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Old 07-31-2014, 09:44 PM   #21
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Yeah, I guess we should be used to it by now.
Let me clarify the high cost in California, which is NOT the highest in the nation (Hawaii and Alaska are higher). From a recent article in USA Today (7/27/14):

"When it comes to gasoline, "California is a bit of an island," AAA's Ash told 24/7 Wall St. State fuel regulations isolate California from neighboring states, requiring it to rely on in-state refineries. "If a California refinery goes offline, which is often the case during the spring transition periods or during the summer, it can have an effect on retail [gasoline] prices," Ash said. State regulations make it harder to supplement in-state production with gas from other states, often creating large fluctuations in California's gas prices."

and,

"California
> Price per gallon: $4.09
> Number of refineries: 17 (3rd highest)
> Tax per gallon: 49.8 cents (2nd highest)


High levels of oil production and refining activity have not led to low gas prices in California. Last year, California was the nation's third largest producer of oil, behind only Texas and North Dakota. The state also has the third highest refining capacity in the nation. Despite these factors, a gallon of gas in California costs $4.09, versus $3.60 per gallon nationwide. One reason for the high prices is state and local taxes, which average nearly 50 cents per gallon, or more than in any other state except New York. Additionally, California refineries operate at near-capacity due to demand and the state's strict environmental standards, the EIA notes. These factors make gasoline prices in California especially volatile."


Link to article:


States with the highest gas prices


gardenfun: I understand why you won't get used to it. I was there for 12 years and didn't either. But it is complicated and a mix of meeting environmental regulations and high taxes.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:58 PM   #22
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Am I the only one who doesn't pay attention to gas prices?

I don't do what I'd call 'discretionary' driving. I try to limit my miles, and I drive cars that get decent mpg. So when I need to fill up, I fill up. End of story. I can't control the price of gas, so why spend time thinking about it?

In general, it seems that Costco will be a penny or two cheaper than other places, and we are there often enough that that is our default. But a fill up is 10-15 gallons, I'm not going out of my way to save a quarter for that fill up.

Gas is whatever the sign at Costco or the other low-priced stations says it is. I couldn't tell you my last fill up price if my life depended on it. $3.xx probably, if I had to guess, closer to $4 than $3 I think, but that's a guess.

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Old 07-31-2014, 10:05 PM   #23
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It was $3.67 at Sam's Club today. Other stations had it at $3.75.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:18 PM   #24
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Am I the only one who doesn't pay attention to gas prices?

I don't do what I'd call 'discretionary' driving. I try to limit my miles, and I drive cars that get decent mpg. So when I need to fill up, I fill up. End of story. I can't control the price of gas, so why spend time thinking about it?

In general, it seems that Costco will be a penny or two cheaper than other places, and we are there often enough that that is our default. But a fill up is 10-15 gallons, I'm not going out of my way to save a quarter for that fill up.

Gas is whatever the sign at Costco or the other low-priced stations says it is. I couldn't tell you my last fill up price if my life depended on it. $3.xx probably, if I had to guess, closer to $4 than $3 I think, but that's a guess.

-ERD50
I drive so little, about 3,200 miles per year, that gas prices don't mean much to me, either. My car gets about 25 mpg, so at $4 per gallon I will pay $512 per year for gas. If I pay 20 cents less per gallon (5%), I will save about $26 per year, just over $2 a month. Trivial. The gas station I use is very conveniently located, near where I live and on a main road I drive on all the time. This gas station is where my mechanic is located so everyone there knows me. I pay cash for my gas (he charges 20 cents per gallon less for cash payers) so they let me pump first and pay afterward, another convenience. I can get free air for my tires, too. All of these conveniences add up.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:33 PM   #25
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My gauge said empty so I filled it up. Total cost about $6.00 at $4.19 per gallon (premium). Good for another 120 miles or so (250cc Honda motorcycle).
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:45 PM   #26
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Today at Von's in SoCal, , $2.979, using a credit card. Cash was a dime less/gal.

