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Gas Prices, again! No seriously, again!


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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">the current prices keep me from going to cruise nights and local shows. </div></div>

The real question will be will the higher gas prices keep people from driving long distances

to AACA events like the Grand National in Michigan or Hershey, etc?

Some people might not think twice about spending $500-700 just for gas for trips like this.

Unfortunately, when you add the cost of tolls, lodging, food, etc. a long distance trip to

an AACA event can easily run into a lot of money. Then again, some people think of these

events as vacations which make the cost easier to swallow.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

The real question will be will the higher gas prices keep people from driving long distances

to AACA events like the Grand National in Michigan or Hershey, etc? </div></div> One of two reasons I haven't made it to Hershey.

Other is that I don't want to drag my "Ritz Coleman" camper that far north to do 'winter' camping.

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I have heard rumors about a gas boy cot from the 15 - 19 this mo. I dont know if that will do any good,but something stinks in the gas bus. Price at local station where i buy went up 11 cents a gal. over nite and you know they didnt get a del. between closing and opening. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

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I wish some of my old posts were available. The price changes at your local station aren't because of what they paid for what's in the ground, but for its <span style="font-style: italic">replacement</span> cost. Higher prices today reflect their belief that they will have to pay more to get more in the future. That's really how supply and demand works, though it isn't as intuitive as most people think.

As far as things stinking in the industry, the problem is that they have what amounts to an oligarchy and inelastic demand. Though the oil companies probably don't collude, a movement by one is matched by the others. Unfortunately, margins aren't so great at any level and there's 0 brand loyalty such that cutting prices will not result in profitable market share gains, so nobody does that. But if one raises prices, they all follow (of course they do).

The rub is that because of our inelastic demand, we pretty much <span style="font-style: italic">have</span> to pay whatever they're asking. We don't have alternatives in most cases. Most of us live where we must drive our cars to work. Our consumer goods are delivered by truck. Our whole way of life is built around oil (and yes, it would make sense to make changes, but it won't give us any immediate relief). So if they raise the price to $10/gallon, we'll pay it beause we have to get to work and we have to buy groceries and groceries have to be delievered. They've got us by the short hairs until we make long-term changes in our lifestyles to reflect the price of fuel.

Oil companies are getting rich on volume, not by gouging. Here's the math: we use 19 million barrels of oil a day. Multiply that by 50 gallons per barrel. Multiply that by 365 days a year. That gets you a gross of 346,750,000,000 gallons used in America per year. Even if their profit margin is $0.10 per gallon of gas (about 3.33% at $3/gallon), that figures to about $35 billion a year in profit, which is pretty close to what they made in 2006. Their margins aren't any higher than most retail operations, and lower than most. But we use more of their stuff than almost anything else. <span style="font-style: italic">Volume.</span>

The other rub is that there's plenty of crude but not enough capacity to process it into gasoline. The bottleneck is on their end, not the oil production itself. Though supplies of oil may be drying up, they can still pull as much out of the ground as ever--they're just using what's left faster. And of course, oil companies have no incentive to build more refineries because they're selling all the gas they can make (no, it isn't because the tree-huggers in the government won't let them build more). Why dilute the supply and drive prices down after investing billions in new equipment? There's no way they'll throw money away by investing just to make less money as a reward.

I'm not an oil company apologist, but if we would use less, it would start to cost less (that's also how supply and demand works). And if you think about it in gross terms, how much is an extra dollar per gallon in your budget? I'm spending about an extra $20 or $25 a week to feed all my cars (2 4-cylinder daily drivers and a heavy-duty truck). Not that that is easy for everyone, but for many of us who can afford this hobby, that's like skipping a modest dinner out or giving up Starbucks. It stinks when I have to put $100 of gas in my truck to go to work, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't suck a whole lot more than $70 did.

PS: Boycotts are hogwash.

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I watched as gas went from $3.07 reg. yesterday in the space of a few hours to $3.11.

Longmont, CO. Diamond Shamrock.

Elsewhere in Longmont, 5 blocks south on Main st., it was $3.09 then $3.13. Same company.

