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Official Gas Price Rant Thread

April 22, 2008

First off, name this graph:

 

If you guessed “Exxon Mobil’s stock price for the last 5 years” (or something similar), congrats, you nailed it.   As it turns out, Exxon is also the most profitable Fortune 500 company for the 5th year in a row as well.

Then we have this graph:

 

This one charts gas prices over the last 90 years, adjusted for inflation. I couldn’t help but notice that the adjusted price hit the lowest point right before Bush took office, has steadily increased during the last 8 years, and managed to hit the highest point ever today.

Anyway, I’m going to leave any rants or theories on this for the comment section.   I’ll try to add more later when I have time.

Update:  Since I’ve recently taken my 2000 Cougar (yes, my car has a website too!) out of the garage, I’ve decided to do what a lot of people are doing these days, and track my fuel economy and wrap my brain around this.  I’ve never really paid too close attention until lately, so I finally made it over to fueleconomy.gov to see what the official EPA estimates were for my car MPG wise:

(yes, I inserted the pic of my car in there, so what?)

Now, I don’t do a lot of driving around in this car.  The vast majority of my driving is to work and back and is highway miles (20.65 one way, according to mapquest).  I’ve given it 2 days now and some of my engine mods notwithstanding, the EPA estimate seems pretty accurate.  The digital readout in my dashboard is reading and average of 26.8 MPG.  Not too shabby, I guess, considering it is a V6 with 66K miles on it.

Anyway, the fueleconomy.gov site has a neat calculator that allows me to figure out how much this is actually costing me over time.  To make the math easy, I’ll just figure out how much I’m spending to get to work and back.  Let’s see…I’ll round it to 41 mi/day X 5 days/week x 52 weeks/year = 10660 miles.  If I go with a rough guess that 85% of that is highway miles, the EPA calculator gives me an annual cost of….

That’s $1559 a year, in GAS…. just to go to work  (assuming the prices stay constant, which of course they won’t).  That’s a pretty serious chunk of dough!  Of course, if I drove a 2008 GMC Yukon, I’d be rockin it at over $2000, so I suppose I should look at the bright side.  But DAMN!  It really puts things into perspective, and gives you an idea of how much money one can save by either living closer to work or driving a more fuel efficient car.

 

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43 comments

  1. That’s why I own the stock…muwahahahahaha! Filler’ up boys and start shopping for a Prius.

    I can hardly wait to read the Checonomists delve into this one before I rip y’all a new asshole and expose your party as a bunch of frauds. Here’s a start:

    In just one year: Remember the election in 2006? Thought you might like to remember the following:

    1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;
    2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;
    3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

    Since voting in a Dimocratically controlled Congress in 2006 we have seen:

    1) Consumer confidence plummet;
    2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;
    3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
    4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);
    5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;
    6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.

    Hope this kicks off your tread Chen for some exciting action.

    You did say you missed me.


  2. Oh Chen,

    Here’s my favorite “lib” pick for 2008. It’s my performer of all the “progressives…” You guys might have to start hitting the WalMart deli for the Wifi soon. Muwahahahahahaha!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=SBUX&t=2y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=


  3. For the record, Tex, I don’t recall ever visiting a Starbucks in my life, so I’m not really sure if it is a hangout for liberals or what. I drink the free coffee at work.


  4. Hey Tex, did you see the news in the paper the other day that 59% of doctors support single payer?


  5. Hey King, did you see the results are already being called into question because frauds like you conducted it? Lying seems to be your only forte, besides American military hating, of course…


  6. You really think the economic mess we’re in was created by… DEMOCRATS?!?
    Just to pick on ONE of you’re ridiculous “facts”, Exxon&Co cut prices per request of the GOP to try to quell the uprising against the neocons.


  7. This “economic mess” called the free market, Kurt? Democrats took control of the House and Senate and things got worse economically? Could there be a correlation?


  8. You really think the economic mess we’re in was created by… DEMOCRATS?!?
    Just to pick on ONE of you’re ridiculous “facts”, Exxon&Co cut prices per request of the GOP to try to quell the uprising against the neocons.

