By on March 7, 2022

Fuel prices have, like most other things, become totally ridiculous. In the United States, the average rate for a gallon of gasoline has eclipsed $4.00 for the first time in a decade. Though what’s probably the most alarming is how quickly it happened. Plenty of Americans could still find fuel for under $2.00 a gallon in April of 2020, meaning we’ve seen prices effectively double within two years in the United States. Meanwhile, European nations more accustomed to lofty fuel bills have been sounding the warning bells (especially in regard to diesel) for months.

Despite the issue existing long before Russia invaded Ukraine, the war has become the de facto explanation among politicians for why you had to swap to less-fancy dog food and off-brand soda to keep the truck gassed up. This is also influencing the government’s response to how to handle the present fuel crisis, which looks as if it’ll be getting worse before it gets better. But let’s take a look at how we got here before we dive into what’s being done (or not done) about it. 

Starting in late 2014, U.S. fuel prices began trending downward and managed to stay well below the dreaded $4.00 per gallon mark. The following five years represented a period where drivers could reliably count on stations to offer regular gasoline at prices befitting the large automobiles Americans tend to prefer. Diesel prices tended to be even more stable, albeit slightly higher.

Then, 2020 happened.

Initially, the global response to COVID-19 forced prices down. With everyone suddenly told to stay home, demand collapsed and prices dipped even lower. While I never experienced it personally, there were months where central U.S. states could find 87 octane for $1.50 per gallon. The situation became so dire that oil prices actually shifted into the negative as companies ran out of places to store all the black gold that continued flowing out of the ground.

But the tide turned in November of 2020. Prices began trending swiftly up and continued doing so over the next several months. This was initially attributed to the market assuming the U.S. election would drastically impact oil futures. But demand was also beginning to return after businesses spent the better part of the year minimizing output. Supply chains were in shambles, too, and inflation was becoming a relevant factor for most goods. Sadly, the situation only appears to have worsened through 2021. Mimicking what happened with cars, oil production remained suppressed throughout 2021 due to supply issues.

But the year started with President Joe Biden issuing an executive order to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have joined Alberta to Texas, with offshoots connecting Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Illinois. It was actually his very first act in office.

I’ve heard all sorts of arguments as to why this was done. Some have said it simply fit the Biden administration’s aggressive electric-vehicle agenda by using high fuel prices to discourage people from purchasing gas or diesel-dependent automobiles. Others claimed it was done in an effort to shield protected lands from pollution. I’ve even heard arguments that being more dependent upon foreign oil would keep the United States better involved in geopolitics, which would have been a crackpot conspiracy had things not played out differently.

In June of 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Nord Stream 2 pipeline (connecting Russia to Germany) would need to be completed. In the following month, the U.S. urged Ukraine not to criticize a forthcoming agreement with Germany over the project. Joe Biden and Chancellor (now retired) Angela Merkel then reached a conclusive deal that the U.S. may trigger sanctions if Russia uses Nord Stream as a “political weapon,” allegedly to ensure Poland and Ukraine wouldn’t ever be cut off from Russian fuel supplies should tensions arise.

Obviously, that didn’t play out quite as expected, as Russia simply opted to invade Ukraine last month. This has further driven up pricing, something Moscow seemed to have wanted in 2020, with the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimating a nearly 40 cent increase in gasoline between last week and today.

However, the White House was prepping us for increased fuel prices well before that. Kamala Harris even suggested that it was our patriotic duty to endure rising prices on behalf of the situation in Ukraine prior to Vladimir Putin sending troops into the country.

“When America stands for principles, and all of the things that we hold dear, it requires sometimes for us to put ourselves out there in a way that maybe we will incur some cost,” Harris said at the time. “In this situation, that may relate to energy costs.”

Energy costs had been skyrocketing already, meaning the situation with Russia would only exacerbate a preexisting problem. Sanctions being levied by Western nations against Moscow will also be playing an important factor, though only Canada has formally prohibited oil importations from Russia. Since oil prices are speculative, pretty much everyone is operating under the assumption that war means increased pricing. We’re already seeing analysis running with historical precedent. For example, GasBuddy is estimating that the greater Los Angeles area could see regular gasoline at over $6.00 per gallon by the start of May and continue throughout the rest of 2022.

That’s REALLY bad news if you happen to drive and you’re probably hoping something is being done about it. Well, there has been an influx of increasingly irrelevant celebrities pleading with Americans to endure higher prices to help the war effort — despite the U.S. not technically being involved in a traditional war. But this has resulted in more arguing over the internet than usual, with a few rational ideas being sprinkled into the conversation. Among these has been Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s repeated suggestion that the world pump more oil to address the realities of what’s shaping up to be a massive energy crisis.

“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil [and] gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” he said on March 4th. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil [and] gas exports.”

Reports have also begun surfacing that Washington has been sending secret envoys to Venezuela to undermine Russia’s relationship with the country and access some of its sweet crude. Initially, this was done using American lobbyists and international oil executives as a go-between, which seems like a conflict of interests already. But it’s now being alleged that there is a bipartisan alliance trying to court President Nicolas Maduro and reshuffle global alliances ahead of a possible U.S. ban on Russian oil.

Except it doesn’t really mesh with the messaging. While I’ll be the first to call Putin an oligarch and the invasion of Ukraine totally unacceptable, Maduro doesn’t seem like a good guy either. After winning in a highly questionable election held in 2013, he was accused of leveraging the oil industry and military for political gain. He’s been subjected to numerous criticisms of despotism, drug trafficking, and rampant human rights abuse since then. In 2018, Amnesty International accused the Maduro government of committing some of the worst human rights violations in Venezuela’s history — citing thousands of extrajudicial trials where citizens were sent to prison for expressing political dissent, using the military to murder civilians,  and withholding food from poorer areas of the country, even when people were already starving. By 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Maduro on charges of drug trafficking and narco-terrorism, and the Department of State offered a $15 million reward for information that helps “bring him to justice.” Several months later the Venezuelan accused the U.S. and its Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of organizing a coup after several U.S. special forces members were revealed to be part of a coalition of dissidents attempting an overthrow.

So we went from (allegedly) trying to violently unseat this dude from power to suggesting working with Maduro would be favorable to buying fuel from the Russians in a little over two years.

Personally, I don’t see the purpose of trading one dictator for another when the United States has the ability to be wholly energy independent. While totally abandoning oil imports would likely have a negative impact on global trade, there’s nothing stopping the country from producing/exporting sufficient oil to not be reliant on important whenever things go sideways. That was even the reality a few years ago. But we don’t have to go that far. All the U.S. really needs to do to offset any hypothetical oil deficits involving Russia is increase its own production. Presently, that only accounts for about 3.5 percent of the whole. As a byproduct, we’d see more stable oil prices and a gaggle of domestic jobs.

But something tells me that’s not what any of this is about. None of the decisions being made by world leaders seem all that concerned about how it impacts the citizenry. Instead, much of this seems to be a quest for power or political influence — which does not bode well for anybody visiting the pump. With the government telling citizens to brace for high prices, it’s unlikely 2022 is going to give us a break. We can blame geopolitical strife, environmentalism, bad leadership, COVID lockdowns, and anything else we’d like. However, it won’t make a bit of difference without there being a tangible, sane solution to the problem and I’m not seeing a lot of decision-makers offering those up.

[Image: Michael Vi/Shutterstock]

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227 Comments on “Alright, Let’s Talk About Fuel Prices and How We Got Here...”


  • avatar
    mor2bz

    You have it all wrong. Joe said in his State of the Union
    address that his first priority is fighting inflation. “I
    get it” he added. So the matter is resolved.

    • 0 avatar
      Veeg

      Inflation is just a fancy word for corporate greed. Shell, Exxon, etc are posting record profits.

      Way more words than needed to say “capitalism is failing as a viable system “.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Your first sentence is true. Capitalism isn’t failing, though, it is thriving.

        I wonder if Alberta has figured out a way to be connected to Canada.
        [“the Keystone XL pipeline that would have joined Alberta to Canada”]

        When did it ever break off from the continent?

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          RHD – You are correct. It is a complex supply chain with a long lead time.

          None of which explains how a swift rise in peak crude oil price can result in an immediate one-day price increase of 20% at the pump. After all, that gasoline had already progressed through the months-long process and all along the way, processors and transporters thereof had already been paid.

          So, definitely, it is greed. Blame can’t be laid at the feet of the big oil companies, but it *definitely* can be blamed on the retailers and distributors of gasoline.

          • 0 avatar
            mdoore

            remember, retailers have to charge a price that will allow purchase of replacement inventory not what they initially paid to purchase it. Managing cash flow properly to maintain a consistant profit can be very difficult when there are quick fluctuations in the markets.

          • 0 avatar
            SnarkIsMyDefault

            “Greed”

            Nobody taught you “supply and demand”. There is a price where you can produce what people are willing to buy. If the price is lower than that there are shortages, if it’s higher you are left with stuff lying around going bad. Suddenly there’s a lot less oil out there so if the price doesn’t rise there will be shortages. And be honest, if you tanked up at 1.99 a gallon and someone offered 8 a gallon for it would you sell and just drive less?

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            “remember, retailers have to charge a price that will allow purchase of replacement inventory…”

            This is a pretty lame excuse considering that

            A) The demand for gasoline is, largely, inelastic, which means that a retailer or distributor’s exposure (and it’s not even true exposure as inevitable price increase are a wash anyway) is very limited at best.

            B) Almost all retailers do not purchase on a cash basis and, instead, have short-term inventory financing or Net 15,30,45 or 90 day terms. Furthermore, they enjoy the leverage that comes from immediate retail payment and the aforementioned terms for goods purchased at wholesale.

            Try again to find a way to paint this as anything but price gouging. Again, this is in the short term while they enjoy a huge arbitrage advantage.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            there is an alternative now. Solar panels and an EV is a way of fighting back. Not everyone can do it, but those of us that can are able to send them a message. If they keep raising prices, they’ll be put out of business sooner.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …“remember, retailers have to charge a price that will allow purchase of replacement inventory…”…

            My wife’s family owned and operated a few gas stations in the past and yeah, this is what they do, at least back then. You had to pay for the upcoming dump of fuel and that was figured by selling existing inventory at a price that would cover the next delivery. If the price of the expected delivery was going to be higher than the previous delivery, the price at the pump went up immediately to make sure the new delivery would be paid for. So there is a windfall on the product already in the ground as it is sold with better margins. Interesting to note that if the new delivery was less than what was delivered prior, the pump price stays elevated until the higher price fuel in the tanks is expended and only then does the pump price drop. While that makes sense, the raising the price of the cheaper load to cover future expenses is a ripoff to the consumer.

            One should also note that the actual profit on gas sales is really small, delivery shenanigans aside.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @golden2husky – Profits in gas bars are with the convenience store that’s typically attached to them.

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          You’re right that capitalism isn’t failing. By aggregating wealth (aka “power”) into a smaller and smaller pool of people, it’s working exactly as intended.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        “Shell, Exxon, etc.” price fuel based on the cost of the base price of the feedstock (crude oil) that they purchase on the open market and the costs of refining, storage, and distribution. The price of that feedstock is churned by several changes of hands between the well head and the refinery. That oil in the tanker putt-putting from the well head to the refinery changes hands several times by investors/middlemen in different counties before delivery, each sale raising the price a bit more using oil futures guesses, world political situations, greed. While major oil companies (“Shell, Exxon, etc.) may be greedy, it could be argued that most corporations are greedy also. The price of gasoline at the pump is much, much more complicated to calculate than laying it at the feet of “Shell, Exxon, etc.). There are larger boogeymen in the equation than the oil companies.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Record profits, on what, 10 percent margins?

        And never mind that some lost money in 2020.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        “Corporate Greed” as you put it has another economic term:

        What the market will bear.

