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Old 05-21-2008, 08:39 PM   #1079
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Gas was $4.019 to $4.069 across Connecticut. We paid in $3.799 at a Hess station in Rhode Island, lowest we'd seen since Pa. Newport is $3.859.

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Old 05-21-2008, 09:17 PM   #1080
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Sinful, sinful, just plain sinful.

What more can I say. I didn't even get a kiss after I gave away any future kids college funds to fill the tank of the Suburban.

One of my LP tanks is empty and I am also not looking forward to that visit either!
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:21 PM   #1081
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I just paid $4.99 per gallon of diesel in Tracy, CA today. This is neither the most expensive or the cheapest. Gag!!
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:30 PM   #1082
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We've had several threads here over the last few months concerning the price of hydrocarbons. I've contributed to a couple of them. Didn't seem to fix anything. Maybe if we write our politicians? Nah, probably wouldn't help. But, here's the email I sent to to my Congressman and two Senators tonight. Maybe if 50 or 100 million of us sent an email like this. Crash their servers? Get their attention? Nah, probably wouldn't help much.

Dear Congressman/Senator (insert his/her name here), I know you and your staff are a busy folks, so I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. Let me state this as simply and as succinctly as possible. Something MUST be done about energy prices, and it must be done very quickly. As a decision maker for our government, surely you recognize the detrimental effects that high energy prices are having on our economy and dare I say the World economy?

I am almost never an advocate of Government intervention in most matters, but something must be done. It would seem that government action is the only thing that will stop the incredible escalation of prices.

Like many, I have a few specific, viable suggestions should you care to entertain them.

Good luck, hope to hear from you soon.

Jim (last name withheld because this is, after all, the internet)
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:44 PM   #1083
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Forgot to add that if you want to reach your Congressman or Senator, go to

United States House of Representatives, 110th Congress, 2nd Session
or
U.S. Senate

Fill in your zip code and you'll go straight to the politician that serves you.

Type carefully, misspellings of those addresses can take you to some really bad places.

Just my two cents.

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Old 05-22-2008, 06:10 AM   #1084
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Tuesday with 3/4 of a tank still in the truck ,I said to myself ,self let's fill it up before the price goes up.
No I won't get into a panic mentality.While I was talking to myself the price went up another $0.13.
I'm completely frustrated!!
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:36 AM   #1085
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Cavendish PEI 6.50 us /gal. or 133.4 per liter:
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:18 AM   #1086
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Wholesale gas closed yesterday at $3.40 and retail average in US was $3.83. Usually the difference is 60 to 80¢, so retail is not keeping up with wholesale. It costs more to transport it to the station and there are, of course, other expenses in distribution and maintaining the stations, paying the employees and giving a decent profit to the station owner. Since the gas station owner is not making money on gas, all that junk food they sell must cost more. Even if the price of crude stopped going up—it's up several dollars this morning—the price of retail gas will still go up. The good news is this looks like a bubble, just like housing, and at some point, prices should go down for crude, though not much because of the effect of Asian economies. I wish I knew whether to sell oil stock or buy it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 07:19 AM   #1087
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I was watching the Senators grilling the oil execs yesterday. I nearly fell out of my chair when the oil execs said they were re-investing their combined $36 billion (yes with a B) the raked in last quarter. Yes, that is right, $36 BILLION DOLLARS in a 3 month period.

My question was re-invest in what? One of the Senators asked one of the oil execs, what do you make a year? His reply was, I really don't know.

There was an attempt to revoke the subsidy yesterday, but it failed. Big shocker there!

Folks, there are many reasons why the price of gas is high, but I will tell you, after watching these guys on the hill yesterday, I can tell you that there is some degree of smoke and mirrors going on. The only victims here are the general public (and I'm not limiting that to just the public in the US either).

These clowns on the hill yesterday should get academy awards for their performances, then each one taken out back and beaten.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:54 AM   #1088
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Oil Prices: an Untold Inconvenient Truth

For all you motorists out there that think oil companies are responsible for driving up the cost of a gallon of gasoline; and that the record profits these oil companies are reaping is somehow proof of your assertion; and that you firmly believe something should be done to punish the profits these corporations have earned... please read this:

Let's begin with some fundamentals: first, the world-market price for a barrel of crude is determined by supply and demand AND the value of the American dollar on the world market – not Exxon/Mobil. Exxon/Mobil, Chevron and Connoco/Phillips do not have the market power to drive a barrel of crude up from its pre-Katrina price level to its current $135 a barrel mark. Not when Saudi Arabia ALONE owns 20% of the world's proven oil reserves.

What's responsible? Consumption. The value of the American dollar on the world market. Acts of God. Perceived risks. In that order.

Consumption is mainly responsible. China's and India's booming economies and their needs for energy are significant contributors, to be sure. Whenever there is more demand than availability, prices will rise. Gasoline, milk, cheez whiz and concert tickets are all susceptible to this market force. An equally significant contributor is the value of the American dollar on the world market. Barrels are priced in US dollars, and if you’ve checked our old greenback against the Euro lately, you’ll understand why it takes more dollars to buy a barrel of oil today. Strengthening the dollar would help reduce the cost of oil, but it would have other negative impacts as well – like making our American steel more expensive abroad, for instance. There are huge tradeoffs to consider before you leap.

