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Gas prices raising 30 cents/gallon TOMORROW!

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I just got a call from my brother-in-law who works for a fuel company. He warned me tonight about a 30 cent per gallon gas price increase tomorrow.

If you get this early enough, I'd top off the tanks now. I did!

I also saw someone else across the country who got an inside tip like this on the Sig Forum.
 
I topped off yesterday...1/2 tank on a Ford Explorer at 2.55/gal cost me 30.00
[cry]

I am so frikkin sick of all of this.
Between the Middle East and this...They reported this AM that W is "considering" releasing reserves. :?

Considering?? What the heck is there to consider?
 
This is getting ridiculous. Let's not forget that out there are some poor bastards who only make minimum wage, which if I remember correctly is at this point only $5.15, or thereabouts.

Imagine having to put more than half of every paycheck into your gas tank.

[shock]
 
SR,it's funny you said that. We were talking with a friend of ours and his daughter works 2 jobs and what she has been paying for gas out of her checks,her father has felt sorry for her and been helping her out. She's only a senior in high school too.
 
It's not going to get any better. At least, not in the long term.

The USA reaced "Peak Oil" back in the 70's when we had the 'crisis'. Resorting to imports held off the axe, but it really is a limited resource and most experts agree that "Peak Oil" worldwide will occur sometime in the next few years.

"Peak Oil" refers to the maximum production capacity. After which there will be less and less raw oil.

We keep hearing that no new refinerys have been built in 30 years. Well, would you build an expensive plant if you knew that before it's investment has ben recovered, the capacity it creates may not be needed?

There are several web sites, but this one is pretty good http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

The sad fact is that everything we do depends on oil, and right now there is no known substitute that will support all the uses we have today, let alone the future.

Natural Gas is only a decade or so later in it's peak too.

I now it sounds so much like conspiracy theory and crackpot predictions, but there is an awful lot of evidence backing up the idea that the end of oil may very well be the end of everything as we know it, and that we are likely to see it in our lifetime.
 
SiameseRat said:
This is getting ridiculous. Let's not forget that out there are some poor bastards who only make minimum wage, which if I remember correctly is at this point only $5.15, or thereabouts.

Imagine having to put more than half of every paycheck into your gas tank.

[shock]

$2.15 if you're waiting tables.

It sucks. I remember having a Toyota FJ-40 when I was in High School. 8 miles to the gallon. I can't even imagine what I would do if I still had it.


Chris said:
The sad fact is that everything we do depends on oil, and right now there is no known substitute that will support all the uses we have today, let alone the future.

Natural Gas is only a decade or so later in it's peak too.

I now it sounds so much like conspiracy theory and crackpot predictions, but there is an awful lot of evidence backing up the idea that the end of oil may very well be the end of everything as we know it, and that we are likely to see it in our lifetime.

I was hearing that someone was saying that they are predicting that in ten years there won't be any gas stations. That everyone will be using hydrogen fuel cars and hybrids.

I don't see it, but it would be a good idea to start working on that.

What I'm worried about is people that need fuel oil for the winter. Gas, fuel oil, it all comes from the same barrel. So that means that Fuel Oil this winter is going to be up as well.
 
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.

The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.
 
We locked in our oil price for the winter. We mainly heat with a pellet stove. We also decided this year with the boy gone we're closing off the upstairs and only heating the main floor. Which also means we are moving our bedroom downstairs. We still have to have the oil for hot water though,which we are looking at changing that too. Just have to get Glenn's arm better.
 
Nickle said:
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.

The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.

Aren't they testing low friction magnatized wheels on electric/gas motors?
 
Nickle said:
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.
There was some research done on that a few years back - the conclusion was that the real culprit was the metallized cloth of it's skin that burned. the color of the flame was what gave it away - they actually managed to find a sample of some of the original skin and tested it; it burns with a different color than hydrogen... and the same color as the flames that engulfed the Hindenburg.

Nickle said:
The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.