    No, I don’t the mess was created solely by the Dimocrat Congress. I think underachievers, slackers and mooches like you neo-pagan types created the economic mess by trying to live by entitlement. The Dimocrats like the new Black Panther Presidential candidate for change only provide the means for you to do so.

    Let me give you a life lesson as a shareholder of several major oil companies Kurt so you don’t look like a dumbass next time you post. But first, answer me this with your liberal arts degree. If oil companies have so much control over our gov’t, more specifically all those “neocons”, why have oil companies been required to pay a “windfall profit’s tax?”

    So remember Kurt, next time you pull out your pocket and it is empty; and you’re required to pay $4.00 a gallon even though Exxon is beholden to those neocons (guess cutting the price didn’t work); and your Visa card is maxed, and the college fund has run out, and daddy is no where to be found; and your required to “foot it”…try and remember that everytime you are trying to gouge the corporations for your cheap gas, corporations just pass the costs back to fools like you.


  9. Whoopee, a twofer. Not sure how that happened General. Sorry about that. Don’t even remember hitting the submit button twice…

    [Weird glitch. I deleted the second copy. -CZ]


  10. I love high gas prices. Gets more of you drivers off the road. Quit bitchin and ride a bike. I ride my bike everywhere. Havn’t paid a cent for gas in almost two years.


  11. Uhhh…a correlation between Democrats taking office but any causal connection? How? What did they do exactly?

    The reasons behind changing gas prices are very complex. They have to do with taxes, worldwide demand, cost of shipping (which goes up as gas goes up…whoops!), OPEC’s mood, etc. It’s a little bit insane to pick out a single cause. Especially to pick it out of the Congress.


  12. I love high gas prices. Gets more of you drivers off the road. Quit bitchin and ride a bike. I ride my bike everywhere. Havn’t paid a cent for gas in almost two years.

    LOL! Excellent advice – the best I’ve seen here. In addition, there’s another benefit for them Biker. Some of these slackers need to get off their fat fannies and hit the gym – they haven’t seen physical activity since the 4th grade. Here, they’re being provided an opportunity to get some much needed exercise and practice what they preach about being a “greener.”

    Seems like a win, win to me.


  13. The reasons behind changing gas prices are very complex. They have to do with taxes, worldwide demand, cost of shipping (which goes up as gas goes up…whoops!), OPEC’s mood, etc. It’s a little bit insane to pick out a single cause. Especially to pick it out of the Congress.

    You’re right. It is a complex issue and to a degree, the prices have been driven by demand and a difficulty with supply. Throw in geopolitical events, and it a price for a barrel of crude gets dicey.

    But there is really one reason for the difference between $70.00 crude and $118.00 crude. See, Dimocrats are so used to blaming George Bush about everything including big oil, hurricanes and the rain that they don’t realize the real villians behind the price going up. I’ll give the real answer when I see some of these lefty economic geniuses like King can give me the reasons and exactly what their solutions are.


  14. Tex-

    You’re right. It is a complex issue and to a degree, the prices have been driven by demand and a difficulty with supply. Throw in geopolitical events, and it a price for a barrel of crude gets dicey.

    I can certainly understand the dynamics of supply and demand and the effect it has on prices. I also understand the effect that competition has on prices and profits.

    When the price of the ingredient (crude oil) in the product goes up, the price of the product goes up but not necessarily profits, especially if there is healthy competition in the marketplace.

    Imagine if the price of water went up because of high demand and short supply. One would expect the price of Coca-Cola and Pepsi to go up as a result, but one wouldn’t expect Coke and Pepsi to suddenly become more profitable than ever before. If anything, you’d think it would cut into their bottom line.

    So, when I see a list of the top 10 most profitable companies on the Fortune 500 and notice that 3 of them are in petrol industry (compare that list with the year 2000), one has to wonder if this is really a product of the free market or if there is something fishy going on.

    What did they talk about in Cheney’s super-secret Energy Task Force meetings, anyway?


  15. Thanks for your kind words, Tex. My dad died when I was 13, I made it through school on scholarships, grants and loans. At the moment, I don’t own a car, I walk, ride a bike or take the bus.


  16. Don’t let Tex get to ya Kurt. He obviously thinks that throwing out wild generalizations is effective, and maybe it is if you let it. That Starbucks thing came out of nowhere, for example, so apparently he thinks that because I support Obama I guzzle cafe-latte-frappacinos or something. Sort of a sign of weakness, really.