No matter what you do, or what you think the answer is, petrolium is part of the very fabric of the society running everything or lubricating it, from water pumps, sewage treatment, to refrigerators, electricity power plants, etc.. We are not getting rid of oil anytime soon witout finding something else to take its place to do all that, and retooling the energy, agri-industry etc.. to handle the new 'whatever' that does finally replace petrolium. What is happening is consumers will bear the brunt of the cost (in direct opposition to the profits pulled in) and the sacrifice required to save it.

The bottomline is that in 100 years we have become dependant on oil to run every substructural mechanism that upholds our current standard of living. Coal was once the big source, now oil.

How do you wean Americans from their addiction to oil when the monkey on our collective back is what makes everything work? I like how it is ultimately the consumers fault for being lazy, greedy and thoughtless when it was industry that found a cheap source of energy to push its own profits, built a thriving middle class, a country with a standard of living next to none, and when it goes south... its the consumers at fault.

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Randall, the consumer is already adjusting. The news today said that WalMart profits are down bigtime!

Well now, maybe we didn't need all of those new "do-dads" that we end up buying there. Save your money for the important stuff, like gasoline! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

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I am adjusting too, Wayne. It cost me $51.00 to fill the tank in my Cadillac, the Chevy C10 took less than 5 gallons for $15.00. OK. Well no more evening drives. If we have to go anywhere it is to do as much as possible for that week. Cutting out extraneous spending and the like.

I never shop at Wal-mart. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Like some here... if I were on my own, I would have to drop the car. But thankfully not. Not yet at any rate.

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I want to ask 2 questions and hope I can do it with out runing out of time, If the a/c machene in my sons shop quits, and he has to have it fixed,(he did near 700 bucks) he cant rase prices to pay for it ,it comes from his pocket.I Might be wrong, but I think we me and you had something to do with paying for the Alaska pipe line. Now it needs repair and big oil wants to rase the price of gas to pay for it. How cum??#2 my eye dr. has 150 pair of frames in stock all paid for called invitory. If the price of eye glass frames gos up, he dont rase the price of what he has in stock. IF HE DID EVVERY BODY WOULD HOLLER GAUGE. Sorry,my thumbs are to big and I hit the wrong key <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />But Matt tells me its ok to rase the price of gas cause it will cost more to replace How cum. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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Wayne I run out of time and still had one foot left to stick in my mouth. For the record the independent gas station only makes about 12 cents a gal., so you really cant get to upset with him,but dont think for a second that the home office is squeaky clean. I was pumping ARCO when we had the lastgas shortage. you know, gas acording to your last plate # odd and evan. I closed up one nite and drove to a station I knew had been out of buss. for near a year. I pulled the caps off the underground tanks and stuck my hand down the fill pipe and tuched gas. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET THE TANKS THAT FULL IS TO LIFT THE HOSE!!!.They where using empty stations to store gas. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> But Matt tells me its ok to rase the price of gas cause it will cost more to replace How cum. </div></div>

Becuase the gas station needs that cash to buy the next load so he can sell <span style="font-style: italic">it</span>, and so on. And we keep on buying it! Gasoline demand (seasonally adjusted), while declining slightly of late is still at record levels. Until <span style="text-decoration: underline">that</span> changes, nothing will change.

gtpsusm.gif

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Like any commodity, it costs what it costs due to production costs, overhead and demand. We are stuck on it, with no easy way off it. Like I said before, even if we all stopped using gas, oil is still vital for everything that makes our society work physically. There is no short term answer. Until the energy industry comes up with another source and all of the various and sundry ways we produce the things we need to live in our society are retooled to work with that new thing, oil, petrolium, black gold, gas... is what it is. Our country is built now on being able to drive to where we need to go. We would have to restructure to build or resuffle all communities, large and small, to work within a normal period of walking or public transport. No more suburbs where you have to drive to the store, etc..

Then, when all that gas is being saved, the price will still go up and remain high so the energy companies can pay their way to retooling... keeping their people working and being paid... and on and on and on. Its that big.

