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Old 05-20-2004, 07:44 PM   #99
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Don't be too quick to compare the US with Europe. Their distances are not as far. You can drive from London to Spain. Its a long, hard day but our friends in London have a spanish summer house, and they share the driving. Its about 14 1/2 hours. That's about 1 hour less then driving from Denver to Tempe doing 75-80 in the duramax.
Our cheap gas stations jumped a nickel today. Reg unl= $1.95, the others go up by 10 cents. Colorado now is averaging over $2/gallon
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Old 05-20-2004, 08:24 PM   #100
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Fuel not cheap in southern Calif...

Just to help with updates, Regular Unleaded in southern Calif (Santa Barbara to Orange County) around $2.30 a gallon these days, and Diesel is $2.50+. Not a good time to be driving the big truck without Probable Cause...

John McG
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:46 AM   #101
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last night on the news it was predicted that Georgia would have $3 a gallon by end of summer.
Traffic to Altanta on I-75 is still running 75+ mph.
not much conserving will go on as long as it is available
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:49 AM   #102
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I suggested that we target one of the majors or maybe more to boycott. Unforunately there are to many people out there that don't believe that boycotts work so the negative responses started. I am a firm believer that they work or I wouldn't have suggested it. Yes, the majors would just sit back and supply the small guys but they would quickly get the message and the small refineries would not want to jeopardize their good fortune and be targeted next. I'm sure that they would have to pay a premium price from the majors for ther re-supply if it was reversed.

I remember when our biggest gas shortages occured, there were cars wrapped around city blocks waiting for their fuel while I observed hundreds of tankers anchored at sea at the Aruba refinery waiting to come in to unloard their oil for refining. That is how boycott works. They held off the supply, we got hungry and started to pay the higher prices without hesitation. Amazing how the oil is suddenly available.

What amazes me is how prices jump so high at the news that the cost of a barrel of oil cost x dollars when we know that it takes a minimum of 90 days for that oil to reach the pumps.

We need to BOYCOTT someone to send the message in my opinion.
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:10 AM   #103
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Those $45,000 SUV's are still the hot item. Americans want to do what they want to do and have it turn out the way they want it to be also. Eat too much and be thin, spend too much and have money, ect.
Seems everyone over the age of 16 has their own car and most think nothing of jumping into it and zooming off. Let's boycott the life style. Americans revolt, park the cars, have dinner with your family every day this week, shot soccer balls on sight.
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:22 AM   #104
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Once again I agree with you Paul, the only boycott we can do and be successful is our life styles. Again there is this economic thing about demand - when you have demand, you have high prices, the only way to "force" the fuel suppliers to cut prices is to reduce demand. The only way to reduce demand is to quit driving. So if a boycott means we quit driving/using fuel, it will work - don't see that happening long enough to have an impact on anyone - we Americans have an incredible appetite for big cars. It is a lot easier for the suppliers to cut back supply and force prices up than it is for users to cut back use and force prices down.

I am one who believes there is an incredible amount of untapped crude oil out there, but to my thinking, why should we use any more than we need to.
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Old 05-21-2004, 10:57 AM   #105
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It's SO amazing that I have been so fuel conscious for 40 years and we have had such conservative cars, 38/mpg is the lowest we have had. Also we keep our cars until they are no longer reliable- ol blu has 280,000 miles on it. But in the past two years, several things happened. My son in a toyota was stopped at a stoplight between 2 suv's when the last in line was nailed by a big suv. All the rest were fine and driveable, and the toyota was munched beyond repair. That's when I said "When in Texas do as Texans do," and I allowed my son to get a big macho truck, after his baha'd VW bug, (which he sold after all his restoration work) he's really noticing the gas crunch. Then we need a vehicle to pull the AS- I am absolutely ashamed of myself that we would have such a gas guzzling monster 10-12 MPH. AAARRRGGGHHH. It is embarassing to see it in the driveway.
It simply goes against my morals and ethics- but breathing is really nice to do, too. Actually rather essential. Especially breathing without effort, assisted equipment, etc. That polluting, gas guzzling Van is going to get me to fresh air- what a moral dillema!!! But I still will pay high prices. suz
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:08 PM   #106
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Question

the cause of fuel prices going up is complex and utterly confusing..one explanation is that we have plenty of feed stock, but not one refinery has been built in the last 15 or 20 years....or we can blame it on the EPA for the 25 different formulations that have been mandated...a year or two ago a refinery fire in south chicago caused a shortage and higher prices...why was that?...gas was plentiful in milwaukee 90 miles to the north but we couldnt use it as it was a different formulation, so it had to come from st. louis, 300 miles to the south...as of today saudi arabia is talking about "opening the spigots" to bring the price down....so what good is that going to do if we dont have enough refining capacity? also...is not diesel fuel a by product of the cracking process to produce gasoline? it is also said that some arabs think that the oil "belongs to them"...but it is our dollars that line their robes, and allow them to build desalination plants, and improve the quality of life for their people...could this be a arab conspiracy, designed to bite the hand that feeds them?....one thing i can say for sure, its NOT bush trying to get his buddies rich....they already are.....
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:59 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychpw
Compare the cost of gas to some standard, like the cost of a Hersey bar. No longer 5 cents. Or the price of mc d burger, no longer 6 for a dollar. or the price of fancy water. People pay 2.50 for a pint of fancy pants water and bitch that gas is 2 dollars. Gas is still cheaper than it was 30 years ago. Could change, but so far it's a deal. Drive slower, drive less.
I always find these comparisons interesting, if questionable. A Hershey bar in 1974 was closer to 15¢ or 20¢. I see them 2 for a $1 often, and they are bigger now. I remember the McD's ads touting a burger, sm fries, and a sm drink with change back for your dollar - a great deal, but a far cry from 6 burgers for a dollar. Fancy water is an option. "Drinking water" at the store is $1.00 a gallon, and I think I am paying for the container and the list of people who ultimately got it to the store shelf, more than the water itself. Water from the source at Chez MTpalms is about 2¢. Hence the empty palms

Gas is cheaper sure, but it is more than offset by the the obscene prices some of us are paying for health care, insurance (less coverage for ever higher costs usually), tuition, homes, etc. Based on the cost of these goods and services, we should be paying $35 a gallon. Maybe more if we were getting our gas from Kaiser/BlueCross Occidental Petroleum.