One problem, Nickle... they still burn some oil. :( Now if you can get them to burn used vegetable oil, like some of the experimental vehicles out there, that might help, but you still have to get the vegetable oil... and farm machinery runs on... you guessed it, petroleum.

I have been hearing about some 250 MPG hybrids that have been made by private citizens; if they're for real, and IF enough fuss is made, we might see the car companies start looking at that technology.

But I think that it will take a few years of high oil prices to spur Detroit to do something like that - you have to hit them in their pocketbooks - once that happens, they'll geek.
 
derek said:
Nickle said:
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.

The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.

Aren't they testing low friction magnatized wheels on electric/gas motors?

They may be testing that as well, but, they've made some progress using Hybrids, and are considering it for newer designs. I'm sure it's still several years out, though. They don't work fast on new designs.
 
Fuel cells:

Fuel cell technology today needs a few ounces of Platinum to work. If all the known Platnum in the word were used to make fuel cells (turn over those rings ladies) we would still not have enough to replace the vehicles on the US roads. Also, the production of Hydrogen (electrolosys of water) uses more energy than the resulting hydrogen can produce. We'd need better technologies in BOTH the engine and the fuel to be workable.

Vegatable Oils:

To power just the US demands for fuel oils TODAY, we'd need to convert almost the entire continent of Africa into a corn field. Bio-Diesel and other Bio-Fuels are not going to do it. It MIGHT be a solution for home heating which is a MUCH smaller share of the market, but not for all fuel oils.

Nuclear:

Even ignoring the danger and waste issues, there isn't enough known Uranium in the world to convert all electrical production to Nuclear.

Hydro-electric:

Even the massive Hoover dam will become a spectacular waterfall in a little over a century as the silt builds up behind the dam.

Solar:

A modest sized community would need a solar field the size of Manhatten Island, and then banks of storage batteries for the night.

It goes on and on... No one technology will replace oil. And even a mixture of Technologies will be trouble.

And lets not forget the stuff that we BUILD from oil. Your average car uses 20+ barrels of oil just to produce. We are talking BILLIONS of barrels to replace the cars on the road today. In food production, modern pesticides and fertilizers all have an oil content. Replacing that is possible, but will dramatically increase the costs.

Even the very nature of the world economy is oil based in a very real way. The implications of that in a global oil crisis would result in a global financial crisis.

But once again, the Liberals in Congress are looking to sooth the voter, not solve the problem. Chuck Shumer was quick to demand we tap the strategic reserves. Have we heard a peep from anyone about working to get oil out of the game?

What we need today is the good old Kennedy challenge. "We choose to get off oil, not becuase it is easy, but because we MUST do so before life as we know it ends". It's going to cost Hundreds of trillions in research, infrastructure, education, and lifestyle changes. Hard decisions will have to be made. Decisions that ignore big business and do what is 'right'. Frankly, I doubt the current political climate has either the balls or the leadership to undertake such a huge national program. It will make Health Care look like a Happy Meal in comparison.

But, regardless of if decisions are made, the future will come.
 
derek said:
Nickle said:
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.

The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.

Aren't they testing low friction magnatized wheels on electric/gas motors?

I don't know, there are already cars out there that run on them. I think that they have the fuel cell sealed up or something.

Either way, something else is going to be coming down the pike.

In the grand scheme of things, Hybrids won't do me any good. I still do 90% of my driving on the Highway. So I would still be using gas. Unless they can get the electric motor to run at 80 mph for an hour.

Then I would buy one.
 
The idea of "peak oil" is something dreamed up by people who really don't understand what they're talking about. Sure, there's a maximum amount of oil that can be produced using current technology and the currently producing fields. But as price goes up, technology improves. Oil drilling and pumping today is vastly improved from the 19770s or 80s, and light years ahead of the 1950s. As prices go up, not only is there an incentive for more exploration to discover new fields, but fields that were too poor to be profitable suddenly become profitable to work. If you think in terms of a fixed supply of oil that we're extracting, then the total reserves would have to be declining every year, and at an accelerating rate. Instead, due to simple economics and technological changes, the estimates have increased dramatically over the past 40 years.

