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The Price of Petrol

05/18/2008 5:40 PM

We in the US love to complain about the price of gasoline..

Here in Houston average price is $3.50 to $3.80 USD for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline. ULSD Diesel is running about $4.30 a gallon. About a dollar a liter, for regular gas and about $1.13 per liter for diesel.

Doing a conversion based on todays exchange rate of 1 dollar to .64 Euro then that would work out to 0.64 Euro/liter for regular and 0.72 Euro/liter for diesel.

I already know that this is dirt cheap compared to Europe, but just for grins, what are you paying for petrol in your area? I found out the other day that in Brunei for instance they are paying 0.15 Euro/liter for diesel...

I expect that we in the US have little to complain about compared to most of the rest of the world...

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#1

Re: The price of petrol

05/18/2008 5:56 PM

It is so highly taxed here... (UK) I have given up looking at the price...
Why bother? I gotta fill 'er up else she'll stop running.
I put in £20 worth... the fill up interval just gets shorter. I do 'bad' miles unfortunately...lots of short (10minute) journeys in urban trafic.

I drive a Nissan Micra 1.4 Auto (We are a 1 car family...Mrs Cat bought it with her retirement money. ) I'd buy myself a little electric car if there was a decent one (I wonder if that nice Blink does any discount for CR4 members?)
Del

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#90
In reply to #1

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 2:32 PM

Del,

It does seem too bad that an electric car for short urban trips isn't available. It seems that there is an unrealistic goal for these vehicles to be able to match a tank full of petroleum with a battery pack. This keeps electic car prices unreasonably high. I think a 50 mile range would be plenty and cover most commuting needs. Electrics are inherently good for stop and go urban traffic, especially with regenerative braking.

Dave

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#105
In reply to #90

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 6:12 PM

...and if was possible to combine meter parking with a power socket as in Finland (for warming the engine cooling water in winter there!), it would get even better!!

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#109
In reply to #105

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 7:07 PM

Andy,

Most alternatives to gasoline/diesel fuel suffer from infrastucture problems. Rechargeable electrics can not only use the existing electrical grids, they can use it during off-peak hours when the rates should be low.

Dave

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#119
In reply to #109

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 2:29 AM

I know. I am also not a particular advocate of electricity either unless it can be made with a low carbon footprint at a low price....I did mention electrical sockets on parking meters in Finland, but that was all......battery performance is still not where it needs to be, neither is battery life or price or weight.....

My main complaint is that while the rest of the world have been paying more and more for gas at the pump, the USA was still "pumping out" Big heavy iron motors with heavy consumption, because your gas prices were until relatively recently, artificially low.

It seemed to proclaim, "If you've got it, use it!" attitude, no thinking for the next generations at all....

Now everyone is brought up short and are still stuck with a large number of older cars with Dinosaur engines, that will take a few more years to get rid of, that drink colossal amounts of gas.

Luckily while Detroit slept (again!), the car manufacturers in the rest of the world did their sums and there are plenty of engines around with relatively low consumption for their output power. Detroit will have to bite the bullet someday soon it would appear......

Also, car construction has now got to the point that relatively good structures for a crash can be built relatively easily and at a relatively low weight, I did not say light though.

I just want to see the resources used conservatively and not just squandered away.....

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#191
In reply to #119

Re: The price of petrol

05/23/2008 4:11 PM

Not to argue the social impact of petrol usage, but I find it most interesting that Andy states: "because your gas prices were until relatively recently, artificially low."

I think it would be more accurate to state that added taxes that double the price would make gas prices "artificially high" in other markets.

Interesting how we become programmed...

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#192
In reply to #191

Re: The price of petrol

05/23/2008 5:24 PM

Where did you previously low gas price get you to, world leader in usage!!! Wow, I am envious.....

For the normal Guy buying the gas, its immaterial what percentage goes where.....at least the higher taxes taught us to develop and use more efficient engines.....for many years......

That is what stopped Europe ever becoming a hive of V-8s, with 150BHP and pulling a 2.5 Ton car at 10 MPG.....

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#193
In reply to #192

Re: The price of petrol

05/23/2008 5:43 PM

Andy,

Good answer. This also has thrown us into Iraq and we are the ones that are financing the terrorists. We in the US, heavily subsidize the oil industry, even now with their record profits. We give a few million dollars to the ethanol industry and everyone starts to complain. Well at least the workers and owners (US farmers) of the ethanol plants are not using their profits to make bombs to kill off the infidels.

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#195
In reply to #90

Re: The price of petrol

05/23/2008 11:23 PM

You are right, the EV has a niche as a vehicle just for the urban, short-range driver who can afford a second gasoline/petrol powered car for the longer trips. Unfortunately even those EVs cost more than a regular car. Remember that a 50 mile range means 25 miles away then back home to recharge.

What if you built an EV that had a 25 mile round-trip range to handle about 80% of your driving, then you installed a small, clean, efficient steam engine to power a generator to keep the batteries charged for longer trips. That would give you both in one vehicle and would be cheaper than having two cars. E-mail -beesidemeusa@yahoo.co.uk and ask about steam-electric hybrids, there is a lot of info there.

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#200
In reply to #195

Re: The price of petrol

05/24/2008 2:55 AM

Taganan,

Did.

We took a little rear drive FIAT 500 of about '62 vintage, pulled the motor off the bellhousing and substituted a 32volt traction motor, c/w clutch. Added 36volts of batteries, and a very simple variable resistance speed controller. (That damned thing would do wheel stands in first gear.) It was used for getting to work daily, after being on the charger all night, a bit of running around town- lunches and the like- and home again in the PM. About 40miles/day.

Worked a treat.

Messing about with it broke things. We WERE just a litle more than kids then. Finally gave the whole thing away in favour of a Pontiac Laurentian. (shame shame shame)

Well, it was the early seventies and fuel was cheap.

I can't remember the cost of the exercise, but I can recall that we did struggle with the money supply to buy the bits, and engineering.

Stu

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#2

Re: The price of petrol

05/18/2008 8:01 PM

Here we are paying the equivalent of US$ 6.40 per US Gallon for Premium petrol (gasoline).

Diesel is currently the equivalent of US$ 5.44 per US Gallon.

I have remembered that the US gallon is a smaller measure than the original Imperial Gallon.

The government here takes a large proportion in the form of tax, then GST is added to the total, GST being a tax on a tax, with the original inmport price having customs duty, and other taxes on it, before the "main tax then plust the GST" are added.

The true (unsubsidised) cost of petrol should currently run at over US$42.00 per Litre.

That true cost, (over US$42.00 per Litre) is not a misprint, folks, remember that oil is a mostly non-renewable resource, being squandered from the Planetary Energy Bank.

Kind Regards....

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: The price of petrol

05/18/2008 11:52 PM

Sparky,

It is not that I don't believe you....... but I have a hard time accepting that while oil costs $120 per barrel ($2.85 / gal) that gasoline, unsubsidized, costs more-or-less $160 per gallon. That would be truly one hell of a markup; refining just don't cost that much. Where would I find reference to confirm this fact? (I am very curious where this came from. I think it is surely taken out of context in some way.)

In a quick search this breakdown of gasoline cost for the US state of California appeared.

As to US population complaining, well...... It is hard to believe any real business reason exists for doubling of gas prices recently unless prior to that the gas was being sold at a loss. No gas company ever sold their product at a loss as a routine matter. That leaves the reality that prices have risen exorbitantly due to simple greed combined with opportunity. Essentially we are being raped (financially, of course.) I understand rape is never pleasant, therefor you get complaints. It is completely understandable.

Comparing gasoline retail prices in US to that in other countries is equal to comparing apples and bananas. It is irrelevant. This is just a very common propagandist maneuver to distract from the true issues at hand.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: The price of petrol

05/19/2008 1:33 AM

Hello v1sor

The figure is arrived at, by the total cost of locating, drilling for, dry wells, geological disturbances, extracting, storing, pumping, transporting, refining, storing, transporting, pumping, tax and duties on everything all the way, then being partly burned in an Internal Combustion Engine, add to that the pollution costs, health costs, clean-up costs, and the climate interference.

In the very long chain of events, taxes, licence fees and so on, there are many inbuilt inefficiencies, which need to be allowed for, if the true costs are to be known.

Now, if you add all those up, and realise that there are also the costs of wasting the Planetary Energy Bank feedstock = Crude Oil, to partly burn it in such an idiotic and inefficient manner, instead of using the Crude Oil as a basis for Chemical Feedstocks, (plastics which are recyclable and non-toxic), then you may appreciate the massive subsidies which are built in to the Gasoline/diesel fuel (petrol/diesel) that perhaps you hadn't thought about.

