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View Poll Results: Should the government regulate gas prices?

Yes 14 58.33%
No 10 41.67%
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Old April 18th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gas Prices

I'm just curious as to what the pros/cons of having the government step in and limit gas prices would be, and who here supports/opposes that.

Gas prices are only going to go further up, so is it finally time for oil companies to be regulated? I'm a huge proponent of laissez faire economics, and I oppose almost any government intervention, but I'm starting to wonder if perhaps this is something that needs to happen.

-Jinjiro
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Old April 18th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i think so...soon it will be redicilous actually it already is. Schools won't be able to operate for the bus's not having money for gas and what not...and also the prices on everything is going to rise as gas does...well everything that uses 18 wheelers for transport...or who am i kidding anything that requires any kind of transport is going to raise prices because of gas....

3 bucks is rediculous for a gallon of gas...especially when we can get Oil our selves from Alaska or Canada...if PETA would just move the hell out of the way we would be fine. Or if Bush would jus give up on trying to cover his ass in Iraq and go ahead and just yoink all of the Oil over there...(saying that he went over there for Oil now he might as well finish taking the oil and get outta there )
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Old April 18th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
I'm just curious as to what the pros/cons of having the government step in and limit gas prices would be, and who here supports/opposes that.

Gas prices are only going to go further up, so is it finally time for oil companies to be regulated? I'm a huge proponent of laissez faire economics, and I oppose almost any government intervention, but I'm starting to wonder if perhaps this is something that needs to happen.

-Jinjiro
I agree with you here, I've always been gov't = hands off, but this is rediculous. Now, I dont know all the politics and the reasoning behind the surging of gas prices, but all I know is that I would like them to go down, lol. I don't know if there would be another consequence in other areas as a result of govt stepping in, but you have to think, we might have to start paying a gas tax, and think of this...there was a surge in gas prices in teh 80s, but then prices came back to 90 cents a gallon...now what if gas did that again in 5 years, went back down...would the govt then RAISE the price to 1.30$ for themselves since they have the power to regulate? I'm not sure, just some stuff to think of.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There is already taxes on gas.

I don't know, really. I'd have to really analyze it to make a decision. As I stand now, though, I'm not sure it'd help.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We should supply nerve gas to Russian separatists. Then we should detonate the gas canisters by satellite when they reach the terrorists' base. It would provide proof of weapons of mass destruction in central Asia and allow us to increase military presence in Asia and secure an oil source.

In seriousness now, I think that gas prices should not be regulated. However, I feel that alternate energy sources should be encouraged. I don't know much about economics, but I think that somehow the government should provide incentives for hybrid and electric car owners.

I'm also a supporter of nuclear energy. Little raw material is needed to produce a large amount of energy and it's a very clean process. I think it would be beneficial to fund research to make uranium disposal safer and to help prevent another Three Mile Island or Chernobyl incident.

Whoops, got a little off track there.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I agree with you, Jin. I haven't been following it closley to make much more an educated comment.

I was in Rochester NY/ Canada for the weekend and it's incredible out there. I know its a big city, but not nearly as big as the Boston metro area and the burbs. Thursday I was in Boston (cambridge and park st.) and prices weren't too bad. Go to Rochester and they are 35-45 cents higher. I feel sorry for Upstaters more than anyone else.

I guess I don't want to see gov't intervention because then there is no one to say when prices will get lower. It's just one more factor they can boost at the drop of a hat to "boost the economy" when they feel its slouching, and we have to pay the price of it regardless.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by m98_bmx
Go to Rochester and they are 35-45 cents higher. I feel sorry for Upstaters more than anyone else.
Yeah, it's like $2.90 here...
I've been driving my dad's old Ford Ranger because it gets pretty decent gas mileage, but when your girlfriend lives 20+ miles away and gas is that high, I'm shelling out close to $60 a week for gas.

I haven't even gotten my Z out of winter storage yet because Premium here is like $3.05 or more, and it only gets about 18-20mpg.

Rochester sucks.

-Jin
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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my PT Cruiser is getting 25+ which is good for it.. it hasnt reached 280 in my county but every other county around here has...i get my gas at a lil corner store who cant even set their gas pumpers to stop on a certain ammount of money lol... its 2.68 down there...i was on empty gas light on and i put 20 bucks in and i got it to 3/4 of a tank...sucks when i first started driving 20 bucks would overfill my tank...now it gets 3/4....gay.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I didn't know you lived in Rochester. Know where Eagle ridge is? I spent the weekend there with my buddy from school. Right now I don't sweat gas that much. My 96 Accord gets 32mpg on the highway home from NH to CT. Can't complain about that and if I set cruise control at 65 I use less than 1/4 tank to go 140+ miles. In a few weeks I'll be inheriting my Mom's 01 Cherokee which is both a blessing and a curse.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Because of gas prices, I'm driving a 4 cylinder.