  17. Thanks for your kind words, Tex. My dad died when I was 13, I made it through school on scholarships, grants and loans. At the moment, I don’t own a car, I walk, ride a bike or take the bus.

    Well Kurt, your dad dying at the age of 13 is a tough break. I had a worse situation that I will not share with the board and I was also able to overcome. Empathetic, yes; a lifetime crutch, no.

    You’re to be commended for making it on your own and conserving fuel so let me apologize for the slacker comment. That doesn’t excuse political ignorance.

    However, if you completed your degree as you have led me to believe, then I must assume you can afford a car, insurance and the gasoline – or simply don’t have the need for transportation.


  18. LOL! Wild generalization from me? General, surely you jest? But I must admit in the theater of my mind, I see you on entry level wages swigging overpriced cups of coffee at Four Bucks, bird dogging chicks and creating your blog.

    I see a list of the top 10 most profitable companies on the Fortune 500 and notice that 3 of them are in petrol industry (compare that list with the year 2000), one has to wonder if this is really a product of the free market or if there is something fishy going on.

    Knowing how pedantic you are, I’ll try to stay on subject. Here’s how it works in a nutshell. There are five major domestic (kind of) petroleum companies, all mergers approved by both congress and the powers that be. The mergers happened for various reasons but the premise for the mergers was economies of scale. Since petroleum is truly the base of our entire economic system (feedstocks for a multitude of products), it is the only common commodity I know that we as a country will actually go to war over (see Desert Storm).

    Refinery economics are incredibly complex (I know, I did it for several years) but I will try to put this in a layman’s nutshell so we can cut thru the “fishy” B.S. as you speculate.

    When a barrel of crude is sitting at say $70.00, the assets (oil) of a huge corporation such as Exxon are worth a considerable amount. Obviously, E&P (upstream) is going to be incredibly profitable as the exploration and production divisions capitalize on their reserves. But the oil companies themselves don’t set the price as the commodity is traded across the globe. They are simply capitalizing in the serendipity of the current situation – that’s called free enterprise.

    Refinery margins, however, are currently being squeezed believe it or not. The downstream operations (gate to the terminals to what you buy at the pump) actually have little margin right now. When the price of crude drops, and it will, finished product margins (hydrocarbon margin sales) will increase and the E&P margins will decrease in profitability. This is how oil companies hedge their earnings potential.

    My question to you bleeding hearts out there is where were you when crude was sitting at $10.00 a barrel and twice as many people in the petroleum industry lost their jobs than the automotive and textile industries combined?

    And I still await for you to explain to me why gas is so high (crude is so high) being that your the keeper of the place.


  19. your/you’re from above. General, I had to type that twice because the system “blinked”. That is twice that has happened today.


  20. Well Tex, I’m not going to claim to be an economics whiz. You win this round. I’m just going to accept that it’s just a coincidence that Bush and Cheney were energy guys and the Task Force is kept secret for unknown reasons and all this “complexity” has happened during their administration.


  21. Chen,

    About the task force, can’t answer. I would imagine the absolute hatred of anything attorney, anything political (except Cheney) from the oil industry would be one reason. And believe me, the petroleum industry has reason to hate politicians and attorneys. I am personally aware from my father-in-law how out of control the EPA is. Complete B.S. That and for Cheney to tweak a hostile media and a bunch of busy body pols. Knowing Cheney to be as smart as he is (even his enemies admit as such), it wouldn’t be an oversite and was obviously done on purpose.

    You can blame this administration but I assure you it isn’t to enrich the cronies. Just wanted you to notice that your Dimocratic Congress who holds the purse strings just happened to have coincided with the rise in crude. Aren’t you going to ask them why?


  22. Tex-

    You can blame this administration but I assure you it isn’t to enrich the cronies. Just wanted you to notice that your Dimocratic Congress who holds the purse strings just happened to have coincided with the rise in crude. Aren’t you going to ask them why?

    It seems to me that they were well on their way up before the 06 elections took place. Look at the 2nd graph.