In all of the above, there are the additional costs of building infrastructure, repair, maintenance, and replacement of same.

As you may now appreciate, much of the real costs of using Oil in the way we do, are "hidden costs", which is why I can say that the end product/s are heavily subsidised.

Do your own calculations by all means, but remember to add in all the true costs.

Yes, before you ask: I do use a diesel-powered automobile, for everyday use, so that makes me quite wasteful too, but at present there appears to be no alternative within my budget.

Of course there are many hidden costs involved with much of what we use everyday, I see no easy way around the problem, and perhaps it is something we should properly consider, before it is too late.

If you correctly do the Maths, to find out the percentage of taxation on most things you commonly use, you would be alarmed.

Presently in New Zealand, Import Duty/taxation/Licence fees/GST etc, comprise 86 cents in every Dollar which is spent to actually purchase anything, and I would expect a similar percentage in most "Western" Countries.

Kind Regards....

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#6
In reply to #4

Economic considerations

05/19/2008 10:27 AM

Your thoughts are clear. Economists sometimes refer to something called "shadow price."

  • Shadow price

  • The true economic PRICE of an activity: the OPPORTUNITY COST. Shadow prices can be calculated for those goods and SERVICES that do not have a market price, perhaps because they are set by GOVERNMENT. Shadow pricing is often used in COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS, where the whole purpose of the analysis is to capture all the variables involved in a decision, not merely those for which market prices exist.

This is from economist.com.

The fact that making gasoline disallows making plastic - opportunity cost.

Several of the things you list are costs of ownership, or use, and might be attributed to the end user. If the end user would just pick an engine that employs perfectly efficient combustion and no mechanical losses then there would be no such costs, no losses, no polution. It is the result of the end use, but not contributing to retail costs.

You are pointing out that it is a many-dimensional problem; it has complexity in a general sense. It impacts society in a variety of ways beyond the pump.

Very insightful (for a Sparkmeister!) GA2U

These things are not generally included in discussions or considerations of cost because they do not contribute to the price at the pump, and mostly have no quantifiable value.. (How can one put a value on the path not followed?)

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#12
In reply to #4

Re: The price of petrol

05/19/2008 11:33 PM

YES,,,TO FIGURE ALL COSTS, ONE MUST FIGURE THE COST OF THE PAY OFFS TO CLOWNS LIKE BUSH AND CHENEY AND THE REST OF THE REPUBLICAN MAFIA!

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#42
In reply to #12

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 9:13 AM

And don't forget the "democratic" idiots we haven't finished paying for yet like Clinton and Gore!

Way off mark and not insightful, And I apologize for responding to someone without the decency to sign his name!

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#57
In reply to #42

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 11:30 AM

You were enough "On topic" for me to award you a GA!!!

Its sometimes too easy to shoot down the Trolls, although it is the Troll Hunting season!!!

Which runs from 00:00 on Jan 1st to 23:59 on 31st December of course!!!

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#66
In reply to #57

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 11:51 AM

I guessing that your assuming the politicians take 1 minute off to watch the ball drop at Times Square?

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#70
In reply to #66

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 12:05 PM

Funny answer!!

But in actual fact, there is no wasted time (as many believe!) if I had fully and correctly written it out (which I neglected to do.....)

That is, 23:59:59 is followed one second later by 00:00:00. Which is why all Military's in the world NEVER write 24:00:00 as it never actually happens.

Some civilian clocks around do display 24:00:00, but then they do not display 00:00:00, but go directly onto 00:00:01, otherwise if their internal timing is fully correct, they would be 1 second out each day.....not a great deal I have to admit....

Most Armies just ignore the seconds and abbreviate it to 23:59 and 00:00.....

24:00:00 and 00:00:00 are exactly the same time........

Now that should put the cat among the Pigeons again!!!!

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#104
In reply to #70

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 6:03 PM

I have no military background, but I used to write plant utility shutdown letters. What I learned from the experience is there is no 12:00AM or 12:00PM. 12:00 is identified as being noon or midnight. Before I learned that fact, I would CYA be using 12:01AM, 11:59PM, etc, to be clear what I thought I meant to communicate to plant operations.

Another bit of useless trivia rattling in the cobwebs of my mind!

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#31
In reply to #4

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 6:00 AM

Hi Sparky,

Although off the topic, I wonder if you could help me. I have no power to my house, all my neighbours seem to be OK>

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#34
In reply to #31

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 8:14 AM

I am shocked to see such a messy cables in OZ. We have such messy cables in villages in India too.

Suresh Sharma.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 8:28 AM

Yep, It's just outside his house. Buggers up his TV reception no end, as well.

There was some talk in the neighbourhood that it was keeping nearly all of the people in the street awake nights.

Big birds nesting.

Heh!

Cheers

Stu.

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#41
In reply to #35

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 9:04 AM

Don't take the piss out of him Stu!!!!!!

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#40
In reply to #34

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 9:02 AM

Sorry to diappoint you Suresh.............this is in India.

I am sorry................this was a joke for Sparkstation.

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#48
In reply to #40

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 10:42 AM

NO, this is a doctored picture.

Indians may be poor and getting all the service calls from US companies but NOT STUPIDS to get power thgis way.

As far as the gas price is concerned, we all will be filling up our cars and driving as we do now and and as we were driving 20 years ago. We may use smaller cars but driving habits shall not change. Whoever thinks that he/she will be driving less, lives in fools' paradise. I do not care how much does it cost, we will always have enough money to buy gas (Petrol to our friend, on the other side of thge ponds, like Atlantic and Pacific)

I am not being obnoxious or any thing of that sort, just realistic. Somr folks may think otherwise and respectfully I would tell them that this is my opinion. A opinion only.

I have a Focus and fills up with 42 dollars now and Nissan Quest takes 65 dollars to fill up and it is does three times a month plus Colorado 2006 truck for my teenager son in University of Texas in Austin. He also fills up for 48 dollars twice a month. All the driving has to be done so why worry. If gas is more expensive then my salary has also gone up and I do not feel the crunch. Not at present and we will see what the future hold. If we do not get that idiot's regime part III in the face of John Macain, things may turn out to be better.

So, folks, do not worry and pay for the gas happily as by bruding upon the necessary expenses will make your life shorter an the gas would still be expensive.

I am quite sure every one has the income raised by the annual cost of living adjustment so why to worry about. Yes it hurts the pocket book but we do not have any control on it. It is just like Tax by IRS and death by Almighty God. (for believers only)

Y'all have a very nice and safe weekend.

Regards;

Nadeem Butt

05202008

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 10:48 AM

There are some of us that have not experienced any increase in our income to help compensate for the increase in prices. In fact most of the wage earners have not experienced much of an increase. It is hurting the majority, not the few that can already afford it.

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#96
In reply to #31

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 4:33 PM

Hello MOBI

I have stayed up all night, analysing your problem, as I know the result is important to you.

Evidently you sent your above Post message from your laptop, and the battery needs recharging.

The problem was a loose connection, not easily seen, but I saved the picture, enlarged it, and then pixel by pixel, looked carefully for the cause, and I sent a repairman round at once, when the cause was located.

The repair should by now, be completed.

I have attached a picture of the completed work, after the repair.

Only too pleased to be of assistance

Kind Regards....

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#140
In reply to #96

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 11:56 AM

Thank you very much squire..............I am now back on my PC.

I owe you one for all that hard work sparky!! !

!

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#135
In reply to #31

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 11:21 AM

It looks remarkably similar to an installation seen in the main street in La Paz, Bolivia.

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#51
In reply to #4

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 10:58 AM

not to doubt that this is a sincere attempt to determine the actual total costs of a gallon of gasoline but I have two questions.

In the first place the consumer cost of fuel isn't going to add in environmental and health issues, etc. etc. so I'm not sure this is going to add up to the price of a barrel of oil versus the price of the gasoline made from that barrel. So it's really not relevent to the price of a gallon of gas at the pump, is it? It seems like more of a policy statement.

Second, when you start trying to calculate clean up costs, environmental costs (same thing), health costs, etc. you're not talking about a real monetary value, it's just a swag. The kind of math Al Gore would use, isn't it?

Trying to be environmentally responsible is a good idea but I've found that injecting this level of hyperbole into an engineering discussion is counterproductive.

