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Old 02-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #21
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Though, if you note on the web site, all the numbers are there...

Or maybe they really ARE out to get us!
The numbers are there -- I don't think there's any grand conspiracy to hide them. But that doesn't help people of modest means who have seen their cost of living steadily rise due to food and energy costs even as they get no COLAs because the price of big screen TVs and cruise vacations came down.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:24 PM   #22
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Some of this may be offset by the plummet in natural gas prices and reductions in electricity. We don't use NG but our electric rates have declined. I have no idea what the balance is of gasoline vs. other energy.
If "fracking" doesnt get shut down, natural gas will get a chance to become the substitute to gasoline. Bountiful supply and comfortably under $2 a gallon equivalent for a car. Infrastructure in some cities are now being built out. You can even install your "own pump" by tapping into your home fuel line. There is one model that runs nat. gas but until economy of scale kicks in, the savings in fuel costs are ate up by increased purchase price. Where I live it is "only" $3.31 a gallon, so its not a budget buster yet.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #23
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If "fracking" doesnt get shut down, natural gas will get a chance to become the substitute to gasoline. Bountiful supply and comfortably under $2 a gallon equivalent for a car. Infrastructure in some cities are now being built out. You can even install your "own pump" by tapping into your home fuel line. There is one model that runs nat. gas but until economy of scale kicks in, the savings in fuel costs are ate up by increased purchase price. Where I live it is "only" $3.31 a gallon, so its not a budget buster yet.
I for one would love to see this happen, provided that we can provably "frack" safely and cost-effectively. Last I read, we have a domestic natural gas supply that is expected to last 75 years or more for our own usage, even if we converted many gasoline-powered engines to natural gas. And if we can rely on Canadian sources as well (certainly more than we can rely on stable Middle East sources), that almost doubles. And, of course, natural gas burns a helluva lot more cleanly than gasoline...
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #24
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Though, if you note on the web site, all the numbers are there...

Or maybe they really ARE out to get us!


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Old 02-17-2012, 06:35 PM   #25
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I for one would love to see this happen, provided that we can provably "frack" safely and cost-effectively. Last I read, we have a domestic natural gas supply that is expected to last 75 years or more for our own usage, even if we converted many gasoline-powered engines to natural gas. And if we can rely on Canadian sources as well (certainly more than we can rely on stable Middle East sources), that almost doubles. And, of course, natural gas burns a helluva lot more cleanly than gasoline...
Not only more cleanly in terms of less unburned hydrocarbons and CO, but by the nature of the fuel, it puts out a lot less CO2 per equivalent energy unit. Why we are not exploiting this fuel more aggressively, I do not know. There are so many advantages to this fuel (cost, domestic jobs, geopolitical, energy independence, green, known technology, little change in current engine technology, existing infrastructure, etc. etc.) Now, it appears to be abundant as well. Instead, we are pushing wind/solar, etc. (all fine if they are viable on their own) and finding ways to delay using CH4. Most of the potential disadvantages of taking CH4 out of the ground have applied to liquid petroleum for 100 years. Suddenly, we're worried about those risks for CH4 when we accept them for liquid HCs. Load gun, shoot foot, rinse, repeat. But, if you have a differing opinion, YMMV.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #26
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There are so many advantages to this fuel (cost, domestic jobs, geopolitical, energy independence, green, known technology, little change in current engine technology, existing infrastructure, etc. etc.) Now, it appears to be abundant as well. Instead, we are pushing wind/solar, etc. (all fine if they are viable on their own) and finding ways to delay using CH4.
Frankly, assuming the fracking question can be answered safely and responsibly, I'm totally with Boone Pickens. Natural gas should be the bridge between oil and "green" renewables. We certainly have enough of it to bridge the gap. Ramp up with that in the next 10 years, kiss the Middle East goodbye, and slowly replace all fossil fuels with green renewables as the technology becomes more cost-effective.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #27
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Frankly, assuming the fracking question can be answered safely and responsibly...
On that subject, I saw this news bit today:

University Of Texas Researchers Find No Direct Link Between Fracking And Contaminated Groundwater
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #28
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$4 a gallon gas does not surprise me. The only thing that has held oil prices down so far has been this big recession. A recovering economy will bring higher oil prices.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #29
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Core inflation is minus food and energy, because they are more volatile.
The 0.2% number was for CPI-U, or CPI for All Urban Consumers.

