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#1091758 - 05/07/08 04:20 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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whippen boy Offline
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San Francisco
Quote
Originally posted by ROMagister:
By the way, it seems to me most US-ians were much too willing/accepting of auto-commuting and dispersed living like "Desperate Housewives" ;-);-)
Us Europeans had compact cities started when cars weren't there ;-)
Don't be too quick to judge... I live in an area that has a higher population density than your city, Bucharest. wink

If I could take public transportation to all of my musical events, I would. Unfortunately I must carry a trunk load of heavy music scores everywhere I go. The time factor is also a consideration. Even by car, I barely have enough time to get from one venue to the next.

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#1091759 - 05/07/08 05:06 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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LisztAddict Offline
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Florida
Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
My car is supposed to take premium, but I've downgraded a notch; even so, the price is still well over $4.00.
Do you often check the gas mileage? It's likely that you get a difference in mileages bigger than the difference in prices.

#1091760 - 05/07/08 05:12 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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bluekeys Offline
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Quote

That's true, but it's my general impression that a lot of Europe is reasonably covered by public transportation...whereas only a small percentage of the geographic area of the U.S. is covered by any public transportation at all.

And it will take years and years before that gets caught up...if ever.
I don't think public transportation will ever reach the level of acceptance in the US that it has in other parts of the world. Both as a matter of geography and national mindset, Americans demand independent transportation. Even if that means driving golf carts to work.

BTW--I'm actually glad to see gas prices rising. It's inevitable that an alternative to gas guzzling autos will happen, and higher prices will make it happen sooner, and therefore less painfully.

#1091761 - 05/07/08 05:23 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Roger Ransom Online content
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SouthWest Michigan
When I posted this morning the prices were around 3.75 USD. I filled the tank in my Miata after work and it was 3.99. Pretty scary.

We have always had fairly fuel efficient cars because I've alway realized that we WILL run out of oil. Not in my lifetime certainly, but petroleum is not being replaced - not very fast anyway :-). In the middle 70s the US had a scare that made people start thinking of alternative enery sources and smaller cars but shortly after that there was an insane rush to gigantic vehicles with huge engines.

I hope we take it to heart this time and get busy.


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#1091762 - 05/07/08 05:27 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Johan B Offline
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The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
We pay in the Netherlands this day:

€ 1,519 for one litre! :b: :b:

BTW......above all....we are many times in a traficjam in this crowded country..... mad bah cursing


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#1091763 - 05/07/08 05:27 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Les Koltvedt Offline
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Canton, MI
Update for SouthEast MI..$3.85


Les Koltvedt
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Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
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#1091764 - 05/07/08 05:30 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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JeanieA Offline
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Reno, Nevada
Please don't paint all Americans with the same brush: Public transportation would be wonderful, but out here in the wide open spaces of Nevada it's near non-existant. Towns are hundreds of miles apart, there's no bus service between. I'd LOVE to take public transport (or walk or bike) to work, but it's not an option. I live 9 miles (horizontal) and .25 miles (vertical) from work and the road is four lane highway, not safe for either. We were in Prague a few weeks ago, and I see how many Europeans can live easily without a car; public transport is available everywhere, inexpensive, and efficient. If only.

Corn & ethanol...that's a contributing factor to the rise in food prices. Farmers are able to get higher prices for the corn (good) and it's going to create a cleaner fuel (good). But that means there's less feed for cattle (bad) and it's more expensive (also bad). It's a start, but not a panacea. I can't even mention this thread around the house: husband sells commercial vehicles for GMC and is a certified master mechanic in alternative fuels. His blood pressure goes up with these kind of discussions as folks who don't have all the facts suggest things that aren't realistic.

BTW: gas is $3.83/gal. regular as of this morning in Reno.


Collector of sheet music I can't play.
#1091765 - 05/07/08 05:39 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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gmm1 Offline
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Spokane WA
Quote
Originally posted by bluekeys:
BTW--I'm actually glad to see gas prices rising. It's inevitable that an alternative to gas guzzling autos will happen, and higher prices will make it happen sooner, and therefore less painfully.
Except for the pain to those families that cannot afford it, I'm with ya, bluekeys...