        In a healthy economy prices are constrained by robust competition and ample supplies of goods.

        When your Government hampers competition by shutting down sources of energy, devalues the currency by excessive printing of money, and does not discourage production of critical goods from moving overseas, inflation is the inevitable result.

        Global conflict will teach us a hard-learned lesson. Domestic production of goods is a national security issue. By becoming dependent on others for fuel, chips and medicines we have made ourselves weak.

        Corporate greed didn’t get us where we are today. Government incompetence did.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          US domestic oil production peaked at 12.8 million barrels per day in February 2020, and fell to 9.7 million barrels per by by May 2020. That wasn’t the fault of government regulation; it was the effect of a global crash in energy prices. As you yourself said: it’s what the market will bear.

          For what it’s worth the last two months for which we have data (November and December of 2021) had the highest domestic oil production since the pandemic.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Astigmatism:

            Exactly. I don’t see where all this “you-know-who constricted oil production” stuff is coming from. It ignores facts. And the increases in gas prices – well over 30% – don’t reflect actual production.

            What it reflects is the “market” here is based on speculators, not actual supply/demand. It’s voodoo, and people are making money hand over fist from it.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “I don’t see where all this “you-know-who constricted oil production” stuff is coming from.”

            Except that, of course, you do.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I was trying to be somewhat polite, but if we’re being more specific, it’s coming from the people who are making money off fossil fuels, via their bought-and-paid-for elected representatives and certain media outlets. They’ve got the system gamed, and they don’t want it un-gamed.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Uhm, much to the chagrin of environmentalists, the Biden administration in its 1st yearhas granted more drilling permits on public lands than the preceding administration did in THREE years.

          But most of those permits aren’t being used as domestic oil (and natural gas) producers are enjoying the healthy margins and are even being pressured by investors/Wall St. NOT to increase production (just as OPEC hasn’t brought their production up to pre-pandemic levels).

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Over 40 years ago Trudeau Senior’s government implemented a plan to make Canada totally ‘independent from the world energy market’. However the producers in Alberta resented this program as they would rather be able to sell their oil on the world market than sell it to Eastern Canada at a cost plus basis. Of course every time the oil price/market ‘busts’ they then demand assistance from the federal government. The last vestiges of this program have been sold off. Oil from Alberta is primarily transported to the USA for refining. Then transported back to Canada for sale. Eastern Canada imports petroleum despite our nation having a huge reserve/surplus. And we are still arguing over building pipelines to the west coast or eastern Canada.

    As for fuel prices, they will ‘bust’ again. Petroleum pricing is cyclical.

    As for Venezuela, we have always given ‘preferred status’ to ‘our dictators’ as long as we can differentiate them from ‘their dictators’.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The USA has allied itself with dictators through most of it’s existence for a variety of reasons. It’s naïve to think that it won’t continue.

      “stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have joined Alberta to Canada, with offshoots connecting Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Illinois.”
      Um, really?
      “The Keystone XL pipeline would have offered a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible way to deliver crude oil from western Canada to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
      “It would have had the capacity to carry 830,000 barrels per day of crude from western Canadian oil fields to Gulf Coast refineries in the U.S.”

      That’s straight from the Alberta government’s web site.

      “though only Canada has formal oil importations from Russia.”
      My understanding is that it’s been over a year since Canada imported oil from Russia.

      “Personally, I don’t see the purpose of trading one dictator for another when the United States has the ability to be wholly energy independent.”
      In many respects I agree that democratic countries should not trade with dictatorships. BUT there is something known as strategic oil reserves. You can’t fight a war without oil. Burning all of one’s oil reserves to keep the populace in V8 powered pickups isn’t a very sound defense policy.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        I’m well aware of the United States’ long history of getting involved with troubled countries and bad actors. The point is that it’s an ethical problem and the current one doesn’t seem to benefit regular Americans even a little.

        The bit about Canada was a miscommunication with the editor. It should read that Canada is the only Western country that has formally banned Russian oil, not the other way around, and will be fixed.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “The point is that it’s an ethical problem”

          Ethics don’t usually play into the equation. “Any enemy of my enemy” or “as long as they sell me stuff cheap” is the only concern.
          Countries shouldn’t deal with regimes that violate human rights.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            “Ethics don’t usually play into the equation.”

            That’s true for unethical people.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @jkross22 – I agree. You ever see a politician or a big business CEO make an ethical decision when it comes to finances/trade?
            I’m all for ethical trade but the cynical side of me knows Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            @Lou,

            “You ever see a politician or a big business CEO make an ethical decision when it comes to finances/trade?”

            Not that I am aware of specifically, but I would imagine it’s occurred. I think most business and political leaders are unethical. High level positions attract sociopaths and narcissists, so there’s probably an over-representation of ethically flexible people at that level.

          • 0 avatar
            Veeg

            Inflation is just a fancy word for corporate greed. Shell, Exxon, etc are posting record profits.

            Way more words than needed to say “capitalism is failing as a viable system”.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Canada is basically Australia with snow. The economy is based on pumping, mining and chopping stuff down. They build some stuff for companies in other countries as well I guess.

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          The current situation just seems like a bunch of chickens coming home to roost.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Whatever. Canada typically aligns itself with the US so you have little room on that high horse of yours.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “As for Venezuela, we have always given ‘preferred status’ to ‘our dictators’ as long as we can differentiate them from ‘their dictators’.”

      Bingo.

      Like the U.S. hasn’t been importing from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and dozens of other countries with abysmal human rights records? Hell, we even imported 259,000 barrels a day from Iraq in 2002…yes, the same Iraq that the president said was in cahoots with Al Qaida and was busily building WMD-ish stuff to take out Oklahoma with.

      Ain’t NOTHING new there.

    • 0 avatar
      iMatt

      I usually agree with you Art but on this, you’re wrong to slander Alberta. Y it say that Alberta would rather sell its resources to global markets and require bailouts when prices are down. The reality is that Alberta is continually throttled by the ROC in terms of how much oil they can sell to global markets, hence the difference between global and Canadian pricing.

      Alberta doesn’t ask for bailouts from the Federal government either, it asks simply for fair market access.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @iMatt: Do you remember the ‘Let the eastern b*st*rds freeze in the dark’ signs and bumper stickers that were so popular in Alberta at the time? Alberta’s primary constraint is that more pipelines have not been built to transport ‘raw’ petroleum. Since the NEP was rejected how many refineries have been built in Alberta? I have now lived through multiple petroleum ‘booms and busts’ in the oil patch. Every time a boom occurs the ‘free marketers’ claim that ‘this one is different’.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “But the tide turned in November of 2020.”

    It sure as hell did.

    I don’t know what’s causing high gasoline prices. I only know that it’s not Joe Biden’s fault.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    No no no, he said it was transitory. So it should get better sometime after he leaves office…. i hope:)

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Took a road trip to D.C. area over the weekend. Diesel over 5$ a gallon everywhere I looked. That’s up about a buck a gallon in the last two months. So you can add another 20% to the price of everything you buy as that overhead gets passed along to consumers. Ouch.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yes, because obviously 100% of the cost of goods sold is fuel for transportation.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        If you are looking for knowledgeable insights and astute, accurate commentary about politics or anything tangentially related, this is not the place to find it. Most of the internet is not the place to find it, either.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        dal. I never said that, never implied that. Transportation cost going up 20 percent in a month will have a huge impact both long term and short term. It would take years after the event and a university worth of economist to measure the impact on the price of goods and services. That widget gets produced using petro chemicals, the raw materials get transported multiple times before the widget finishes production. Then the widget gets loaded by a petro powered forklift onto a petro powered truck and hauled to the shipyard. Then it gets loaded by a petro powered crane onto a petro powered ship for the ride across the ocean. Then unloaded by petro powered equipment and trucked, railed, stacked, stored and shipped again to a retailer or to your door. If each step along the way the cost are up 20 percent it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the cost to the consumer for the widget is up considerably. Maybe less than 20 percent, maybe much more. And no it’s not Sleepy Joes fault. But he has to share the blame since his handlers push non stop anti fossil fuel agendas that limit or otherwise raise the cost of production.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      True, and that sucks.

      War plays hell with the economy, even if we’re not shooting at anyone.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Wholesale oil and retail gas prices have been volatile for the entire lives of everyone posting on this site. This is not new, and for the most part it’s not controlled in either direction by any one country’s political leadership.

    Yet the general American attitude is that nobody has any obligation to take this longstanding fact into account and that no blame whatsoever should be placed on the poor consumer who chose a 14 mpg 4Runner when there was a similarly sized 30 mpg Highlander Hybrid on the same lot for the same price, or on the person who drives around by themselves all day in a 13 mpg Escalade because they like the way it makes them feel. A lot of the same people are eager to throw “personal responsibility” around in other circumstances, but somehow it goes out the window for this one.

    You knew $4 gas was almost guaranteed to happen at some point when you bought that giant truck, and you should have taken it into account.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Those most impacted by high fuel prices drive vanity Escalades and bro-dozers” is a such a straw man it should be walking next to Dorothy.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        On the one hand, of course there’s a population that’s affected that my post doesn’t address.

        On the other hand, the demagogue politicians posting pictures of gas pump readouts on Twitter are almost all filling 25+-gallon tanks, and we all know the audience they’re pandering to isn’t people trying to keep enough gas in a barely-running 1998 Camry to take the kid to school.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I don’t read a lot of Twitter, but I assume that audience was already on their side to begin with. No reason to throw out low-income babies with the bro-dozer bathwater.

      • 0 avatar
        KevinB

        Not as much as you would think. Over the past 20 years I have witnessed this cycle of stupidity several times. When fuel prices go up, people buy efficient cars. However, once prices go down, they trade them in for BOF SUVs and pickups.

        Rinse and repeat.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I doubt the widespread veracity of the phenomenon but the impact of higher fuel prices is still not on those people.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          Exactly I experienced it with the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 and the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979. The smart people I knew bought the efficient car and kept the large suv or station wagon for towing their boat or camper. That is one reason I don’t own a big truck or suv and the fact I really don’t need one. I wanted and needed a new pickup but I chose a hybrid Maverick because I didn’t need a large truck just something with an open bed. I haven’t owned a V-8 powered vehicle in 20 years and don’t need one. Don’t have anything against V-8’s I just don’t need one. I waited for gas in 73 and 79 and waiting for in a line with no guarantee that there would be gas was something I do not want to repeat. Used my bicycle a lot during those times to ensure I had a full tank of gas for an emergency.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          It will not be surprizing if stories start popping up again of old Geo Metros and its Suzuki twin selling for ridiculous sums .

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Speaking of which, I bought a Metro convertible for 700 bucks (complete with new engine) about ten years ago when gas was cheap. I kept it in storage for a rainy day… which is now here. Last weekend I popped in a battery and it fired right up!
            Thirty five bucks of gas will go over three hundred miles, and it’s a manual. Parts are cheap, insurance is cheap, and it’s roomier than you might expect.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nice work RHD. So is this a Sunday car or DD?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @ajla:

        Dal’s statement was a bit heavy on the snark, but there’s some truth in that strawman, if you ask me – four-buck-a-gallon gas is NOT unheard of and presumably these folks could have googled “historical gas prices.”

        People do seven-year loans to buy those big, gas-eating SUVs and trucks, and if they’re smart (don’t get me started), they look past “I can make this payment” to “I can make this payment if gas prices double.” Well, too many folks didn’t take that into account.

        I don’t wish ill on them, but to dal’s point, they didn’t do their homework.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Again, the biggest impact of high fuel prices is not on the purchasers of vanity vehicles. This is a fairly well-documented thing.
          Maybe they complain a lot on Twitter, I don’t partake, but you guys are overly focused on the flashy megafauna.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @ajla:

            I think you’re right, but as you say, it’s the ones who can afford the gas-eaters who are actually being most vocal about it. And politicians listen to them.

