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Old 03-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #2801
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Gene...I agree that toll roads may very well be the best answer with RV's paying more. Tax breaks for alternative energy companies often times exceed those for oil companies. As to the yield of my Exxon stock, your number is based on today's price, not what I paid for it 35 years ago with the mergers/splits making it a very good investment. Far better than Solyndra (sp?).

There have been no new refineries built in the past 25 years. A single blend would bring the price down instantly. I just paid $880 to fix the Onan in my motorhome thanks to ethanol blends.

One of the reasons gas tax revenue is down, is because the Toyota Prius hybrid was the best selling car in California in 2012, along with hybrids from Ford, Honda and Nissan.

FYI, the last permit application for a refinery was west of Phoenix in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:15 PM   #2802
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Dennis, I don't actually favor toll roads as free highways (I know they are not "free" in the sense that someone has to pay for them somehow) create a physical communication system to transport goods and people and stimulate and sustain the economy. We tried toll roads in the 19th century and had a horrible road system when the auto showed up. Private organizations had to put up road signs so people could find their way because state and local governments couldn't be bothered because most people never travelled very far. Until the interstate system was created, we still had a substandard road system.

Good for your that you bought stock eons ago, though you could sell it now and invest in something that pays better and collect your capital gains. As you know capital gains are taxed lower than ordinary income for most people. Exxon has resisted change and may be looked at as a buggy whip company some day, so I am not sure the long term future for Exxon is good. As for tax breaks for green energy, the gov't has long invested in new technology and that pays off the for economy as a whole. Like any organization investing in new technology, some of those investments will fail (look at Bain Capital's record as an investment house), but overall, the country benefits. For an example, the internet was created by the gov't.

I agree a single gas blend would save some money on the gas itself, but the environmental costs in certain markets would be high. I don't think there is an easy way to accomplish a single blend. The oil companies change blends according to season and always have.

Ethanol isn't going away. It's not good for older engines, but it does reduce balance of payments issues, so it another case of costs being shifted from one place to another. Someone is always on the short end, sorry it is you (it could be called the "sin of Onan").

Gas tax revenue is down because of energy efficient autos, less travel because of the Great Recession and as a percentage of price. If inflation was figured in, federal gas tax is much smaller than it was 20 or more years ago. I believe the last time it was adjusted was either under Bush 1 or early in Clinton's presidency. I am waiting for that battery break through everyone else is waiting for.

And refineries—there is little incentive to build a refinery because the market for refined petroleum products is shrinking for the same reasons discussed above. We import lots of gas from other countries to make up the deficit (but not diesel, so now diesel costs more). And we have many new refineries, but they are for ethanol. Since the product all goes in the same tank, these count as refineries too.

Crude prices are down for the past few days and wholesale gas is down to $3.11 as of yesterday's close. Prices may ease a little. It would help if the sensible proposals to reduce speculation on commodities could be adopted and not stopped by court decisions.

Gene
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #2803
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A major cost to the price of fuel is the value of the dollar, which as an aside is the reason for the run up on US stocks this winter. As the government prints more money which they have been doing in excess recently, it lowers the value of each dollar in circulation, which in turn is a direct causal impact on the price of fuel as all crude is traded in US dollars worldwide. When combined with the summer blends, which these days are of little value due to the clean engines now on the market, as well as the high demand for crude worldwide, one is faced with an ever rising commodity price. The worldwide demand for crude goes up consistently, which is another reason the price goes up, high demand - limited supply - ie price goes up.

The summer blends are similar to ethanol, except ethanol actually harms the environment and negatively impacts the economy. Harm is done by the processing of the corn or whatever bio used as it uses significant amounts of oil products to process and pollutes more than the gallon of ethanol saves in pollution. It harms the economy in that the corn or whatever is taken out of the feed market which makes it more expensive to feed livestock - make cereals etc which of course raises the price of foodstuffs. Ie another failed government program. Although the US uses a large amount of crude, so does the rest of the world - it is a world commodity, not a US commodity. The oil companies are international, they economically don't care where the product goes - highest paying market, contracts aside.

Politics aside, which is what the US energy policy is, oil companies do not make huge "profits", they do make huge, incredibly huge revenue - but there is a significant difference between profit (dividends) and revenue.

Respectfully

Bud
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:25 AM   #2804
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Bud, I was with you until the last sentence, see attached graph. Lots of profit is being made by oil companies. Why do you think we fight wars for?

Bill
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #2805
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No doubt this is tangential to the topic but....


