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Official TCL 'what's your gas price in yer neck of the woods?' poll

  • It's below $4 a gallon! Time for me to get a Hellcat!

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Last week's demand really picked up, and with it, prices are starting to come up.

https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/weekly/gasoline.php

If you look at the actual weekly figures, we bottomed out at 5.0 million bpd for two weeks in April (not shown anymore in the quick view report) and last week gasoline demand was already back up to 7.4mbpd with last year's same week reference value being 9.15mbpd. So even last week before a lot of restrictions started being lifted gas consumption was up around 80% of normal. I hesitate to say anything more than 90% is even achievable this year because travel and vacations are so decimated for the entire summer due to essentially every convention and event being cancelled until September at the soonest. Gasoline demand is a soft predictor of business activity though, so it's encouraging to see that we're not at, say, 40% or anything like that.
 

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California pumps out the highest state gas tax rate of 66.98 cents per gallon, followed by Illinois (59.56 cpg), Pennsylvania (58.7 cpg), and New Jersey (50.7 cpg).Jul 28, 2021
So it's more than just high taxes.
Correct, it's already been explained. California came up with their own gas formulation that nobody else uses or is allowed to supply. Any time you want something that is custom, be it a bespoke car or a private collection gasoline, it's going to cost more than the product that's made everywhere. California gas can only be made at California refineries, which are of course the most expensive refineries in the country because they're in California. It's the combination of everything California does that makes it so expensive, not one thing.
 

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Because Russia is going to invade Ukraine?
That won't help, but I did notice that while Biden said that Nord Stream 2 is over if Russia invades, Germany's leadership has not made any such decision. In other words, the spice, er, gas must flow no matter what. If Germany is willing to buy all the natural gas they can, then I don't predict any widespread petro shortages, just a lot of talk from our current administration that adds up to nothing, same as how we left a similar number of tens of millions to an even more evil regime in Afghanistan.

Think logically about it: if Biden was willing to turn over 37 million Afghan people to one of the most evil groups on Earth without even putting up a fight, why would anyone think the west would care about a similar number of people in Ukraine falling to Russia, who are magnanimous in comparison to the taliban? Nah. Biden was already cutting deals with the taliban while we're still processing refugees, so we should fully expect everyone to make some angry posts about Russia on social media for a couple weeks/months (depending on how the invasion goes) to get it out of their system, then go right back to buying all the oil and gas that Russia is willing to supply.

That said: oil is already at record levels again and inflation is rising / the value of the US Dollar falls. Those are big picture items that tend to translate into higher prices. There's also seasonal factors. Generally in any given year, gas prices climb from February to the end of May. Well we're starting February at higher prices than we've seen in years and might see among the highest highs in a long time too.

Big picture things that have nothing to do with Russia. Americans have to deal with separate winter and summer gas blends with high prices at the start of summer due to the fuel type cutover, high demand as there's going to be tons of pent-up demand for summer roadtrips as a lot of people still aren't comfortable with flying or on board with having to wear masks on planes, and no masks are required for in your own car. I'm not waging an opinion about masks here, just being realistic that people who don't like them are more likely to drive instead of fly than pre-pandemic.

Alternate future theory? The high oil prices might be stockpiling because of the instability with Russia and it's possible that if Russia invades in a couple days and takes over the Ukraine government within 72 hours like Biden said, then they install a puppet government within a week and oil prices start falling by the end of February as the invasion is over and done with and we have stability on the eastern front again with plenty of oil and gas flowing and no more arguments between Russia and Ukraine once Russia controls Ukraine.

From a cold-hearted EU standpoint, Russia controlling Ukraine is just ripping the bandage off and getting it over with so there's no more unknowns or uncertainty. Russia won't continue into Poland because they're not stupid. They want the Ukrainian farmland and pipeline fees for themselves along with another Belarus-like buffer state between actual Russia and the NATO members. Ukraine was doomed by the EU by their refusal to let them in NATO. It was always EU's plan to let Ukraine fall.
 