            The poors get screwed no matter what, but they tend to drive cheap cars that do better than 15 mpg. Politicians don’t listen to them.

            Unfortunate but true.

            I’ve long held that what would help the poors is better access to mass transit, not cheaper gas prices.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I think the difference between you and me is that you’re focused on the people it actually hurts the worst and I’m focused on the people who are complaining the loudest about it online.

            Gas prices are not going to stop being volatile. The best way to protect low-income people from that volatility is to allow them to use less or no gas. Cheap used EVs will help with that eventually, but the real answer (as I know you’ve heard me say about nearly every social problem) is land use that doesn’t require every person to own and use a car. Imagine if a minimum wage earner could get a safe and modern apartment for $800 within walking distance or a short and predictable transit ride from their job. Gas prices, schmass prices.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “The best way to protect low-income people from that volatility is to allow them to use less or no gas.”

            Yet the 40-50% of roles which require in person attendance are mostly held by the lower classes.

            “land use that doesn’t require every person to own and use a car. Imagine if a minimum wage earner could get a safe and modern apartment for $800 within walking distance or a short and predictable transit ride from their job.”

            In your world, $800 is effectively free. But seriously this was already attempted with projects, err housing developments. If it were to be repeated the likely outcome will be the “pod” approach I have read about being experimented with in San Francisco.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I don’t want that $800 apartment to be public like last time around. I want it to be private.

            Minimum wage earners can afford safe and reasonably pleasant housing in various cities in other parts of the world. But we don’t allow that, for a variety of mostly dumb reasons. Our regulatory system sets up what is basically a permanent housing shortage, most acutely in the cities that have the most jobs. The natural result is that the lowest-income people lose the game of musical chairs. The lucky ones end up hanging on by their fingernails in the worst of the suburbs, paying half their paychecks for gas, insurance, and repairs to their beater cars. The unlucky ones end up contributing to our homelessness crisis.

            If we would allow people to build some [email protected] apartments we could, over time, fix it. And SROs and pods are a long way better than tents on the street.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Our regulatory system sets up what is basically a permanent housing shortage, most acutely in the cities that have the most jobs.”

            Jobs which can will continue to go remote, this may have a relaxing effect on the issues to which you’re referring but it is certainly no fix. The fundamental issue is most locales were designed for a maximum population which has been exceeded since the Immigration Act of 1990 to today. Given some of the projections of automation by 2030, it would be most wise to reverse the flow of humanity from coming into the US – which would also in time solve the housing issue in many locations. But of course the opposite occurs, and when the re/devolution comes no one should be surprised in the least.

            “A McKinsey Global Institute study in 2017 showed that anywhere between 75 million and 375 million workers could be replaced by robots in the coming years. In other words, 3% to 14% of the global workforce faces high risks of unemployment.”

            https://leftronic.com/blog/jobs-lost-to-automation-statistics/

          • 0 avatar
            Varezhka

            The lack of inexpensive urban housing is a systematic issue that would require a massive change to the current land use laws and urban planning that will take years. While I do agree with you, it does seem like a pie in the sky hope.

            Now the matter of less affluent people more likely being in an area or occupation requiring personal transportation isn’t an US only issue. In Japan, the post-war govt. people’s car concept led to kei-cars (literally “cars lite”). Reduced tax for basic transportation pods and luxury tax for everything else. Which is why these $7000 mini cars are sold mostly in rural areas.

            660cc may not work for the US, but with a proper taxation system affordable cars for the masses is possible.

            Anyone who bought V8 Canyonaros and complaining about gas prices, I have zero sympathy (and should be able to afford it if they can finance $50K trucks).

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        Exactly.

        Every Escalade and Bro-Dozer driver I see around here also owns and regularly operates a boat – a far greater gas guzzler than either of the two aforementioned vehicles.

        The truth is that high gas prices really hurt those that are already driving buy-here pay-here econoboxes. They never had the money to buy a large expensive gas guzzler. These are largely people who can’t telecommute and are already living paycheck to paycheck.

        High energy prices benefit no one in the long term. It’s in our national interest to pursue abundant, cheap, energy in all of its forms.

        Today, methane, oil and nuclear. Tomorrow fusion and renewables if they can scale to global capacities.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      @dal20402–I agree those buyers choose to buy and drive big thirsty vehicles. There is no guarantee of cheap gas.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    As the captain of the Exxon Valdez found 30 years ago, it takes a long time to turn around an oil tanker. As America is finding out today, it takes a much longer time to turn around the global oil market.

    In the spring of 2020, when a barrel of oil was worth less than nothing, the Trump administration took the not-indefensible view that oil prices should be higher as a matter of global stability, so they used their considerable diplomatic muscle to persuade OPEC to slash production in order to raise prices. Unfortunately, they succeeded, with effects particularly felt when the worldwide economy roared back from the Covid downturn, leading to high baseline oil prices for most of last year. More recent geopolitical issues made prices spike further, as happens when major oil producers go to war. It’s worth noting that US domestic production actually was up year-over-year, but the US is just one country. There’s not much you, I, Biden, Trump, or Santa Claus could do about it in the short term.

    In the long term, either stop driving things that require vast quantities of a globally volatile commodity to drive, or accept that volatility as a fact of driving them. My Alfa cost me $65 to fill up yesterday, while by Kia EV6 costs $9 to fill up from empty each time I fill it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Astigmatism – well said and very true. Fracking requires a high price for oil. Canada’s tar-sands also need a higher price to be profitable.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        @Lou–True plus you cannot just turn the spigot on and release more oil. I worked for years in the oil and gas industry both in leasing mineral rights, to drilling for oil and gas, and to the final process of refining oil and the products that come from oil. Most drilling rigs are leased to the oil companies for drilling and if there is a shortage of drilling rigs it can take years to get one. Drilling companies cannot expand their rigs fast enough to meet demand. It can take anywhere from a minimum to 6 months to a couple of years to get a drill rig built especially if the demand is high. You cannot buy a drill rig off the shelf because they are more specialized especially the offshore drilling rigs which are built in shipyards. Once you contract a drill rig there is no guarantee that you will hit oil or gas but with modern technology especially the improvement in seismic equipment the odds have improved. Once the oil is produced there is no guarantee that it will be refined timely because there are not enough refineries. There has not been a major refinery built since the mid 70s. Regulations and cost make it difficult to build a new refinery and it can take years to get it approved. There are many oil leases that are not drilled because the cost of drilling and the cost to produce the oil would yield a no or a low profit.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Congrats on the EV6! I’m looking forward to seeing the EV9. But first I’ll have to convince my wife, whose heart is set on the upcoming Volvo XC90 replacement, that Kia is not just a brand for the credit-challenged anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Seriously, just have her drive one. My wife didn’t even want a new car but she was sold by the time we pulled out of the parking lot on the test drive.

  • avatar
    BEPLA

    Prices were higher in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Fuel prices were abnormally low when 95% of folks were not driving to work, school, the grocery store, and the mall every day. Get your facts straight:
    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=emm_epmr_pte_nus_dpg&f=m

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, it’s tiring. And the F-150 will still be the best-selling vehicle in 2022.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Here in Ontario $1.80 a litre at Costco this morning . ( Roughly translates to 6.75 a U.S gallon Canadian funds )…… I’m lined up behind a 10 year old ,shabby looking F150..An equally shabby looking driver gets out and starts filling …I think he stopped the pump around the $100 mark. ..I just hope he wasn’t putting rent, or grocery money in the old Ford..

        An argument could be made that he needed to drive to work ..? Personally I’d take the bus .

        • 0 avatar
          turbo_awd

          How are you converting $1.80/L CAD to $6.75/gallon USD?

          1.8 * 0.79 * 3.79 is roughly $5.40 USD / gallon.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Right. I wasn’t real clear …My bad ..My calculations were all in Canadian funds .

            I do know I pumped $80 Canadian into my not empty!! 19 Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            Matt Posky

            One of GM’s most underrated vehicles. Rest in peace.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Matt:

            Agreed 100%. It’s hard to go wrong with that Impala, or its’ platform mates (LaCrosse and XTS).

            I think these may have been some of the best non-BOF full size American cars ever…and then, in typical GM fashion, they pulled the plug.

  • avatar
    Margarets Dad

    How sad for Matt that some dead Ukrainians are costing him a few extra bucks to gas up his land yacht.

    If you had the slightest interest in being honest, you’d admit that the price of gas in the USA has never reflected its true cost. Drivers have always been subsidized and gas prices have always been artificially low. But whatever’s good for Matt Posky is good for America, eh?

    You could be a responsible citizen and do what we did in the 1970s: dump the land yachts for smaller, fuel-efficient cars. But of course that would require Americans to surrender their surrogate penises — i.e., BIG TRUCKS. And 400-hp BMW’s doing 50 in the left lane.

    Gee Matt, I’m disappointed in you. Nothing today about the Free-dumb Convoy? And this just a week or so after you labeled Justin Trudeau the world’s greatest threat to world freedom.

    Grow up.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      An M340i probably gets 37mpg doing a steady 50mph.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        The real question is, when have you seen am M340i doing a steady 50mph, outside of maybe a school zone?

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        Margrets Dad apparently doesn’t have any clue that high fuel prices also mean high shipping costs, which means more expensive goods, which means more inflation. What’s good or Matt Posky is indeed good for the average American. He’s typically the most out-of-touch person in the comments, highlighted here by his assumption that a BMW would be doing 50 mph in the left lane instead of 95 mph in the right. Ditto for any assertions that it’s bad for non-rich people to have big old cars, instead of swapping over to nearly six-figure EVs. I would also position Justin Trudeau as really only a threat to Canadians.

        Convoy news will likely be forthcoming. But I’ve previously said it lacks the focus of the Canadian original, like most sequels. They’re currently circling the Capital Beltway and there is no shortage of livestreams from within the convoy on YouTube or Rumble. The group has said it’s currently weighing its options and trying to decide what will be the most effective. Meanwhile, Washington DC has called for extra cops, more national guard members, and have set up gated checkpoints across the city so nobody can come in and protest how upset they are with the government.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          “Washington DC has called for extra cops, more national guard members, and have set up gated checkpoints across the city so nobody can come in and protest how upset they are with the government.”

          Which is ultimately the goal. Shut down protesting. Remove them from social media. De-bank them. Other them. Arrest some people for trespassing or ‘mischief’ and watch them held with no bail. Canada is doing this now.

          • 0 avatar
            Matt Posky

            Canada’s handling of the protests was/is egregious. I’m not sure what the U.S. government has up its sleeve if the convoy tries to plant itself like they did in Ottawa. But the current downplaying while DC maintains its checkpoints seems to be keeping things quiet.

            You know, I find it kind of interesting that the more reasonable and rational responses always tend to come in after working hours. Almost like some people work all day and others do not.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Canada’s handling of the protests was/is egregious.”

            LOL or more specifically ROTFLMFAO level of LOL.

            2/3 of Canadians would disagree.

            Justin “BlackFace” Trudeau is an idiot and I don’t have any praise for him. There was no need to invoke the Emergency Act.

            I think even less of the twitter twits and Facebook buffoons’ that organized and ran the whole FreeDumb Rally. A selfish few wanted to dictate to the collective what should happen.

            “Arrest some people for trespassing or ‘mischief’ and watch them held with no bail. Canada is doing this now.”

            Sources? One of the organizers just got released on bail. One of the others has a criminal record and he has not met any conditions to be released on bail. “Mischief” is a rather broad category. Judges are making the decisions. you are making it sound like “blackface” is sending people to the gulag.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Poskey: “and have set up gated checkpoints across the city so nobody can come in and protest how upset they are with the government.”