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#58
In reply to #3

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 11:41 AM

Oil companies often operated at a loss when oil was $15 or $20 a bbl. Where was congress then to help the oil companies? Now when they are making money they get raked over the coals by congress. The oil companies do not set the cost of oil. If there were no demand for it or if there was an oversupply of it then the cost would be lower. Right now with the demand structure as it is every drop of oil is spoken for the second it is pumped. The ending stocks month to month or quarter to quarter are next to nothing.

There are two ways to lower the cost of oil. One is to increase production. This is not as simple as opening the valve a bit wider. This means more oil wells most notably offshore of the continental US and of course, ANWAR. However the environmental lobby has seen to it that the cork remains on these oil fields (at least by US oil companies). China is or will be drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with Cuba being their base of operations. This is oil that the US oil companies could go after if were it not for the Siera Club and the rest of the eco-economic terrorists that is the eco-lobby. (Their main goal is not saving the environment but rather to trash the US economy and the US industrial complex.)

As has been pointed out a large part of the price of fuel in Europe is taxation. To compare apples to apples you have to remove the tax from European and US fuel costs. Taxes are a way of social control. I would imagine people in Europe would love to see lower taxes on petro. Taxes on fuel in the US are also high. Look at the cost brakedown that someone posted earlier. State and Federal taxes come up to $0.66 a gal. while the money going to the refiner is labeled Distribution Costs, Mayketing Costs and Profits $0.13 and Refinery Cost and Profits $0.24 for a total of $0.37 cost AND profit for the producer. If cost AND profit are only $0.37 then it is reasonable to assume the profit is about half that or about $0.18 or $0.19 a gal.

Here in Washington State the state taxes are even higher and will be going up each year for the next several years.

Why has the US government done to help produce that gasoline and diesel? Nothing other than obstruction and road blocks. Why isn't Big Oil demanding answers from Congress? They should be other than the other way around.

When some politicians say that suspending the federal gas tax for the summer would only add up to about $30. I bet I use more than 167 gal of gas this summer and also suspending the tax would take pressure off of the transportation companies and the costs that are passed on to the consumer.

One last point... Oil is priced in US Dollars. When the Canadian Dollar surpassed the greenback for a very brief period of time the Canadians were overjoyed. It didn't take long before they saw a slow down of their own economy as a result of lower economic activity from Americans as well as a whole host of cascading economic activity. Then the Canadians didn't think a weak US Dollar was so great of an idea. A strong US Dollar is good for most of the world. A large component of the higher oil costs are tied to a weakening US Dollar.

In short if you want lower gas prices you have to have lower oil prices. The only way to get that is to have lower demand or higher production. I do not see demand going down any time soon. Even if more people start driving hybrids or electric vehicles the total demand will not go down significantly.

Travis

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#81
In reply to #58

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 12:58 PM

In short if you want lower gas prices you have to have lower oil prices. The only way to get that is to have lower demand or higher production. I do not see demand going down any time soon. Even if more people start driving hybrids or electric vehicles the total demand will not go down significantly

Partly... The cartel (Saudis) have made it clear that they will not oversupply to bring down prices...and drive up demand. And, conversely.

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#88
In reply to #58

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 2:28 PM

I am looking for the answer to one question in this debate/discussion. Why is the price of gasoline generally pegged to the price of sweet crude oil on the "spot market"? Most major users or oil companies don't buy crude on the spot market, rather on long term contract basis. [I suggest that the value of an oil company is tied intrinsically to the amount of oil reserves it has and the value of those reserves. An increase in sweet crude increases the value of the reserves and the company's value, which is important to a CEO wanting to increase his value to the company.]

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#130
In reply to #88

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 10:42 AM

Gasoline is traded on the spot market as well, and gasoline futures are driven by emotion as are oil futures. The price of oil goes up and it emotionally drives the price of gasoline.

You'll also notice that the moment there is a refinery fire or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that gasoline prices immediately begin to move up. That is pure emotion...

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#131
In reply to #130

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 10:52 AM

I agree with you only on my end I would interpret it as "Pure Excuse."

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#134
In reply to #131

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 11:13 AM

I was told by an Econ Professor that the vote of the "dollar" by the consumer is the vote the companies listen to. When we drive 6,000 lb SUV we should hide our head in shame. Again, I think the most important thing that we "peons" can do is conserve - conserve and find alternative energy sources that aren't controlled by big oil.

The new motto in industry is to price a product so high that you lose 5-10% of your sales. Then you know you have priced the product high enough. Do you want to get even with the oil companies quit giving them your dollars.

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#136
In reply to #134

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 11:24 AM

I agree with you.

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#157
In reply to #134

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 7:10 PM

I was told by an Econ Professor that the vote of the "dollar" by the consumer is the vote the companies listen to. When we drive 6,000 lb SUV we should hide our head in shame. Again, I think the most important thing that we "peons" can do is conserve - conserve and find alternative energy sources that aren't controlled by big oil.

The new motto in industry is to price a product so high that you lose 5-10% of your sales. Then you know you have priced the product high enough. Do you want to get even with the oil companies quit giving them your dollars.

>>>>>>>>>>>

Be ashamed for having the economic resources (money) to be able to drive a 6,000 lb SUV? Nothing Do'n! I don't buy into the BS that we, the US is only 3% of the world population and account for 25% (30, 40, 50% depending on how histarrical the person is speaking) of the world's consumption.

That statement does not take into account what we do with the resources we do use - namely use them for the factors of production that keeps the world economy going.

If the US economy disappeared tomorrow there would be dancing in the streets of many countries in the world... right until they realize that the US economy is the engine that keeps the world's economy going. Also, if the US economy disappeared so would all of the foreign aid hand outs that that most all of the recipients gladly take, never show any gratitude and spit in our collective faces in the process.

Nope, I don't buy into the economics of shame.

Travis

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#158
In reply to #157

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 7:39 PM

That consumption doesn't just apply to automobiles. Crude oil is used for a lot of things and gas is just a byproduct. There's plastic that is made from crude oil along with solvents and and such. We are also big in consuming a lot of electricity.

The United States consumes the most in petroleum products in the world and China ranks second.

We might have only 6% of the population but we are the most inefficient when it comes to public transportation. We have a few cities that are good but then there's the rest of the United States that is left to commuting from suburbs to their place of work everyday. What is really bad is that a lot of the streets in our major cities are designed for Model-T's and is a cause for a lot of our traffic congestion in the major cities.

You can look around and see all the waste we have in our country. The regular American can careless about conservation. It's all about feeling good now.

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#161
In reply to #157

Re: The price of petrol

05/22/2008 8:30 AM

Well - I think I got an earful there.You make many good points especially about our economy. The number that worries me is that in the last 50 years the world has consumed 50% of the natural resources. Is that a true statement?? It maybe close. What are we leaving for our grandchildren?? What will they have for an energy source?? This fossil fuel that we have is a treasure and we shouldn't be wasting it driving a 6,000 lb vehicle used to move a 200 lb person. That is wrong and only because it uses so much petro. I love the ride. But no matter what we think the cost of fuel is not controlled by us and it looks like the price of petro will determine how much we use.

PS - all the oil (if it does exist) that we are not allowed to drill for may someday be used by your grandchildren.

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#139
In reply to #130

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 11:39 AM

Gasoline is traded on the spot market as well, and gasoline futures are driven by emotion as are oil futures. The price of oil goes up and it emotionally drives the price of gasoline.

...as well as inflation is triggered and spurted by expectations of one.

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#155
In reply to #130

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 6:56 PM

You'll also notice that the moment there is a refinery fire or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that gasoline prices immediately begin to move up. That is pure emotion...

Yes and no. An oil platform or multiple platforms being damaged or otherwise going offline because of a hurricane is a disruption of supply. Most months the oil reserves (the difference between supply of that period and usage for that period) are very slim. If a platform or group of platforms go offline that account for 2% of the supply that is 2% that has to come from somewhere. If it isn't available (in terms of oil reserves) then the price will go up.

The same happens when a pipeline is vandalized in Venezuala or Central America.

Something else that has to be remembered is that a barrel of oil is 42 gal, but not all 42 gal of that barrel are available to be distilled into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel (kerosene). Crude oil is a composite of many different constituants all having different volatilities. The crude is fractionated into similar levels of volatility. You can not get gasoline from the heaviest constituants of a barrel of oil.

If you want to see emotion in the market look at the OJ, or more speciffically FCOJ markets. The OJ market goes rocketing up every time there is foul weather in Florida yet Florida accounts for a small percentage of the OJ production, and for the most part is lower quality OJ to boot.