I am lucky in that the price is inconvienent, but does not really cause me to re-think what I buy or not. Some families are making very hard decisions, as gas is something they must buy to continue to work.

Some of us have become spoiled. My lovely bride DRIVES to the the gym. If gas was 20.00 a gal., she could walk, and not need the gym to begin with. Notice, I picked on her, with no mention of me.

Our zoning laws have "forced" us (OK, maybe allowed is more correct) to live away from our jobs, causing millions to be spent on roads to get back and forth.

I sometimes wonder, though, just where is everyone going ALL THE TIME. And, just a guess here, but I'm thinking 75% of the cars have one person in them.

Traffic is becoming an issue everywhere, and the price of fuel does not seem to be stemming the tide, so maybe it's still too cheap.


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
#1091766 - 05/07/08 07:08 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Deserves Fudge Offline
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Seattle
I'll chime in with a different perspective. I have no idea how much gas costs in Seattle. North of $3, I'm sure, but my bike doesn't use it, so it's not very relevant. I have a car, but I put about 500 miles on it last year. I'm seriously considering selling it.

I'm not trying to convert anyone, and I understand that bike commuting doesn't work for a lot of folks because they have to haul stuff, travel long distances, suffer from health issues (though some of those can be solved through exercise), or live in inhospitable climates. My wife has a car and drives it most days. For me, though, biking is pretty much the perfect solution year-round. I save the cost of parking, wear and tear on the car, gas, and a gym membership. All that savings last year made a substantial dent in the price of my grand piano!

#1091767 - 05/07/08 07:14 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Late Beginner Offline
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West Australia
Quote
Originally posted by Stacey E:
I think my brother was telling me that the guy who invented the diesel engine (named Diesel) actually designed it for use with plant based fuels, but that the auto manufactures adapted it for use with petroleum instead, in the interest of oil companies. Not sure if this is true, though.
He was right about the plant based fuel. Rudolph Diesel lived from 1858 - 1913, so corner gas stations weren't as plentiful as they are today. wink Early engines ran on all manner of liquids and gases. Diesel used peanut oil, but he was apparently also interested in the potential of using coal dust. Any oil, including the petroleum based stuff has an organic origin, so early inventors tended to start out using whatever was locally available or what they thought might give the best "bang for their buck" - i.e lamp oil or whatever.

I think that petroleum based fuels won out basically because they had widespread applications for heating, lighting, power etc and could provide an efficient range of products at a reasonable cost. Bio-diesel looks interesting, but I think it still has a way to go. There are still large environmental costs involved with growing it. Anti-petroleum, pro-bio enthusiasts tend to overlook (or not know) all the costs of turning over large areas of land from food production to fuel, using modern agriculture methods. It's a whole big can of worms in itself. Interesting stuff though.

When I first pumped gas as a job to help work through college it was less than 2 shillings a gallon. So about 19c US I guess. In Australia it's now somewhere around $1.40 per litre, which I suppose is between $5 and $6 US for a gallon.

I might have to get myself a steam car. smile (Not as outlandish as it sounds, one of my brothers recently rebuilt a steam car, and has a friend who built a steam powered motor bike. cool )

Cheers,

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1091768 - 05/07/08 07:20 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Middle England
originally posted by LisztAddict
Quote
USD 2.32 x 3.78 $/gal = $8.77/gal
Good point, the Imperial (British) Gallon = 4.55 litres, slightly more than the US Gallon = 3.78 litres, it still means we pay a lot more for our road fuel though. The new industrial countries, India and China, are prepared to pay anything for oil so things will get worse. Here in the UK we could, if forced to, get by using public transport but I don't think you could in the USA....the country is too big. I once tried to spend a few weeks without a car in the USA, travelling by bus, after three days I gave up and hired a car.

#1091769 - 05/07/08 07:22 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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DanXZ Offline
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North Yorkshire, UK
I'm interested to hear how much of the US price is tax. Here in the UK with several layers of taxations hitting the process approximately 63% of our gas price goes straight to the government.

