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Fight High Gas Prices?

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  • Fight High Gas Prices?

    So I get sent a chain email spam-a-lot thingy from my wife, and I almost just delete it, but seeing as my wife sent it, I read a little bit.

    It basically is a thought that gasoline prices are too high, but that no one can really afford to NOT buy gas, so how do you put pressure on the oil companies to lower their prices(seeing record profits makes one think there is room in the system to PUT some pressure on the companies)?

    It advocates boycotting the largest *few* oil companies until *those* companies sell at a price attractive enough(they specifically shoot for like 1.50 or so). Basically try and start a price war.

    Consumer action in response to market forces seems entirely appropriate to me, more-so than any "price gouging" laws or "windfall tax" laws. So in some sense, it appeals to me. But would it even be effective? I'm mostly worried that the big oil companies that are being boycotted would just start selling their excess inventory to the littler oil companies. That the system is built to treat oil/gas as such a commodity anyway, that it will be super easy for them to do this, and basically deep 6 the whole idea.

    I really don't begrudge profits to well run companys that are following the law(no colluding, price fixing, etc). But it is in my personal interest to try and get cheaper gas, so I'm sure interested in any ideas!

  • #2
    Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

    I don't drive an suv or anything like that, but I do have to get premium. 3/4 of a tank for $47 yesterday. Ouch! And I'm in Texas!!!

    These prices are sparking all sorts of investment in tar sands and other forms of drilling. It's a PITA for us but it's also creating lots and lots of jobs.

    Can't complain. My father-in-law is CEO of a privately-owned petroleum drilling and pipeline company, so the next several years will likely pay for my grandchildren's college and a beach house pour moi. Maybe one of them viagra pinkie rings too.

    I'll post a pic of me in my new full-length purple fur coat when the ship comes in. Floppy hat and cane and all. jayah.

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    • #3
      Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

      The problem here is not the gas companies, but the stock markets. Crude oil sells for $75 a barrel, and is expected to potentially top $100 per barrel in the next 5 years. Watched a good documentary about this, asking why it is rising. After all we are producing 4% more than we need, and with other technologies being introduced coupled with global conservation programs the crude oil supplies are expected to last until 2100. And yet despite all of this prices still rise.

      A lot of explanations were touted, from venture capitalism to Iran's nuclear programme.

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      • #4
        Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

        You can fight high gas prices by buying a Geo Metro, duh :D

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        • #5
          Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

          I fight high gas prices by driving a diesel. My Golf TDI goes a long long way between fill-ups.

          Good luck with influencing the price of gas. :)
          Peace through fear... since 1947!

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          • #6
            Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

            I fight high gas prices by buying KB and sitting home watching Gilligan's Island reruns.

            Saved By The Bell? Never!!

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            • #7
              Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

              I forgot where i got this figure from, but it said that when/if gas price hits (2004 dollar) $5-6 a gallon it will become unacceptable to the typical american consumer and that is when changes will happen. Who knows though, but I do know that exxon is making a butt load of $

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              • #8
                Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                Originally posted by Eggplant999
                I forgot where i got this figure from, but it said that when/if gas price hits (2004 dollar) $5-6 a gallon it will become unacceptable to the typical american consumer and that is when changes will happen. Who knows though, but I do know that exxon is making a butt load of $
                heck yea they are! $.18 per gallon profit at the refinery!!! Government tax ranges by state/Federal somewhere between $.42-$.56 cents per that same gallon in taxes!!! Boy the refineries are really taking it to the man!

                Lucky Shot

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                • #9
                  Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                  Originally posted by Eggplant999
                  I forgot where i got this figure from, but it said that when/if gas price hits (2004 dollar) $5-6 a gallon it will become unacceptable to the typical american consumer and that is when changes will happen. Who knows though, but I do know that exxon is making a butt load of $
                  Remember back when gas was around $1.20-$1.50, and they started rising? Remember people saying they would drive less and converse gas if prices hit $2? Remember them saying there's no way they would spend over $3.00 per gallon?

                  Take a lawnchair to the local gas station, and have yourself a seat right out front. See how many people stop by.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                    Hasn't most of Europe been at these prices or higher for some time? I think Americans have always expected cheap gas :D.
                    Like the server? Become a regular! TGNS Required Reading
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                    • #11
                      Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                      Europe's been way over these prices, but that's because they tax it to high heaven, not because they use some weird European gas.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                        @ OP:

                        The oil companies don't really control the price of gas.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                          The economic term is elasticity, which is how easily people can reduce their consumption when a price rises.

                          Of course, most people would love to see the status quo maintained or even falling prices, and will whine and stomp their feet and call for legislation to punish their "evil" suppliers when reality causes prices to rise. The "fair" response is to eat the higher price, cut your consumption, and start investing in alternatives.

                          The people most hurt will be those on fixed incomes, but a large part of that pain comes from inflation, which is just a government accounting gimick used to conceal rising taxes by "printing" more money to pay for expanding pork. (Not really printing currency, but expanding M2 so that the value of the currency falls after the government has spent it.)
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                            Originally posted by Lucky Shot
                            heck yea they are! $.18 per gallon profit at the refinery!!! Government tax ranges by state/Federal somewhere between $.42-$.56 cents per that same gallon in taxes!!! Boy the refineries are really taking it to the man!

                            Lucky Shot
                            Actually, if you take out the spin of your mathematics it actually comes out to this:
                            "Exxon earned 9.5 cents on every $1 of gasoline and oil sold."

                            And this:


                            And this:

                            Yes, that's 36 BILLION in profit they made in 2005. That is indeed, like I said, a buttload of profit. (Quiz: How much did the U.S. government spend on education in 2005? A: ~57.3 Billion)

                            And this:
                            "Then there's Exxon's CEO and his stunning $400 million pay and retirement package..."

                            Your argument of the margins being low serves no purpose. It is the nature of the business that the margins are ~10%. However, when revenues nearly double in two years, then that means profit doubles in two years...

                            I don't think the argument is against supply and demand (which is what is most likely causing the high prices), it is the oil companies' lack of willingness to build refineries when they have the means (see above screenshots) to raise the supply. Hell you can read the exxon's ceo retirement statement, and in it he states that he thinks the oil companies will not build anymore refineries because they think the risk is too high (they think the oil price will go down). Whether you believe that is up to you or not.

                            I personally don't believe it, and when you have this, and you have defense company stocks tripiling in the past few years, and halliburton getting no bid contracts for billions of dollars at the expense of our national debt and foreign relations, I don't see how anyone can not think something fishy is going on here. But hey, maybe you're right, the oil companies are our friends. Let's not question them at all and let's assume they are being ethical about everything, that worked with Enron (the 7th biggest corporation at the time) didn't it? Oh wait...

                            At least people seem to care about something going on in this country for once, now if we could just get people to care about how we got into iraq, and the telco companies trying to takeover the internet we'd be in business.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fight High Gas Prices?

                              Originally posted by Eggplant999
                              he states that he thinks the oil companies will not build anymore refineries because they think the risk is too high (they think the oil price will go down). Whether you believe that is up to you or not.

                              I personally don't believe it
                              So why do you think they're not building refineries?

                              You mention Enron. Do you think this CEO is fleecing his investors? Will he not make them more profit by building more refineries? Or is some other motive in play?
                              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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