Cost of petrol / Gasoline

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by ambal, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    When do you guys think the high cost of petrol / Gasoline will start having an impact on the number of drivers on the city roads? I'm thinking if people are paying upward of $100 for a tank of fuel, they may start to look for alternatives like public transport or commuting to work by bike.


    Nation City Price in USD Regular/Gallon Netherlands Amsterdam $6.48 Norway Oslo $6.27 Italy Milan $5.96 Denmark Copenhagen $5.93 Belgium Brussels $5.91 Sweden Stockholm $5.80 United Kingdom London $5.79 Germany Frankfurt $5.57 France Paris $5.54 Portugal Lisbon $5.35 Hungary Budapest $4.94 Luxembourg $4.82 Croatia Zagreb $4.81 Ireland Dublin $4.78 Switzerland Geneva $4.74 Spain Madrid $4.55 Japan Tokyo $4.24 Czech Republic Prague $4.19 Romania Bucharest $4.09 Andorra $4.08 Estonia Tallinn $3.62 Bulgaria Sofia $3.52 Brazil Brasilia $3.12 Cuba Havana $3.03 Taiwan Taipei $2.84 Lebanon Beirut $2.63 South Africa Johannesburg $2.62 Nicaragua Managua $2.61 Panama Panama City $2.19 Russia Moscow $2.10 Puerto Rico San Juan $1.74 Saudi Arabia Riyadh $0.91 Kuwait Kuwait City $0.78 Egypt Cairo $0.65 Nigeria Lagos $0.38 Venezuela Caracas $0.12
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Let it go up. I'm all for it. The average American appears to think that cheap fuel is an inalienable right or an entitlement. The US really could use a wake-up call on that point.
     
  3. Conniebiker

    Conniebiker New Member

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    For my personal use, the gas can go up without much notice. Since getting laid off in november and having to make a part time minimum wage job pay for a mortgage and two car payments, fuel is a luxury I cannot spare. Fortunately the store is only 6 miles away, so while it is not the easiest with hills, it is still insulting to think how much people waste for the same distance. The problem comes when people are less athletic or have other physical impediments that would deter significantly from the ability to overcome the everyday elements of hill routes and headwinds, let alone extreme cold.

    The other issue with gas prices going up is the inability to afford things like going out of town. With family 8 hrs away by car, a weekend trip is already prohibitively expensive. I shudder to think what that would calculate out to by the end of the summer. That plus other similar factors is driving me to sell my pre-recession house in favor of a deeply discounted foreclosure since other than that, expenses will only rise.
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    The price of petroleum impacts everything other than the air we breath. The burning of petroleum impacts the air we breath.
     
  5. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Burning gasoline produces carbon dioxide. Trees need carbon dioxide to live. I'm doing my part to help the trees live and flourish.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Until I can ride my bike at 80mph without sweating - I'll be comuting into work in the car.

    Until I can do 0 to 60 in less that 5.5 seconds on the bike (without riding off a cliff) I'll be taking the car...
     
  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Going by their claims on this site, there are at least 2 riders on this forum that meet your requirements.
     
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  8. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Member

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    Well, the last time I saw a noticeable difference was when gas hit $ 4.00 a gallon, I think that was about a year or so ago.
    There were definitely more people riding bikes, walking or waiting at bus stops, including people who looked 'normal' or 'mainstream', in other words, not the types of people you usually see on bikes or on foot in most of the US.
    That trend very quickly disappeared as soon as gas prices dropped below the pain threshold.
    It is certainly much more difficult to lead a car-free lifestyle in North America than it is, for example, in Europe - distances are easily double or triple, public transport systems are thin and sporadic if they exist at all, the size of a lot packaging isn't very bike- or hand-friendly, etc. etc. - so comparing gas prices between continents is kind of pointless.
    Also, as is proven to me on a daily basis, the Kung Fu of the couch, the video game, the cheeseburger and the donut are S T R O N G, and so is the urge to sit behind a wheel rather than walk, push or pedal.
    Add to that the extremely widespread public perception of people on bikes as homeless , license-less DUI offenders, illegal aliens or lowlives and you have a perfect recipe for continued carbon emission out the wazoo.
    (cough)
     
  9. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    And... what you didn't see was people giving up meat and milk... or being laid off as their company's were forced to raise prices as fuel costs soared. People who relish in the suffering of other humans... for whatever reasons, even when they think their motives are good... should discuss that with their doctor, religious leader, close friend, or mother. Please don't take this as an insult because it isn't. But I think those of you who torture small animals, or wish humans to suffer... need help. I hope you find it.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about selling my S2000 and just driving the big block Camaro so I can finally keep up with An Old Guy when he's riding his bike...
     