Wumpusbear: I cycle to work too and where I live it's actually faster due to growing traffic congestion. On the occasions I have to take my car it takes between 15 and 30 minutes longer - including shoe & shirt changing times!

#1091770 - 05/07/08 07:24 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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currawong Offline
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Down Under
Quote
Originally posted by Late Beginner:
When I first pumped gas as a job to help work through college it was less than 2 shillings a gallon. So about 19c US I guess. In Australia it's now somewhere around $1.40 per litre, which I suppose is close to $6 US for a gallon.
Yeah - I remember 30c a gallon when I had my first car (a cute but seen-better-days renault 10). Now I'm happy if I manage to find it for under $1.50 a litre. Still better than Europe, though smile .


Du holde Kunst...
#1091771 - 05/07/08 07:26 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Rosanna Offline
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San Francisco Bay area
Quote
we are many times in a traficjam in this crowded country
Johan B, unfortunately around San Francisco, we have the same problem. Commute traffic jams can start as early as 6:00am and last until 9:30am. In the evening, it's from about 3pm (2:30pm on Fridays) to after 6:30pm. S. California is similarly bad.

Unfortunately, the US cities just weren't planned nor built with the use of public transport in mind. Of course we can try to use public transport, but the infracstruture really works against the best of intentions in many cases.

After the long lines at the gas stations back in the 70s went away, everyone just went back to business as usual. I wonder if this round of price increase will really and finally push Americans to permanently go for cars with better mileage, and for a real push towards developing alternative fuel and energy.


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#1091772 - 05/07/08 07:41 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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polostrings Offline
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Hawaii
$3.96 / gallon in Hawaii, for premium. It's always been high here.

I hear around mid century the auto companies bought out the railroads and ran them to the ground.

It's all a cycle, the high gas prices will force economical cars or new technology which will bring it down again.( like the eighties)


Aloha!
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#1091773 - 05/07/08 08:00 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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West Australia
We can even relate this more directly to pianos.

Everything in our houses has some connection to the petro-chemical industry. Not only are oil based products used in the transport of goods and to provide power for manufacture, they are also widely used in everything from plastics to paints and so on.

Digital keyboards owe a large debt to oil, and even acoustic pianos use finishes and plastics that would connect back to oil.

I'm not sure how many octaves to the gallon you get when you make a modern keyboard though... laugh

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1091774 - 05/07/08 08:13 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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West Australia
Quote
Originally posted by currawong:
Yeah - I remember 30c a gallon when I had my first car (a cute but seen-better-days renault 10). Now I'm happy if I manage to find it for under $1.50 a litre. Still better than Europe, though smile .
I remember the old Renault 10. Friends had a 10 or two and I had a 16 for a while. Quirky but cute, as you say. smile

My first car was a 1930 Austin 7. That's going back a bit..... laugh

Living where I do, some sort of motorised transport is essential for most journeys. We did have a railway somewhere near but they tore it up many decades ago. Now the land is used as a walk/cycle trail. Maybe I should investigating getting a camel.... but on the other hand I knew somebody who had one and it did massive damage to the orchard and general vegetation at his place, so maybe not...

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1091775 - 05/07/08 08:26 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Akira Offline
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Los Angeles, CA
Not much you can do about the price, whatever it is.

Just make the best of a bad situation.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml

#1091776 - 05/07/08 09:37 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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mr_super-hunky Offline
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Rosanna:

A couple points on "bio-diesel" or diesel vs hybrids.

We currently have....a lot (however that much is!) of used grease/frying oil which is virtually FREE to use in a car set up for bio-diesel. The problem is simply economics. It is cheaper to pay $4.00/gall for ready pump fuel than to go through the filtering process as well as the pain in the arse factor of obtaining used frying oil and cleaning it.

What I like most about a diesel engine is the torque it provides (to counter wind resistance and go faster up steep hills) and also the longevity of the engines.

It is NOT uncommon for a diesel engine to run 500k miles with no major engine work.