          That’s a lie. If someone wants to go into DC to protest, they can still do it. The checkpoints are to prevent an misinformed minority from using large vehicles to hold the government hostage. It’s hilarious to see the convoy clowns saying they won’t put poison into their bodies in interviews while they puff away on cigarettes. I’ve seen numerous interviews like that. Then seeing them complain about fuel prices by driving in loops around Washington DC burning massive amounts of fuel. All to protest mandates that are already disappearing.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @mcs:
            Paraphrasing Tom Petty: they’re rebels without a clue.

            If these guys want to know what “losing your freedom” looks like, they should take a gander at what’s happening in Russia right now – thousands upon thousands of people jailed for just protesting the war. If they tried this stunt there, they’d all be jail.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            So Matt how is your ‘independent research’ going? Any peer reviewed papers published? Any papers published in The Lancet? Any Nobel nominations? Any honourary doctorates awarded? Do you have access to a lab? Have you achieved an advanced degree that is any way pertinent to your ‘research’? Or as per your comment do you depend on sites like ‘Rumble’ for your information or should I say as your primary source of ‘misinformation’.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Author Daily – “primary source of ‘misinformation’”

            A Canadian Epidemiologist who spends a considerable amount of time “on line” correcting disinformation found that he’s get hit every time he posted. He suspected “troll farms”. He’d deliberately make posts unrelated to COVID – 19 to see the response. His last one was, “Children are great”. He got hammered with various “freedumb” stuff and misinformation.

            He’s noted that with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he’s rarely receives any negative responses to his posts. The “troll farms” have moved on to war disinformation.

            Anyone hear from Slavuto?

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Poor Slavuto. I wonder if he’s one of the 19-year-old POWs who’s been handed a cell phone by Ukrainian soldiers and told to call his parents back home.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Maybe the site finally got wise and banhammered Slavuto.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Maybe the site finally got wise’

            Nope. We still have the anti-mask Ford hater around.

            Slavuto was probably redeployed to troll Ukrainians or homegrown anti-war protestors.

            GO “Z”

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          Hey…Matt come on we just sent Trudeau over to Europe ..All expense paid in the taxpayers 1982 Air Bus..(commonly known as Can force one )…..Perhaps Boris Johnson could keep him

          I’ll bet Justins mere presence ….Has got old Vlady shaking in his boots : )

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @mikey – The Feds should have sent Chrystia Freeland. She’s a Russia expert and is intelligent. Justin should go hide and leave global affairs to the adults in the room.

  • avatar
    swester

    The prices are definitely ridiculous – but does anyone else remember 2007-2008? I recall paying around the same list price as now, and that’s BEFORE 14 years of additional inflation. I imagine prices in the 70s were even worse, inflation adjusted.

    All I’m saying is that this isn’t totally unprecedented, and it’s more of a reminder yet again to get us off of a silly fuel source that props up so many heinous regimes (not to mention the environmental effects).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I read inflation adjusted it was roughly $7.00/gal then.

      “silly fuel source”

      The 20th Century was entirely predicated on oil. The 21st Century will be as well until/if the peak occurs, at which point the 21st will again become the 19th Century in more ways than one.

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        Yes, but the 20th century was predicated on oil precisely BECAUSE the massive oil industry (and industries that thrived from it) lobbied to make it that way, by deliberately sabotaging the development and adoption of rival technologies and alternatives, time and time again.

        We can do better, but it’s a shame that we have to wait until an unbearable point to make improvements (when it might even be too late).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Seems to be a chicken vs the egg sort of thing, without the existence of petroleum the 20th Century could not have happened as it did. Period.

          “by deliberately sabotaging the development and adoption of rival technologies and alternatives, time and time again.”

          Edison and Tesla were not part of the petroleum industry, the same cutthroat tactics play out time and again everywhere. If there is a water powered engine or a secret carburetor which gets 100mpg, yes we really need this technology to resurface from the vaults they are hidden inside of. But if there isn’t such a thing, and the best we have is solar, wind, and geothermal -none of which scale- fasten your seatbelt we’re in for a bumpy ride.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Under production. Global demand may peak in next decade and begin to fall but demand won’t fall of a cliff , will be gradual – Don’t forget oil has many applications other than transportation ( transportation is less then half ) . Also Europe should have listened to Reagan when he warned they shouldn’t rely on Russia for there energy. Also Keystone XL shouldn’t have been cancelled and US production should be increased. Green projects are “ok” but they won’t solve the problem alone “overnight” ..

  • avatar
    Nikolai

    How come every time someone is complaining about gas prices this month, they can only do it through the narrow lens pushed by fossil fuel funded media?
    Didn’t we all learn that prices are affected by supply AND demand?
    Public policy affects both. For some reason, right-wing minds always point to Keystone XL (which was selling Canadian crude overseas, and not an American business interest).
    But never point to the fact that oil companies are price-gouging to record profits.
    Never point out that the last administration blocked increasing fuel economy standards which continued to push SUVs & CUVs in America over sedans, coupes, and wagons.

    Every dude I see that drives a pick-up truck to a job that doesn’t require one because they think it checks a box on their “man card” has only themselves to blame for fuel costs.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The current administration could continue to support work from home arrangements instead of saying this last Friday:

      news.yahoo.com/biden-urges-return-to-office-214733870.html

      I don’t see how adding a bunch of white collar commuters to the road will be good for fuel demand.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        ajla,

        It’s quite simple – urban centers have been crushed by the slow return of workers. Companies paying top dollar for renting expensive office space have had 2 years to experiment with remote workers, and most now see that they no longer require the same volume of office space going forward.

        Imagine what would happen if half of the companies leasing office space in dense city areas now see they can reduce their total office spend by 50-70%? That would cause a dramatic reduction on cost of commercial office space and property tax receipts paid to municipalities.

        And there’s why Joe is saying what he’s saying.

        This is a big problem for big cities with bloated budgets. Beetlejuice in Chicago, maskless wonders London Breed and Eric Garcetti along with Eric Adams in NYC all have a big problem.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @jk:

          Bingo. Companies have spent Lord knows how many billions of dollars on brick-and-mortar offices that are sitting empty. Meanwhile, they’re still paying for mortgages, rent, upkeep, utilities, etc.

          Good example of how political leaders have to juggle all kinds of different priorities.

          @astigmatism:
          My company closed our local office up, so it’s 100% virtual for everyone here in Denver now. And I miss going there, so much so that I actually made it a point to go in one or two days a week for a few months last year. I missed the people I worked with, and I missed all the routines that went along with it (lunches out, etc.).

          Working home alone can be VERY isolating.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          I am retired now but my employer reduced office space from 4 separate buildings into 1 and even after the expense of having to reconfigure the building to hold more employees and make it more energy efficient 2 million dollars was saved on lease and energy costs for the 1st year. Many of the employees work at home as I did but were required to come in once a week and the workstations were shared by reserving them in advance.

        • 0 avatar

          JK, you must have walked with me in NYC a few weeks ago. I had an actual reason to be in City Hall. I walked back to Grand Central Station (6 miles). It was a nice day. Having spent 10 years of adult life working/commuting to NYC, I was…amazed. Now, I’ve been “upstate” for a while, but I was amazed. All the street level stuff is gone. A few coffee shops…and eateries only if they cater to residents. All the retail…jewelers…clothing stores, etc….gone. All the high end eateries, the army of workers serving the drones…gone. NYC’s mayor is yelling about getting people back into the office, but the slog I did for years is gone…and no one really misses it. NYC isn’t a ghost town but the torrent of money that companies and their workers lined the streets with are…gone. I recall seeing the last classic lunch counters close up shortly after I began working in lower Manhattan, but I never thought I’d be the only person in a suit on lower Broadway.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Ugh. The whole return-to-office thing is the dumbest act of self-inflicted idiocy since, well, since Russia invaded Ukraine, I guess. My company spends over $100 million a year on rent, and we just spent two years proving we don’t need even a tenth of our offices. But sure, let’s flush that money down the toilet, and make everyone spend hundreds of hours a year commuting so that the box they sleep in is different from the box they work in. I guess we didn’t have enough traffic and people were just too happy.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I am not right wing, I do not drive a pickup, and I probably complain about greedy/short-sighted corporations more than anybody else on this website.

      Blaming people with large vehicles for high fuel prices seems misguided. Europe has drastically higher fuel prices than the U.S. despite always trending toward smaller, more economical cars.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I may be wrong. I choose not to research what I am about to say, FWIW. I have always been under the impression that high fuel prices in Europe are due to far heavier taxation on petroleum than here in the USA.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        @Matt–I am not blaming anyone for driving a large pickup they can choose what they want but when they complain about high fuel prices while driving that large pickup alone then they made a choice. No one was forcing them to buy that large truck and there is no guarantee of cheap and plentiful gas and diesel. Would you like me and others to subsidize their choice by paying for their fuel? Choose what you want to drive but if you cannot afford to put fuel in it then you should not have bought it. I have more sympathy for the actual poor who need a vehicle to go to and from their job and in many cases drive a hooptie than I do for some loud mouth who has to prove their own worth by buying a less efficient vehicle and then complaining that they cannot afford to put fuel in it. Might be better for them to go take a financial education course and learn how to budget and live within their means.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          “Might be better for them to go take a financial education course and learn how to budget and live within their means.”

          Yup. Same goes for our elected leaders that prey on societal ignorance of understanding the difference between wants and needs.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            Agree add our political leaders to those who need a financial education. Never too late to improve oneself.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          Jeff,

          You are correct in there being few guarantees in life and they took a risk that their big honking trucks might come with a big honking fuel bill. But they didn’t cause this pricing issue and we cannot scapegoat them because we also got burned.

          So much of this is down to poor governance, rampant corporate influence, and rampant greed. None of this benefits regular people, whether they have a F-350 or Toyota Yaris.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @Matt–I never said big pickups caused the problem but I did say those driving them need to accept the responsibility that the stability of the supply and price of fuel is not guaranteed and that they need to accept responsibility for their choice. Matt we will always have greed and we will always have incompetent and corrupt politicians hopefully we have enough honest ones to keep them in check. Many of those complaining the loudest are not the ones most effected by the price of fuel and inflation. I don’t drive as much as I once did and even if I did I can afford gas even though I might not like the high price. I can always cutback and have cutback even before the price of gas rose. My last job which I had for almost 16 years but worked for the same employer for 33 year (I am retired now) had me in a position to help the working poor find ways of creating financial independence through financial literacy. There are many who honestly have never learned how to budget and save and their parents did not have this knowledge as well. From my experience I believe this should be part of our education system from an early age and it would make math classes more relevant to students who will see the value of learning how to balance a checkbook and budget. We live in a buy now and pay later society without learning the real value of what things are worth and the value of money.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @Jeff:
          Yes, the owners of gas guzzlers made their choice, but at the end of the day, this is money out of their pockets for something that’s beyond their control…so, yeah, they’re going to complain. I get it.

          My problem is that they tend to blame the wrong parties for their plight, usually because it fits their political confirmation bias. It’s easy to blame the president, even though the White House has minimal power to sway gas prices one way or another; doing the research and figuring out that the blame really belongs with the whole oil trading system takes time and effort. People like to punch the “easy” button.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @FreedMike–True it is beyond our control regardless of what we drive and I understand the complaining. It is easy to blame the President for the rise in gas prices but this is a global crisis. I believe some of the comments on this site are to stir up a political debate and to shove those beliefs down others throats. I have stated above my knowledge of the oil and gas industry from working years in the industry which I don’t claim to be the ultimate expert but I worked in it long enough to know how the industry operates. To me its an issue of dependency on other countries for our energy and products and what we should and will do to minimize that dependency. As I state above why “Drill Baby Drill” doesn’t really solve this long term and why we need to develop other sources of energy that are less volatile. Agree with some of the comments that we cannot just replace coal, oil, and gas with just solar and wind and we need additional sources such as nuclear, geothermal, and methane from land fills and sewage treatment plants. Use some of our own waste to generate electricity. As for ICE vehicles they will be around for many years even if we switch to mainly EVs because people are holding on to their vehicles longer and many businesses and farmers will keep their fleets running longer. After tomorrow I will be down to 1 vehicle since Carvana is paying me 4k more for my Buick Lacrosse than I paid for it 2 1/2 years ago. I will miss it but I should be getting my new hybrid Maverick next month which gets 42 mpgs city and about 35 mpgs highway so I will be doing my part to reduce energy consumption.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The average person driving 12,000 miles a year in a 25 mpg vehicle is going to pay an extra $40 a month if gas goes up by a dollar.