As for what we're paying for gas today, yes, it absolutely sucks. Of course, from my point of view, anything over 30 cents a gallon for premium is an outrage. When you step back and look at gas prices in real terms, that is adjusted for inflation, you get a very different picture. Gasoline prices actually reached their peak during the Iran hostage crisis (late 1980, early 1981) and then dropped over 50% in the next 5 years. After bouncing around a little bit, prices were only 38% of that peak as of early 1999. Since the end of 2001, prices have been increasing fairly steadily. As of today, they're still about 15% less than their 1980-81 peak So much for "record prices"..

Ken
 
The average car on the highway only needs about 14-20 horsepower to maintain 65mph. It is acceleration that needs the extra oomph. Once up to speed, a well calibrated electrical system would do amazing things. And the electric motors could easily do the job.

The problem isn't so much the electric motors, but how to use them.

In my opinion the best hybrids have not even been built yet.

What we should see is the following....

A small efficient diesel engine that is extremely light in weight turning an equally efficient alternator at whatever RPM the engine and alternator are at their most efficent state. In the rear, powerful electric motors that can accelerate quickly, but produce little or no drag when spun freely. In the front, lesser motors designed for maintaining speed, and most efficient for their size. Idling diesels are extremely efficient and even high powere alternators do not require tremendous power to turn even under full loads.

The motor always keeps a fairly small battery pack charged so that you can accelerate in traffic and cruise on the highway. Regenerative braking and cruise control that can use the downhills to also recharge the battery will be needed.

The stigma of the belching diesel is really no more. And small diesels are quite popular in europe. In fact, there are some Italian diesels and even 2-stroke gas engines that are producing almost unmeasurable polution in small displacements with NO added exhaust scrubbing.

Now, the drag race sets, and those that must be able to get to the next light in 4 seconds will find themselves in trouble, but the average driver would be fine.

If such technology were also coupled with 'smart road' improvements to prevent congestion and improve vehicle flow, you could see a tremendous drop in daily motor fuel use. Also, since high grade diesel and Home heating oils are the same basic formula, the yearly switch in refining would not occur. then, as oil sources dried up, the bio components could be added to offset the costs and allow that industry to build up.

Also, unlike true electrical vehicles, the on-board diesel will produce heat that can keep you warm in the winter, and it can be used to turn an AC compressor. I suspect that we would see taxes on these vehicles based on how many 'extras' are added that would reduce efficiency. Similar to the Gas Guzzler Tax today.

It isn't a long term solution, but one that would stretch our oil use under today's society into the later half of the century.

I know, I'm a fine one to talk driving around that huge truck of mine. But I only drive about 7,000 miles a year and it is far cheaper to keep what I have than to get something new. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I'd probably never have bought that truck, but hindsight is always 20/20.
 
You konw, I was reading that over in Europe that the BMW and several others have a diesel version of the same car that's gas. They said that the diesel ones have better miliage and are faster than the gas engines.

I've heard that the US has to meet he same diesel standards as Europe by 2007. At that point I guess the Europeans are going to start to introduce those diesel cars here in the US as well.
 
C-pher said:
In the grand scheme of things, Hybrids won't do me any good. I still do 90% of my driving on the Highway. So I would still be using gas. Unless they can get the electric motor to run at 80 mph for an hour.

Then I would buy one.

They actually work better than you think. Electric for you (and me) is very bad. Too long of a commute at higher speeds. Hybrid needs less horsepower, therefore can use a more efficient engine. Not a HUGE savings, but a modest savings.
 
A small efficient diesel engine that is extremely light in weight turning an equally efficient alternator at whatever RPM the engine and alternator are at their most efficent state. In the rear, powerful electric motors that can accelerate quickly, but produce little or no drag when spun freely. In the front, lesser motors designed for maintaining speed, and most efficient for their size. Idling diesels are extremely efficient and even high powere alternators do not require tremendous power to turn even under full loads.

