Monday, May 14, 2007

Gas Prices

If you're one of those people tired of paying high prices in gasoline and forward on emails about boycotting certain gas retailers, think again. Most experts say that won't have any impact on the market except to the individual owners of the gas stations themselves. Instead, according to this article, we must look at our own driving practices and change them, even if ever so slightly, to make a difference. The two points? Simple:
  1. Quit driving like a jerk (gunning the accelerator and braking at the last minute).
  2. Slow down (you don't have to be grandpa out there, just keep your RPMs lower on average).

That doesn't seem terribly hard. Apparently, even a 1% decrease in demand will settle down a simmering market much like turning down the stove slightly will stop water from boiling over (using the author's own metaphor). So if you can save even one gallon a month in gas by observing and changing your driving behavior, you can actually help make a small dent in demand. And a 7% decrease, which is what we had from August last year to January this year, dropped prices almost a dollar! Spam this info to the world instead of gas boycotts...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a note! Gas prices will continue to rise as long as the leading gas refinery in North America, Valero continues to be shut down. I believe it's largest refinery that is down at the moment. My Dad works for the dreaded to most but not to my family, ExxonMobil. So thank the Valero refinery for the daily up in gas prices! Just a side note all of ExxonMobil's refineries are up and running... matter of fact they are expanding!

Mikeesee said...

Oh sure, rather than building new refineries, companies are expanding existing ones, many of which are not very well maintained, like Valero and BP. I'm not discounting the real reasons why gas prices are on the rise, such as the refinery mess, the Iran/Iraq confrontations and supply shortages on top of government restrictions and taxes. With some of these gas station boycott emails going around, some of us are asking themselves what we can do to help. I pull out the hypocrite card and drive crazy once in awhile like a lot of us do. But by driving somewhat more responsibly, we can at least temper the pain at the pump by decreasing demand a little.

Anonymous said...

No doubt! Talking with my Dad about the gas situation.... it would be very hard to build new refineries.... to much red tape and evironmental stuff. So the best solution is to expand. But driving better is always a good thing.

Mikeesee said...

Gotta love the government... As much as they try to push this off on the oil companies, they're just as much to blame for the price hike. I guess they get plenty of tax money for each gallon sold, too. But I'm not here to talk politics... :)

Kerr said...

According to what I saw on TV (which is slightly more credible than "I read it on the internet"), taxes are about 50 cents per gallon (depends on state, too), and oil company profits are about 10 - 20 cents per gallon.
Oh, and ethanol is a sham. Less efficient burning means more must be burned to get you around, it is already raising food costs (burning corn), coal is burned in processing (cleaner is debatable), and many politicians own large amounts of stock.
And I drive like a mad man. But my brother rides his bike, so that means I'm ok, too.