If gas was still somewhat cheap, I'd have either an LT1 Fbody or Foxbody 5.0 sitting in my driveway right now.

I think something needs to be done, this is just ridicolous. I remember when cruising around with your friends was fun, but now noone will do it just because of how expensive gas is getting.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know what we're complaining about, we pay less for fuel than most other nations. Europe in general is up to around $7 a gallon for gas. However, gas prices shouldn't be as high as they are. We have proof that companies are gouging prices and charging what they want. Their profit margin runs into the billions, hell the CEO's profit margins runs into the billions, I think they can afford to bring prices down a little.

By the way, don't feel bad about the prices, we filled up our 10,000 gallon fuel tank the other day. It now costs us $2,500 more to fill it every time it's filled, we fill it about 8 times a year. Think about that, $20,000 more a year for fuel, nuts ain't it?



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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here, I'll make this plain and simple for everyone to read:

THE ONLY REASON OIL COMPANIES MAKE GAS PRICES HIGH IS BECAUSE THE MEDIA AND PEOPLE HYPE IT UP

For example: Hurricane Katrina.

The news reported that gas prices would be skyrocketing. With already rising prices, this made for a GREAT story. They showed us pictures of destroyed refineries, etc.

The oil companies know they can get away with spiking gas prices, becuase the media made an excuse. So it happened.

Why dont people wise up and stop using gas so much. Get an electric mower. I'm sure there are battery opearated ones out there. Drive hybrid cars. Let your politicians know you want hydrogen cars.

People complain and complain, but dont do anything. You can tell people on the net how bad things are going to get, and nothing is ever going to happen unless EVERYBODY (not just one or two) lets the world know that they DEMAND action. The American Revolution would have never happened if colonists wore red on fridays to protest the british or debated about things. It took thousands of people putting their careers, their very lives on the line to get what they want.

Nothing comes easy. If you want lower gas prices, your going to have to work for it. And not just a few thousand people stop buying gas for one day. Its going to take scientists, politicians, and more importantly the PEOPLE to actually make something change.

But people really dont care. If they did, we'd be a race of peace loving creatures.

Step up or shut up America.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Nope. let it go up, and up, and up.


Oil companies like Beyond Petroleum, Shell, and Exxon mobil don't even have enough capital to influence directly the price of oil and they don't actually make that much at the pump.


See here





http://money.howstuffworks.com/gas-price2.htm


the market is extremely fuzzy and noone is sure if this is just a lack of supply with extremely high demand or producers/suppliers trying to indirectly manipulate the market. I will stick to my guns and say our oil supply is dwindling.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't know what we're complaining about, we pay less for fuel than most other nations. Europe in general is up to around $7 a gallon for gas. However, gas prices shouldn't be as high as they are. We have proof that companies are gouging prices and charging what they want. Their profit margin runs into the billions, hell the CEO's profit margins runs into the billions, I think they can afford to bring prices down a little.

By the way, don't feel bad about the prices, we filled up our 10,000 gallon fuel tank the other day. It now costs us $2,500 more to fill it every time it's filled, we fill it about 8 times a year. Think about that, $20,000 more a year for fuel, nuts ain't it?
Switch to natural gas dude... Its much cleaner, and a bit cheaper. Plus a lot of gas companies are offering incentives (such as, free removal of oil burner/oil tank and free installations... Check it out.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by doomsday
I don't know what we're complaining about, we pay less for fuel than most other nations. Europe in general is up to around $7 a gallon for gas. However, gas prices shouldn't be as high as they are. We have proof that companies are gouging prices and charging what they want. Their profit margin runs into the billions, hell the CEO's profit margins runs into the billions, I think they can afford to bring prices down a little.

By the way, don't feel bad about the prices, we filled up our 10,000 gallon fuel tank the other day. It now costs us $2,500 more to fill it every time it's filled, we fill it about 8 times a year. Think about that, $20,000 more a year for fuel, nuts ain't it?

its always someone elses fault isn't it?
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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my 92 cavalier gets about 20 city and 28 highway (yeah i know BIG difference) but hopefully since i just got an oil change and am getting a tune up, that city # will be better.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Alpha, it's great that you're trying to get people motivated and doing something about the cause, but it's not as easy as you make it seem.

Before I begin, PLEASE NOTE: I'm not trying to sound whiney. I'm not saying someone else should do all the work for us. I'm not saying the average person isn't responsible. I think some of the responsibility DOES fall on us.