  11. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Gas prices are stupid high, at least from the vantage point of the U.S. For one, the entire country is built on cheap energy, but the doofuses (doofi?) in D.C. don't understand that if anything positive is going to happen in this economy, we can't be shipping all our wealth overseas to the desert in exchange for oil we don't need because we're sitting on massive amounts of it. Yeah, I'm saying it--drill, baby, drill. Bankrupt the country and then see what happens to the environment. Two winters of extreme energy prices and there won't be a standing tree in this country.

    Wind? Piddle power. Electricity costs me about 10 cents per kWh from the grid. We're paying about 25 DOLLARS per kWh in subsidies from the government to line the pockets of the folks putting up those white, spinny monstrosities. Yes, folks, it's just corporate welfare of a different color.

    Solar? May as well shine a light up your... You could blanket this country with panels and still not come close to providing enough power to cover our current (pun!) usage. Payback on installing a bunch of the panels on your roof is something like 25-30 years, and that's only if you live in a state with a decent amount of year-round sunshine.
     
  12. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Bwahahahahahahaaaaa. Welcome to gas prices in England circa 1995... and they have the North Sea oil production right there on their doorstep.

    Don't like that it costs $75+ to fill up a tank that lasts less that 300 miles? If so, then change vehicles.

    With regards to the "we can't be shipping all our wealth overseas to the desert" comment, you realize that the technology used to get the oil out of the ground in licensed to US company's like Chevron that get more than a few pennies per barrel from associated upstream technologies, right? The much touted massive oil fields in the US aren't going to just drill themselves, actually, most of it isn't something that you could extract via drilling wells and the extraction technology that's available right now isn't all that efficient, so maybe it's better to leave it as is for now... Raping the landscape a la Canada to extract oil from tar-sands is low yield, high dollar work and the NIMBY's would never let it happen here.

    Solar is a great means of alternative energy. We'll probably never get never power from it for large scale distribution using current technology but as a means for supplemental power in sunnier climes is great. At Chevron's Richmond refinery, we use solar to provide 75% of the power for the Tech Center despite the fact there's an on site Co-Gen unit capable of providing power for the entire refinery and half the neighboring city. We also have programs in place to provide the local City buildings with solar power to help the city reduce their energy burden. Wind power, same deal as solar, the Budweiser plant in Fairfield has erected a massive wind generator that apparently has reduced their power bill by half. The massive wind farms to the east of the San Francisco Bay Area provide prestigious amounts of power.

    Just providing more power isn't going to do it - how we use that power is something that we also need to think about.
     
  13. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    I agree we shouldn't be shipping our oil wealth overseas but I don't think we can drill our way out of it any time soon. Various subsidies for alternative energy are running out, have run out, or are declining. But what has had the largest effect on dampening expansion of wind, solar, bio-fuels is the very low price of natural gas. But that doesn't mean we should be short sighted and not invest in sustainable energy methods too. BTW the oil industry is subsidized directly via tax breaks and indirectly by lives and treasure lost in the various wars we've fought to secure it.

    We already are producing oil in record quantities in the US and nobody is giving it away. If you found oil in your backyard would you sell it at below market rates? $4.00 per gallon for gasoline seems high as a number but in historic terms is not very high when measured in constant dollars. The environmental and health costs of using fossil fuels need to be factored in too. People hurting from a depressed economy is another issue.

    Here is a link to a chart that shows historic pricing:

    http://www.randomuseless.info/gasprice/gasprice.html

    That chart shows the cost per gallon is not so high in adjusted dollars. But also consider the fact that America's fleet of cars gets much better gas mileage now than in the past and the cost per mile driven is less today.

    Consider how the value of oil as a speculative investment would come down dramatically if we used just 10% less. The US is awash in very cheap natural gas and we could really benefit by switching more of our use to that fuel.

    I think if the price of fuel were that big a factor to most people, we'd see changes in behavior such as more carpooling, less driving in general, smaller cars, changes in how towns and cities are developed, etc. Now some of this is happening but not on a great scale and much of the fuel economy of cars was government mandated... by those doofuses in DC. It was not a result of consumer demand. What would things be like if those doofuses never acted and our cars were still getting the poor mileage they got back in the 60s?

    If huge numbers of people were hurting so much they would be cutting back more on non-essentials such as attending sporting events and movies, cosmetics, cell phones for their kids, and cable tv. But those products and services seem to be doing well.
     
  14. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    For one, England has high gas prices because they tax the snot out of it AND, they're a much smaller market--bigger markets like the U.S. equal greater economies of scale (though the hodge-podge of local emissions requirements across the U.S.--18 of them--have put a few kinks in the scale).