Travis

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#156
In reply to #155

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 7:02 PM

You need to register so we can give you good votes and have the credit show.

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#159
In reply to #156

Re: The price of petrol

05/21/2008 8:21 PM

Every disruption in the GA-GA market brings an immediate emotional panic in the worldwide poster child "community."

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#167
In reply to #159

Re: The price of petrol

05/22/2008 9:45 AM

Sure but I think we're mostly all adults here and can handle it.

It's still a nice feeling when someone acknowledges your input with respect.

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#194
In reply to #155

Re: The price of petrol

05/23/2008 9:37 PM

Sorry Travis, my point was that the moment a hurricane appears the price goes up. Not the moment a platform is damaged.

Just because a hurricane appears in the gulf does not mean anything will be damaged.

I still maintain that emotional reaction is big part of what drives the oil and gasoline futures market.

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#199
In reply to #194

Re: The price of petrol

05/24/2008 2:40 AM

Steve,

The same forces which elevate our gas (petrol) prices at 0926am each day after the days first announcement that the o'night oil price has risen to whatever it has risen to.

I won't have it that the bloody oil companies are not screwing us in a major way, too.

I KNOW the 'guvmunt' is. If they actually used the taxes collected from petroleum products to make/repair the roads, as stated when the tax was proposed originally and indeed when passed in the legislature, we'd have the best roads in Chrisendom.

I've looked in vain to find the IMMEDIATE price reduction at the gas pumps when the o'night price of crude goes down. Mostly takes a few days.

Who's having a lend of whom?

(First-place to the banks who debit my account IMMEDIATELY, on the keystroke, when transferring money to others. Where does the money go in the ensuing 2.5 days before it hits the payee's account?)

Isn't it great to be a "Grumpy Old Man"?

Cheers

Stu.

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#314
In reply to #199

Re: The price of petrol

07/05/2008 12:08 PM

Hi Stu,

If they actually used the taxes collected from petroleum products to make/repair the roads, as stated when the tax was proposed originally and indeed when passed in the legislature, we'd have the best roads in Chrisendom.

Having just come back from a months holiday in Qld, on the Sunshine Coast I can tell you one thing mate...........driving from there to the Gold Coast and back............it's good............the only thing I had a problem with is the speed limit............are all the Qld cars speedos incorrect............or don't Qld drivers obey the speed limit(maybe most have numeracy problems.

Whatever you do don't complain.............here in South Australia I think the government must have shares with manufacturers of traffic lights..............the don't even know about overpasses, underpasses, large round-a-bouts etc.

The last motorway they built goes one way from 0100-1200, the from 1300-2400 the traffic flows the other way...............this place is beyond being backward!!!!!

This photo came from some one in Western Australia.

Long live the traffic lights..................aaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!!!

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#316
In reply to #314

Re: The price of petrol

07/05/2008 10:02 PM

Mobi,

Damn! You should have called in. There'd have been 'a nice cup of tea, and a chat'.

Speedos? What speedos? Rear-view mirrors? What mirrors? There's nothing wrong with the anarchy up here,mate.

Yes, you're right. There are a few really good roads around here, Although some of the really heavily trafficed ones like the Cunnungham Highway from the Gap out to Goondiwindi is a bitch. I go this way to Dubbo fairly regularly and I can see that not enough work is done to this road. The NSW side is much better (heaps). Country roads only seem to get attention just before elections.

What did you observe whilst you were here? Speed limits? Courtesy? I think you're right about the numeracy here. On the M1, four lanes each way as you know,I see the third lane as being the preferred one for travelling in. I've asked some, and been told that no-one wants to be seen as a 'slow driver'. Won't travel in the left-hand lane at all. Trucks in the second (from left) and third lanes. The fourth, 'fast' lane is for young blondes in pink economy runabouts, and 'sports cars' and those with upmarket SUV's and 'prestige' marques all exceeding the posted limit by at least 15km/hr. Me? I'm in the left-hand lane overtaking the second laners sitting on 90kph. There's no-one else there. I had a visitor from UK with me a few weeks ago and he said that in the UK I'd be cited for overtaking in that lane. I pointed to the posted limit sign and countered with the fact that it was the limit, in every one of those lanes, and as other traffic was not following regulation it was within my rights to travel at the limit in that lane.

I've been fortunate to have driven in a lot of countries, and have good inpressions of a lot of them, however I'm only an adopted Qld'er, and I do see that there are quite a few traits peculiar to the area. Some, quite at odds with common sense, and indeed as practised by other countries very successfully. One that is indelibly emblazoned in the mind is the local practise when merging. I've seen cars stopped in the merging lane, waiting for the 'hole' in the motorway traffic so as to proceed. AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

And, the local practise of reducing a four-lane road to two (again, ??????) by running out the 'slow lanes'. I find the system in the UK is better. They run out the fast lanes. Sense, ( well, to me anyway) really. Reducing the available carriageways requires a reduction in speed, and the way the legislation is written here, it is reqiured by law to give way to those on the right. Consistency, really.

I spend a lot of my daily time in traffic and it really gets my blood boiling sometimes, when I see what's happening out there. The proliferation of traffic lights wasting fuel by the barrel. I'm sometimes convinced that the road and traffic 'designers' must dream up these things in their nightmares.

Ah Well.

Once more into the breach.

Cheers,

Stu.

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#318
In reply to #314

Re: The price of petrol

03/04/2009 10:02 PM

What kind of traffic light is this? Please reply to mkelley086@gmail.com

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#319
In reply to #318

Re: The price of petrol

03/04/2009 11:56 PM

I guess this kind of traffic light could be useful for this one.

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#89
In reply to #58

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 2:31 PM

Hi Guest,

  1. You state that there are only to ways to lower the cost, then go on to deal almost exclusively with the increased supply. In your final paragraph you mention and then dismiss the other option - using less gas. About two years ago I realized that the price of gas was only going to increase. I sold my house in the mountains, and moved my family and business to town. My gas bill has gone from $600 to $800 per month to $200 per month (four drivers) in spite of a 25% price increase. We'll be replacing my 20 mpg pickup with a 50 mpg Prius soon. My heating and electric bills have dropped from $500 to $600 per month to under $200. Where we live now is far less beautiful, and far less peaceful than my home in the mountains, but we will adjust. Conservation is clearly possible, the potential savings are significant, and can be achieved on a short time scale. The flip side is that any increase in production from continental shelf or north slope drilling will take years, and will be minor in terms of total volume compared to the amounts we import. I would also point out that the Gulf of Mexico is not off limits to US oil companies.
  2. Everybody says they hate taxes, but the fact is we get something back in exchange: roads to drive on. All that oil wouldn't be of much use if there was no where to drive.
  3. Your statement that the people and organizations concerned with protecting the environment have a secret agenda to destroy capitalism is beneath contempt. When you can't paint 'em all with a broad brush, use a roller, or better yet break out the Wagner! Yes there are environmentalists who are also Marxists, but there are also a lot of ordinary working people and business people who are concerned about our degradation of the earth, and who support the goals of the environmental movement. There are also business people who think democracy, taxes, government regulation, and human rights are an infringement to their right to amass money and power, but that doesn't mean we can label all business people oligarchs or fascists.
  4. The connection between our wasteful use of energy and the weak dollar is not debatable. A strong dollar may be good for the world, but the dollar is weak for good reason. We buy too much oil, and waste too much of it. We borrow money from overseas to pay for it. We may fool ourselves that this debt is manageable, but the rest of the world does not agree. The weak dollars is how they tell us that they don't trust our ability to repay the loans.
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#197
In reply to #89

Re: The price of petrol

05/24/2008 12:25 AM

Your answer to Travis sounds very familiar, especially in your reaction to his criticism of some environmental groups. "

"Your statement that the people and organizations concerned with protecting the environment have a secret agenda to destroy capitalism is beneath contempt. When you can't paint 'em all with a broad brush, use a roller, or better yet break out the Wagner! Yes there are environmentalists who are also Marxists, but there are also a lot of ordinary working people and business people who are concerned about our degradation of the earth, and who support the goals of the environmental movement. There are also business people who think democracy, taxes, government regulation, and human rights are an infringement to their right to amass money and power, but that doesn't mean we can label all business people oligarchs or fascists."

I doubt that Travis means groups which are sensible about conservation and is thinking of those which are more extremist in their views and actions, which he defines as being Marxist and anti-American industry. Yes, the Sierra Club can take some extremely absurd positions. Even you admit there are some environmentalists like those he mentions. Sounds like a knee-jerk reaction by someone a bit sensitive about being an environmentalist who may have those tendencies.