Hybrids such as the Prius as absolutely fantastic in stop and go driving situations to regain the energy from braking. Also, wind resistance is not much of a factor at lower speeds.

A hybrid is NOT the most efficient way to go if you primarily do highway driving; especially at speeds of 75-80 mph.

This higher speed driving is where the diesels shine best.

Here in Arizona, everything is very spread out and we also do primarily highway driving so the diesel makes the most sense.

In mostly city driving, a hybrid may be a better choice.

If you are a "greenie", don't forget to ask yourself where the bank of batteries will end up when they are spent!. Many people don't realize this.

BTW, to REALLY make everyone mad, there is a patent on an combustion engine that uses water (H20) as its fuel source. Rumor has it that the big oil companies have spent millions buying up these patents and burying them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An unamed source has been following the trail of potential water powered cars for a few years now, over this time he has compiled a list of successful inventors!
Here they are!

Andriah Puharich
Archie blue
Bob Boyce
Carl Cella
Charles H. Garrett
Daniel Dingel
Hector Pierre Vaes
Nakamatsu Yoshiro
Sam Leslie Leach
Stanley Meyer
Steven Horvarth
And a few other unidentified people!

The most noteable of these was Stanley Meyer who is dead unfortunatley! In fact so are Carl Cella & Hector Pierre Vaes all before there time and under suspicious cercumstances! The rest have either been threatend, sold out or keep to them selves! Apparently it's not a good idea to threaten Big Oil companys. An internet search will find info all of these individuals!

#1091777 - 05/07/08 10:18 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Rosanna Offline
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San Francisco Bay area
Mr. Hunky,
Quote
In mostly city driving, a hybrid may be a better choice.
Yep, that's my situation.

Quote
If you are a "greenie", don't forget to ask yourself where the bank of batteries will end up when they are spent!. Many people don't realize this.
You are right about disposing the batteries. Even for CFL (compact fluorescent lightbulbs), the mercury in there makes it unwise to just toss the bad bulb into the trash. Me, greenie, has thought of such things. :b: But what to do? Choose the better of evils for now. I think we need to invent Star Trek transporters.


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#1091778 - 05/07/08 11:09 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Late Beginner Offline
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West Australia
Quote
Originally posted by mr_super-hunky:

BTW, to REALLY make everyone mad, there is a patent on an combustion engine that uses water (H20) as its fuel source. Rumor has it that the big oil companies have spent millions buying up these patents and burying them.
I don't imagine that it would be hard to prove or disprove the idea that "Big Oil" has bought up and suppressed water fueled engines. But it does sound more like a colourful rumour than the full story.

I can still remember the fuss (and laughter) that occurred here a couple of decades ago when one of our State Premiers officiated at the unveiling of a 'water powered' car under development by a local inventer. Nothing was ever heard about it afterwards.

Presumably water can be used by breaking it into its component gases, but there could be problems extracting enough power from a litre of water to make its use practical?? A more traditional way of getting power from water is by heating it and using the steam. Steam cars, steam trains and even steam motor cycles have a long history. A combination of solar energy and steam power could be used for a variety of stationary situations, but is probably not good enough for cars yet. I believe that it's also being trialled as part of a system that converts solar energy to electricity that can be pumped into the power grid too.

The other big problem with water is that it's a precious resource in its own right. So I guess we'd need to make sure we weren't going to solve one environmental problem by creating another (a popular trick! eek ).

I like the sound of your diesel. Having been brought up on a farm, with tractors and trucks, the smell of diesel is as aromatic and nostalgic to me as roses. (true) smile

Cheers,

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1091779 - 05/08/08 12:08 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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TX-Dennis Offline
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Texas
One misconception that has been mentioned is that diesel is only more expensive than gasoline because it has become the "in" thing. The truth is that refiners are now required to re-refine diesel in order to get its sulfur content down to that mandated by current U. S. law. This makes diesel, which once was much less expensive to produce than was gasoline, now more expensive to make than gasoline. Another minor factor is that the federal tax on diesel is 24 cents per gallon whereas the federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. Of course, state tax is added to each gallon on top of that, and it varies from state to state.