    While I do sympathize with those for whom this really is a big imposition on their finances, the fact of the matter is that most people can absorb that cost without a great deal of sacrifice.

    Gas prices have an inordinate hold on our psyche because they are prominent and change often, but for all but the heaviest users or poorest people (neither of whom are the typical complainers) they are a rounding error when it comes to actual household budgeting.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Want to ignore fuel for airplanes, FedEx/UPS, USPS, food delivery vehicles, etc?

      Fuel price has a big inflationary impact.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Again, not disputing the idea that higher prices affect people. And some people really will be hurt by this.

        But keeping some perspective on what gas really costs most people is helpful. Given the tone of news one would think the average person is headed for bankruptcy rather than an annoyance.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        True and even my garbage bill adds a fuel surcharge. Eventually prices will stabilize but individually I can use less gas by combining trips and not buying as much. The more demand the higher the prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I have seen numerous studies alleging that over half of Americans cannot even endure a financial emergency of over $1,000. That $40 per month is tied into increasing food bills, higher energy costs for the home, vehicle pricing that’s totally out of whack, and so on.

      Imagine a 4 person family trying to live on minimum wage while the grocery and food bills continue getting more expensive. Even if they can make it work, the amount of stress that adds to their lives remains meaningful. Imagine all the things they cannot by at the end of the year because of generalized price increases.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        *Klaus et al checking their watches*

        Right on schedule.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        That is why inflation is so harmful to those who can least afford it. We have to spend the money for an infrastructure for EVs and expand our sources of energy along with the capacity to produce more energy. We need to over the long run reduce the use of oil not just for our environment but for our economic stability. Not just expanding solar and wind but nuclear and geothermal. Additionally developing batteries that are smaller, more efficient, use less of the rare earth materials, and are more affordable. This will not happen overnight but without long term planning and budgeting for this it will never happen and we will keep repeating this cycle.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I don’t think any of that is actually going to happen. Either because it is not feasible or because certain existing parties will not benefit, the result will become the same. What will happen is they will condition the current generation under 21 to accept a much sh!ttier life using less energy while the upper echelon of society enjoys Elysium (i.e. specious concepts such as “carbon footprint” and unquestioned belief in ManBearPig). This “cancel” bullsh!t is straight out of the Maoist Cultural Revolution and I do not believe it is a coincidence it is being reemployed. I also saw the third season of Man In The High Castle as being predictive programming along the same lines (teenage and below were told their nation was starting over at “Year Zero”, US history was being destroyed, and there were scenes where the middle school children acted fanatical toward the adults similar to the Cultural Revolution).

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            I hope you are wrong. I would like to hope that if we could send a man to the Moon and back and if we can send Hubble into space to explorer the Universe that we would develop a stable alternative energy source. Oil and gas corporations are in the energy business and have been diversifying into other energy sources. I am not as negative as you are about the future.

  • avatar
    geee

    Good lord, for a car blog, you’d think you have one writer that knows a tiny bit about oil markets. You cant write this article and not talk about OPEC+, Russia’s role in it, the fracking industry, and its activities of the last few years and WHY they aren’t producing a strong supply response this time around.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @geee – “Forget it. He’s rollin\'”

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I’ve been covering OPEC in its own articles, several of which are linked to in this one.

      Example: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/04/global-oil-producers-to-hold-emergency-meetings-this-week/

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        If you do know about the oil markets and how oil is produced and refined then you need to write about that as well. Many still think that gasoline and diesel come straight out of the ground to the gas station just as they believe that milk comes from the bottle and have no concept of a cow. These same people believe that the President is just sitting in the Oval Office and mandating higher gas prices for everyone including those in other countries. The World is flat as well and yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Personally, I don’t see the purpose of trading one dictator for another when the United States has the ability to be wholly energy independent.”

    100% agree. But the US has a very poor record of choosing its friends wisely. We’ve been cozy with every despot on earth, walking back the relationship when things go sideways.

    Making nice with Mr Maduro would be stupid and morally bankrupt.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    In my life I’ve seen gas prices fluctuate up and down for a whole variety of reasons. One thing I’ve concluded is that we have world markets and regardless of how many pipelines, how many acres of arctic refuge are opened, how many gulf leases are permitted, none of these things will reduce the price at the pump for the average American. I get it, Matt watches Fox “news” all day and loves Trump and blames democrats for everything but nothing Joe Biden or Trump could do would affect the price of gas by one cent. This is fact.
    If you bought a V8 pickup and you’re complaining about gas prices, then you’re just an idiot and a loser. You knew this would happen sooner or later. And guess what. The price will go down again. Remember when oil hit $200/barrel 10 years ago? No? But most people on this site can’t understand hard thing. Oh well.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I am an independent voter examining the situation as I see it. Go back and read my work, I was critical every time Trump seemed to be courting oil or automotive concerns.

      I want real solutions for regular people, not political grandstanding.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.”
      ― Anatole France

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t think they realistically can, and if they do it will likely be several years from now.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Imagefont – More likely you’re the idiot loser if you believe that.

      Watch me complain while I’ll freely admit I totally didn’t need my V8 pickup when I bought it. It was my comfy, stylish (?) weekend cruiser and I’d put maybe 4K miles a year on it, while I literally lived in my commercial work truck which I also used to do personal light hauling since I was already in it and the company paid for the fuel.

      I also had a Fox 5.0 for nights/weekends. The V8 pickup turned out to be the best investment I’ve made as I got out of the big work-truck, changing careers to flipping houses, property management and a used/classic tool dealer with a V8 pickup that was free and clear.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    We could have oil from a friendly country (Canada) via pipelines. Instead, Branden day 1 cancels pipelines.

    Then Branden says National arctic is off limits for oil exploration. His crony in California, the governor, says no to fracking in California. The EPA and energy department come up with carbon cost times five for extracting oil. Branden then says fracking and drilling in New Mexico off limits. Because Indian reservations. Then drilling offshore is off-limits. You can’t make this s*** up.

    Then Branden says inflation is transitory. Joke of the year. Remember.

    Then a little skirmish Ukraine and here we are.

    America sits on a sea of natural gas that can supply Europe.
    Canada, America, Mexico together can have enough oil for a very long time for us and our allies. Yet Branden and greenies want to use renewables that are not prime time. And worse electric cars that are non existent. Branden wants to beg OPEC and Venezuela and now Iran. Again you can’t make this s*** up.

    The worst president in my life time was Jimmy Carter. Branden is trying very hard to become number 1.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      We import ten times as much oil from Canada as we do from Russia, and nine times as much as we do from Saudi Arabia. In fact, Canada makes up more than half of our oil imports generally.

      Meanwhile, in the last year of his presidency, Trump was begging OPEC to cut production, to _raise_ prices.

      Please tell us more about making s*** up.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        Astigmatism, what part of the word pipeline from Canada don’t you understand? Keystone pipeline.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          What part of “We get more oil from Canada than we get from the rest of the world, combined” don’t you understand? This is true with or without the Keystone pipeline – which for what it’s worth was intended to bring unrefined product from Alberta to the Gulf coast so that it could be refined and then loaded on tankers to be sold into the global market.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Astigmatism – facts just get in the way of preconceived notions.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            Astigmatism,
            Show me where I said anything about where America gets more or less oil from Canada than any one? Are you trying to change topic of discussion.

            Oil is a world commodity. If oil from Keystone pipeline was to be shipped, it impacts world supply and demand. Do you understand economics?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          There IS a pipeline from Canada – Keystone. It’s pumping as we speak. Biden, your Mr. Bogeyman of the moment, never lifted a finger to stop that.

          Keystone XL was under construction. It never pumped one f**king drop of oil.

          What, you figure that if you repeat this BS “bIDEn KiLLd KeEStONe So noW gAZ PrIcEz Iz hIGh” line more often, people will buy it like you did? LOL…

          • 0 avatar
            Matt Posky

            I don’t know how many times I have to say that gas/oil prices are speculative. But it really seems like too much.

            That’s why it’s called oil futures and not oil nows.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            FreedMike, I am referring to Keystone pipeline that Branden stopped day 1. I know you are trying to not answer the real problem by misdirecting comments. This administration has put a pause on Federal land leases, stopped Keystone pipeline day 1, stopped explorations offshore and in arctic refuge and in New Mexico.

            How you can get on a car site and not defend big oil and low price I fail to understand. Perhaps you should go comment on some liberal site.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “I am referring to Keystone pipeline that Branden stopped day 1.”

            Again…there are two Keystone pipelines: Keystone, and Keystone XL. The former has been in use for a long time, and is still in use now. Biden never did anything to shut that one off. The one in question is Keystone XL, which was nowhere near completed, and had never transported one solitary drop of oil.

            So, yes, Biden shut off the nonexistent Keystone XL oil supply. But, like most “conservative” criticisms of the guy, they’re based on make-believe crap. Why should this be different?

            But don’t listen to the liberal. Why don’t you put together a report on the exact dollar effects Biden’s actions while in office had on oil prices? Prove your case. Have right at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Derp – Keystone was going to feed oil to the Gulf coast for world markets. Meanwhile, the biggest protests were coming from the people whose physical environment would have been impacted by the pipeline. Sorry if their living conditions are shading your world.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I agreed with the experts who were saying the price of oil would rise even before the war. Companies are being hounded to invest in renewables, and big investment firms are being pushed as well. Even if you take climate change very seriously, it’s foolish to cut off your supply of fossils fuels before renewables are ready. The oil sector simply hasn’t been investing like it should to maintain the capacity to extract more oil. New capital investments will take months or years to show any production.

    New England is in the crazy position of importing natural gas from foreign sources, because they don’t want to build a pipeline to Pennsylvania. You can’t move gas from one port to another in the states if the boat is not built in the u.s., so the gas must make a big trip outside the u.s. to reach New England.

    Just wait until people learn about fertilizer (and thus food) is essentially a biproduct of the energy sector, how Ukraine and Russia make a huge proportion the worlds wheat (up over 50% last I checked) and how they also produce a majority of the worlds neon (which is needed to produce computer chips). The fun has only begun.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      The most intelligent and well reasoned post I’ve seen on this issue. Are you sure you belong on this blog?

      That being said, I hope every…single…Biden…voter feels this like a boot in the a$$.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      @deanst

      Great insights! It should also be said that Germany literally did exactly that. They leaned hard into renewables (snubbing nuclear in the process) and now have an energy problem that effectively encouraged Nord Stream gas/oil from Russia. Meanwhile, their air pollution is worsening since they’ve had to build more coal plants to make up for energy deficits created by renewables.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    In the skirmish between Ukraine and Russia, does any one see use of electric tanks, troop carriers, airplanes? Answer: no and no and no.

    Because electric vehicles don’t work.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Today in Los Angeles at the Shell station near my house, regular at $5.99!!!
    Factor that in your monthly budget along with your auto note and the insurance bill. I don’t think that is close to the peak yet.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Here’s harsh truth: all this is due to the absolute voodoo built into the futures markets.

    To wit:
    Percent of world oil supplied by Russia: 8%
    Percent increase of oil prices between February 25 and March 7: 30%

    That certainly explains things, does it not? It certainly does, if you’re drunk. Those of us who are sober know this is bulls**t, plain and simple, and it’s making the speculators rich.