I still hope you can adjust to living in the city. I would resent with great bitterness being forced to live in a city, especially if it were done by taxes on fuel in excess of what was needed for highways. Feel sorry for the Europeans who are taxed for the purpose of forcing them to drive less, own smaller cars, make them live in cities, use public transport and many of the secondary roads are still one-lane nightmares full of holes, because the money is used for projects that buy votes.

Another cause of the weak dollar is raising the minimum wage, thereby increasing all wages proportionally, with no increase in production. The one sensible thing to do is produce more of our own fuel, never export fuel just to make more $ elsewhere and tell the whining anti-capitalist, anti-American environmentalists groups [and just those groups] to take a flying leap. Then we also have to be energy efficient. But no one should have to make a sudden major change in standard of living. There are many things in the works which can reduce energy costs. There are alternatives to oil, such as making synthetic gas from coal at a much lower price. Unfortunately the government and politicians of both parties are more of a roadblock than enablers.

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#204
In reply to #197

Re: The price of petrol

05/24/2008 12:25 PM

"the Siera Club and the rest of the eco-economic terrorists that is the eco-lobby. (Their main goal is not saving the environment but rather to trash the US economy and the US industrial complex.)"

Travis may well believe that there are 'reasonable' environmental groups, but there is not a hint of that in his statement. On the contrary this is a categorical statement:

the eco-lobby = eco-economic terrorists

not:

the eco-lobby = eco-economic terrorists + some other reasonable groups

What I am sensitive about is the use of cheap debating tactics, the use of the same old shop worn right-wing or left-wing 'talking points' in a rational grown-up discussion. The slogans about 'government is the problem', 'environmentalism is a subversive plot' are well known staples of the conservative movement.

As to your concern about people being forced by taxes 'to drive less, own smaller cars, make them live in cities, use public transport', it seems to me that most of the Europeans (who have been through this) posting in this discussion are pretty content with their situation. They take some pride in having already made the the transition to greater fuel efficiency. They seem to be incredulous and slightly amused that it is taking the US so long. The 'bitterness' seems only to come from this side of the pond.

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#208
In reply to #204

Re: The price of petrol

05/25/2008 5:17 PM

"The slogans about 'government is the problem', 'environmentalism is a subversive plot' are well known staples of the conservative movement." This accusation is a well known staple of the leftist movement as well.

The government [at various levels] does present a roadblock to more energy efficiency and greater supplies of domestically produced energy and some very vocal and litigious environmental groups do lobby and go to court to get their way, despite the wishes of the majority of the people. [At least the majority of those I have talked to, not all of whom are Republicans or conservatives.]

"What I am sensitive about is ...", apparently any criticism of environmentalism. It offends you and apparently you take it personally. You write like it makes you angry to be offended.

I get upset when environmentalists forbid a person to plow his fields because they think there might be an endangered species there, even though they have never found one, or when they put a farmer in jail for filling in a corner of a field that had standing water in it for a month saying it was a "wetland", or when they keep people from trimming back underbrush so their homes won't burn in forest fires, or want to ban hunting and fishing as "cruelty to animals" and the list goes on. The same goes for all the NIMBY types who cry their crocodile tears about the poor and then make sure that new industrial plants get located in those neighborhoods to "provide jobs".

If the taxes on fuel were used to improve highways and for no other purpose I would have no objection to them, but we both know that it all goes into the general fund to be used as the politicians see fit. And if building a highway bridge across a lake to save 15 miles travel will buy a congressman a few thousand votes, just pork it in no matter how many million it wastes. I am constitutionally opposed to having the government "force" certain behaviors on people through taxation or by prohibition.

The Europeans are definitely not happy about the cost of fuel, nor the high taxes, yet they are justifiably proud of the fact that they can get more hp from a smaller engine and more mpg in the same size of car. That is a result of better engineering and having lower incomes, so they demanded more for less. They too are not happy with OPEC and they also struggle with their own far-out environmental groups whose feet are kissed by the politicians.

I am not "bitter" about the situation, I am angry because there are sensible solutions that are being blocked by what I consider nonsense. You might consider some of those solutions I favor as nonsense. But I would venture to say you would be amazed at how much we can agree on. As a Goldwater Republican [as was Hillary Rodham] I had a Students for a Democratic Society member for a roommate and he was surprised at how many things we agreed on.

The price of petrol/gasoline is too high everywhere. Increasing the price through taxes is not right. We need [in the US] to produce more of our own oil and alternative fuels, including synthetic gasoline from coal. While doing this we also have to continue to research other ways to propel a new type of standard size vehicle 400 miles at the same price [adjusted for inflation] as present cars and keep it convenient to use. All the ideas I have yet seen would require two types of car, 2 vehicles, at such a cost that most people who now have cars could not afford them, or one expensive car that would severely curtail range, capacity, convenience and size.

Some environuts might say, "There's too much drivin' goin' on out there!" and be happy that people couldn't drive.

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#209
In reply to #208

Re: The price of petrol

05/25/2008 5:36 PM

GA Taganan,

Another well thought response.

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#210
In reply to #208

Re: The price of petrol

05/26/2008 6:38 AM

GA

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#212
In reply to #208

Re: The price of petrol

05/27/2008 9:50 AM

This is a article I ran across today. Here is a section of the article to think about.

I personally feel we in the US need to conserve energy as much as possible so as to save some fossil fuel energy for the next generation.

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, May 23, 2008 4:20 PM PT

As President Bush said at a recent press conference, the Department of Energy has estimated that ANWR development, vetoed by Hillary Clinton's husband in 1995, would add a million barrels of oil to our daily supply.

That, he said, "translates to about 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel every day." And that, he continued, "would be about a 20% increase of oil . . . and likely mean lower gas prices."

In last week's annual scapegoating of Big Oil, John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., told his Senate inquisitors: "This persistent denial of access is costing American consumers right out of their pocketbooks."

ANWR is only the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended. The outer continental shelf holds an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil and 635 trillion feet of natural gas. If allowed to develop these resources in Alaska, the shelf and elsewhere, U.S. reserves would increase by a factor of five, and we'd jump from 11th to fourth in the world in the size of our proven reserves.

Enough, in other words, to make OPEC blink — and gas prices drop.

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#217
In reply to #208

Re: The price of petrol

05/27/2008 6:07 PM

G A Taganan. Very well considered. New energy sources are the key.

Dragon

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#218
In reply to #208

Re: The price of petrol

05/27/2008 6:33 PM

And from me.

Stu.

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#219
In reply to #218

Re: The price of petrol

05/27/2008 6:38 PM

Me too..

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#206
In reply to #197

Re: The price of petrol

05/24/2008 4:28 PM

The one sensible thing to do is produce more of our own fuel, never export fuel just to make more $ elsewhere and tell the whining anti-capitalist, anti-American environmentalists groups [and just those groups] to take a flying leap.

"The one sensible thing" appears to be three things. I can't say that any one of these three things seems "sensible" to me, but I could be misinterpreting:

produce more of our own fuel:

Forcing oil companies to produce more would require legislation that would be impossible to pass. There is nothing preventing the oil companies from producing more. But why would they want to produce more, any more than De Boers would want to produce more diamonds. The sort of communist approach you recommend doesn't seem reasonable or sensible for America. The oil companies will do what they can to maximize profit -- and they are doing well at that right now.

never export fuel just to make more $ elsewhere

This is completely silly. What sort of draconian legislation would be required to prevent oil companies from exporting fuel just to make money? Oil companies operate with the stated purpose "just to make money." America is a capitalistic country, and oil companies hold sway over congress. Only in a totalitarian regime would such control over companies and markets be possible, end even then would seem counter-productive: the UUSR didn't do all that well, did it? Most stockholders would consider pulling out of exporting to be malfeasance on the part of the most boards of virtually any company.

tell the whining anti-capitalist, anti-American environmentalists groups [and just those groups] to take a flying leap

How would we identify such groups? How would "take a flying leap" translate into actionable items -- I can't imagine just saying the words would accomplish anything, particularly with so many Americans being so concerned over the environment and so strongly in support of environmental groups. Even if we were to overcome democracy, and create legislation by magic instead of by representation, then what anti-American soul do we find to deliver the stinging words? Who would want to appear so stupid?

Then we also have to be energy efficient. But no one should have to make a sudden major change in standard of living.