I'm thinking about my 2500 diesel pickup and (as a non-engineer type) am wondering about moving it more like a train - a Diesel engine that powers an electric motor. Anything like that even possible? I forget the stats but Buffet talked about his investment in the railroads saying that a gallon if diesel can move X tons Y miles (X and Y were significant but I'm not recalling them at the moment). If the same we're true in tow vehicles, maybe you could see the entire country on a gallon of diesel? Again, I'm no engineer (obviously :-) but would love to be less fossil fuel dependent. Just dreaming a bit...
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #2806
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post

I'm thinking about my 2500 diesel pickup and (as a non-engineer type) am wondering about moving it more like a train - a Diesel engine that powers an electric motor. Anything like that even possible?
That's a hybrid, except they all use gas engines, but they could use any other type of engine to generate electricity for the electric motor.

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:35 PM   #2807
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Hi, for most of my life, I have heard thousands of reasons/excuses why the price of fuel is so high; The real reason is just, that they can.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #2808
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Exclamation It just occurred to me

We are sliding off-topic, and slowly slipping into political discussions.

Both of which are no-nos.

'Nuff said, right?
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:44 AM   #2809
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
No doubt this is tangential to the topic but....


I'm thinking about my 2500 diesel pickup and (as a non-engineer type) am wondering about moving it more like a train - a Diesel engine that powers an electric motor. Anything like that even possible? I forget the stats but Buffet talked about his investment in the railroads saying that a gallon if diesel can move X tons Y miles (X and Y were significant but I'm not recalling them at the moment). If the same we're true in tow vehicles, maybe you could see the entire country on a gallon of diesel? Again, I'm no engineer (obviously :-) but would love to be less fossil fuel dependent. Just dreaming a bit...
Far be it for me to try and make this thread more interesting, but I believe the Conrail commercial on tv claims they move 4 0r 500 miles on one gallon of fuel. Sal
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:12 AM   #2810
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Far be it for me to try and make this thread more interesting, but I believe the Conrail commercial on tv claims they move 4 0r 500 miles on one gallon of fuel. Sal
Thanks Sal. I found it in a USA Today article. Apparently I was wrong about the amount of tons - it's just 1...never mind :-)

"U.S. railroads were 144% more efficient in 2008 than in 1980, according to the Association of American Railroads, the industry's trade group. In 2008, they carried, on average, a ton of freight 457 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel, up 5% from 436 miles just a year earlier. And the association claims that if just 10% of the freight that now moves by truck were moved to the rails, the USA would burn 1 billion fewer gallons of fuel a year."
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #2811
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Aage Agreed - The subject is all political.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #2812
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Thanks Sal. I found it in a USA Today article. Apparently I was wrong about the amount of tons - it's just 1...never mind :-)

"U.S. railroads were 144% more efficient in 2008 than in 1980, according to the Association of American Railroads, the industry's trade group. In 2008, they carried, on average, a ton of freight 457 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel, up 5% from 436 miles just a year earlier. And the association claims that if just 10% of the freight that now moves by truck were moved to the rails, the USA would burn 1 billion fewer gallons of fuel a year."
The reason for the efficiency increase is APUs (Auxiliary Power Unit) added to all the railroad engines at sometime between 1980 and I think about 10 years ago. The railroad engines spend about 80% of their time at idle as it is very time consuming and expensive to shut them down and even more so to start back up again due to all the circulating fluids. So, railroads used to simply keep them running, then Ingersoll Rand engineers at the request of a sales person selling something else developed an APU for Diesel engines in railroads and the payback was less than four months for the railroads. Now that same technology is being utilized by a number of trucking companies to (1) save fuel and (2) conform to the new "no idle" standards set forth in a number of states. Payback on diesel trucks is a little over 6 months, again if I remember correctly.

Safe Travels

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #2813
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Everything is political if you look at it that way. Dr. Freud would contend everything is sexual and the Pope says everything is religious.

I haven't bought gas since last week and I forgot what it cost.

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Old 03-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #2814
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Ohhhh! I just saw PA & MT, and never dreamed you were actually IN Saw-oody!

Yes, too far and too hot to go to or stay in.
As they say, if you're worried about the cost of gas, you probably don't have enough oil wells.


Anyway, I'm thinking of ordering this new SUV. Mercedes-Benz reveals the G63 AMG 6×6, a six-wheel-drive luxo SUV | Motoramic - Yahoo! Autos

Do you think it would be able to tow an Airstream?
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