O/T: Welcome to $4/gal gasoline

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My hometown is largely based on petro-chemica industry. (And bananas) I can't count how many oil guys I know who are very much in demand to drill, build related industries all over Canada. But the oil companies know a good thing when they see it: a conflict in Egypt.."Hey let's screw over our customers with a price hike" even though the actual amount of oil going through the Suez Canal is a mere pittance of what we need here. Ahhh yes, that good-ol' fear-driven marketing strategy, works in politics too."LOOK OUT!! A boogaboo under your bed!!!"
Not to mention the refinerys that go down for maintence or repairs. The local news paper tells us how this particular refinery in Oklahoma being down is going to affect the price of gasoline because of it not producing. BS! Any one refinery produces the "drop in the bucket" in the grands scheme of things.
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I have no doubt that the petroleum market is one of the [if not THE] most manipulated commodities on the planet - think Enron. You have to wonder if a lot of the volume isn't being traded back and forth between brokers just to artificially inflate the price. And, you have to wonder that if it costs less to produce a domestic barrel (shouldn't it?) why producers still get the global price for a home grown barrel. Well, I guess anybody can guess that. As for refineries, the majors have been wailing for years about the government regulations and red tape, not to mention the cost, of building any new facilities. They also like to cite how the public is 'NIMBY.' And I think that's BS. "Squeezing" the supply line helps to keep the price of their inventory inflated. Then again, if BP wanted to build within 10 miles of my home I'd cry NIMBY, as loud as the next guy.
Dave in Houston
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"Leon" wrote:

-------------------------------- As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us".
Major part of the problem is the size and patch work list of gasoline blends legislated across the country, often changing as a function of time of year.
A refinery does a "turn around" to set up the refinery to produce a list of products and do maintenance.
This can happen several times a year.
Problem is, the market has become so segmented that it is not profitable or even possible for more than one or two refineries to produce the same products at the same time.
The result is an unexpected interruption of production can't be covered by another refinery.
There simply is no real off line spare capacity.
There will never again, or should there be IMHO, another "grass roots" refinery built in this country.
Economics have made sure of the above, which is all the more reason to pursue development of alternate energy sources.
Lew
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But the falicy with that popular explanation is that there is no supply shortage because of that interruption. I have not seen a gas line since the early 80's. I'm still not drinking the KoolAid.

The only valid reason to find alternative energy sources is to increase the competition. Remember about 10 years ago when all the oil companies began to merge? They were essentially eliminating 1/2 the competition and through loop holes and alternative means came up with a creative way to price fix.
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wrote:

Of course the Chicago Board of Trade people love it.
Mark
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Leon wrote:

It DOES make a difference. Virtually all U.S. refineries are operating at 100% capacity. When one goes offline, the effects are almost always felt.
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In the last 30 years I have not once felt the effect of a gasoline shortage. I have not seen a gas line except when hurricane Rita threatened Houston a 6 years ago. If there were truely shortates we would see lines at the pump, basically we would actually see shortages. The media is what sets every thing up for the refineries to raise prices.
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Leon wrote:

You must have been asleep during the Carter years (was that thirty years ago?).
But you're right. There is no shortage of gasoline, only a shortage of CHEAP gasoline.
As demand goes down, supply increases and prices drop. When prices rise, demand falls off.
A city government can cut its gasoline supply by a significant amount by simply parking its police cars instead of them patrolling around. They answer calls, of course, but no more cruising.
When I was a cop, we put between 200 and 300 miles on the car in an 8-hour shift. During the Carter oil fiasco, we parked and put maybe 50 miles on the patrol car each night. Ate a lot of donuts...
Individual citizens make the same trade-offs.
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Supply may increase a bit but gasoline does have a shelf life and if kept stored too long will deteriorate.
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The media ? Huh? I'll have some of whatever it is that Leon's been smoking.
The media ?
Dave in Houston
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You have not caught on to that yet??? The media sensationalizes everything, then the gullible audience buys into that and,,, the oil industry benefits from that, unless they are spilling oil.
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wrote in message>> The media ? Huh?