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What the US has done, and is now doing, in Afghanistan , is deplorable. But that’s a different thread.
From the article you just linked to:
The response of President Joe Biden to the military humiliation inflicted on America by the Taliban has been a scorched-earth policy designed to cause the maximum amount of economic damage to what was already one of the world’s poorest countries.
I have to agree, that's pretty awful, but do you really think Biden's going to wage war with Germany over their refusal to stop importing gas from Russia? Last article I read said that Germany gets 35% of their natural gas from Russia. They get nothing of meaningful value from the US. It's intuitively obvious that Germany will pick Russia over America when the US gives them nothing and Russia gives them the lifeblood of their nation.

We might have a very turbulent year if Russia's invasion and installation of a puppet government gets out of hand, but it's also still possible this will just be another sad chapter of global conquest for that part of the world and no impact on gas prices after all. From what I'm looking at, there's been no more increases in national average gas prices for the last 10 days. We'll all see soon how this shakes out, but Germany is buddy-buddy with Russia like it's 1937 all over again. I don't see them starting a new energy war because Germany will lose such a war - just like last time.
 

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Yeah, filling up both cars tonight most likely, gas will spike tomorrow if not sooner.
I haaaaate panic buying, but honestly you're probably right. With oil up 8% and we're still months away from the Memorial Day peak, I may as well top off sooner rather than later.

Looks like $3.82/gal average for my metro area, I'm seeing $3.899 at my nearest gas station or $3.799 if I go a few miles to the nearest Kroger. I might even have some points on my Kroger card to knock down that price a little more too. But still - being only 10 cents away from $4/gal gas and it's no where near the summer driving season yet doesn't excite me.
 

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No, milk was more than gas.
Yeah I remember for years the comparison would always be made about how cheap gas was in America. Like for most of my time growing up and early adulthood the statement would always be thrown out that America was the only country where gasoline was even cheaper than milk.

As of now, I'm looking at $3.82-ish for gasoline and about $2.99 for milk. So milk isn't dramatically cheaper, but these days I drink more milk than I use gasoline so I guess I'm happy that milk is cheaper than gas.
 

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$5.80 AUD is $4.17 USD which I would happily pay right now for fuel. Plus we only get 91 octane in CA. Alright, I’m moving to Oz!
There's 3.78 liters per US gallon, so AU$2.20/liter is actually AU$8.32/usg or about US$5.99. So when he said $5.80/g that seems to be the rough price in USD, not AUD. Based on my math though I'd just round it off to $6/gallon.

So out of curiosity I decided to check prices in Iceland right now, as it's still a place I want to do a ring road trip some day. They're sitting at about US$8.30/gallon right now, which is probably just as well as I'm not going there this summer anyway, but it does help me to frame the cost of fuel.
 

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Gas is still around $3. I'm getting bored, I thought gas prices were supposed to go up but every year, nothing.
What location? It's up everywhere in the US. Provide a location and I'll look up the real gas price trend in your area.

As for me, I did go ahead and fill up my car this weekend and even the Kroger was up to $3.99 here in Phoenix. I honestly have no idea when the last time was I spent so much for gas. I'm just glad I have a fuel efficient car and we're still work from home at my job, though not for long, it seems.
 

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Yeah, gas lines in the '70's.....now that was something else. What a hassle it was, but although there were some squabbles people generally behaved like human beings. I can't imagine those gas lines now; guns everywhere, hotheads shooting.
Maybe, but keep in mind history:

It was worse in the mid 70s than pre-2020 and we're still not quite at the rate of the 1990s crime peak, though we're on our way there if the 2021+ trends to not reverse.
 

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What about the 90s made it such a violent time? Was it one or two cities that skewed the numbers for the whole country? Was it current events, drugs, economy, culture?
Those are nationwide stats, and if anything you can look up individual cities even to this day and see things like homicide rates at 10-20x the national average even now.

As for the cause of why the 90s were so bad, honestly no idea. I was just a high school kid back then and my family had long since fled New York by then. It was maybe 15 years ago however that Phoenix largely ran out of gas and there were no shootings, just long lines. The east coast just had a massive gas shortage what, 2 years ago? Plenty of long lines and people filling up buckets and garbage bags with gas, but again basically no more shootings than is normal.