We use their points, usually from gift card purchases, and save $1/gallon.




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Old 07-31-2014, 10:59 PM   #27
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$4.59 down the street from me, $4.19 where I usually fill up. Downtown San Francisco.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Am I the only one who doesn't pay attention to gas prices?

I don't do what I'd call 'discretionary' driving. I try to limit my miles, and I drive cars that get decent mpg. So when I need to fill up, I fill up. End of story. I can't control the price of gas, so why spend time thinking about it?

In general, it seems that Costco will be a penny or two cheaper than other places, and we are there often enough that that is our default. But a fill up is 10-15 gallons, I'm not going out of my way to save a quarter for that fill up.

Gas is whatever the sign at Costco or the other low-priced stations says it is. I couldn't tell you my last fill up price if my life depended on it. $3.xx probably, if I had to guess, closer to $4 than $3 I think, but that's a guess.

-ERD50
I have a retired friend who told me he never looks at gas prices. He retired well from Anadarko and has a high spend with no worries. He is also the same guy who bought a $500K variable annuity and was touting his smart move, not that gas price issues have anything to do with his VA purchase decision.

I drive about 36,000 miles per year and DW about 15K miles. I drive a diesel that gets 42-46 MPG so I too, don't really look hard at D2 prices since I get great mileage. DW fills up at a Stripes station that has the lowest prices in town.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:44 PM   #29
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Let me clarify the high cost in California, which is NOT the highest in the nation (Hawaii and Alaska are higher). From a recent article in USA Today (7/27/14):

"When it comes to gasoline, "California is a bit of an island," AAA's Ash told 24/7 Wall St. State fuel regulations isolate California from neighboring states, requiring it to rely on in-state refineries. "If a California refinery goes offline, which is often the case during the spring transition periods or during the summer, it can have an effect on retail [gasoline] prices," Ash said. State regulations make it harder to supplement in-state production with gas from other states, often creating large fluctuations in California's gas prices."

and,

"California
> Price per gallon: $4.09
> Number of refineries: 17 (3rd highest)
> Tax per gallon: 49.8 cents (2nd highest)


High levels of oil production and refining activity have not led to low gas prices in California. Last year, California was the nation's third largest producer of oil, behind only Texas and North Dakota. The state also has the third highest refining capacity in the nation. Despite these factors, a gallon of gas in California costs $4.09, versus $3.60 per gallon nationwide. One reason for the high prices is state and local taxes, which average nearly 50 cents per gallon, or more than in any other state except New York. Additionally, California refineries operate at near-capacity due to demand and the state's strict environmental standards, the EIA notes. These factors make gasoline prices in California especially volatile."


Link to article:


States with the highest gas prices


gardenfun: I understand why you won't get used to it. I was there for 12 years and didn't either. But it is complicated and a mix of meeting environmental regulations and high taxes.
Thanks, aja!

It's just that over the years we in the east bay have been given somewhat lame justifications as to why our gas prices are so much higher than those in Sacramento or LA or even the south bay--"competition" or some such thing. I can understand why California itself is higher than others, just don't believe the reasoning for why our particular part of the bay area is so high.

Although Fire'd got me beat--prices in SF are probably the highest.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:25 AM   #30
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36.12 Thai Baht per liter for my last motorbike fill up. E20 (20% alcohol) at Chiang Mai.

About $4.32/ gallon USD
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:08 AM   #31
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Generally mid-high $3.30's around Albuquerque for regular. Diesel is low $3.70's.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:58 PM   #32
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"When it comes to gasoline, "California is a bit of an island," AAA's Ash told 24/7 Wall St. State fuel regulations isolate California from neighboring states, requiring it to rely on in-state refineries. "If a California refinery goes offline, which is often the case during the spring transition periods or during the summer, it can have an effect on retail [gasoline] prices," Ash said. State regulations make it harder to supplement in-state production with gas from other states, often creating large fluctuations in California's gas prices."
That one is always good for a laugh. There are 11 distinctive special blends of gas, plus additional seasonal and specialized blends (high altitude, winter vs summer, etc) used in the US. California isn't the only area with a distinctive fuel.