HOWEVER...

I'm not a scientist. I don't have a nice salary job. I'm also not a politician. I'm an average kid, still in his senior year of high school, trying to get from A to B.

How do you expect me to help promote hydrogen cars? Should I start researching and building prototype engines? Or how am I supposed to buy a Hybrid car like you suggested? I make $8 an hour. There is no way I could go out and buy a Hybrid. As I said, I'm not a politician. I can't exactly influence laws or bills. Hell, I just turned 18 so I haven't even been able to VOTE for my representatives yet.

The fact is that new energy is something that the average American cannot really contribute to. This is one issue where we are at the mercy of the big car companies, the oil industry, the scientists, the politicians, and the government.

-Jin
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha
Switch to natural gas dude... Its much cleaner, and a bit cheaper. Plus a lot of gas companies are offering incentives (such as, free removal of oil burner/oil tank and free installations... Check it out.
At home we use natural gas, I'm talking about fuel for the heavy equipment. We've got one 10,000 gallon tank and three 1,000 gallon tanks, when you burn through 300 gallons a fuel in just one piece of equipment in a day you use it up pretty fast.



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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Well,

Lets not forget what makes oil from the middle east different from whats coming out of Alaska


1) Viscosity--some crude oil is heavy, some is light. There are many shades.

2) Sulfur content--high sulfur content oil is called "sour crude" whereas low sulfur content oil is called "sweet crude."

3) Location is important--we'd much rather get most of our oil from the western hemisphere as it takes less time to get from where they pull it out of the ground to our shores. This is important for a number of reasons, some of them fairly technical and involved with how the oil markets work. But obviously, the shorter the supply chain, the less likely it is to be disrupted


The first two are particularly important--one of the sayings that got bandied about last year and apparently accepted as true without questioning is that lack of refinery capacity is what drove the price of gasoline up, not lack of oil supply. This is true in a certain sense. It requires a number of modules that are not contained in most refineries to fraction heavy sour crude. Prior to 2004, light sweet crude was still abundant. But it peaked that year, and ever since then, the proportion of heavy sour crude has been growing. Heavy Sour crude is called heavy for a reason--it weighs more because it's denser than light crude. It therefore takes more energy to get it out of the ground and to transport it, making it more expensive at the outset. The additional sulfur content also requires extra refining, and there are comparatively few refineries that can handle it.


The problem is, no more refineries are being built. Oil companies are quite aware that it would not be profitable to build them, not because the price of oil has gone up tremendously, but because there will not be enough oil to supply any new refineries by the time the original investment is recouped.

In any case, I have a couple more comments about some misconceptions I saw in this thread (and I'm sorry to sound like a sanctimonious prick, but this is one of the most important issues we face and I consider it necessary to speak up--I really mean no offense to anybody):


The Oil Majors are to blame for high prices. This is not correct. Don't get me wrong; I don't think the Oil Majors are a nice and well-meaning bunch. But oil is traded on exchanges (2 principle exchanges, the West Texas Intermediary and the Brent) in much the same way that stocks are, except the vast majority of oil is sold by futures contract within a narrow band of the spot price. If you look at the amount of money traded daily on the 2 major exchanges, it vastly exceeds the profits that the Oil Majors clear in a quarter. This means that even if they wanted to manipulate the markets, they wouldn't have the cash. They're aware that Aramco and others are still sitting on a decent inventory, so they have to sell near spot if they want to make money.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
Alpha, it's great that you're trying to get people motivated and doing something about the cause, but it's not as easy as you make it seem.

Before I begin, PLEASE NOTE: I'm not trying to sound whiney. I'm not saying someone else should do all the work for us. I'm not saying the average person isn't responsible. I think some of the responsibility DOES fall on us.

HOWEVER...

I'm not a scientist. I don't have a nice salary job. I'm also not a politician. I'm an average kid, still in his senior year of high school, trying to get from A to B.

How do you expect me to help promote hydrogen cars? Should I start researching and building prototype engines? Or how am I supposed to buy a Hybrid car like you suggested? I make $8 an hour. There is no way I could go out and buy a Hybrid. As I said, I'm not a politician. I can't exactly influence laws or bills. Hell, I just turned 18 so I haven't even been able to VOTE for my representatives yet.

The fact is that new energy is something that the average American cannot really contribute to. This is one issue where we are at the mercy of the big car companies, the oil industry, the scientists, the politicians, and the government.