    There IS a solution here: transition away from energy sources that are priced based on market manipulation that makes sense only to the people making money off it.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      The last time oil went nuts like this – 2008 – Goldman Sachs drove the speculative frenzy by predicting $150/bbl oil, then doing everything they could to drive investors to buy oil futures. It worked like a charm. At the height of the idiocy, 21 barrels of “future oil” were purchased for every actual barrel that changed hands. There was never any actual shortage of oil. And idiots bought the official “this is because of increased consumption in India and China” storyline hook, line, and sinker.

      Mike, you lean left, so naturally your solution is to transition to “renewables.” I lean right, so my solution is “drill baby drill” and build the damn pipeline already.

      Why can’t we do both? I’d love to have a small, nimble electric vehicle for my daily commute and a big, comfortable van or SUV for long trips and hauling people and/or stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Matt:

        We can do both, but the problem is that going the conventional route – i.e., drill baby drill – does nothing but feed the current speculative system, which clearly has zero to do with actual supply/demand reality, and everything to do with “Goldman Sachs wanting to rake it in ’cause they can.” Given that, we can drill baby drill as much as we want, and it won’t really solve the problem. It’d be like a patient with Type 2 diabetes “cutting down” on McDonalds, when what REALLY needs to happen is an end to eating McDonalds…or McDonalds making food that won’t give people Type 2 diabetes in the first place. It’s the system that needs to be changed.

        What I like about renewables – environmental benefits aside – is that they are a lot more difficult to speculate on. I mean, how does Goldman Sachs commoditize wind, or sun? When fusion power comes on line, it’ll require hydrogen, which is the most plentiful element in the entire universe, and it’d be some mean trick for OPEC to commoditize that.

        I’m sick of us being held hostage to this voodoo-economic bulls**t. Enough already. Maybe we do need to increase oil supply for now, but the real solution here is to break the cycle. You speak of political orientation, but I’d say that doing away with this nonsense is something that people of ALL political stripes should be interested in.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          I feel you on the predatory economic stuff and the need for diversified energy sources. But a lot of the issues that drive up oil prices also drive up the cost of electrify. Renewables are often much more expensive than their fossil counterparts and less reliable. Germany has was the first European nation to swap to renewable energy sources and it now has the highest energy prices on the continent. It also has seen its air pollution worsen because it built a bunch of coal plants to make up for an energy deficit.

          Creating a utopian energy solution is indeed desirable. But it’s not practical or feasible on a shorter timeline. The government often does not know what’s best for regular people, let alone care. Consider how the military industrial complex and banking industries have been treated. Consider the widening wage gap and the economic impact of lockdowns. Allowing the government to monopolize the energy sector under the auspices of environmentalism is a huge mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Matt:

            I was responding to Matt Foley, but I agree with you that renewables can’t replace fossil fuels right now – it’s not quite cost competitive. I’d say we need to be investing more as a nation in changing that situation. Otherwise, we just leave ourselves open to this kind of s**tshow.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          @FreeMike–Agree and having worked in the oil and gas industry for years the oil is produced (drilled) from the well has to be refined and the number of refineries has been on a steady decline for the past 40 years. You can drill baby drill but if there is more oil produced than refinery capacity eventually you will run out of space to store it. Also the commodities market determine the price of oil and gas which determines the price of gasoline, diesel, and other refined products and the commodity prices are influenced by geopolitical events and the anticipation of what will happen in the future.

          Long run we will have to break the cycle of being dependent on oil and gas which will take years but we have to start somewhere otherwise things will get worse.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    If you dont remember 2008, prices went up. But also, we started drilling and pumping more from the shale fields in the dakotas, where things were booming and fastfood workers were making $15/hr or more. what happened since then? prices went down and there was a bust, no?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Oil exploration and drilling is such an expensive and long term deal that the oil companies need to feel like they can make it through the process of local state and federal approvals and actually drill oil. The current administration is not giving off those vibes. So oil that could be getting drilled sits and waits

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I am assuming that BEV vehicle owners are feeling just a little bit smug right about now.

  • avatar
    DAC17

    I find it highly amusing that so many people in this country who know nothing about economics, but that all have opinions about politics, turn themselves inside out trying to explain basic economics; i.e. the law of supply and demand. Taking Russian oil out of the system will cause an increase in price. We seem to have a God-given right in this country to buy gas as cheaply as we think it should be, to fuel our oversize SUV’s trucks, etc. Yes; I own a car that gets 18 mpg combined, but I realized that when I bought the car, fully knowing that prices would go up at some point. Some people fail to see that until $4.50 gas hits them in the face. We should be very happy that bombs aren’t raining down on our cities and towns, and realize that we have a first world problem.

    BTW, wait about a month to see how many oversized vehicles hit the market for low prices! Sorry if I offended anyone, but this not that complicated.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      Well said. I have more sympathy for those in Ukraine whose very freedom is being attacked than I do the price of gas. We don’t have bombs dropping down on us or tanks and armed soldiers attacking us. Yes those over sized vehicles will plummet in price but if you wait need you will get a very good buy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “We don’t have bombs dropping down on us or tanks and armed soldiers attacking us.”

        Cheer up, the decade is young.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          Well hopefully we never see that. Life is too short to dwell on all the bad things that could happen but if that’s what you want to focus on that is your choice.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s a wives tale. And I guess feels good to say, but their prices never really drop much when gas prices rise dramatically. Or I’d have a barn full of them from the last go around. OK a small barn but still.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          Granted they will not drop to 1970’s prices but they will drop and be more affordable. Timing is everything and for those who are patient they will be rewarded. There is a guy in Nebraska that collected old Chevies and other cars that were for the most part still running by literally picking up vehicles that no one wanted anymore due to age. He amassed several hundred vehicles mostly 40s and 50s either for free or for next to nothing. There are so many trucks sold that their value will eventually go down and if people start buying more EVs there will be less demand for the ICE trucks so maybe you can build a bigger barn or have a large piece of land to collect your future finds. Nothing lasts forever including economic booms and peoples demands for certain types of vehicles changes. I remember the big sedans and station wagons were the rage, big custom vans, then mini vans, mini cars and trucks, suvs, crossovers, and now compact trucks. People are like crows they are attracted to the next shiny thing and it has less to be about need and more about want.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t believe it’s the case now. My dad bought a beater ’53 Buick sedan to haul us around in ’70 probably because they were about the cheapest, most unloved cars around. Maybe Citroens or similar were cheaper, but I’m sure they were a worse I idea (for the poor).

            He might have picked it up for free, or $25 for all I know. I’ll ask him about it the next time I see him. My current ’05 F-150 (I bought new) is about as old as that ’53 Buick was at the time. But I could find lots of enthusiastic buyers for it. Even at $5.999 gas in So California.

            Although it’s a clean King Ranch, FX4 “clone” that started out as an STX. The next year (’71) things were looking better and he bought his first new car, a ’72 F-150 Custom, long bed, 302 V8, automatic and AM radio. They were all regular cabs back then, but it was Sea Foam Green.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            Will see but there are too many loaded crew cab 4×4 pickups being made today for them to all be worth as much in the future plus your 2005 Ford has a lot less electrical nannies to go wrong. The older trucks are worth more because they have less to go wrong on them and in other parts of the country where they put salt on the roads they have long since rusted. The turbo V-6s will not last as long as your V-8 and will not retain as much value. Trucks have become more about show and less about utility. There are a lot more trucks produced currently than there were 15 or more years ago and they have basically become today’s version of the large sedan. If gas prices get to $5.99 a gallon or more you will see many of these traditionally non truck people shed their large crew cab 4×4 ICE trucks in favor of the next cool thing which will either be an EV truck, EV crossover, or maybe a better version of an EV sedan with more interior room and trunk space. This has happened before.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yeah we’re probably all fooling ourselves with gas/diesel vehicles that may be banned or the fuels taken away in the not too distant future. Might as well live it up and enjoy until the end comes.

            Though I just can’t see buying anything new now/today when it could be totally worthless in less than 20 years. There’s too many great recent classic trucks and other big SUVs, Jeeps/Blazers/Broncos/etc, or ’70s and up, to have fun with. I’ll frickin’ move to Mexico.

            Or ’80s plus muscle, Fox bodies and more, including 6 and 4 cylinder turbos and supercharged. Yes even if their prices don’t totally dump with current wacko fuel prices.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @DenverMike–I don’t think ICE vehicles will be banned so much as the EVs will get more competitive price wise and those vehicles with V-8s will get more expensive along with the fuel. I have not been a fan of EVs but more recently I have become more interested in them because many of today’s vehicle are going to turbo 3s, 4s, and 6s and along with the electrical nannies makes them less reliable, more expensive to repair, and not last as long. Even the Toyota Tundra was one of the longest lasting trucks made has gone to a turbo V-6 and they are not as good. I would rather have a non turbo engine and it be a little slower. I am not against technology but the more electrical stuff you add on a vehicle the more that will break. The older trucks will always have a market because most of them are used up and gone. Most of today’s stuff will not last. The value of something reflects how much demand and supply there is for it and now demand far exceeds the supply but that is now and nothing lasts forever including demand. Ford’s future plans are for the dealers to carry little or no inventory and have the customer order their vehicles but as soon as the chip shortage ends you will see Ram crank up production and eat into Ford’s sales and Ford will abandoned that plan and go back to producing more trucks. Ram is hungry to gain market share and although they might be number 2 they will eat into Fords market share if given the opportunity. I believe that a lot of people buying these expensive trucks will go broke because they are getting themselves into 96 month loans to buy something they don’t need and cannot afford. There is only so long a loan can be extended to cover the massive price increases of new vehicles and the loan cannot exceed the useful life of the vehicle. That is why I believe there will be a correction in the market and the values of these trucks will go down and be more affordable but they might not be cheap. They might eventually be cheaper as they get older because many will give up on them when the repairs get too expensive and someone more mechanical can buy them at a more expensive price and repair them. You have said numerous times how you fix vehicles up that are older but there are many who will get rid of a vehicle once there are problems that they cannot afford to fix. We live in a throw away society.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Even if not banned outright, if they’re made prohibitively expensive to run everyday for the common man, through taxation and fees, might as well be.

            Either way, I guess it won’t be a big deal to buy and operate a rebuilt 2024 Lightning F-150 by 2040 if there is such a thing or allowed.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @DenverMike:

            If you can show that there’s some credible, organized nationwide push to tax conventionally powered vehicles out of existence, then I think you have a great point. But I doubt you’ll find that for one simple reason: hundreds of millions of Americans – and that includes me – own conventionally powered vehicles, and that’s a powerful political force that no one wants to face off with.

            I think you may see individual cities or locations that try this, but 99% of the country won’t see this happening. My two cents’ worth, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            Maybe in California but I don’t see the Federal Government increasing fuel taxes that much and most states will not increase taxes because those are voted on by elected representatives and they do not want to incur the wrath of the voters who will vote them out. These trucks are getting way too expensive for the average person and the fuel prices will rise as many oil companies diversify into alternate fuels and even charging stations. Even though there is no real shortage of oil it is more expensive to drill for it because it is harder to find the easy oil. More deep sea drilling, more recovery methods used to produce oil in wells than in the past would have been capped, and even fracking is not cheap. When I worked in the oil and gas industry in the late 70s and early 80s most of the oil now produced would have not been even economically feasible to drill for. The technology and the increase in price makes it more feasible. True that there is no shortage of oil and gas but the easy to get oil is for the most part rarer than it was in the past.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Anything can happen when it involves on leans on the environment, national security, our health/wellbeing or other excuse or justification. Commonsense goes out the frickin’ window along with The US Constitution.