Perish the thought that we may need to change. Probably better to go slow and wait for the waters to rise into the financial district of NYC before doing anything. How are you planning to accomplish this magic feat of becoming energy efficient without changing our standard of living?

To get on par with other highly-developed countries, we would need to cut our per-capita consumption in half. Following the European approach, we could do this while improving our standard of living in a meaningful sense: cleaner air, better education, lower crime, closer-knit families, greater tolerance. They've already shown us these goals can be accomplished. However, you seem to be arguing against the European approach, and in favor, (as enumerated above) of a more communistic, totalitarian, anti-capitalistic, anti-American approach. I don't know that you could sell this in America. But sometimes, seemingly off-the-wall approaches can stimulate thought in others (even if antithetical) and get things moving. I suppose one could say there's more to the world than rationality.

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#220
In reply to #206

Re: The price of petrol

05/28/2008 6:58 PM

"one" was left in by error, so nit-pick. The whole point was not about forcing anyone, but to stop forbidding them to drill for and pump more domestic oil. Regulating the export of strategic material has precedent in law. They could sell it for any price the domestic market would bear and we would still have to import a lot of oil. Export control is not price control and the whole point of allowing domestic oil production is to benefit us with a supply we can count on. I have no objection to a company making a profit, but in this case there is an artificial scarcity because our politicians kowtow to radical environmentalists and prevent us from producing our own oil.

Legislation already exists which bans certain exports and it is far from draconian. "... oil companies hold sway over congress." Of course they hold sway over some and it is the multinationals which hold the most $, but politicians know that it is the environmental lobbyists who can swing the vote with some bleeding heart lies about nature. Obeying a law cannot be malfeasance, so that point is moot.

If you are unable to identify the environmental groups which are anti-capitalist [they oppose industry] and are anti-American because they blame America for all that is wrong in the world, then I wonder why? You must know that "take a flying leap" means that they can "put their heads where the sun doesn't shine", "get lost", "go away" or that we just are not going to let them force us to work against our own best interests. There is no reason to let them dominate us. On Fox News, Newt Gingrich said just about the same as I and others here have been saying about this situation and he has more knowledge of it than any of us.

Energy efficiency and standard of living are different things. If I were to heat an uninsulated 2000 sq ft house it would not be efficient. Adding insulation, geothermal cooling, solar heating, solar hybrid electrical power, LED lighting and many other energy efficient items would allow me to live in a 2000 sq ft house and use much less energy. Driving a steam-electric hybrid car converted from a Hummer would be cleaner and use much less fuel. We do not need to go back to living like the early pioneers or bicycle everywhere. We can live as we do now, but constantly work to make everything more energy efficient. It's not magic, it's science and engineering.

You tout the European approach, the socialist way. Cleaner air? Not from what I have heard and their attempts to clean it are draconian. No driving in the city center or a whopping fine, maybe jail. Better education, well, that started in the German Empire under Bismarck and it worked so well the rest seem to have copied it. Even the U.S. copied some of it, then Dewey botched it. I wouldn't say lower crime, but different types of crime. Families used to be more close-knit there, but when you need papers to travel anywhere, a lot more money and have to report to the local police station upon arrival, you tend to stay home more. Greater tolerance my foot! Go browse through Yahoo Answers UK and see how upset they are about all the immigrants, apparently a lot are not legal, and how they are changing the basic character of Britain. I have a feeling it is getting that way in many countries.

The last thing I would argue for is communism, totalitarianism, anti-capitalistic or anti-American as I am a strict Constitutionalist. You imply I am irrational, which is offensive.

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#221
In reply to #220

Re: The price of petrol

05/28/2008 10:14 PM

G.A. Taganan.

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#224
In reply to #220

Re: The price of petrol

05/29/2008 2:27 PM

You imply I am irrational, which is offensive.

I certainly didn't mean to offend you. We are all irrational to one extent or another. Those who claim to be purely rational are simply poorly-educated in psychology, philosophy, and religion, in my view. Perhaps you hold a different view in which some people are purely rational... and you are welcome to do so.

Your last post strikes me as illogical and perhaps a bit paranoid. If you actually suffer from clinical paranoia, then I apologize for bringing up what might be a touchy subject. But I am using the term in a less clinical sense. You seem to view environmentalists as all-powerful, and capitalists as week. Given the actual strengths of the lobbies involved, this seems like paranoia to me. You also claim to be a Constitutionalist, but seem to be promoting restrictions on trade, which seems illogical, if one thinks of Constitutionalists as being "conservative" and favoring "capitalism". You seem fearful of the notion of letting the people decide, which to me, seems to be a central element of our constitution. Constitutionalists should have their spirits buoyed, now more so than at any time in recent history, as Barrack Obama has been bringing out the young vote in a way unseen since the days of Jack Kennedy.

You will agree, I hope, that there is no better-recognized capitalist publication than Fortune. A decade ago, they put together a list of the most powerful lobbies. Those lobbies would be the ones expected to have brought us to where we are today. There was not a single environmental group in the top 25 as you can see from this quote:

  • Another question: Why do the environmentalists and the so-called citizens' lobbies rank so low? Among the greens, the most influential is the Sierra Club at a mediocre No. 37. The other environmentalists are lower still. The League of Conservation Voters is No. 71, the Natural Resources Defense Council is No. 79, the Environmental Defense Fund is No. 86, and the National Wildlife Federation is No. 88.

You advocate that we tell these powerless organizations to "take a flying leap"; you apparently thought I did not understand what you meant by that. I understood your wishes just fine. Your 4th grader translation "put their heads where the sun doesn't shine," doesn't make it any clearer. My original question had to do with how you propose you get rid of these organizations. Saying childish phrases to them will not make them go away. We already have the means available: the vote. It's the American way. If you don't like these organizations, then vote those who respond favorably to these organizations out of power.

Families used to be more close-knit there, but when you need papers to travel anywhere, a lot more money and have to report to the local police station upon arrival, you tend to stay home more.

Have you spent time in Europe in the last 20 years? In the US, a simple border crossing into Canada now requires a passport. One can travel more freely in Europe from (for example) Holland to Belgium to France without carrying papers or reporting to local police stations or anything like that. I've made that trip, and even as a foreigner, it is easier than crossing our own border.

I suspect that the high price of gas is the result of normal economic forces rather than some imagined plot by environmentalists. What better capitalists than the oil companies. Are they going down the tubes right now? As China and India grow at breakneck pace, if they even get to the point that they are using 1/2 the energy per capita that we are, we will see gas prices go much higher. Pointing fingers at environmentalists will not change that.

Steam-powered Hummers as part of the solution? Go get funding.

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#225
In reply to #224

Re: The price of petrol

05/29/2008 3:33 PM

GA.

Well put Ken (as usual!!)

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#226
In reply to #224

Re: The price of petrol

05/29/2008 6:19 PM

Just out of curiosity Ken; Where did Big Media come in at in that list of lobbies.

There is more than one form of lobbying. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if media coverage (lopsided as it is) didn't have as much or more effect on congress than other forms of lobbying.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that you might not be seeing the Big Media picture.

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#228
In reply to #226

Re: The price of petrol

05/30/2008 1:49 AM

Good question. I'd guess that the Newspaper Association of America and the National Association of Broadcasters are the two biggest media groups. They tend to be conservative, and that is reflected in the current conservative tilt to the Big Media today, I suppose. Of course, the news media are expected to be objective, but that is rarely the case in practice. However, I think that several decades ago, news reporting was far more factual, and far less "infotainment".*

Senator Obama was a cosponsor of a bill to limit just how "big" Big Media can become. Predictably, Big Media (and its ally, the white house) whined and complained when the bill passed almost unanimously.

In a resounding commitment to stopping further media consolidation, the Senate near unanimously voted for a "resolution of disapproval," which nullified earlier FCC rules allowing for cross-ownership of newspapers and TV stations in a single market.

Since the vote, Big Media has groaned and griped.

The Newspaper Association of America's President and CEO John F. Sturm called it "incomprehensible," saying it ignored "well-established benefits that cross-ownership brings to local communities."

The National Association of Broadcasters has called efforts to overturn the FCC's decision "unnecessary."

Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal piped up to protect consolidation, saying that today's media landscape offers Americans "far more media choices than ever before, including ever-growing cable, satellite and Internet offerings."

The White House, which has threatened a veto, claimed "citizens now have access to a multitude of additional sources of information."