Preach on, Chris! The only reason we don't have these now is that they wouldn't sell.

Honda used to make a fuel-efficient version of the Civic, the VX, back in the mid-90s. It got 56 MPG. The new environmentally friendly hybrid Civic gets 51. The old Civic drove like an econobox. The new Civic drives like the regular Civic. The improvements went to performance rather than efficiency.

It's not just hybrids. I've got a couple of older Volvo wagons (boxy but good). They'll haul 3000 lbs of lathe and trailer no problem, accelerate reasonably briskly (7-8 sec 0-60), and are good in a crash. Based on my recommendation, a friend bought one before the arrival of his son. His new wagon gets the same mileage, weighs 1/3 more, and accelerates quicker than the old ones. None of the engineering advances went to making it use less gas, just to compensate for moving a heavier car faster.

Honda's two-seater Insight, widely touted as the most aerodynamic production car, has more drag than my 36 year old two-seater SAAB.

It's not an engineering problem. If we want much more efficient cars, the technology's there. Until enough people will buy them the car makers won't build them.
 
Nickle said:
Hydrogen is a pipe dream. Remember the Hindenburg? Hydrogen.

The future is Hybrid vehicles. The military is testing them, both small like HMMWV's and larger cargo trucks. Looks promising.

I am not an expert or claim to be but I feel your opinion on Hydrogen is false. Remember the Pinto? Gasoline we still use it. Hydrogen is a great idea and a cheap, never-ending, an clean resource. We just need to make the vehicles safe. My company is working with another company that builds components for making hydrogen. I can't get into too much detail but I can assure you that hydrogen is not just a pipe dream. It may not be the future of cars but it's definitely in the race.
 
We are based in a supply and demand economy. The OPEC countries can pump as much as they want and our output of the end product will remain. One of the true problems is that we don't have many refineries and due to the environmentalists and homeowners its a PITA to get a new one.

The last refinery built in the US was in Garyville, La 29 years ago. The US should allow the companies to build a couple new ones. As of last check all the US refineries are running at or above maximum capacity.

I also agree, we need to look at new fuels, but at the moment our problem high demand, low supply.
 
I say we all go back to horses (the 4 legged kind). I've got a Ford Explorer too and I'm not looking forward to the trip to the pump this afternoon.
 
Moderator said:
We just need to make the vehicles safe. My company is working with another company that builds components for making hydrogen.

Once it's safe, I'll agree to your view. I also don't think it's going to happen soon, either.

One thing about it, it's far more plentiful than petroleum. Water is fairly common. Of course, how much will it cost?
 
Hydrogen is a great idea and a cheap, never-ending, an clean resource.

I like hydrogen. I think that a hydrogen infrastructure is, absent Mr. Fusion type widgets, how we're ultimately going to end up. Don't think of it as a replacement for oil, though; it's a replacement for batteries. You still need a source of energy to make the hydrogen. (Or find a hydrogen well. [wink])
 
I just got another call. The 30 cent increase is on hold, but it will be happening soon. I'll post as soon as I hear anything.

According to my brother-in-law, the VP's of his particular gas company say they are "scared" of how consumers are going to react, so they are spreading their 30 cent increase over 3 or 4 increases in the matter of a week or so. Sure, I'd never notice that!

When talking about small, fuel efficient cars, you won't catch me in one. After just one good accident like I had, getting hit by a very large commercial vehicle, I'll stick to my 15mpg 1994 Chevy pickup. I'll start driving smaller vehicles when everyone else does. Until then, my life, and my family's is far more important to me.

Oh, we live 2 miles from my wife's work and 4 miles from mine (after I get done with all my surgeries).
 
Must be convenient living so close to work!

I work in Boston and live in Marlboro... it's about 11 miles to the train station, so it's not too bad. Figure 100 miles a week, which is much less than half a tank for me. But my wife drives her Explorer to Cambridge every day. :(
 
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