May 07, 2007

What's the price of gas back there in America?

I haven't driven for over a year and a half, so I could care less if it's $2 or $10 a gallon. Actually I'd rather see $10 a gallon so that way more hybrids would be on the roads, less of those stupid tank-size SUVs, less far-flung Wal-Mart exurbs, and much more use of light rail, trains and buses.

But for America to head that direction, I think $6 - $8 per gallon gas is key (at today's prices). If those terrorists had succeeded in destroying the Saudi oil infrastructure the other day, $6 would have been in the realm of reality overnight. Or watch what happens if we (or Israel) attack Iran... Think home values are plunging on the city fringes today? Just wait.

It's $8 a gallon here in the UK, and yes, almost everyone I know uses public transport. The only people who seem to drive are rich people, people who have to for whatever reason, ladies who lunch (i.e. soccer moms), and public transport snobs. As cities get more and more crowded, not only will driving get more expensive, but it'll be quicker to get from A to B using transport. You'll see.

If I were president, I'd phase in a higher gas tax (raise it 50c a year for 10 years), I'd get serious about fuel efficiency standards for all manufacturers, I'd launch a tax-credit-based conservation jihad, and I'd build a nationwide world-class mass transport system (using the gas tax).

What's Bush's energy policy by the way? What are his ideas on the issue? Anyone? Anyone?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's Bush's energy policy by the way? What are his ideas on the issue? Anyone? Anyone?

ethanol, big time.... so that means we waste oil, top soil and water to grow corn and make ethanol...

Anonymous said...

The cheapest gas I can find in the Inland Empire (east of LA) is $3.32. My husband wants to get a Prius, and then get some modification kit he saw online that lets you plug in the car battery into a wall outlet in your garage, giving you around 100MPG.

Anonymous said...

$3.59 san diego

Anonymous said...

$8? But each pound is worth $2 now. So it's almost the same there as here now.

Bushanomics sucks. Gas has tripled in 6 years.

TM said...

"What are his ideas on the issue?"

Bush doesn't have ideas. Coming up with ideas has been the job of his staff, which are mostly oilmen. So, expect to see gas get more expensive, until we start to seriously consider non-petroleum solutions, at which point it gets really cheap, then we forget our anger. Rinse. Repeat.

You know what they say about a fool and his money. What else is there to say? The US is full of smart people, but collectively is stupid and incapable of longterm thought on just about any issue.

Fleece em. Make em howl.

Anonymous said...

I am an American who lives in Holland and like the blogger, have not driven in almost 2 years. I get around mostly by bike, in wind, rain, or shine. It's what all the Dutch do. Bikes rule the roost. Cars watch for us. We have extensive bike lanes and even something akin to bike freeways. And you hardly ever see an obese Dutchie. I wish I could do the same when I visit back in the States. But I'm too afraid of getting hit by cars. The drivers aren't jerks... but they literally don't see pedestrians and bikers cause they're not expecting them.

keith said...

I'll vouch - every city needs a commitment to bikes like Amsterdam. It's unbelievable

In London, I know I'm cheating death every time I get on my bike. Not a bike lane to be found in a city of 7 million, many of them bikers

Anonymous said...

Did they kill the guy trying to ferment methanol from sewer waters??or did he run out of dirty water, or get priced out of the waters market... as perhaps we all will if they start using foods as fuel as they are planning.....perhaps high prices are neo-neo war rationing

uknowwhoiyam said...

I could care less if it's $2 or $10 a gallon.

You ought to care. Everythng you buy requires fuel to get from the producer to your market.

a.creampuff said...

Remember Bush's State of the Union address - sage grass, that's the ticket!

Anonymous said...

Good ideas on effect of price of gas. Of course that means housing near public transportation will escalate in price.

And D.C. area - price fluctuating lately, near $3.

CashFLo said...

Hydrogen might prove impractical. A small amount of leakage in a nation-wide scale H distribution system, say a per cent or so, would be worse on the atmosphere than just about anything, a fact that's rarely mentioned. There are other problems as well - only plants can break the water molecule without using more energy than is recovered, and we don't know that whole chemical chain yet (to the last detail).
Here is a Physics Today article explaining the technical challenges:
http://tinyurl.com/238ffh

a.creampuff said...