I just don't see society breaking down any worse now than it has in the past whenever there's been shortages. If anything, the March-April 2020 grocery shortages were far worse than waiting in line to buy gas, and that isn't when crime took off. It was largely in mid summer of 2020 and especially 2021 that crime went crazy, and that was long after the worst of the shortages and grocery supply chain problems weren't really an issue anymore.
 

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oil up 10% 105s. rbob 3.15s
OK I had to have a quick look at RBOB for context.


So, um, the 3 month price history is from basically $2/gal to $3.22/gal with nearly 50 cents worth just in the last week. I'm getting the feeling that my optimism about only hitting $4/gal nationally by Memorial Day might have been overly optimistic.

RBOB is "Reformulated Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending" and is basically a futures price for one of the common retail gasoline base stocks or whatever. This is where I bring my optimism back out though and say "Maybe this is just a temporary spike, it will just come right back down, right?"
 

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Supply and demand. This has been explained over and over again by people actually in the oil and gas business. Let's not do it again, please.
Mostly - but Biden is the one shutting down all the supply. That was literally part of his Day 1 executive orders and he's been consistent even through the last week when he shut down all domestic oil and gas exploration permit issuance - effectively ending all future fossil fuel extraction and limiting America to only existing oil and gas wells until they run dry.

Don't take it the wrong way of course, I think usage needs to go down but Biden's method has been to make gas too expensive. The correct method is to push for increases in CAFE so that relatively wealthy new vehicle buyers have to pay the premium to get more fuel efficient vehicles, which leads to the future's used cars being more fuel efficient too. He's just not smart and even when he's well intentioned (save the planet, reduce gas use) he goes about it the wrong way.
 

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I’ll be mad when it’s $9.75.
A friend of mine in the Netherlands let me know their latest fillup was at €2.50/liter which my math says works out to about $10.32/gallon. So if you want to get mad right away, just hitch a flight to Amsterdam I guess.

Considering a small jar of dijon mustard in DC is $5.89, I'm not too pissed off about $4 a gallon gas.
I'm not aware of any low income families that get to work by filling up their cars with mustard, so your point is irrelevant. You may as well tell us how expensive HP printer ink is per liter, as that matters just as much for struggling Americans to get to work in areas not serviced by public transit.
 

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Gas going up means they have to decide between filling up their cars or feeding their children. A difference in a few dollars a day throws their budget out the window.

This is a crisis for people like that.
If I'm reading these numbers correctly there's 41,500,000 Americans on SNAP (food assistance) which implies tens of millions more that are only doing marginally better too.

That brings up another related issue: part of the reason gas is expensive is that we're wasting time and resources on a net-negative energy process of using oil-derived fertilizers and diesel fuel tractors to turn corn into Ethanol to make our gas mileage worse. We should be banning ethanol in gasoline. That would return all that corn to food production instead of making our fuel worse.

End result: everyone gets better gas mileage and the cost of food drops.
 

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There is a price at which oil companies will feel compelled to up production. Unfortunately, that price is substantially higher than today’s price.
It's been going up continuously, but there's only so fast they can restore all the production they had to shut down during the pandemic, especially with the current administration reinstating the Paris Accord participation on the part of the United States. Granted, I'm in favor of reducing GHG production and fossil fuel usage as quick as we reasonably can, but in terms of ramping up production, you can look at the curve:




There's only so quickly they can bring all those oil wells back on line. It's not like they stopped, it's just going to take a while to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

As for the narrative about oil companies being able to decide not to pump oil, Trump already proved that it's perfectly legal to invoke the Defense Production Act even for a super flu going around. Potential war with Russia as a pretext for Biden to activate the Defense Production Act is easily justifiable. If there is any evidence oil companies are intentionally holding back production then contact the president or your local congressperson and tell him/her to use the DPA to force the oil companies to increase oil production. The Defense Production Act exists for times like this, so if you genuinely think companies are holding back, get the president to invoke the DPA on the oil companies.
 
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