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25 February 2004 @ 08:15 am
Gas Prices  
This is mainly of interest to folks in California, though if folks elsewhere in the country want ideas on lowering gas prices, they may want to read on as well. Folks from other countries are welcome to please NOT point out how spoiled we are in the US with regard to gas prices. ;) I know we are -- but that still does not stop me from being pissed off when I get a $0.15 cent increase in one week for absolutely no reason.



I have seen this before and would like to think it would work, but it hasn'tin the past so what is different today? Most of the major stations today will accept your Visa or Mastercard so if they just stopped using their Exxon or Mobil card and purchased somewhere else it could work.


I hear we are going to hit close to $3.00 a gallon by the summer. Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth, offered this good idea: This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read it and join with us!

By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $1.97 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost! of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50- $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace....not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas pricesif we all act together to force a price war.

Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do!! Now, don't wimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

Edit: The rest of this is just talking about sending this post around as a chain letter. You can skip to the end now if you don't want to be bothered to read this.

I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all. (If
you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is
send this to 10 people... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a
mathematician. But I am ... so trust me on this one.)

How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a difference.

If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. PLEASE HOLD
OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.
THIS CAN REALLY WORK.




About 8 years or so MTBE, or "reformulated" gas was forced by law into California. This gas contains an additive that was supposed to reduce emitions at higher speeds (above 30 MPH). As a side result of this, gas prices jumped in California. There were two reasons for this. The first is that the gas companies had to re-tool their facilities to include this additive. Gas prices went up because the fuel companites had to pass on the cost of the retooling to their consumers. The second reason prices went up because of MTBE is that since nowhere else in the US was MTBE being used, this new fuel was only used in a "niche" market -- albeit a very large "niche". Because of this, there were a limited number of refineries producing California-approved gas, causing the laws of supply and demand to kick in. Since there aren't a lot of suppliers of MTBE gas, the ones that are out there can demand higher prices, with no consumer recourse to seek out alternate suppliers.

As the years went on it was discovered that the process of making the additive actually causes a good deal of harm to the environment which did not outweigh any benefits that the additive gave. (In realty, MTBE causes more problems than it solves. It led to more engine fires and overheating problems in older engines. In addition it actually produced more pollution than non MTBE gas at lower speed (under about 30 MPH). So in rural areas -- where it is possible to go over 30 MPH regularly -- it did help reduce some pollution. But as anyone who commuted to work in an urban area can attest, in the cities there are a whole lot of cars stuck moving very slowly for long periods of time. Pollution is more of an issue in the crowded urban areas than it is in the rural areas, so there the whole thing came out to be a net loss.) Because of all this, use of MTBE is being phased out, and by law must be discontinued by... I believe it is 2005.

The gas companies, of course, say that they must now re-tool their facilites again, and so gas prices will rise. One important thing to note, however, is that since there is no longer the California-specific additive, there are now a lot more possible gas suppliers available. California's gas does not need to come from a handful of refineries -- it can come from any of the refineries that supply the rest of the country. In economic terms, there is now more possible supply to meet this demand. Which means that gas prices should actually go down.

It's a nice theory, but this is the real world. Will gas prices ever go down? No, not really. But it does imply that they should be able to stay static while at the same time the gas companies are able to continue taking in the same level of profits that they were before since while costs (temporary, amatorizable, tax deductable ones) rise in one area, but are offset by lower costs in other areas.

Anyway, that's my soapbox about gas prices. And that's the basis of my reasoning that we do not and should not have to pay the prices that we are looking at currently. So please, do what you can to try and convince the gas companies to stop their gouging and start conducting business in a more sensible fashion.
 
 
Current Mood: annoyed at gas prices
 
 
 
Cirdancirdan_havens on February 25th, 2004 05:03 pm (UTC)
Bleh. Yeah, I'm rather unhappy about the gas prices too. -_-
Max Kaehnslothman on February 25th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
I already buy Shell rather than Exxon-Mobil, but the important thing to do is wean the country off petroleum entirely. My next car will be a hybrid, and as soon as they’ve got fuel cells ready for prime time, I’m switching to that...
dynamite with a laser beamoberstein on February 26th, 2004 12:46 am (UTC)
Dude, here in LoCal, regular is 2.04 MINIMUM. >_