Re gasoline prices and energy, Big Media has supported the current administration, with glowing reporting on "the hydrogen economy," with reporting on "the debate over global warming" long after the debate among scientists was effectively over, and with reporting (in the more arch-conservative outlets) suggesting that current gasoline prices are caused by US environmental policy, rather than the more obvious week dollar and high oil prices. Some Big Media sources have suggested that drilling in the ANWR would bring gasoline prices down (but fail to mention that doing so would take ten years, and that the likely reduction would be $.010 per gallon, or perhaps less)

The media in general tend to blow with the wind, so when Obama is in office, (or even if McCain makes it in) I imagine Big Media will not lean so far to the right.

* Fox "News" is by far the most biased and the closest to the supermarket tabloids in quality of reporting. Their coverage of the Iraq war, in which the viewer could ride along with the soldiers was obscene, giving the viewers a video game sense for what is grizzly business. If they had shown our guys getting blown up or coming back in body bags, and the Iraqi kids being blown up, then they would be providing a balanced picture (albeit one that probably does not need to be brought into every living room -- ordinary TV is plenty violent enough). Showing only one side is simply the worst sort of propaganda, completely disguising the fact that both our guys and innocent Iraqis were being torn to bits. No real news organization should have agreed to the administration's dictates that the coverage be so one-sided -- but most "news" organizations did.

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#229
In reply to #228

Re: The price of petrol

05/30/2008 3:35 AM

Hi ken,

I have only recently had Foxtel installed...................to me it has been a real pleasure watching "Fox News," "CNN," and "BBC News," compared the "utter crap" that is dished up by the "Free to Air" TV channels here in Australia.........and as for the tabloids.......words completely fail me.........they are that poor a quality one would not use them as an emergency in the "loo.".............If you get my drift. This is why I get electronic copies of several international newspapers sent to me...........at least I get to know what's going on in the world.........I think!!!!

..........and the Iraqi kids being blown up, then they would be providing a balanced picture (albeit one that probably does not need to be brought into every living room -- ordinary TV is plenty violent enough).

I think that your statement is PROBABLY correct.............sometimes I wonder whether or not more graphic pictures would help people see the reality of things, but,................on the other hand........... they would more than likely become desensitised to these type of situations in a very short time. A "lot" of people in our society already have a complete and utter disregard for life as it is!!!!!!

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#230
In reply to #229

Re: The price of petrol

05/30/2008 4:34 PM

I agree that CNN and BBC are pretty good news sources -- although, as you say, you need to read a few international newspapers to get a reasonable feel for what is really going on.

Fox can be entertaining, but also belligerent, sensationalist, and biased, passing off editorials as objective ("fair and balanced" in Foxspeak) reporting. Here is an example of the way these things work over here:

Rachel Ray is a popular cooking show host, and about as apolitical as any celebrity could be. In an ad for Dunkin Donuts recently, she wore a scarf that had been picked out by her designer. Any ordinary viewer would have to think long and hard to come up with any "meaning" for her scarf. But Michelle Malkin of Fox "News" is no ordinary person. To her, in a remarkable bit of belligerence/paranoia/manipulation/ego tripping the scarf looked like a "kaffiyeh" which are worn all around the middle east by all sorts of people of every political persuasion. So Malkin, who advocates racial profiling, then concludes that Ray is making a political statement by wearing this scarf that Malkin (in her paranoid delusion) thinks is a kaffiyeh. Not one of the many people involved in the Dunkin Donuts shoot had such a thought, or they would have mentioned it to Ray. No reasonable person could have such a thought -- it just too far over the top.

So what does Dunkin Donuts do? Accuse Malkin of being a paranoid racist nutcase? No. They pull the ad, in effect saying that it is not OK to wear a scarf in our ads, because some delusional whacko will see it as support of terrorists. Millions of good US citizens wear scarfs of all descriptions. Many thousands of good US citizens wear kaffiyehs, because they are comfortable and traditional. What a phenomenal insult to all these good people to first have a "news" station say scarfs are not OK, and then have a major corporation back up the fascist "news" station, rather than 1. support their spoke-person, and 2. denounce racism.

Per this Associated Press story , "Malkin welcomed the decision, saying, 'it's refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists.'"

Sensitivity?? How about some sensitivity to the millions of peace-loving people all around the world who wear kaffiyehs?

These are sad days in America. What next... a ban on sandals, because they, too, are are frequently worn in the middle east and by terrorists. A ban on Irish music because it was played by the IRA?

So, while Fox may be entertaining, please don't think of their "news" as as anything other than right-wing propaganda. As this article shows, the level of misperceptions among Fox viewers is stunning, but the other TV outlets are not too far behind. Reading helps. (Unfortunately, this is something our president does not do). Only NPR (National Public Radio), which does a good job presenting both sides of issues (but requires listeners to sit still for more than 15 seconds to hear the whole story) comes close to having a well-informed audience.

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#231
In reply to #230

Re: The price of petrol

05/31/2008 1:52 AM

Ken, Their propaganda is just that. I have heard both sides of the political coin spouted as "news" from Fox and NPR. In order to get the truth one has to listen to the entire story and then do something unusual nowadays: Think For Yourself.

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#232
In reply to #230

Re: The price of petrol

05/31/2008 10:06 AM

Hi ken,

Yes, I think one would have to agree with your thoughts on Fox..............as you well put it, entertainment value.................your given example was certainly in poor taste.

Thanks for your comments ken, and the article................I find that many times some things go "insane" as to political correctness,etc.

I recall a meeting that I went to, some years ago now, where we where told that it was incorrect to refer to an access to a confined space as a "manhole"............it must be referred to as a "person-hole.".......etc,etc, etc.

At that I got up and proceeded to leave the meeting, without excusing myself. The principle asked me where I thought was going, I explained I had more important things to do than listen to that S**T. Nothing further was said to me.

It's interesting, even today, I get a message from the boss through another lecturer, he will not approach me direcly...............I think he is afraid I will tell him what to do with his job..................I learned my tactfullness whilst in the RAN and its never left me.......................I have only had the one job since leaving the Navy, once when it was with the government and now with a private provider, but the same job.

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#241
In reply to #230

Re: The price of petrol

06/02/2008 8:21 AM

GA

Ken, will you please desist from writing so much good stuff, it makes my offerings seem pathetic in comparison!!!!

But this is typical USA, you all get upset (at least according to the media) for NOTHING. Wearing a scarf CANNOT be a political statement and the fact that the company concerned took it off the air is appalling!!!!! How prudish. I will make a point of not buying ANYTHING that appears to have some connection to this company, which will only be a problem I guess when visiting the USA!!! Thank God!!!

Much the same furore happened because Janet Jackson showed one of her (not bad looking!) TITS on TV!!! These things get shoved into babies mouths all over the world, how can a tit be political or offensive? ONLY IN THE USA!!!! Where the world's prude population has the most say.....

I could go on with other examples but you have all read them yourselves......but basically, the USA has some of the world's worst prudes and they seem to be the tail that wags the dog......wake up and stop being led by a few prudish morons!! Surely the rest of you can do something opposite to offset these people?

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#249
In reply to #241

Re: The price of petrol

06/02/2008 12:44 PM

Ken, will you please desist from writing so much good stuff, it makes my offerings seem pathetic in comparison!!!!

I will make a point of not buying ANYTHING that appears to have some connection to this company, which will only be a problem I guess when visiting the USA!!! Thank God!!!

Likewise.

Rachael Ray is anything but poor, and doesn't need the income, but she would otherwise be getting residuals from those ads, and the Duncan Donut jerks won't even offer her any support! What would be wrong with DD saying "This assertion that she is supporting terrorists by wearing a scarf is utter and total BS! We think the ads are perfectly fine as is and will continue to run them." If I were Ray, I'd be tempted to sue DD for and Fox News defamation of character.

Arrrrrghh.

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#240
In reply to #228

Re: The price of petrol

06/01/2008 7:20 PM

We have a saying in Australia, "When it comes to news, do you want the truth or are you happy with your News Limited".

It makes you glad he is American.

BAB

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#250
In reply to #240

Re: The price of petrol

06/02/2008 2:17 PM

Can we send him back?

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#227
In reply to #224

Re: The price of petrol

05/29/2008 11:52 PM

Except that Senator Obama is a Democrat, not a Constitutionalist. If you want a Constitutionalist, or Libertarian as it is more commonly called, check out Dr. Ron Paul.

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#86
In reply to #3

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 2:16 PM

I understand rape is never pleasant, therefor you get complaints. It is completely understandable.