So just saying to people, "Hey! Stop driving so much!" is putting the onus on the little guy to come up with the answer to something only the governments and powerful industry could possibly answer.

Even then, it will be us, the people, who will suffer to make it all work out.

Prices are not going to come down, not substantively. Americans pay less in fuel, tax and the rest of the material crap than the rest of the world. We are inordinately lucky that way until now.

So those without will do without. Those with a lot, will make more and save. When it all comes down to it, it works out and those who are simply unable to make it work, lose. Period.

The rest make do, until it eases and breathe a sigh of relief.

Now unless Dave can tell me how we can curb our greedy need for gas enough to ease up on industry and help those poor fellows trying to keep the oil running, I will just stay at home, and do without the things that are simply not necessary for life and limb. That is all I can do.

How about You? Got any bright ideas on how to work our way through it all?

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You did not have to trash up the thread with that... I know what is available. And it side steps the issue.

It is wonderful if you can afford one of the new hybrids. I am still uncertain as to the batteries and their pollution potential. You are still using OIL. One way or the other, it does not offer a solution to the problem.

I do think diesels running on vegetable oils is a viable answer to the problem, but the fuel is too open and available to allow the energy companies to control it as they do gas. So economically it is a non-starter unless you mix it with petrolium distillates. Or the Government could make the decision to buy or subsidize a hybrid for every family of three in the US to be used as the daily work car leaving whatever other vehicles to be used for recreation. That might work.

That is what I meant as a solution. Not just another picture of a Toyota Hybrid. Nice try. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> It is wonderful if you can afford one of the new hybrids. I am still uncertain as to the batteries and their pollution potential. You are still using OIL. One way or the other, it does not offer a solution to the problem. </div></div>

It doesn't side step anything, Randall. Lower demand <span style="text-decoration: underline">is</span> lower price, that's basic economics. Yes hybrids and other fuel efficient cars still use oil (unless you happen to run a TDI VW on neat biodiesel), but using <span style="text-decoration: underline">less</span> is where the power is. Shifting that enormous demand to another source or even several other sources just shifts the balance of power toward someone else instead of toward you. Use less of something, and you have the power back from those who hold the supply!

Also new hybrids aren't exactly expensive cars necessarily. You can buy the best of them for well under $25K, less than the average or median price for new car sales in general. And non-hybrid fuel efficient cars like the Chevy Aveo and Honda Fit are the most moderately priced cars out there.

As for daily transportation when a new car of any kind is out of the question, it's not as if people can't find used Civic CRX-HFs (55 mpg hwy), AMC Alliances (51 mpg hwy), or Dodge Colts (44 mpg hwy). <span style="text-decoration: underline">Everyone</span> can conserve. We are <span style="text-decoration: underline">not</span> helpless victims. Americans <span style="text-decoration: underline">do <span style="font-weight: bold">still</span></span> have will and backbone and <span style="text-decoration: underline">can</span> accomplish whatever we set out to do. Powerful trusts once held this country in in their grip just like they do now. They were beaten then, they can be beaten now.

Or we can sit at home and whimper.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I do think diesels running on vegetable oils is a viable answer to the problem, but the fuel is too open and available to allow the energy companies to control it as they do gas. So economically it is a non-starter unless you mix it with petrolium distillates. Or the Government could make the decision to buy or subsidize a hybrid for every family of three in the US to be used as the daily work car leaving whatever other vehicles to be used for recreation. That might work. </div></div>

Biodiesel is way cool, but supply is <span style="font-style: italic">very</span> limited. How many more french fries will Americans have to eat to replace the 950,000,000 gallons of oil we consume each day? Could they even grow enough vegetable crops to make that much biodiesel? Once it catches on, it may even become MORE expensive than regular oil because of scarcity. The invisible hand indeed.