  23. Chen,

    That number from 2004-2005 would be skewed if you consider things like Katrina, geopolitical situations in Russian satellites and Nigeria, increased demand the last years from India and China – oh and some war in Iraq. I know for a fact that Sept. 2005, the price of gas (not inflation adjusted) was at its historical high for a period of two months. Can’t hardly blame most of that on Bush. Iraq only makes up 4% of our imports.

    But that misses my point. The night of the 2006 election, I paid $1.99 for gas and I remember that because not only was it less than $2.00 for the first time in a while but I was going to remember that price so I could hold all of you Bush haters accountable for every sin of your newly elected majority.

    Gas stayed low for approximately 2-3 months in 2007 before the reformulated gasoline started up in the Spring and then has sustained a gradual rise until recently. Aren’t you going to lay the blame at your Congress like you have in the past?

    That’s a rhetorical question, of course, just like laying the blame at big oil. But I still await the reason for the increase the last few months. But I’ll give you a hint. It has little to do with supply and demand.


  24. Exxon Mobil makes it’s profits from things other than oil and, more specifically as it’s being driven to the voters, gasoline.
    The reasons for high fuel prices are multi and for the record includes greed.The solutions ? There are none. You can decrease demand (not likely since India and China are sucking it up hard). You can boost supply. Yes but OPEC and speculators will eventually get involved and demand will surely stay astride with supply.Real quick supply side speculation,exploration and advanced contracting is a huge profit driver for Exxon/Mobil as opposed to hosing you at the pump.
    On a side note since I believe both D candidates favor it. Excess Profit Tax….who the hell do you think will pay that if it were to come to be ? And as an extra dig at the Dems. US Congress (D) exempts Hugo on a tax issue. Hugo screws US companies with his excess profit tax and nationalization schemes.


  25. If our government, especially you Dims and your reps, were really concerned about the high cost of gasoline for “workin” class folk (of which I’m one), there are several things that could be done on a temporary basis to lower the price at the pump, some of it immediate:

    (1) Federal Taxes (Dims lowering federal taxes, dream on)
    (2) Stop the reformulation of gasoline
    (3) Ease the ecological restriction on refinery mods and/or construction of new refineries.
    (4) Ease the use of ecological additives

    Gang, I will tell you this much. For every penny the oil guys are squeezing you, your gov’t is squeezing you for two and that is a fact. Point your fingers if you wish, but make sure they’re pointed in the right direction.

    HOWEVER! None of Checonomists has yet given the real reason in the price run up. Where are you King, you old genius you? You been searching the net for two days now trying to find a link to look smart?


  26. The price is purposely going up to blame the “libruls” because they’re “in charge” right now in the House & Senate. If they raise the tax on gas/oil, the oil companies will go up on the price to make up for it. If the Democrats start investigations into the oil industry, the oil industry will go up on their prices. If new refineries are opened, the oil companies will sell the oil overseas (most of oil/gas is).

    See?

    The republican party and the oil companies hate Americans. The End.


  27. Remember when George Bush told the nation the price of oil/gas would go down if we started killing Iraqis? Well, he lied, but as the Oil Charlatan he is, he had to say that and he knew full well the price would go up. Whoever controls the oil controls the planet. Georgie and his Oil Maggots know this.

    Why did gawd put the oil underneath the Middle Easterners? Obviously to test America’s shady oil companies!


  28. KayinMaine,

    I just had to take a look at that dog of blog of yours. What I expected…Next time, do the world a favor and move the photographer back about 500 feet.

    If you could be any dumber about the petroleum industry, the logistics, the mechanisms, and the pricing structure, you’d have to really work at it.


  29. Tex, link about the single-payer poll being called into question?


  30. King,

    Better idea this time because I think you’re a fraud, a liar and a punk all the way around. Why don’t you and I debate in an open forum without the benefit of scanning the net for days upon end?

    You game or still gutless?


  31. 72% crude
    8% refining
    8% distr. & marketing
    12% taxes
    source EIA


  32. In other words, you have no evidence to support your claim. That’s what I thought.


  33. In other words, you have no evidence to support your claim. That’s what I thought.

    by King April 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    No, it would better be defined as I think you so frickin’ ignorant to be a waste of my time to prove you wrong (as usual)…


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