Acts of God such as Hurricanes can increase prices to a lesser extent, when they interrupt not only what little gulf oil drilling we do conduct, but also when they knock refineries (which make gasoline from crude oil) out of operation.

Perceived risks to the world supply of oil also impact pricing. When a dozen terrorists tried to take out Saudi Arabia's largest oil refinery in 2006, the markets got jittery and crude oil rose as commodity traders began bidding up the price of future oil and gas deliveries. Again, the law of supply and demand drove these changes and you saw some immediate price increases at the pump because the retailers' "cost of replacement" of the gasoline they were selling that day went up.

"Cost of replacement" is the reason why you drive by a gas station in the morning and gas is $3.75/gallon. And when you drive by in the afternoon, it's $4. Price isn't driven by what the retailer paid for the fuel sitting in his underground tanks. It's driven by the cost of replacement. Have you ever seen a retailer -- any retailer-- sell out their existing inventory of a product by keeping its price fixed at the amount they first calculated it to be when they brought it into their inventory? No, you haven't. And you won't. Ever. By the way, this phenomenon works in reverse, too. Ask any IT company who's had to clear out inventory for less than the cost of producing it because the technology got old or a newer technology made it obsolete.

Understanding supply and demand brings us to addressing another point of view regarding the profits made by oil companies. Some say oil companies should give up the profits they made because of the run up in the world price of crude. Why does it make sense for Exxon to sell the oil they drill for for less than what is being charged on the world market??

A significant portion of Exxon's profits came from the sale of their own sourced crude on the world market. In order to bring down the companies' profits from "obscene levels" they would have to sell their crude oil for what? – $100 a barrel – or less? – when the real world price is $135. This would not cause a decrease in the cost of your gallon of gas, nor would it cause the world price for a barrel of crude to drop… except for in the immediate very, very short term – or until Exxon ran out of its ability to supply oil thru retail transactions and then next lost their ability to sell options for their oil. Both situations would no doubt be rapidly taken advantage of by arbitragers, and the net effect would be: yep, barrels of oil originating from Exxon selling for $135 on the open market. The profits you distain so much would simply go into the pockets of commodity traders instead, and your gallon of gas would still be $4.

Let's also dismiss the myth that the cost of a gallon gasoline is directly proportional to the cost of a barrel of crude oil. If it were, we'd be paying $12 per gallon. (The cost of a barrel of crude during the hey-days of the Clinton administration was under $20; and the cost of a gallon of gas was approximately $1.79. Do the math and be thankful these two variables aren't linked by a 1:1 proportional relationship).

If you'd like to know the real culprits behind the rise in the price of gasoline, consider this: You remember MBTE? The winter/summer gasoline additive that allegedly helped lessen smog and pollution? Lawsuits over its alleged cancer-causing characteristics have forced manufacturers of this additive to shut down operations. The gov't decided that a suitable alternative would be ethanol, and they have mandated that ethanol be blended with gasoline sold in the United States. But ethanol is primarily manufactured in the Midwest. And unlike MBTE, it cannot be blended in at the refinery before shipping (it collects water). Instead, it must be carted out via rail and truck to local distribution points where gasoline retailers blend it in themselves.

Furthermore, domestic manufacturers of ethanol cannot meet current demand (there's that pesky "law of supply and demand" again). Short supply means higher prices (to be fair, shouldn't we windfall tax the ethanol manufacturers, too?) We could mitigate the rise in ethanol prices by allowing foreign producers of ethanol to enter our market thereby increasing supply, but the gov't doesn't want to lift the 2.5% tariff AND $0.54/gallonduty it charges on imported ethanol. They're beholden to both the tax revenue it generates and a powerful agricultural lobby that continues to seek protection while siphoning off even more government subsidies. (For the record, President Bush supports this lifting of punitive tariffs; but obstructionist Democrats refuse to budge – believing that the longer they can keep the American motorist in pain, the better it will be for them during the coming elections).

How about drilling for oil in ANWR and off of more of our coastlines? Both have been stymied by left-wing environmentalists and the Democrat politicians who are in bed with them. The Alaskan pipeline has proven that man can both drill for oil and be a responsible steward of the environment. Of course, accidents do happen in the oil exploration industry. It's naïve to say that they won't. But forgoing oil exploration and domestic energy production because statistically it can be proven that an oil spill or other event will happen is just plain stupid. As bad as the Exxlon Valdez oil spill was, today, unless you're a pointy-headed academic with a microscope, you're gonna be hard-pressed to find traces of it on either the wildlife or the environment. Furthermore, naturally occurring oil "seepage" from seafloor crevices in the Gulf of Mexico leak out more oil each year than most of man's oil spills. These slicks are clearly and routinely seen from aircraft. Ask your liberal friends to look out the window the next time they fly to Cancun for a DNC meeting about the minimum wage, and then ask them why government makes it so difficult for corporations to find the new oil reserves that are obviously underneath that body of water.