They are putting in a new bike lane that will connect my apartment with a bike path that goes almost directly to my workplace. There's a section with no shoulder and it's simply too dangerous to ride. Can't wait!

Tesla said...

Gas prices are rising so high because we've hamstrung our refining capacity with retarded environmental policies...

http://tinyurl.com/yskxhq


Of course, politicians aren't going to relax these new enviromental regulations. No, that would anger the believers of the Green church. Environmentalism is socialism.

panicearly said...

peddling away in tokyo, a great ci for pedestrians. you can go from one side of city to the another and every nook and corner by foot bike or train.
cost of living is high, but for essentials its not bad at all, less space is less space for junk. i dont need a car for one, healthcare is cheap, food is cheap and excellent, low/no crime.

Anonymous said...

>> I could care less...

Damnit, it's "I could not care less..."

Anonymous said...

3.69 in Humboldt county Ca.

Anonymous said...

Environmentalism is socialism.

Go back to sleep and wait for the rapture...

Anonymous said...

Bush wants a 20% cut in gasoline over 10 years...how exactly I forgot, except ethanol is big. Cellulosic ethanol (from wood scraps instead of corn) migh work. Hybrids, plug-in-hybrids (where you could drive 15 miles or so on all electric for about 3cents / mile electricity wise)...that would work too.

Anyway, the sad, unfortunate thing is that Europe was built up at a time when there were NO cars...the US wasn't. So if you're 25 miles outside of Dallas or Atlanta...there is no "light rail" or anything like that. Everything is spread out...it was built that way on purpose.

Some European cities have downtowns where there are NO cars and everyone lives close to the center. Nice but a little late for that here.

Bush also touted hydrogen..but you have to GET hydrogen from somewhere..usually natural gas, which is running out. YOu can get it from water but you have to put energy INTO water to get out hydrogen. Then there is the problem of fuel cells costing millions of dollars and using platinum and other rare elements. Plus a distribution system for hydrogen is difficult and nonsensical.

Liquid fuels are very energy dense and make the most sense. That and electricity in a plug in hybrid.

Anonymous said...

How myopic can you be? So, you haven't driven a car in more than 2 years. Oh, lucky you! Not everyone lives a flat enough, small enough city that a bicycle will do. Try that in San Diego --- Yes, weather would more than cooperative, but, man, try those hills and distances. There are those who ride to work who cycle nearly 300 miles a week and risk life and limb sharing the road with autos. Everything's spread out.

We have tons of cyclists in this town, but you have to be an ironman to make it work. Maybe that why this area has more world class triathelits (sp?) than any where else.

As far a government - (ah, yes, smart central planning) - being the answer, dream on.

Anonymous said...

In L.A., it's about $3.50 a gallon. Between Bush and the liberals, standard of living here is headed for the crap hole!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
What's Bush's energy policy by the way? What are his ideas on the issue? Anyone? Anyone?

ethanol, big time.... so that means we waste oil, top soil and water to grow corn and make ethanol...

So what will we be paying for FOOD ?

Anonymous said...

What's Bush's energy policy by the way? What are his ideas on the issue? Anyone? Anyone?

wher have you been? His idea was to got to Iraq and get energy, Dhaaa!

Joe Logic said...

Gas is up to $3.50/gal and still there are these as*hole SUVs tailgating people on the freeways. Last week this soccer mom bitch was tailgaiting me, just to pull into 7-11 and get more gas.

Anyways, as much as I quietly root for high gas prices to stick it to these suckers I agree with uknow, if gas hits $10/gas, getting around will be the least of our worries. There will be anarchy as food supplies and other necessities will be disrupted. Peak oil will be a certain reality and a common household term.

Anonymous said...

Bush doesn't have ideas. Coming up with ideas has been the job of his staff, which are mostly oilmen.