Also the cost of fuel has hit the discount chains as well with their warehouse distribution system: I lately have found myself in the most unusual position of being able to undersell the local WalMart and online stores in pool supplies at my B&M store. There is a silver lining of sorts.
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:31 PM   #108
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Elsewhere perspective

We just got back from England and Wales. After we spent some time in London using taxis, tube, buses, trains and feet. We moved to the countryside on the second leg, rented a Kia Sorento and drove 1500 miles in 10 days in southwestern England and Wales. The Kia Sorento is classified as a compact SUV here but seemed to be one of the biggest personal vehicles on the road--almost too big for Welsh mountain roads 15'-9" wide with no shoulders and stone walls each side. The big commercial trucks weld a steel tube bar on the side to evidently scrape and gauge on those stone walls. It was a thrill ride the whole time.

In England we had a diesel Sorento that I don't think you can buy here. Gasoline was running about 83 pence which I think equates to well over $5.00 per gallon here. Where we were going we needed to rent a car. Public transportation in England is excellent and if we could have gotten by we would have. In London I don't see a need for a car at all.

England has a lot of three lane motorways (equivalent to our freeways). They drive strictly by slow cars on the inner lane, passing cars on the middle lane and stay out of the outer lane unless you plan to keep up with the traffic at 90+ mph. Passing is allowed only to the right (our equivalent to the left). Amazingly, that aspect alone makes the motorways feel a lot safer than our freeways despite the higher speeds. People know to move over when faster cars are overtaking and can do so safely without someone coming up faster on the inside lane. We need that law in the USA.

I thought roundabouts were kind of quaint and dangerous in New England here but in England once you get comfortable with the rules of the road start to make sense. Almost all highway intersections are roundabouts so you drive continuously without stopping and waiting at signals. it is kind of a make a move feeling. I don't know if it helps the fuel economy. It can't hurt.

Cars the size of a mini Cooper seem normal there. They have even smaller cars that look like golf carts doing 90 mph on the motorways. They drive fast everywhere--probably 10 to 20 mph faster on equivalent roads we are allowed to drive here. They are very impatient with prudent tourists. They pull caravans that have to weigh over 3,000 lbs with compact sedans. When we were returning from Wales to England we drove south on the motorway that led north to Snowdonia and the Lakes District and encountered several compact cars pulling caravans north. Did not see one tow with anything bigger than a Jeep Cherokee. Clearly they have different towing standards than us. No, did not see an Airstream.

They drive smaller cars mainly because of the roads I think. It is just more practical. The local Nissan dealer in Dolgellau Wales where we stayed had nothing bigger than a Frontier size pickup and they looked big on the road there. I suppose if our gasoline prices climb into the $5.00 range we might all reconsider too. Then Airstream will be in trouble unless we get as crazy as the Brits with our towing recommendations.
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Old 05-21-2004, 03:34 PM   #109
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When I lived in the Netherlands in the '80s, the classic VW Beetle was enormous-looking compared to the average size European sedan. The Impalas driven by taxi drivers looked like stretch limos. Gas was about $3 a gallon then if I recall, so expensive fuel is nothing new - I used my bike and public transport. Didn't need a car.

I did some hunting on UK gas prices and found something interesting:
in Aug. 2000, gas was 79 pence/ltr, and Davydd reports recently paying 83 pence/ltr. Prices don't exactly seem to be soaring over there, do they?

According to this: petrol prices in pence we were paying 23.9 pence per litre for gas in the US in March 2004. Would any of you brainiacs care to figure out what we are paying now that it's gone up 35¢ to 50¢ a gallonUS since then? (No slam, I'm weak in the cyphering dept. myself)

I am beginning to believe that the falling Dollar is the main culprit here, which was pointed out earlier.

Refineries, or the lack thereof, is second, EPA regs third, OPEC at fourth and falling back, and increased consumption (est. 2% to 3% this year), fifth but gaining.
All of these other problems have either been with us for decades, or like changing seasonal blends, are temporary. The fall of the Dollar's value has been significant this year, and surprisingly to me, neglected by most news agencies overall let alone relating to fuel prices.
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Old 05-21-2004, 03:38 PM   #110
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:00 PM   #111
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hey, im an airstream millionaire!
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:30 PM   #112
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Thumbs down The fall of the dollar - Ouch!

Yes, the fall of the dollar is significant. England is not a cheap vacation. What you pay for in a dollar here you pay for in a pound there for most things. So a $1.40 cup of coffee at Starbucks is the same number in pounds in England at Starbucks which equates to about $2.50. Many items seemed to carry the same numerical number be it dollars or pounds. London is very expensive.

The only thing that seemed equal was in pubs. I'm paying about $4.50 locally for a pint of Guinness stout but usually paid about 2 lbs there. I drank a lot of Guinness and visited over 20 pubs in 15 days. One such pub in Oxford had been in continuous operation since 1270! To dispell believed conventions every pub served Guinness cold same as in the US. Guinness tasted no different than the quality pint I can get at the "Local" in Minneapolis. The secret of Guinness is you have to serve it fresh and if you can't double draw it on the tap with a proper head then it is stale.
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