-Jin

Thank you. Yeah, let me just throw on my lab coat and invent an engine that runs on oxygen. Or better yet, maybe I'll drop out of college and work full time at my current job at 9.50$ an hour and buy a hybrid, and live in an apartment for the rest of my life. It's not as easy as it sounds. Sure, I would love to make a difference, and if I had the chance to, I would. But bottomline is that I am just one person, and saying to people "hey we should deviate from our convenient routine and drive minimally and take public transportation!!" doesnt exactly fly. I would love to make a change, but until then, I am just one college kid trying to make it along, and I don't have the time to start a national campaign against gas prices, and neither does 99% of the country. About the only thing I can do now to make a difference is vote, and I will continue to do so. The most convenient thing for me at this point would be a big sudden nationwide action, such as what Jin mentioned - gov't regulation.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Drill in Alaska and off the coast of California. We should have done it long ago, and now it's coming back to bite us in the asses.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Drill in Alaska and off the coast of California. We should have done it long ago, and now it's coming back to bite us in the asses.

Ok, how much oil will that net you initially? How much oil will that net you when it comes up to speed? What kind of oil is it? Sweet crude? Heavy Crude?


I don't disagree with you, however it may not matter if we can't refine the oil anyway.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by doomsday
I don't know what we're complaining about, we pay less for fuel than most other nations. Europe in general is up to around $7 a gallon for gas. However, gas prices shouldn't be as high as they are. We have proof that companies are gouging prices and charging what they want. Their profit margin runs into the billions, hell the CEO's profit margins runs into the billions, I think they can afford to bring prices down a little.

By the way, don't feel bad about the prices, we filled up our 10,000 gallon fuel tank the other day. It now costs us $2,500 more to fill it every time it's filled, we fill it about 8 times a year. Think about that, $20,000 more a year for fuel, nuts ain't it?
Comparitively, though, not as many people drive in Europe as here. It's more of a choice there. Almost everybody here drives.

Even though in the UK gas may be $7/gal, they're pound is worth almost twice as much as our dollar. I don't think they're suffering.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Alpha

For example: Hurricane Katrina.

The news reported that gas prices would be skyrocketing. With already rising prices, this made for a GREAT story. They showed us pictures of destroyed refineries, etc.
uh, refineries were destroyed. We didnt have gas for literally weeks.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 05:54 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Alpha
Here, I'll make this plain and simple for everyone to read:

THE ONLY REASON OIL COMPANIES MAKE GAS PRICES HIGH IS BECAUSE THE MEDIA AND PEOPLE HYPE IT UP

For example: Hurricane Katrina.

The news reported that gas prices would be skyrocketing. With already rising prices, this made for a GREAT story. They showed us pictures of destroyed refineries, etc.

The oil companies know they can get away with spiking gas prices, becuase the media made an excuse. So it happened.

Why dont people wise up and stop using gas so much. Get an electric mower. I'm sure there are battery opearated ones out there. Drive hybrid cars. Let your politicians know you want hydrogen cars.

People complain and complain, but dont do anything. You can tell people on the net how bad things are going to get, and nothing is ever going to happen unless EVERYBODY (not just one or two) lets the world know that they DEMAND action. The American Revolution would have never happened if colonists wore red on fridays to protest the british or debated about things. It took thousands of people putting their careers, their very lives on the line to get what they want.

Nothing comes easy. If you want lower gas prices, your going to have to work for it. And not just a few thousand people stop buying gas for one day. Its going to take scientists, politicians, and more importantly the PEOPLE to actually make something change.

But people really dont care. If they did, we'd be a race of peace loving creatures.

Step up or shut up America.
You obviously know nothing about the "gas crisis."

Let me explain something to you about hybrid cars. Hybrid cars are a ploy. A fake. They don't help anything. We learned about this in Physics (random place, I know). While you WILL be getting better gas mileage, the cost of your car outshines the savings you make on gas. Every certain number of years (I think I'm recalling this right) your battery will completely die. You know how much those batteries cost? Something to the tune of $5,000. BUT IMAGINE ALL THE GAS YOU'RE SAVING!!!!

Why don't we wise up and stop using gas so much? Hmm. Ok! Let's just all stop driving! That sounds like a wonderful idea! Let's take public transportation! Oh wait...that's right...WE DON'T HAVE MASS PUBLIC TRANSIT IN THE UNITED STATES. Most European countries have mass public transit systems. We don't. The US is more spread out than most other places as well. Cities and towns are farther apart, it takes you longer to get to where you need to be.

Also, not all of us are scientists who can come up with awesome new technologies. We're just average Joe Shmoes who work for a living and try to make it through with what we have now. Gas prices are ridiculous, and I'd like them to change, but I'm not going to stop my education so I can stay at Target for the rest of my life while fervently working on an alternative fuel engine in my basement.
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