could easily be catastrophic from an economic standpoint, and there’s the rub. How do we get from here to there? How do we wean ourselves off our addiction without ending up in the gutter?

    The answer is that we will have to do it anyway. We are running out of the stuff, and we are creating environmental and sociopolitical havoc in the meantime that will only get worse as supplies dwindle and competition goes into survival mode (there are any number of apocalyptic books on the subject by people who know this stuff, and most of them don’t sound all that farfetched in their predictions).

    So, since we will have to bite the bullet at SOME point, why not engineer a gradual transition? Why wait until the situation is critical? Why make your kids and grandkids suffer the catastrophe when you can tighten your belt a bit and make it easier for them? Isn’t that what people are supposed to do for posterity?

    You folks in freeway-dependent L.A. won’t like this, but I say tax gas until it’s ten bucks a gallon, and then solar and wind power will be cheap by comparison. Put the money into research and development across the board — alternative fuels and energy that is sustainable.

    It’s going to happen eventually. It’s inevitable. The only question is how much control we will have over the process and how hard it will hit. And whether you or your kids will carry the heavier burden.

    * * *

  7. Bri – that was (Calif.) Prop 87, and it failed :-\ I am with you on taking personal reponsibility though. Here in Colorado we have more sun on an annual basis than San Diego. Why houses here do not feature solar panels as a fixture is beyond me. Everyone complains about the cost to install solar receptors, but for the love of Pete, it pays for itself over and over again.

    You can bet that when I move back to California that my two wheeler gets more use than the Bonneville (behind, in same picture).

  8. Todd, I’d like to check out that legendary two-wheeler but your link doesn’t work.

    And I’m all about solar; I think that the Mojave Desert should be one huge array of solar panels that could light Los Angeles and beyond for practically FREE once the upfront investment was made.

    And, yes, Prop 87 failed (sigh) — mainly because people are too self-absorbed and short-sighted to get what I was saying above — or maybe they just haven’t heard it the way they need to. Personally I would have promoted 87 in a much different way than it was sold, but then again there were powerful moneyed interests aligned against it so it’s hard to say what could have been accomplished. I know that we need a forward-thinking energy policy that is sold to people from the top down, and the government needs to step up and take the lead in educating people that if they don’t pay a bit more now, their kids are going to live in cold SUVs up on blocks in abandoned Wal-Mart parking lots.

    * * *

  9. In a separate initiative here in Washington State, voters approved by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent a plan that will require the state’s 17 largest utilities (one of which I work for) to obtain 15 percent of their electricity generation portfolio come from renewable sources by 2020.

  10. Al Franken suggests we create an “Apollo Program for Renewable Energy Sources.”

    If you don’t mind me dipping into the national pride well here: we are Americans. We can do anything we set our minds to. If Americans decided to, we could power a car with Pepsi.

    A quest for a cheap, renewable energy source would have more of an impact on mankind that going to the moon ever did. If only we understood that, we could do it.

  11. It’s just a shame that the moon didn’t turn out to be made of cheese after all, dammit. What am I gonna do with all these crackers?

    Seriously, while landing on the moon was a technological achievement and a just plain “wow” sort of thing in the vein of climbing Everest or, say, winning on ‘Jeopardy’, it didn’t really accomplish much of any real practicality — which is why, once we did it, the novelty wore off and subsequent landings were generally ignored.

    I find it fascinating that Neil Armstrong’s footprint is still there and pristine, and that it will likely still be so, long after the human race itself is history. But my musing on such things is tempered by the fact that in some parts of Vietnam, you can still smell the Agent Orange sprayed so indiscriminantly and short-sightedly in that very same year. We’ve come so far, and yet not.

    So the moon landing was…cool. Perhaps gratuitous and extravagant given the global circumstances at the time, but cool nevertheless. Creating a truly sustainable energy infrastructure, however, would be an achievement akin to the discovery of fire, which surely propelled the human race light-years forward in a relatively short time.

    And gave us a way to burn stuff.
    Ah, the bittersweet irony of being human.

    * * *

  12. Pepsi is too sweet, but maybe that’s because I’m Republican 🙂
    Seriously, you’re right Jim. We always seem to find a way to get stuff done. I, for one, am the biggest fan on this blog of NASA and its accomplisments. I also see the need to right wrongs on this earth, feed the hungry and clothe the poor. I try to do my part in that arena, but I am a huge believer in exploration and discovery as well. If Lewis and Clark had not ventured west, America would certainly be wearing a different look. We must keep expanding and exploring, not at the cost of maintaining our existence here on Earth, but in sychronicity.
    Perhaps I am being selfishly curious, but I do believe the Apollo program was worthwhile. I can’t wait until 2020 for the next step in space exploration.

  13. OK, I’ll give you that. The moon landing may yet show even greater impact, and I too support space exploration. I’m just saying, if we applied some of that ingenuity to solving problems at hand, we could probably solve them.

  14. Well, I didn’t say I was against space exploration, but if it turns out that was the pinnacle of our technological achievement before we devolved back into huddled cave-dwellers because we refused to have enough foresight to develop a sustainable society, it won’t have amounted to much.

    And that was a helluva long sentence. But anyway, I totally agree on the Lewis & Clark thing. Had they not ventured into the dark unknown of the New World, instead of miles of Pizza Huts, car dealerships and cookie-cutter strip malls, the West would be nothing but useless greenery populated by equally useless brown people in loincloths. To quote David Byrne, “I can’t get used to this lifestyle!”

    Anyway, you know I’m kidding. Mostly.
    But not about the Pizza Huts.

    * * *

  15. Please suggest me where I can find a website where
    I can purchase accessories by seeing them before I purchase them?

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