It might be more reasonable to look at insufficient pipeline capacity into California. Those whacky Sierra Nevada mountains, meddling with the infrastructure again.

On refinery capacity and the need to import gasoline to the West Coast...

West Coast (PADD 5) Exports of Finished Motor Gasoline (Thousand Barrels)


For May 2014 we exported 1,654,000 barrels of finished motor gasoline. That's from PADD5, California plus a refinery complex in Washington.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:06 PM   #33
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It might be more reasonable to look at insufficient pipeline capacity into California. Those whacky Sierra Nevada mountains, meddling with the infrastructure again.
Yeah, it's about as hard to move a mountain as it is to get a permit to construct a pipeline in California. Ask me how I know after 12 years working for ARCO Corporate in Los Angeles (remember them?) in the environmental field.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:42 PM   #34
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$3.25 at Costco today, most of the other stations were at $3.39
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:14 AM   #35
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$3.17 at Costco, $3.22 at area grocery stores.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:17 PM   #36
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Near my crash pad here in the midwest, it's $3.45. Back home in HI it's currently about $4.30.

Unlike ERD50, I do "play" the gas prices game. Here in the midwest, the swings can be enormous. In the past 8 weeks, we have gone from a low of $3.14 to a high of $3.98. Gas prices have a "natural" pendulum swing and there is also the weekend add-on. If I watch the prices carefully, I can usually get very near the best price on the "down swing" in the early part of the week. Call me a penny pincher, but it costs nothing to play the game (I don't run all around town looking for the best price.) I just watch prices rise and fall and then take my best shot within about a 2-week period to fill up again. Most time, I have plenty of fuel in the tank so that I can go 3 weeks if I need to. I'm guessing I can save about $2.50 to $5.00 per tank. Not worth losing sleep over, but playing the game is not only free, but I can "win" a few bucks if I play well. What scratch-off lotto game can give you that payoff almost every time?

I think ERD50's point about gas prices makes the most sense when you put skin in the game - namely when you buy a particular car to get "better" gas mileage. I love the new technology that stretches a gallon of gas, but in many cases, the entry cost will never be made up unless gas prices go up much more than the current $3 to $4 range. Not knocking anyone who buys a fuel efficient car. Just suggesting the added cost may not save enough fuel to pay the difference. Since I now buy used cars, the much lower purchase price makes the fuel efficiency even less of an issue. In the case of used, the more important question is the inherent reliability of the brand and the cost of repairing the brand (e.g., Buick probably wins out over Cadillac and Toyota probably wins out over BMW.) Naturally, YMMV.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:05 PM   #37
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$3.17 today at RaceTrac and WaWa, Tampa Bay.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:29 AM   #38
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I really do not understand this recent drop in prices. Normally any little sneeze that takes place around the world and they jack up the prices overnight. Now with Gaza/Israel and Ukraine/Russia situation getting worse, US exporting oil and its peak vacation season, I don't get it, unless the gov't is somehow involved in this phenomena.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #39
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I really do not understand this recent drop in prices. Normally any little sneeze that takes place around the world and they jack up the prices overnight. Now with Gaza/Israel and Ukraine/Russia situation getting worse, US exporting oil and its peak vacation season, I don't get it, unless the gov't is somehow involved in this phenomena.
There's a worldwide glut of crude oil (at the moment) and the U.S. refiners have been having to charge lower wholesale prices for refined products because the Brent crude price has fallen.

The U.S. is not exporting crude oil (only light condensate as of now). We have been exporting diesel to Europe and Mexico, but that's been going on for a long time.

Don't listen to the media as they really don't understand the world energy market forces.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #40
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Don't listen to the media as they really don't understand the world energy market forces.
Agree, but I'm not sure anyone understands the elasticity of gas pricing as a function of supply/demand & risk balance
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