Yes, I live in an oil producing area. No, I do not work in the petroleum industry. I drive a relatively fuel efficient 4 cylinder vehicle as does my wife. The area where I live, though, is known as the per capita truck capital of the world. It seems that virtually every vehicle on the road here is either a Suburban, a Tahoe, a Hummer, a Ford Expedition, a Lincoln Navigator, a pickup, or a Cadillac Escalade. I would hate to have to buy gas for one of those. This morning I paid $3.52/gallon for gasoline. I did not buy from the least expensive place in town, as I prefer to purchase brand name gas for its higher detergent content versus the generic. Disclaimer: I once owned a pickup truck, but gas was much less expensive in those days. laugh


Dennis
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#1091780 - 05/08/08 12:20 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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hotkeys Offline
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Massapequa, NY
We pay between $3.85 to $4.25 in New York (NY city and Long Island), though there is talk of suspending the state gas tax for the summer (thats 33 cents on the dollar)...

- Mark


...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...
#1091781 - 05/08/08 12:28 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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mr_super-hunky Offline
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Late beginner: I like the smell of fresh cut grass and gasoline eek .

Dennis: you are right on the newer processing required on ultra low sulfer diesel making the prices a little higher.

I believe parts of Norway are running on hydrogen. Can you say ..Ka-Boooom?. wink

#1091782 - 05/08/08 01:03 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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Vincent L. Offline
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Austin, TX
And what about this? Compressed Air engine:
http://www.mdi.lu/eng/affiche_eng.php?page=communique3

#1091783 - 05/08/08 03:20 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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crusadar Offline
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Middle England
originally posted by Late Beginner
Quote
My first car was a 1930 Austin 7. That's going back a bit..... [Big Grin]
Talking about Austin 7's, this BOOK is a good read if you come across it.

#1091784 - 05/08/08 03:46 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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Late Beginner Offline
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West Australia
Thanks Crusader, I'll keep an eye out for it. thumb


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
#1091785 - 05/08/08 06:55 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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Peyton Online content
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Peyton  Online Content
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Maine
Quote
Originally posted by TX-Dennis:
One misconception that has been mentioned is that diesel is only more expensive than gasoline because it has become the "in" thing. The truth is that refiners are now required to re-refine diesel in order to get its sulfur content down to that mandated by current U. S. law. This makes diesel, which once was much less expensive to produce than was gasoline, now more expensive to make than gasoline. Another minor factor is that the federal tax on diesel is 24 cents per gallon whereas the federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. Of course, state tax is added to each gallon on top of that, and it varies from state to state.

laugh
Thanks Dennis. I've heard different reasons for the higher price of diesel and that makes the most sense. I have a Sprinter van that gets 27 to the gal. I was feeling pretty good about that until the price of diesel jumped to $4.30 a gallon. I just filled up for $110. My business in the summer is driving around to art shows to sell my work. I have a show in Chicago coming up and I can't imagine what it's going to cost me in fuel alone... :rolleyes:


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
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#1091786 - 05/08/08 08:20 AM Re: OT gas prices  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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Chocolatetown, USA
Does anyone know what the average price per gallon of regular, for example, is when adjusted for inflation? How do they figure that? In terms of it's equivalent cost at some previous time?

And compared to other commodities and services has the price of gas increased at a greater or lessor rate?

In other words, while we may think the price of gas is inordinately (or unreasonably) high, especially when compared to what we were paying for it at some time in the past, how does it compare in that regard to other items and how their price has risen?

And just from the standpoint of the relative costs of a gallon in different parts of the world (as quoted in the news and here in this thread) isn't the price here in the US still somewhat of a "bargain" (if I dare to use that word in this connection)? confused

Regards, JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#1091787 - 05/08/08 12:19 PM Re: OT gas prices  
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Joined: Jun 2004
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Ohio, USA
actually, there's a current technology - fuel cell, hydrogen based, which simply means the engine will run on 'water'. the only thing is, as i read, that it's still in the early stage, and costs too much to build, which means it's not coming to the market soon.

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