            Too many things have been done to us since 911 then Covid19, no vote needed, that we would’ve never dreamed of beforehand. No matter what it is, 99.9% of the US just bends over and takes it.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @DenverMike–Anything can happen but there is so much political division in our country that I doubt Congress could get enough votes to pass a fuel tax increase which has to pass Congress before the tax can be increased. EPA and Department of Energy can raise fuel efficiency standards but they cannot raise the fuel tax or even the tire tax. All tax increases have to be voted on by Congress.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I read today that third-party delivery companies working for Amazon receive something like $0.10-$0.25 per package delivered. I can’t remember the last time I ‘drove to the store’ for something (stop by on the way someplace else, maybe – still fuzzy).

    The low-fuel light is on in my one car. My current plan is to refill it from the ‘strategic reserve’ of gasoline + fuel stabilizer which used to power my ICE mowers (the chainsaw fuel and the kerosene stay right where they are). [Today’s ‘commute’ was a whopping 4.8 miles, round trip (but that was the truck).]

    Watched Biden’s one-year press conference (Jan 19) and the State of the Union address (Mar 1). I’m not saying the President of the U.S. determines the price of fuel. But the current President of the U.S. keeps saying that the President of the U.S. can, has and will continue to actively influence the price of fuel. [Google the transcripts if you don’t believe me.]

  • avatar
    285exp

    The intent of the energy and environmental policies Biden has been implementing since the first day of his presidency has been to restrict the use of fossil fuels, this is beyond dispute. The only way that green energy and EVs make economic sense is to drive up the price of fossil fuels. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete have said the quiet part out loud, that high gas prices are part of the transition. If you voted for these people because you think their New Green Deal is a good idea, congratulations, you got what you wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “If you voted for these people because you think their New Green Deal is a good idea, congratulations, you got what you wanted.”

      So many were in favor of it, they had to pull off a coup d’état.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “The intent of the energy and environmental policies Biden has been implementing since the first day of his presidency has been to restrict the use of fossil fuels, this is beyond dispute.”

      ^This.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      And if we’d transitioned off of fossil fuels in earnest twenty years ago, we wouldn’t care about fossil fuel prices nearly as much as we do today, this is also beyond dispute. In addition to the fact that they’re slowly (though not as slowly anymore) destroying the ecosystem we depend on to survive, fossil fuels do an amazing job of propping up many of the worst totalitarian regimes on the planet, from Russia to Iran to Saudi to Venezuela. The sooner and the more comprehensively we stop using them, the better, even if you ignore the environmental impact.

      But if you kept voting for politicians who oppose policies to transition to alternative energy sources, congratulations, you got what you wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @285:

      Please illustrate how anything Biden has done has constricted oil supply to the point where the “market” had no choice but to price it – and finished motor fuels products – where they are today. Let’s see the proof in hard numbers.

      What you’ll find if you dig into this (and I have) is that domestic oil production is actually about where it was when he took office (up a bit, as I recall). And yet worldwide oil prices are up 30% or more, and gas prices are up by even more. Is demand for gas up 30% or more? Is worldwide demand for oil up 30% or more? If so, then the rise in prices makes total sense. If not, then there’s something else at play.

      The stuff Biden did – cancelling Keystone XL and stopping drilling on public lands – clearly didn’t constrict domestic oil production, since it’s basically where it was when he took office. Cancelling Keystone XL didn’t affect the existing Keystone pipeline and XL never delivered one drop of oil to begin with so the “cancelling Keystone XL caused this” argument sounds great on Fox News, but in reality, it didn’t affect things. Clearly none of that really gets at the cause, does it?

      So let’s see the numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        @FreedMike

        “Let’s see the proof in hard numbers.”

        Gasoline and natural gas prices rose IMMEDIATELY after Biden was elected. Go look it up.

        Why? Because commodity prices are driven by expectations about future supply and demand. The market knew that Biden was going to wage a war on fossil fuels, as evidenced by the reaction to his election.

        Now go back and re-read that last paragraph to yourself a few times slowly. Perhaps it will penetrate the bubble of cognitive dissonance you inhabit.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Ah, so…”the commodity market” feared production of oil would be constrained under Biden, causing higher prices. Got it. Makes perfect sense, except for two truly inconvenient facts:

          1) The president doesn’t control oil production.

          2) Production wasn’t actually constrained. In fact, it has increased by about 7% from the election to December 2021.

          https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS1&f=M

          US crude oil production in thousands of barrels:
          November 2020: 333,621
          December 2021: 358,588

          Perhaps “the market” can show us the place where the bad Biden man touched them?

          So…all you’ve proven is that “the market” has zero relationship to reality…which was my point. Much obliged.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “So…all you’ve proven is that “the market” has zero relationship to reality”

            You’re right. Next time I go to fill up with gas, I’m going to tell the guy behind the counter that I only want to pay $3/gallon because the market prices for oil and gasoline aren’t “real.” Maybe he’ll let me pay with imaginary dollars too.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Maybe the gas pump guy can explain how prices for a commodity that is supposedly priced based on supply and demand have gone up 30% or more when supply is also up substantially. Lord knows your explanation didn’t cut the mustard. Two heads are often better than one.

            But I forgot…it’s all due to the imaginary lack of production that happened when that mean old Biden guy took office. Except that didn’t happen.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “Maybe the gas pump guy can explain how prices for a commodity that is supposedly priced based on supply and demand have gone up 30% or more when supply is also up substantially.”

            Not necessary. I’ve already explained it to you, but you fail to understand. The price is based on EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE PRICE, period. Crude oil is a futures market–the price is for oil to be delivered at some point in the future. It doesn’t matter if the Keystone XL pipeline ever carried a drop of oil. Biden’s decision to cancel it affected the futures market’s expectation about the future supply, so the price went up, and we’re all paying more for gasoline at the pump with REAL dollars because of this expectation, whether it’s rational or not.

            If you think you are smarter than the futures market, you should be able to make a personal fortune by betting against it. Good luck with that. I have a friend who lost his ass by betting Tesla’s stock price would collapse.

            Now some of the B&B here are cheering the increased prices for fossil fuels because it may accelerate the transition to alternative energy. While I disagree, at least that’s a rational opinion. To say the Biden’s policies have not caused some or most of the price increase we’re seeing is just plain irrational.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Expectations about the future price.”

            And for that expectation to be rational, it has to be based on supply and demand. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a bet – not much different than putting down a $100 today on the Cardinals winning the World Series this year because Nolan Arenado decided to stay with the team.

            Except for one thing…these bets move the market, and when the market moves higher, the people making the bets make more money. So…wouldn’t it be in their interest to figure out a way to convince the market that the price was moving higher? Enter a convenient excuse: Biden (who ain’t no fan of their little oil-price casino to begin with) cancelled Keystone XL. And for this reason, they figure gas prices would go up 30% in one year?

            Show me the data that proves that cancelling the pipeline did that, despite the fact that Canadian oil imports, domestic oil production, and domestic gas production are all UP since its’ cancellation.

            Then we’ll talk. Otherwise, you’ve just proven that this “market” is basically a giant casino full of people rolling the bones on higher prices, versus running on actual supply-and-demand principles…which is my point.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    @Matt:
    Nice job on this piece. It’s well balanced and I think the quality of the comments reflects that.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @FreedMike, your first 24 comments (chronologically-speaking) on this post were slightly better than average for you, so perhaps that helped. [Your most recent few are falling back into old patterns – it was nice while it lasted.]

      Your comments on this post only represent 15% of the total right now – you might want to post more quickly.

      (At least you didn’t lead off this time with protestations about ‘political’ posts.)

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I have no problem with posts that involve politics, as long as a) they’re balanced (which this one is) and b) they involve cars directly.

        But, hey, thanks for being my conscience.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Here’s a question no one’s talking about: how will this impact carmakers? Will cheaper, more fuel efficient vehicles be making a comeback?

    My guess is that since this appears to be more than a passing thing, the comeback might be imminent, and I predict the big winners in all this will be Hyundai/Kia and Nissan. They stuck with smaller, cheaper vehicles.

    Loser? Stellantis.

    • 0 avatar
      kcflyer

      Winner, those who bought a Maverick hybrid with no ADM. Sigh , not me. When my ship comes in I’m always at the airport. Case in point. Took the Devils’ money and sold my civic to carvana. Now for the first time in 26 years I don’t have a 38 mpg or better vehicle in my fleet. So my commute cost will be up for the foreseeable future. But that wont hit as hard as the combined inflationary effect this will have on everything else I buy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Right now I’m stuck with my F150 as a DD until my bike gets a rebuilt engine and I get my CJ5 on the road. I can live with high fuel prices and poor mpg since all of my vehicles are paid off.

        • 0 avatar
          kcflyer

          no car payments here either. Can’t fathom the idea some folks will take on an $800 car payment to avoid spending $110 a month more on gas.. I’m most concerned that our elected representatives at all levels and from all parties are pulling strings that could lead to WW3.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t see WW 3 as intentional, Russia debacle notwithstanding, but blunder into it ? Let Russia get bogged in Ukraine (Afghanistan, Vietnam, US Revolution) and the urge to leapfrog insurgents + unmotivated and poorly supplied Russian troops with a small tactical nuke may prove overwhelming. Russia’s stock market is closed, Oligarchs are hiding yachts….they are already in a financial crisis.

            Oh, and Presidents don’t cause gas prices. The oil industry has this well gamed, and boom and bust are features, not bugs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @speedlaw – I agree with your assessment. Putin is getting frustrated over what he thought would have been an easy victory. I suspect he’ll get more angry and authorize tactical nukes.

            Poland has offered all of their jets to Ukraine through the USA. That will ramp up tensions. There’s a “secret” base being used to ship supplies to Ukraine. I’m betting that’s in Poland. He might try to use Belarus as a proxy to strike at Poland. There are reports that Russia has sent mercenaries. That will allow Putin to wash his hands of any dirty business with NATO allies.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Now for the first time in 26 years I don’t have a 38 mpg or better vehicle in my fleet.”

        Yeah, but now you have the Civic cash, which would make for a nice downpayment on the Maverick (which I like quite a bit, by the way) when prices regain some semblance of sanity.

        I’m just glad I bought my new car last June, before all this stupidity started.

        • 0 avatar
          kcflyer

          The Maverick would be tops on my wish list for my next commuter. But I’m just going to have to take my lumps and the pump for a while as my spending has other priority’s. Sadly the next vehicle need that’s likely to be met will be a gas or diesel hog. I will need something by 2024 that can legally an safely tow over 16000 lbs. So a new or used F350. My trusty 7.3 l diesel F-250 could do the job safely with a few mods but never legally.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Selling my LaCrosse to Carvana for 4k more than I paid for it so I am taking the Devils Money as well. I am one of the lucky few that ordered the Maverick at MSRP and is is suppose to be made this week. It will take weeks before it finally arrives at the dealer.

        @Lou–Keep the F-150 trying to buy a vehicle in this crazy market is futile. This is even worse than my parent’s bought their first new car after the end of WW II. They had to wait and they didn’t have a choice of color or anything just get on a waiting list and see what comes in. They had sold their other car during the War at a profit because my father was an FBI agent and they lived in NYC so they didn’t need one. After the War they moved back to Dayton, OH and needed a car but there was little for sale so they got on a list for a new Ford and waited.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Jeff S – my son works at a small father/son dealer chain with GM, Stellantis, and Kia products. They’ll let me buy anything they have with employee pricing. I want a diesel Colorado but the last time they checked, they couldn’t get anything. They offered me $5,000 off a new Gladiator. Even if I can get 1/2 that on a Colorado, I’d go for it.