    Secondly, we CAN drill our way out of high prices. A good portion of the current price per bbl is due to futures speculation. Right now, they're speculating (not surprisingly) that not enough new drilling of known oil deposits will happen to meet growing demand. Yes, we're drilling in the U.S. more than ever, but that's all stuff that was go-stamped 4-6 years ago. No new drilling permits have been issued in the last 3 years. We can also reign in the EPA that is out of control so that we can have a few new refineries built--something that hasn't happened in over 30 years.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Building new refineries would do nothing for the price of gasoline. The assumption that it would requires that current refineries are maxed out on production, which they are not and that updating current refineries wouldn't be more effective. There are several large refineries that cut back, or in some cases stopped, gasoline production for a period of time within the last 12 months. A few big refineries have planned upgrades for improvements stalled mid-build due to protests from small environmental groups... ... Ironically, a lot of those upgrades would have very positive environmental connotations. By and large, refineries are kept upto date due to required maintenance procedures that often includes planned upgrades, sometimes or a large scale, to ensure that the plant is safe to operate. If anything expect some US refineries to be closed or turned into oil terminals. Downstream (refining) in the US will not be able to compete with the newer super-refineries being constructed in Asia, some of which will be even bigger than the monster at Jamnagar, India.
     
  16. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Member

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    The biggest difference would be that if you're in England and don't like the gas prices, you take the bus/tube.
    Or just walk the 2 blocks to the store.
    In much of the US, that walk to the store may well turn into an all-day hike.
    Everyone: Vote with your wallet.
    How much energy do you really need?
     
  17. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I can't hardly believe some of the posts about energy. Just repeats of the same old mistaken crap that has been repeated over and over again. Doesn't anyone own a pencil and a sheet of paper? Do your own math. Don't people realize the tiny ittybity amounts of energy produced by windmills and solar panels are a joke. Sure.... the numbers may sound big... if you have no math skills. Or don't even look at your own electric bill.

    Hope and dream in one hand.... and pay out stolen tax dollars to your friends and supporters with the other hand.

    If you combined all the power of all commercial windmills and commercial solar panels from around the entire world.... they wouldn't even come close to just ONE nuclear power plant. If you covered America with solar panels and windmills... no roads, no cites, no farms, no homes... just windmills and solar panels... it wouldn't equal even ONE nuclear power plant.

    It isn't a funny joke. For the half of us that actually pay taxes... that's our money being thrown away. But the green energy crap is a joke all the same. But please... don't take my or anyone's word for it. Please... do the math for yourself! Pie-in-the-sky green energy isn't just a dream... it's a lie. And an alibi for the billions of tax dollars being stolen from the American public.
     
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  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You belittle people yet you post absolute garbage. Fact: the altamont pass wind farm has a capacity of 576MW. Fact: the Alta farm near Bakersfield, CA has a capacity of just over 1000MW Fact: most commercial nuclear power plants are ~1100MW Fact: according to the EIA, the power plant with the largest production capacity is one that uses renewable energy - the Grand Coulee Dam. http://www.eia.gov/neic/rankings/plantsbycapacity.htm Fact: the Gansu wind farm in China has a capacity of 5000MW with plans for upto 20,000MW. Keep in mind that the largest coal and fuel oil fired power stations in the world are under 6000MW and that the highest output stations are dams - there's that pesky renewable energy again... Any more "truths" you wish to bestow upon us, Bucko or are you on a mission to be more dense than heavy residuums? (an oil refining joke)
     
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  19. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    "If you combined all the power of all commercial windmills and commercial solar panels from around the entire world.... they wouldn't even come close to just ONE nuclear power plant. If you covered America with solar panels and windmills... no roads, no cites, no farms, no homes... just windmills and solar panels... it wouldn't equal even ONE nuclear power plant."

    All of the energy in fossil fuel came from the sun but took millions of years to make.

    Besides what was already said about windmills, have you even considered all of the solar panels on roofs used for heating? As for photovoltaics, there are companies that will place them on your roof, own and maintain them in exchange for long term electricity contracts at competitive rates.

    Additionally if we don't make use of these and other "alternative" forms of energy as well as conserve, how can we expect to lower the price of a gallon of gas? (And it isn't really higher today, in constant dollars, than has been typical in the past.)

    It also seems to me that the oil companies do ok when it comes to receiving government handouts.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    There's really no such thing as just an "oil company" these days. Companies such as Shell, BP and Chevron have made massive investments in renewable energy technology for good reasons - it works. Sure, their main products are in petrochemicals but that isn't going to last forever - or maybe it is and the "experts" that predict doom and gloom when the world runs out of oil are just completely wrong...
     
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