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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gas Is Still Cheap

Posted by on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

If, that is, we compare US with much of the world:


My only problem with the current increase in gas prices is it benefits private corporations and not the state.


Comments (24) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Hey, but we're all stockholders. So the five shares of Exxon-Mobil I have in a mutual fund is going to make me rich, rich rich!!!
Posted by DOUG. on April 17, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 2
My only problem with the current increase in gas prices is it benefits private corporations and not the state.

Well, already about 50 cents or more per gallon already goes to the state in our federal and local gas taxes. You could tax the oil companies more, but then they'd just pass it along to the consumer in higher gas prices.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on April 17, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
I'd rather just take the tax breaks away from the the oil companies.
Posted by tigntink on April 17, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
Gurldoggie 4
Anything that makes people think more about their driving habits is okay by me. I wish it was closer to $50 a gallon.
Posted by Gurldoggie on April 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
@2 The purpose of motor-fuel taxes is two-fold. Firstly, it raises money for infrastructure, and if you levy enough, to make up for the costs to society/government/economy that we in the U.S. tend to overlook, such as all the land we lose in providing for parking and driving, the costs of disposing of used-up cars, burdens on civic planning, environmental damage, etc.

Secondly, you can affect supply and demand of motor fuel. By making fuel artificially expensive, you encourage people to use less, thereby reducing the necessary exploratory and production activity. Part B of this, you slow the flow of wealth out of the country into the pockets of despots, theocrats and various others who don't like us very much.

Personally, I'd rather spend a couple bucks a gallon in taxes now, limiting demand for gasoline and driving its pre-tax wholesale price down, then end up giving those bucks and more to the oil industry later as demand pushes prices further up. In other words, I'd rather see a higher portion of my fuel dollars go to my country's coffers than to the usual oligarchs.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 17, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
lark 6
Good Morning Charles,
A good point is made that relative to the rest of the world, gas prices are moderate in the USA. It's something I discovered in 06' (?) when I looked at a table of gas prices per gallon from around the world. I'm all in favor making driving cost prohibitive to enable less of it worldwide. I support toll roads and high parking rates for example. I do believe the best thing would be for people NOT to own automobiles (I don't own one). The irony is it IS cost prohibitive to own a car.

As for states to get the revenue of gas price increases, I am not in agreement. At the end of the day, I want less driving. The more we wean ourselves off the automobile (and less fuel consumption) the less revenue for oil companies. I'm not convinced the state is any more responsible at managing petroleum resources than private companies.
Posted by lark on April 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
@2 Ah. Yes. The 'ol "pass the costs on to the consumer" canard. So what? The entire rest of the world passes the cost on to the consumer. Of course the cost of polluting the planet should be passed on to the consumer. It's consumption that's the problem. Especially when the consumer is too bone stupid to enact income tax policies to pay for all the nifty infrastructure they demand.
Posted by tkc on April 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 8
The gas tax should be $5 a gallon, not 50¢ a gallon.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this

How do you guys get your food?

Me: Drive 1.9 mile to QFC in my 2007 KIA Spectra.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 10
@5: So what advice do you have for the waitress or construction worker in rural America who has to drive 50 miles each way to work, or in areas where public transportation is impractical?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on April 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 11
@10, carpooling, better planning, and better public transportation.

I've spent time in Europe. There is far less car ownership anywhere in Europe than there is in the US. And those that do have cars use them far less. They have way better public transportation, and they just figure out how to make it work without cars most of the time.

We in the US have just spent more than half a century building an entire culture around the idea that everyone must have a car, and we all drive around in them by ourselves. It has gotten to the point where most Americans can't imagine any other lifestyle. It is completely ridiculous. Not to mention completely unsustainable.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
My $40,000 in energy funds thanks you.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
@9 Are you handicapped? Over 70? No?

You can't walk 2 miles? You can't walk for half an hour? Really?

Me. Like about 70% of humanity, I walk to get my food.