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Got out the house last night for the first time this week. Gas at the top of the hill (3 blocks)has hit $3.03. Drove 6 miles across the Rappahannock River and found 3 stations selling gas for $2.81????????? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Must be an expensive toll or something for those tanker trucks to have to charge that much in extra freight charges for the 6 miles to my town! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Certainly couldn't be collusion on anyone's part, could it? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

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Spoke to a fellow Amphicar hobbyist from England recently and they are approaching $9 US for a gallon. Just think a year from now we could be happy for $3 a gallon gas? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

Remember when it hit $2 a gallon and everyone started canceling vacations, etc then a year or so later after approaching $3 if dropped to $1.95 for a brief period and everyone was happy, then back up. Head games by the oil companies. Gouge them till they scream then back off till they shut up. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

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You're right Ron.

I'm now comcerned about our fixed income AACA members attending our local driving tours. We have a 100 mile round trip tour this Saturday, so we'll see how this gas situation effects it.

Wayne

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Wayne

Let's say that the average gas mileage of the member's collector car is 12mpg (low, I know, but stick with me). That means that the total cost increase between $2 per gallon and $3 per gallon is a whopping $8. I can see why they'd rather stay home.

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You have brought up an interesting point, which I am sure Dave will have a perfect answer to, and that point is that in all of the talk of dollars per gallon and the adjustment for inflation, where is the percentage figures of a family's income that is dedicated to buying gas? Was that the same in 1950 as in 2007? Where were wages in 1950? I know that the income for most families has dropped slightly over the last 10 years while inflation has gone up. Industry is not keeping pace with inflation where the worker is concerned. While you may pay an additional dollar or two for each gallon, where is that money coming from for the modest to low income family?

And if you are on a fixed income, and say $900 of $1500 monthly goes to bills, leaving $600 for food, clothing, and gas (plus maintenance) and other incidentals, that dollar or two per gallon suddenly starts biting into the kitty. So we cut back on frivolous driving (does anyone frivolously drive any more?) combining trips so you only go out once. So I understand what Wayne is saying. It may not seem like a lot, but it can impact a strict budget. And really all Americans should be more concerned about budgetting, and spending within their wage limits. But if we all did that, the economy might fall down! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I know I beat this drum fairly frequently lately because I am on a fixed income. And it worries me.

I am afraid the answer is to do without rather than figuring any way possible to feed a desire. And that may have a negative effect on the hobby.

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Which leads me to my earlier post regarding the cost of new cars in relation to what they were 30 years ago.

If an $8 increase in a vintage car tour outing is going to keep someone home for the day, then they probably wouldn't go -- or couldn't afford to go -- in the first place. So, what I'm saying is that the number of people who go shouldn't change at all.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Which leads me to my earlier post regarding the cost of new cars in relation to what they were 30 years ago.

If an $8 increase in a vintage car tour outing is going to keep someone home for the day, then they probably wouldn't go -- or couldn't afford to go -- in the first place. So, what I'm saying is that the number of people who go shouldn't change at all. </div></div>

Ah! I get it. Good point! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

My son keeps telling me, no matter how bad it gets, there is nothing I, personally, can do about it. So enjoy the car while you can. If it gets to the point where you cannot, then we will do something about that.

I have a very supporting family... a true blessing. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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Chesapeake Region has a 160 mile round trip spring tour this Sunday with fess and lunch totaling $25 per person. 19 cars signed up with 40 people. Our local events this year have had good attendance, but they're free with nominal mileage for most members. People are irritated at $3 gasoline, but most seem determined to keep on doing what they are used to. Now if we get to $4 gasoline, maybe people will pull back.

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West, I see what you're saying, but we've been also eating together as a group and the last meal we had was a little more expensive than necessary. Better planning is required on our tour committee's part. We're working on this problem now.