          My son helped out a sales rep at a rival dealer and she ran Colorado’s through her dealer’s computer (a big franchise chain). They couldn’t find a single Extended cab ZR2 anywhere in western Canada at any dealer. They too had a hard time ordering anything they actually wanted.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @Lou–Exactly. I ordered my Maverick on July 25 last year and it is scheduled to be made this week. After listening to a podcast from Tim Bartz, Internet Sales Manager at Long McArthur Ford last week he covered some of the optional equipment that can delay the manufacture of a new Ford one being a bed liner. Tim suggested that if your trim level doesn’t come with the bed liner that you can cancel it before it is scheduled for production otherwise it can take an extra week or 2 before the vehicle is ready to ship. I would have liked to know that earlier because I would have canceled the spray in bed liner and then had an aftermarket spray in bed liner. I now have waited 8 months so what is another month or 2 but for those who need a new vehicle they are at the mercy of the dealer and what’s in stock.

            Scotty Kilmer did a review on a diesel Colorado and was impressed with it and Scotty usually doesn’t like GM products. I have heard from others that they are good trucks.

  • avatar
    stuki

    “When America stands for principles, and all of the things that we hold dear, it requires sometimes for us to put ourselves out there in a way that maybe we will incur some cost,”

    Does that mean her and Joey will picking up the fuel tab for Air Force 1 now?

    Or is this just more of the “you sacrifice, we live it up and grandstand?”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Funny, I don’t recall you asking Donald “I’m really, really rich” Trump to provide moral leadership and chip in a few hundred mil for his AF1 rides.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Either you’re having senior moments, or you weren’t around…

        Regardless, who cares?

        Any trashbucket telling people ro “sacrifice” without first making sure to do, far and away even, the heaviest lifting him/herself, is exactly nothing but a trashbucket.

  • avatar
    MitchConner

    Some random thoughts:

    * The Biden Administration can try to blame others or use the world markets as an excuse for the mess we’re in — but they’re definitely part of the problem. They are hostile to fossil fuels. They’re discouraging investments in it both domestically and internationally. When the domestic oil industry got hit after the price collapse last year — they did nothing once in office to revive the producers that went down. Biden and the rest of the Western leaders are also just as weak and spineless as Obama. The West needed to get into Ukraine before Russia — and did nothing. Now look at it. And if you think sanctions against Russia will do anything — well, Iran’s had sanctions for 45 years and they’re still a bunch of creeps.

    * The environmental crazies are a huge part of the problem. They whined and cried and stamped their feet until Merkel shut Germany’s nuclear plants down after Fukushima to shut them up. Anybody with a brain in their head knew that was a stupid move that would blow up in their face thanks to Russia being Russia — and here we are. The adults in the room are being held hostage by a bunch of four year olds with magical, fantasy-based thinking that doesn’t do anybody any good. Wind and solar have a role in future energy production — a supporting one behind fossil fuels and nuclear.

    * The lack of realistic, global energy and environmental strategies is really hurting us. Right now, there are no alternatives to fossil fuels on many, many fronts. We need them, period. Because of that, we need a global bridge strategy from them to the alternatives of the future. And, no, I’m not talking about the kind of delusional garbage California thrives on — where they strangle themselves so businesses move elsewhere where there are less restrictions. I’m talking about setting standards in the United States — and holding other countries responsible for meeting them. And if heavy polluters like China say no — then hit them with a massive per container ship environmental surcharge to cut of their air and force them to make stuff here.

    Of course, the stupid will be bellowing about higher prices for flip flips and whatnot — to which I say smarten up and buy less disposable crap and more quality products that will last. Raw material consumption will go down — and less stuff will wind up in the dump. But Americans are hooked on cheap Chinese junk and are usually too stupid, too lazy, and too undisciplined to make any short term changes for their long term benefit — so we’ll all just keep putting up with this kind of nonsense for the rest of our lives.

    * Finally, Russia and China need to be painted with the same brush. Both need to be booted from the WTO. They’re evil, stone age empires — and they’re getting away with murder. They need to be isolated and left to their own devices. Too bad it’ll never happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @MitchConner – You can’t compare Russia to Iran. Russia’s GDP is 11th in the world. Iran is #26. Iran has 85 million population whereas Russia is around 146 million. Iran has zero nukes. I’d say that Iran would be more stoic due to religious beliefs.

      Germany closing its nuclear reactors wasn’t driven just by “greens”. Many wanted them left online because they felt it was “clean” energy. It’s more of a case of NIMBY. The public perception is that nuclear is very high risk.

      ” The lack of realistic, global energy and environmental strategies is really hurting us.”
      I do agree. There does need to be a plan to transition away from “dirty” fuel sources. China has been allowed to do as it pleases because most countries make money off of China. Sanctions won’t be as effective on them due to population size and #2 in GDP.

      “booted from the WTO”
      It would require a global herculean effort to isolate China. Russia is easy due to their relatively small GDP but dangerous due to their nuclear arsenal. China will benefit from what is going on right now. Russia will end up a Chinese puppet state especially once Putin expires. It won’t surprise me if we find out that someone slipped Novichok into his air-conditioning or a polonium cocktail. The oligarchs will figure out a way to end him and this conflict.

  • avatar
    lne937s

    Want a crazy sounding idea that would actually reduce domestic oil prices (but hurt our trading partners)? Tax petroleum exports. Right now, we currently are a net exporter of oil. We produce more than we consume. If we were to tax exports, not only would we increase local supply, but an oil company would net more by selling at a lower price within the US than if they were selling at the global price, minus the export tax.

    For example, if the global price of oil is $150 and we impose a $50 tax on oil exports, the domestic oil companies would make more money selling oil at $110 to the US market. ~$110/barrel would still provide a substantial profit margin.

    The politics of this is another thing, as oil companies want to make maximum profit, and we want to keep our allies happy with us.

  • avatar
    j lu

    Let me begin by saying that while I don’t like paying more for fuel, I’m willing to do so now to choke off Russia for its cruel and inhumane invasion of Ukraine.

    Where I do get angry about fuel prices is the greed of the oil companies.
    The oil that is currently selling for 100+ per barrel won’t be in your tank for 3-6 months. The oil that produced the gasoline you’re pumping right now was about $44 per barrel but the oil companies raise prices instantly, acting like their current inventory cost 2 1/2 times what it did. GREED. The $110 barrel of oil is just being pumped, has to be shipped to a port facility most likely by ship, then truck, then it has to be refined and then trucked to stations and all of this takes time.

    Instead of seeing fuel prices go up gradually as the actual higher priced oil arrives and enters the marketplace, your favorite oil company immediately makes all of their oil, even the oil in inventory, $110+. Did you also notice that gasoline prices skyrocket instantly but never go down instantly to match the market drops?

    Watch for their profit statements after all of this. HUGE obscene profits made off of each of us because they charged more for oil than was paid. They love these situations where they can manipulate fuel prices to become even richer. Predatory and Pure GREED. Time for an excess windfall profits tax. I have other descriptive words in mind but I cannot print them here.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Does Matt realize that he writes for TTAC and NOT the NY Post?

    The #1 reason why fuel prices have risen is the demand/supply equation.

    Demand for oil has risen sharply after lockdown and stay-at-home orders around much of the world were lifted, but the OPEC nations haven’t brought production up to previous pre-pandemic levels since they are enjoying the higher margins (just as auto dealerships are with less vehicles to sell).

    It’s not like the Biden administration hasn’t been trying to make up for that shortfall.

    Much to the chagrin of environmentalists, the Biden administration in its 1st year granted more drilling permits on public lands than the preceding administration did in THREE years.

    The discontinuation of the Keystone XL has zero impact on price of gas here.

    We already import all the oil we want from Canada without the XL pipeline; furthermore, most of the major oil sands producers in Canada are owned by the CHINESE, so the main thing that Keystone would do is make it easier/cheaper for China to access its oil.

    Despite the thousands of new drilling permits granted, oil (and for that matter natural gas producers) in the US are also in no hurry to raise production as they, too, are enjoying the windfall from high prices (investors/Wall St. have also been pressuring them to rake in the high margins and not to expand production).

    Does Matt realize that US oil producers EXPORT a sizeable amount of oil (ever since the prohibition was lifted in 2015)?

    Previous to the ban on oil exports being lifted, the big oil producers got around this by exporting refined fuels – which would often be the #1 US export.

    Now, they are doing both.

    These are the typical things big oil does to drive prices higher.

    Another “trick” is to purchase smaller refining operators only to shut down those refineries – this way, certain regions are at the mercy of a couple of big refiners (such as the West Coast and the Midwest) who always seem to shut down part of their operations for “maintenance” at the most inopportune time, nevermind such maintenance not preventing fires/accidents to seem to occur on a near annual basis (which drives the price of gas sky high in the market it serves).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @bd2 – China has 3.6% stake:

      “The ownership of each individual barrel of oil mined or currently in construction at an oil sands mine is; 75.1% for Canada (501,000 + (160,000 x 70.8%) + (407,000 x 66.5%) + (255,000 x 70%) + (220,000 x 21.3%) + 277,000) ÷ 1,820,000 = 75.1%.
      There is also a 17.3% stake for the U.S. (255,000 x 20% + (407,000 x 17.5%) + (220,000 x 78.7%) ) ÷ 1,820,000 = 16.2%. Other notable countries are 3.6% for China, 2.6% for France and 1.4% for the Netherlands.”

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “…These are the typical things big oil does to drive prices higher…”

    Can someone who subscribes to this “prices are high because of oil company greed” theory explain to me why oil prices are ever low? Do the oil companies just put their greed on hold every few years to give us a break? (And I’m not talking about extraordinary events like a pandemic-induced crash in demand.)

    “…since they are enjoying the higher margins (just as auto dealerships are with less vehicles to sell).”

    Yeah, what auto dealerships really want is fewer cars to sell. Again, why didn’t dealers come up with this brilliant strategy of selling fewer cars at higher margin 5 or 10 years ago?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Can someone who subscribes to this “prices are high because of oil company greed” theory explain to me why oil prices are ever low?”

      Same reason why Wal-Mart puts stuff that doesn’t sell on sale: demand is low, so they drop the price.

      The problem with oil/gas prices is that these huge swings in price have almost zero demonstrable relation to supply and demand. To wit:

      https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/supply/weekly/pdf/table1.pdf

      The supplies of oil and finished gasoline are UP substantially in February 2022 compared to one year ago – 9.7% for U.S. drilled oil, 8.2% for gasoline. The amount of crude oil shipped to refineries is up 11.2%. But gas prices are up almost 30%. Common sense would dictate that for that kind of increase, there must be some huge shortage of oil and gasoline…but there isn’t.

      Clearly this flies in the face of normal supply and demand laws. Given that, what other explanation besides “greed” is there?

  • avatar
    ffighter69

    Get your head out of the sand. I had to laugh when you wrote “the United States has the ability to be wholly energy independent.” Obviously you consider Canada the 51st state of the US. The US thirst for fuel could never be quenched from within its borders without Canadian crude. You even pointed out this fact when mentioning the pipelines. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for the stupidity of past governments of shutting down oil refineries and the free trade act Canada could have been enjoying fuel prices 75% less than they are now. How stupid is it that we take the fuel out of the ground, ship it to the US to refine and ship the fuel back to Canada. Everytime there is a major storm sytem (hurricane) off the coast of Texas our fuel prices go up yet the fuel we use isn’t even refined in Texas.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    Fuel prices are just one of the more visible results of the pricking of the Everything Bubble that has been inflating since 2008. Covid and the Ukraine situation are just the pointy end of the pin.

    Should get interesting if the Ukraine wheat harvest collapses. Also, no more fertilizers from Russia and Belarus, not to mention a constricted supply of enhanced uranium, palladium, noble gases, titanium etc. Hard to build jet engines without titanium. There is also no way in hell US lpg takers can supply Europe’s needs. The three letter agencies put Russia in zugzwang and now they are returning the favour.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/this-has-never-happened-before-in-the-history-of-the-nickel-market-145-year-old-exchange-halts-trading-as-price-more-than-doubles/ar-AAUQOcd

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