And if you choose to drive, it IS still a choice for most people in the US - those roads you drive on, the stop signs you stop at, you should pay for those. Right now? You're not.
Posted by tkc on April 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
@10 if we had a tax base that wasn't made of total imbeciles the rural construction worker would have funded alternatives to driving or ways of subsidizing his transportation needs or small business. Somehow construction workers in the rest of the world manage it. But ours I guess are morons or something.

Right now ALL that money you pay for gas is going to a tiny percentage of oil industry executives who not only get tax payer funded sweetheart deal on lands they pollute but massive tax breaks to essentially off-shore all their profits. You should be pissed off at them for rigging the system.
Posted by tkc on April 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
prompt 15
@13 Maybe he buys more than $20 in food when he goes to the grocery store.
Posted by prompt on April 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 16
Read Bob Lutz's recent book. Hethe is no pansy hippy liberal by any stretch of the imagination. He doesn't believe in climate change.
But he does (or did) have a brilliant idea. Instead of the government-enforced CAFE standards for fuel economy, Congress should have gradually and constantly notched up the gas tax. That would have slowly driven consumers to high-efficiency autos while also funding infrastructure.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on April 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 17
P.s. to Bailo. I drive an electric conversion to the grocery store. What was your point again?
Posted by Dr_Awesome on April 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
@15 Possibly. But I buy more than $20 of groceries. It's no big deal.

Jeez. My grandmother used to walk over two miles to the store in rural Idaho and bought more than $20 of groceries. This is the way all of humanity, but post 1970 America, lives. Why do Americans feel they are so special?

Is your point being he buys over seventy pounds of food at a time?

He could think of it as an opportunity to get buff hauling some weight around. Or maybe he could make more trips to to the store and work his cardio. Cut that gym membership either way.

OR he could just drive and pay more— also like the rest of the world.
Posted by tkc on April 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 19
@15- I buy about $40 dollars worth of groceries most of the time I go to the store, which I then either walk or bike home. I make a several trips to the store every week, which is situated on my way between work and home (about a two mile trip). Sometimes I go out of my way to hit Trader Joe's.

We can keep living like idiots and live with the consequences, or we can live a lifestyle which is better for us as individuals, for our progeny, and for the entire biosphere.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on April 17, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
The United States and indeed every nation on Earth is about as 'addicted' to oil as the human body is 'addicted' to blood. The world economy is not going to bear sustained oil prices over $100 a barrel. Gee, does anyone remember the last time oil prices creeped into the triple digest realm? Shortly thereafter we got the crash of 2008.
Posted by Spindles on April 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Oh, and might I add: "Iran has been offering oil at zero-percent interest for six months to "a handful of potential customers in Asia," including India, according to UPI. The credit amounts to about $1.20 to $1.50 a barrel, or a 7.5 percent discount."

It has NEVER been about nukes with respect to Iran. It has ALWAYS been about oil.…
Posted by Spindles on April 17, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
Hernandez 22
@9 Me: walk 0.6 miles in comfortable shoes to QFC. Or I just hit up the store on my 1.9 mile walk home after work.

@10 In that situation, Phoebe, the smart thing to do would be to consider moving closer to civilization. There are more construction projects and more restaurants in cities anyway. I have good friends who undertake massive commutes every day because they "need more space." I love 'em, but they're blowing a quarter of their paychecks on gas for the sake an extra room full of random crap and a yard they hardly use, which is just ridiculous.
Posted by Hernandez on April 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Gas is cheap at the pump, but it costs us multiple times that amount (>$15/gal) when accounting for the various tax breaks and royalty holidays to oil companies, the military and wars to secure the resource worldwide, and of course the usual externalities resulting from polluting activities.
Posted by anon1256 on April 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
@15, 18, 19, 22: I walk a mile each way to Met Market and buy as much as I need. My secret? A wheeled cart. They are used (and sold) everywhere. Low tech is your friend.
Posted by crone on April 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this

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