Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Energy

Quick thought on Gas Prices

Yesterday, I filled up my gas tank and it cost me $4.19 per gallon.  That’s an outrageous price.  This morning, I had planned to write an article about gas prices, barrel prices and why our government needs to get back or not send out the 4billion dollars in tax substities to the oil companies.  I think if a company is making 18 billion in profits, they shouldn’t get any tax breaks.  They make enough to pay taxes.

I wanted to look back at an article I wrote a few years ago, but it took a while to find it and now I don’t have time to do any research.  But, I still have an opinion, so here it is:

No more tax money goes to oil companies and if they don’t start lowering prices, as they easily could, it’s time for the government to strongly regulate them.

Try not to fall into the supply / demand trap that the oil companies want you to believe. There’s always going to be a demand. We need gas to power our cars, lawn mowers, snow blowers and everything else. We can’t not use gasoline.  We’re trapped.  Now, I haven’t worked out just how I think the government should regulate them, but I will and I’ll post it here.

I’m not normally one for government regulation, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

Goverment & Energy

Have you noticed that the gas prices are inching up to the three dollar mark? Normally, I am not someone who thinks the government can do it better than private enterprise, but there are some things too important to be left to the whims of business. I think an exception should be our country’s energy. Higher gas prices this summer is going to hinder the economy’s all ready difficult recovery.
Perhaps, our government should to put a stop to these high prices. How? I’m not sure.
God Bless

Gas Prices

This morning I filled up my gas tank and paid $3.19 a gallon.  Being the anal person that I am, I keep track of how much gas I buy and how much it cost per gallon and per tank, etc. in this little notebook.  My current notebook goes all the way back to Oct. 2002.  In Oct. 2002, I was paying between $1.55 and $1.59 per gallon for gas.  In less than 6 years, I’m now paying more than double for that same gallon of gas.

In 6 years, my salary hasn’t doubled, which probably explains why I can’t seem to make ends meet.  I don’t live high on the hog.  I’m not spending tons of money on junk.  Even though I love video games and books, I limit my purchasing of both.  Whenever possible, I purchase my video games used (and I use my little percent off card to save even more money).  Books are more of a downfall to me, but I usually don’t purchase a book unless I’ve taken it out of the library and read it.  I don’t willy nilly invest in books, as it is more of a collection I have than books just to have them.

So, when I pumped my gas today and put $50.00 plus dollars in there, I just cried a little tear.  That was two used video games or one autographed book going to get me to work.

What a waste.

God Bless

Gas Prices

Can someone explain to me how gas can be $2.15 per gallon on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning rise to $2.25? I just don’t get it. Is demand really that high on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday? Or, is that just some myth that we use more gas, so they have to raise prices. I get supply and demand, I took economics, but gas isn’t the same. Case in point, if demand is high for an HDTV, the store can charge premium price for it because he only has so many to sell. I just wouldn’t buy the TV while prices are high. But, gas, I don’t have a choice. I need gas to get to work, the store, church, etc.

Well, I’m just complaining, as I filled up on Tuesday and didn’t have to pay the $2.25. I do have a new strategy for gas purchasing. When I see a low price, I fill up. That way I can usually ride out the weekend’s premium price.

But that’s just me.

God Bless

Gas Price Update…

I don’t know if you noticed, but gas prices have dropped from a high of $3.19 down to $2.89.  The price of a barrel of gasoline is $69.20.  Don’t feel bad for the oil companies, they are still making a profit of $0.43 per gallon, which is a profit margin of over 17%.

Just wanted to pass that on…

God Bless

Maybe they aren’t grouging us…

Wouldn’t that be a kick in the rubber parts, if the gas companies really aren’t raising prices unrealistically and they aren’t grouging us at the gas pumps?

Here’s some more research — Please note, the Barrel Prices comes from the Energy Information Administration and the prices for the gallons come from my own record (yes, I’m anal and I keep track of gas prices all the way back to 2002. I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find my notebook for before 2002).

Here’s what I found:

I tried to use data from around the sametime — I picked June because that’s when gas prices start their rise. Also, this is for gas purchased at stations located between Milwaukee and Racine, WI. Also, I did not adjust any of these numbers for inflation. I don’t figure that factors too much in since we’re only talking about a four year span.

The PricePerGallon is what I paid on the dates listed. The Barrel amounts are what the price of a barrel was during the same week. Now, the bad part of this is that the gas I’m pumping on 6/3/2002 wasn’t created from the barrel purchased at the same time, so the oil companies do make a little more off of the gas then they probably should, but I think it actually works out, as the prices at the pump drop when the price of a barrel drops — admittedly not as much.

Now, the % raise gas and the % raise Barrel is how much the gallon or barrel went up in price between the dates. You’ll notice that the Barrel raised at a higher % than the price of gas in each situation, if the oil companies “kept us even”, we would be paying a lot more for gas than we are. That’s the PriceRaised column. I took the price of gas and raised it using the % amount that the barrel was raised. According to my figures, on 6/1/2006, when I paid $2.99 a gallon — I was paying the correct amount. I don’t like it, but I think it was correct. (Of course, we could always argue that the price is off to begin with, but I still don’t know how much refining costs on a barrel of oil.)

I mean, I would hate to think that their profits really do come from the fact that more gas is sold, but I think what the oil companies are telling us just might be true.

And, isn’t that a kick in the rubber parts?

God Bless

Oil and Gas Prices

We’ve all heard tons of information on the rising cost of a barrel of oil and the rising cost of gas at the pumps. We’ve seen the oil companies post record profits and we’ve heard everyone say that the oil companies are screwing us.

I figured I’d get to the bottom of all of this. I want to know exactly why I paid $3.12 a gallon today when I filled up my tank. Afterall, the barrel price of $67.64 (as of 7/7/2006 — check the for more information) won’t be refined and in my tank for at least 3 months and maybe even 6 months. So, why am I paying such a high rate now?

The answer is — I don’t know. I think I almost have this all figured out, but I cannot find one place that will tell me exactly how much it costs to refine the barrel of oil (42 gallons) into the 20 gallons of gasoline. (I’ve seen different numbers for how many gallons of gas come out of a barrel of oil. One website stated that 55% of a barrel of oil becomes gasoline.)

I’m going to keep digging, but if anyone knows how much it costs to refine one barrel of oil — and remember, other products come out of that oil, so it isn’t all about gas — please pass it on to me. Otherwise, I might be researching this forever!

God Bless

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