Agreed, the "media" sensationalizes a lot of the news but I can't buy that argument where the price of oil is concerned. If the media were the cause then what's the effect? Panic buying by the gullible public that drives the price of fuels up? Panic hoarding? I don't think the gullible audience has any say-so what-so-ever. What I think happens is that commodity brokers use any excuse to bid the price of a barrel up and up and up. What I think is that the higher the price of a gallon of regular goes the more ways the gullible audience looks to save a little here and there.
Dave in Houston.
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"Dave In Texas" wrote:

------------------------------------- Meanwhile serious alternate energy development languishes.
How high does the price of oil have to go before we say "ENOUGH"?
Lew
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As a country? I wish there was an easy answer to that. As a country we're spread out unlike most of Europe. Myself, I regularly drive between my home in NW Houston and another house we have SE of San Antonio and often back and forth between there and a ranch another 30 miles SE. If I hunt both morning and evening on a given day I'm liable to return the 30 miles back to the house to take care of some pressing issue and then back to the ranch for the afternoon sit. That's 120 miles for two round trips. My soon-to-be 10 year-old F250 7.3 Power Stroke (230k miles) gets 17 mpg on a good day (keep it at 70, flat terrain with a tailwind). I would gladly drive a Tacoma-sized P/U if Toyota would only give us a 3.5 or 4 liter diesel - make it a diesel hybrid. I'd love to get 26 or 28 mpg. But, in the meantime, how would you propose I/we wean myself/ourselves from fossil fuels? I'm willing to alter my lifestyle to a certain extent but I still have the need to move materials or tow a tandem axle trailer and tractor or sacks of feed or fencing material or dead deer(!). Just like health care, some on the lower end of the economic scale, a growing demographic, may well get priced out of the market.
Dave in Houston
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I wrote:

------------------------------------- "Dave In Texas" wrote:

-------------------------------------- IMHO, you do not represent "low hanging fruit".
There are much easier opportunities with greater ROI.
For example, in NYC there are a lot of buildings with flat black roofs.
I forget the details, but a simple coat of white paint would increase the reflectivity so that summer air conditioning load is dramatically reduced at minimal cost thus reducing electrical consumption.
It's a little thing but it has a measurable impact and there are a lot of flat black roofs in this country.
Start a program to upgrade the insulation of our buildings including replacing windows.
A program like that could get the construction industry healthy in a hurry and be paid for with power savings..
Here in Los Angeles, the entire public bus system has been converted to natural gas. It took 18 years, but it got done.
It's a 2-fr, reduced pollution and lower energy costs.
Start converting the 18 wheeler fleet from #2 diesel to natural gas including a network of refueling stations.
Might take 20 years, but so what?
Here in California we are blessed to have all the following forms of alternate energy generation.
Geo Thermal electrical generation. Direct solar photo voltaic electrical generation. Solar-thermal-turbine electrical generation. Hydro-electric electrical generation. Bio-mass electrical generation. Wind mill power generation. This does not include the little box eBay is using for a big piece of their power requirements.
None of these methods are free standing, but they all reduce the fossil fuel load which reduces our balance of payments issue.
They also give us some time to develop better personal transportation methods which is where your F250 comes in..
There are ways out of this problem.
Bitching about the cost of gas while filling up isn't one of them.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

But NONE of them reduce oil imports, since virtually all oil imports are used in transportation.
Since much of the natural gas used for electric generation in California comes from western Canada, you can't say much about the balance of payments either.
About 12% of California's electric needs come from renewable resources: Whale oil, timber, hamster wheels, etc.
This is not an insignificant amount.
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I recall all this alternative energy stuff going out of controll when gasoline prices/ oil prices went up in the mid 70's. If the government is behind the alternative fuel BS you know that is not worth the time invested. Remember gasihol, a total wash at best. Untill we actually run out of oil there will be no serious drive for another source of energy.
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"Leon" wrote:

------------------------------ And then gas prices dropped and everything was forgotten. ------------------------------

------------------------------ Interesting obversation. -------------------------------

----------------------------- Wonder how ethanol mgot developed? -------------------------------------

--------------------------------- Might be a good idea to have alternates developed, don't you think?
Lew
-
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Of course not.
When the government pours billions into anything like this under the guise of "saving us all," one is quickly reminded of the soybean fiasco in "Atlas Shrugged."
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Absolutely but oil and gasoline is still much too cheap to make much of any thing else attractive.
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