Keep the faith, we're not all staying home yet! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

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Australian fuel price is above $7 per gallon in your money this morning. State and federal taxes take a big slice because they discovered that they could avoid a lot of the blame for the revenue they take; and it all started when a lot of our fuel came from cheap local crude oil and it didn't hurt people on the lower end so much. You have to use the principles of basic economics to do anything about the fuel price. The corporations don't so much compete with each other as compete with the customers for their cash. They use the Price Elasticity of Demand to set a market price that will maximise their return. If as customers descended from Solomon we could persuade enogh people to follow the same line, we could use the same Price Elasticity of Demand to force the fuel companies to compete with each other. If everyone refused to buy fuel from the biggest oil company the price would very quickly fall to the proper market level. We tried to get the media enthusiastic about spreading the concept but you cannot get a start. It seems to be considered that any interference with the right of corporations to harvest profit from the community is quite immoral and would provoke punitive litigation. You have to start the mass communication in another way such as perhaps big "bumper stickers" saying "Drive further on your dollar. Drive fuel prices down. Make ----- introduce price competition by refusing to buy their fuel". Or message to that effect. You need to get someone expert in communication in advertising to word the message perhaps, and spread the result online so people can print and distribute. And if it works don't grieve: There has never been a home for destitute children of corporate management.

Biodiesel is fine if you can get enough oil stock. Some people just filter the used cooking oil and mix it with diesel; but the glycerine tends to be unburned and detrimental, so it may not be too smart if you factor in rebuiling costs. Trans-esterified cooking oil is the proper way to do it. You either do it properly and rigorously, or not at all. You have to use Methanol, and Potassium Hydroxide; and you have to protect yourself from contact yourself from these and the mixture of them. Methanol attacks the central nervous system, and the first thing to show is damage to the optic nerve. Potassium hydroxide dissolves flesh painlessly, for a start. I am making filter equipment for the feedstock and the biodiesel right now, and and other equipment convenience before I start making a few test lots for myself.

The other thing that will improve the fuel and cost efficiency of a diesel is using gas in conjunction with it. By this I mean either LPG or compressed natural gas. For the latter you need a pressure vessel to carry it with you. I understand it works best on a turbocharged engine. You link the throttle control to a valve which admits the gas from a compound gas converter. This is fed into the intake upstream of the turbo. The linkage is such that the amount of gas increases more quickly than the diesel to the injectors, so you have maximum gas/diesel at cruising speed, but you can still give extra diesel for more power when needed. You also fit a switch to the throttle so that the gas supply to the gas converter is off when the engine is idling. You get a big increase in power and performance, and decrease in fuel cost. A diesel or compression ignition engine always has to operate with an excess of air to that required for theoretical complete combustion of the fuel. Nevertheless there is still considerable unburned fuel residue at all times from a normal diesel as you can smell, and the unburned nasties are not particularly beneficial for your health. If you fuel beyond 85% of the theoretical amount required for the oxygen in the cylinders you will create clouds of black smoke. Now by adding gas to the intake air you catalise the combustion of the diesel so you get a clean exhaust and useful power from the portion of the diesel that would otherwise have created exhaust nasties, and you also use the intake oxygen that would otherwise have been unused. You can work up to 50%gas, 50% diesel; so the whole arrangement is a very attractive improvement.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Compressed Natural Gas are probably undervalued as fuels for petrol engines. they have very high anti-knock rating and can be used with high compression ratio. But whereas we pay over $6 per gallon for road fuel, our esteemed Prime Minister recently celebrated a new long-term contract for supply of LNG to our honourable oriental industrial competitors for around 10 cents per gallon. Our industry and our domestic users cannot buy gas for that sort of price. Not within a bull's roar of it! I rather fear we are to blame for our own ruin of filling parliament with lower primates; but if everyone always voted against the sitting member we would have representatives more anxious to look after our interests; and that it would also weaken the un-democratic party structure that is critical in promoting the interests of corporations which do not coincide with those of the public. Please note that the above is written without any inappropriate disrespect intended.

Ivan Saxton

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I dont know what the solution is, but I truely think we are being riped off.I have heard of boy cots and strikes, and I dont think that will work,but I would like to relate an expereance. Discharged from the army and returning to the states I drove a beer truck for Utica Club befor starting a career as a auto mech. We wanted a increse in our pay scale and the companys wouldnt evan come to the table. The union took a vote and we decided to strike. The companys all said go ahead. We changed the ruls, instead of a general strike we picked the largest distributor which was genny, and all the drivers picketed them. Bud. uc., miller, all delivered. Took just three days to get everybody to the table. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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