Confusius say: " If rape is inevitable, lay back and enjoy it." Just haven't figured out how to do that!!

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#211
In reply to #86

Re: The price of petrol

05/26/2008 10:10 AM

Confusius say; "Rape is impossible, woman can run faster with skirt up than man with pants down."

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#101
In reply to #3

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 5:55 PM

Very well put, my thoughts exactly!!

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#5

Re: The price of petrol

05/19/2008 8:05 AM

Some spot prices on 19/5/2008:

Petrol typically £1.10 per litre and derv £1.22 per litre (all £GBP).

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#22
In reply to #5

Re: The price of petrol

05/20/2008 4:30 AM

Similar to here. Do you know about 'PetrolPrices.com' website? if you sign up for free & give your postcode and fuel type they e-mail weekly with the lowest 5 prices in your area of the UK.

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#7

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 10:32 AM

As resident of oil producing country I can inform you that regardless this fact we have here just about $3.50 for a gallon of gasoline and some $4 for diesel. Quality of fuel so far to be complied the world standards. As you can see it's so far away from Brunei or UAE as well. Taking in account that most part of ours people have average income multiply-fold lower than in US you can imagine how could be hard here to "feed" cars either how fuel prices affected everyday needs for everyone no matter is possessing one vehicle or not. Nonetheless traffic getting harder year by year. People claim of course for rocket like prices but they do not mind to compare these price with US respectively to life standards. Thanks to god we are not Internet addicted country.

Steve, you (US) have own oil deposits stored for next generations, you have National reservours, you have Arctic zone rich of oil in Alaska. Plus mostly US companies are at first line as operators in third countries like mine to develop oil deps, so you have some re-back through taxes.

As I noticed you're some interesting to sociology --- it's just socio-psych effect as people like to claim everytime no matter that it would be much more worse. And it's so and maybe not too bad.

Every time when I get my yahoo email I skim news headlines where Recession theme is a hit. I suppose it's (recession) BBQ theme number. When time to time I follow link and read some of its I recall old russian proverb:"I would be happy have your problems".

Yes you would tell your friends over BBQ that they shouldn't be so worry of gas prices.

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Anonymous Poster
#11
In reply to #7

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 11:21 PM

Brunei, Like the rest of Borneo, the Indonesian archepelego and Northern Australia produces Gas and almost Pure diesel. hence there are no refining costs. the current problem is not supply of raw product it is due to a lack of refining capacity. North America and arabia both produce light and mid range oils, petrol, diesel kero etc while Venezuala and southern Australia produces heavy oils, which come out as thick gooee paste. Venazualan oill is known to contain up to 45% vanadium, not much good in the car! Hence the price is subject to odd variables, not least of which is the country size. Brunei is only slightly larger than Singapore with a tiny population to match consequently one or two wells will supply them for yonks. USA of course has both high consumptuion AND domestic production so the price reflects that where as the Poms have a labor Government who will do anything to take money off teh working man and give it to their mates, just like Hitler did in Germany.

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 12:10 AM

Indonesia with its huge and increasing now population is faced a big problem with oil production and gasoline. It seems their hour X has come and knocked at their doors. Later and early this X-hour to come for every oil addicted nation. How they'll cope with it when main origin of national wealth gone will be depend on how they could predict this moment and how they've been prepared.

I do agree that such countries as Brunei and UAE being relatively small get now a huge opportunity of present market situation. And I so glad for them.

I am not live in oil production region and I have not any connection with oil industry. I do understand dangerous for economics being such biased to the only origin of National income. Time to time in ours media we can hear and watch how officials and scientists talk an endless speeches about needs of economic diversification, new innovative industries and tralala. But really nothing done.

It takes so much time when people can be converted from manipulating state to thinking one, no matter their formal education level.

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#20
In reply to #11

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 2:45 AM

Ah...so Hitler was a socialist..that explains why he got on famously with the comunists in Russia

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#313
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Re: The Price of Petrol

07/05/2008 11:37 AM

All the crude oil samples that I have seen from Southern Australia are certainly not as you describe ??????(Name would be nice-why don't you join and make yourself known to all?)....................the crude is often called "coitus nee aqua" about the only thing it is good for is making petrol. One thing it does have is a high wax content.

In the refineries only a small % of Bass Strait crude is used with much larger percentages of crude from e.g. Liberia. Middle East, Brunei, dependant on the run.

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#315
In reply to #313

Re: The Price of Petrol

07/05/2008 8:16 PM

Does that translate to "Fucking close to water"?

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#317
In reply to #315

Re: The Price of Petrol

07/06/2008 9:44 AM

Instead of "close to"........near.............but certainly close enough.

Yep.........that's our Bass strait crude.

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#98
In reply to #7

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 5:27 PM

Yes it is because of your Oil that we invaded Afganistan after the Tali ban withdrew from allow us to build a pipeline from your country to Pakistan to make it easier to transport.

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Anonymous Poster
#111
In reply to #98

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 8:28 PM

Nonsense. Not to worry Kazakstan. Life in the Tules (that once were there before a conspiracy destroyed them) explains it.

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#127
In reply to #111

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/21/2008 9:54 AM

It's not nonsense.

It wasn't until after the Tali ban backed out of a deal to allow ESSO to build a pipeline from Kazakstand to Pakistan that the World Trade Center was attacked and we're in Afganistan removing the Tali ban from power instead of hunting so called terrorists.

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#112
In reply to #98

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 8:31 PM

Afganistan is noted for one thing and one thing only, poppy seeds.

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Anonymous Poster
#115
In reply to #112

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 9:50 PM

That's right !!! And who would you say is making all those billions from it ?????

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 10:55 PM

You all!

Brunei is sitting on oil and gas, not much left but deal is salaries are very low, fuel /electricity therefore cheap simply at cost price with little profit for Shell and Government.Oil and gas does not belong to the Shell and Sultan only therefore all humans in Brunei get some benefit. Bad it is cause many are very wasteful with that cheap energy, do not even switch off lights and run AC all times and do not walk 10 m.

Rgds

from Brunei!

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 11:18 PM

It's a nature of people: do not be care of what they have right now and be so pity of that then. But I do not dare to blame anyone as I do the same that people do.

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#9

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 10:58 PM

Gasoline is about $1.35 CDN in Quebec, Canada. These days we are at par with $US. The price often goes up by about 10 cents overnight and then decrease slowly by about 8 cents over a week or two. Then the cycle repeats. This has been going on for a few years. All the companies are perfectly synchronised but the gouv. cannot find any proof of collusion... This rising saw tooth price action is like a torture especially when you try to catch the bottom but miss it. It can make a $7 to $10 dollar difference per filling.

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#13

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/19/2008 11:43 PM

Here in New Zealand the price for a litre of 91 octane; $1.97, 95 octane; $2.02 and diesel; $1.68 plus road user tax on diesels.

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#15

Re: The Price of Petrol

05/20/2008 12:15 AM

This is pretty much a mixed bag. Compared to much of the rest of the world, US gas prices, even with the recent massive increases, are still a bargain, especially when you consider gross income levels. But this is an incomplete comparison.

In many other developed countries, a far larger part of the price goes for taxes, which at least in theory provide benefits for the common good. In the US the taxes are a small part of the price, and the larger part either goes back to the oil producing nations, or to the energy corporations, who use a good chunk of the profits to subvert our government and thwart the common will.

While US incomes are still largely competitive with incomes in other developed economies, we pay considerably more for health care and education than others. This at least partly offsets the lower gas prices we still enjoy.

Then again, factoring in the large size of the country, and our penchant for living in sprawling suburbs far from our workplaces (which are usually poorly served by public transportation), the lower per gallon (liter) price may be more than offset by the larger amounts used.

But in the US we also devote an astronomical amount of our tax money, both in absolute and in relative terms, for our military, who's primary objective (despite what some will say) is to protect our access to other people's natural resources, chiefly oil. For some reason, most other countries seem to have less interest in this, an yet somehow they still currently manage to buy petroleum on the world market. Maybe this has been a wise decision, but it looks increasingly like our belligerence may actually be starting to hurt our access. But wise or foolish, we should include at least a large portion of the high cost of our military in the real price for gas.

On the plus side, the US is still one of the best places in the world to start your own business. The best parts of our education system are among the best in the world. And since we are a melting pot for people from all over the world, we undoubtedly have the finest cuisine in the world, and of course the most beautiful women. Which is a very good thing, because the quality of our beer is pretty sub-standard.

As I said, it's pretty much a mixed bag.

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