As long as the left-wing environmentalists and the Democrat politicians block domestic oil exploration and production, you're gonna pay more for gas at the pump. Get used to it, or vote the obstructionists out of Congress.

Now let's talk about the hard numbers. At the absolute top of the profit range, oil companies grab $0.20 on each gallon of gas sold to consumers. Not all oil companies see this sort of profit; it's dependent upon many factors, including whether or not the gas that was sold was created from the oil company's own inventory of crude (best profit scenario) or whether it was bought on the world market (worst profit scenario). Of course, other factors such as refinery efficiency and distribution costs impact profitability as well. But the point I'm trying to make is, no one seems to be outraged that the US gov't is making $0.50 profit on each gallon of gas sold… or that state governments are taking another $0.15-$0.25 per gallon. Why excoriate oil companies for being profitable at $0.20/gallon when the gov't is fleecing us for more than three times as much??!! So until you raise holy hell with this gov't taxation, don't talk to me about egregious oil company profits.

Here's an even scarier scenario that gives credence to the old adage "be careful what you wish for": current legislation in congress is promising to punish oil companies by placing a windfall tax on the inventories of U.S.-based oil producers (such as Exxon and Chevron),while foreign producers pay nothing. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, "…this is an energy policy only Arab oil sheiks could love, because it drives their production and profits up, at the expense of home-grown producers." The Journal goes on to point out that when Congress last passed a windfall tax on oil in 1980, America's domestic crude oil production plunged and demand for foreign oil increased by almost 15%. They report that "…we effectively imposed a tax on ourselves and OPEC nations got the windfall." Heck, let's just also point out that it even added to the trade deficit! Another claim that liberal Democrats like to trot out is that it's only fair to tax these oil companies on their profits because they got these offshore leases from the government for a mere pittance. Congressman Schumer of New York would like you to conveniently forget that Uncle Sam (ie: congressmen and DOE committee people) freely entered into these contracts with these oil companies at the time. Again, the Wall Street Journal points out that "…oil companies were the ones who took the risk of investing billions of dollars in new exploration and production, even in the 1990s when prices were then $15 a barrel and profits were even smaller. Trying to retroactively tax these same oil companies on deals made a decade ago simply because they turned out well for these firms [is] confiscatory."

Additionally, these punitive measures will do nothing to lower your price for gasoline (now or in the future), and they most certainly will not promote additional exploration and investment – by either our own domestic companies or by foreigners.

So to sum everything up: we live in a capitalistic society. When prices are left to determine themselves through the unfettered operation of the laws of supply and demand, the market efficiently allocates resources and capital. The efficient allocation of resources and capital are fundamental tenants of any economy that aims towards sustainable growth and prosperity for its people. Don't fall victim to the media or the politicians who say what they say in order to pander to your fears and secure your vote. If price stability is what you seek (and you don't care about shortages), consider becoming a Cuban citizen. If that is out of the question, elect politicians who understand economics.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:25 AM   #1089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRadio
.... Don't fall victim to the media or the politicians who say what they say in order to pander to your fears and secure your vote. If price stability is what you seek (and you don't care about shortages), consider becoming a Cuban citizen. If that is out of the question, elect politicians who understand economics.
excellent summary.

it's difficult to fit this information into bite-sized morsels for the american sheeple...

problem is- you never know what a politician will do... our choices are looking pretty grim on both sides of the aisle... Big Mac was in favor of lifting the 'federal gas tax' for the summer... i'm sure you're aware of pigovian theory, and the long term effect that would have...

pandering to the ignorant masses...
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:02 PM   #1090
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Greensboro NC,

Reg 3.85, one station has it for 3.94

plus 4.06
diesel 4.49

rip off....
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:38 PM   #1091
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The consumption thing only goes so far with me. I know serveral things are making the prices high, but I do not accept that overnight, this just happned.

If you recall, when this first started around the Katrina timeframe or just before, there was plenty of oil and not enough refining capacity. Then, after the refining capactiy thing didn't stick, then came the magic that overnight China and India are to blame mostly for this mess.

If, what the oil companies said was in fact true, and they were re-investing their profits, you would have seen refining capacity increase. The fact is that there has not been one new refining place built. They have added on some to exsiting plants, but that is about it. Nowhere close to keeping up with the demand.

Last, the oil companies said, well if you would only let us drill in the wildlife refuge we could meet demand, but guess what, where are they going to refine it?!

The bottom line is that big oil DOES have a hand in this. You are right, we live in a capitalistic world (for the most part) and the greed of the few and the powerful has always been a driving force in our governement. Big oil is just taking care of it's own.

Is taxing them gonna change it? Doubtful, but I will tell you what, yank those gov subsidies and put them to things like solar, wind and foster the growth of other technologies, I would bet that shortly after it started to become commonplace, you'd see a whole different big oil.....and not because of supply and demand.....
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:12 PM   #1092
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