Oh please, at least do your research. America has an energy deficit chiefly beacuse Americans want an abundance of cheap oil but refuse to drill for it on their own soil. Better to pay other countries to drill and destroy their environment than to not placate the environmentalists. Hydrogen could be practical if nuclear energy was implemented - it could drive the process. However, Americans for the past several decades have refused to look at implementing new reactors despite the French success at just duch a venture. Bush is no icon, but he is not responsible for the short sightedness of past administrations. Americans need to get real about their energy dependencies and not veto wind farm projects cause that block the view of those on Martha's Vinyard (Ted Kennedy).

Oh, by the way, Fidel Castro is drilling for known oil reserves in the same waterway Florida is prevented (Clinton admin) from doing so. They will draw oil from the same geologic structures American compaies could use. Don't worry though - I'm sure Cuba will sell it to us for a small fee!

Americans are in the position they find themselves because it takes years to bring energy reserves to the market, not months.

Anonymous said...

If gas went to $6 a gallon I'd still drive but drive a smaller car. Gas would have to hit some serious levels, $10 and up for me to get on a bus and even then I'd look at moving close to work first. I just hate taking a bus/subway and dealing with the crowds and god almighty is the subway hell in the summer...

Kevin Gunn said...

It's around $2.95 here, but I live close to the university where I work down the hall from my wife, so we walk to work most days. My daughter takes the bus. I honestly can't remember when I last filled up.

Buying a house (15 years ago) close to work and STAYING there (no trading up, no moving around) has been one of the best decisions we've ever made.

Anonymous said...

What is this fascination you socialists have with SUVs?. I have an SUV and a mid sized sedan. SUV gets about 18 MPG in city/hwy driving. The sedan gets 22. It's not that much of a difference, $500 a year difference if driving 15K miles a year. Not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

so I could care less if it's $2 or $10 a gallon

Today... more than 50% of the cost of food is determined by the cost of transportation - first for processing and packaging and then to your grocery store.

So... if gas prices are $3 a gallon, and you pay $100 a week for groceries, when the price of gas doubles to $6 - you'll probably end up paying $175.

Or from another perspective - if you spend $400 bucks a month on food you'll end up paying $700 when gas prices double.

Now... if they go to $10 a gallon - that $400 will go up to $900.

And if you refuse to buy - the farmer will just refuse to grow the stuff next year. It's not like he can lower his prices.

In fact that's already happening.

IB

Anonymous said...

Bushanomics sucks. Gas has tripled in 6 years.

May 07, 2007 6:28 AM
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wrong. It's working just fine! Just not working for you...

Anonymous said...

Keith,
You are such a socialist liberal looser. Who ever can afford a car should drive and not because its artificially expensive by taxes. I love to drive, if I can afford it or choose to afford it, what business is it of yours.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, we really need to duplicate the British system. $11 a gallon gas, $50 daily round trip mass transit fees, trains consistently late, riddled with strikes, and high taxes that keep going up (but don't go into maintaining the failure-prone Underground and National Rail system).

Been there, done that, have no interest in EVER going back to it.

I'm happy to pay market prices for gasoline, as I drive a fuel-efficient car. The *last* thing we need is for government bureaucrats to come in, tax the piss out of gas, and hand over the money to some Amtrak-style "national transit initiative."

You're really smart on the bubble dynamics, Keith, but you should stick to that and leave the other politics out of it. Especially given that most of your other solutions ain't gonna work!

anon e. moose said...

Around $3.50/gal for 87 in Seattle area.

I'm too quietly rooting for increase in gas prices, so that all those idiots that exercised their "freedom" to buy gas guzzlers will have to sell/abandon them. Cruel, yes, but such is the price for learning to live within the means and NOT consume more than you need to.

There is a $30m plan in the works to put more bike lanes in the city. I hope it works out.

Anonymous said...

Gas prices can't go high enough for me, I vanpool to work, and with each tick of the gas pump, my vanpool seems to grow. Each new member drops our individual cost further thus the higher gas goes the lower our individual (and tax deductable) costs go!

Anonymous said...

Gas prices can't go high enough for me. With my Vanpool, every tick of the pump gets us more members and lowers our (tax deductable) individual costs.