Consumer Price Index Summary
It was .2% for both core CPI and CPI. Since the numbers are some kind of weighted average, something else must have gone down to make up for the 0.9% gas increase.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:29 PM   #30
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It was .2% for bothe core CPI and CPI. Since the numbers are some kind of weighted average, something else must have gone down to make up for the 0.9% gas increase.
Sure, technology like electronics and a lot of discretionary services are dropping in price. The problem is, these aren't the things that households on a tight budget and a COLA are buying.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #31
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CNBC reported a story that gas prices will rise this summer.
So if we see gas continue to $4 or higher, people start cutting down on trips, summer vacations would be affected, probably airlines adding fuel surcharges, etc... So is this enough to stop the growth in the economy, slow as it is already?
Just wondering what others think, WITHOUT BLAMING ANYONE PLEASE.
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Only fairly recently has our average gas price DROPPED back down to around $4.00/gal (paid. $4.04 yesterday). It actually dropped below $4 briefly a few weeks ago and is now headed higher again. Of course, our mix of oil comes from far different sources than most on the mainland. Only about 4% comes from the US (primarily from Alaska IIRC).
From the vehicles a lot of folks still drive here (new SUVs and pick-em-ups), $4.00 gas doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. Our prices went to over $4.50 when oil got to its highest per bbl price a couple of years back. There was a lot of carping (and there still is some) but I certainly haven't seen much change in driving habits.
Full disclosure, we do have a relatively high proportion of Prius type vehicles here. They make a lot of sense because most of our driving is "city cycle" rather than highway. Even on the freeway, it's more like city with all the stop-go-slow-down we experience. When DW drives, she's either pushing the gas or the brake. Works well for a Prius, but for an old Honda, not so much. When she drives, we're lucky to get 20 mpg. When I drive, it's always 25+ mpg.
Heh, heh, YMMV.
Like Ko'olau says, I can't believe that you guys would bitch about $4/gallon gas. Around here we call that a "bulk discount".

Last week our Oahu electric company actually complained to the PUC that they needed to raise their rates. Was it the damage from the last hurricane? No. Was it the high cost of anti-pollution devices? No. Was it the high cost of fuel oil to run the generators? No.

It's because too many people have solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems, so the cost of generating electricity is now being shared among a smaller customer base.

Oahu's citizenry shouted down the whole idea before the PUC even got a chance to trash it.

BTW, my Prius gets 55 mpg. If I'm driving in rush-hour traffic it's closer to 60 mpg. If it's cool enough to shut off the A/C then it's over 60 mpg.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:27 AM   #32
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2nd paragraph.....
The study, however, does not exonerate the shale drilling industry, noting that contamination can and often does occur from spills or mishandling of wastewater.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:53 AM   #33
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BTW, my Prius gets 55 mpg. If I'm driving in rush-hour traffic it's closer to 60 mpg. If it's cool enough to shut off the A/C then it's over 60 mpg.
If high mileage is a goal then a Honda 250cc motorcycle is a viable choice. A guy at work has one and in an effort to get 100 mpg with it he did get 99.5 mpg stock, no modifications. Close enough. They're popular worldwide for that reason.

2012 Rebel Overview - Honda Powersports And they're cute. I've been trying to get DW on one for a couple of years.

Back on topic, I don't see a huge change in behavior until gas gets to $6 or more, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth, whining and moaning. The people with low-mileage vehicles would have to write off so much loss on them that they'll stay with them for as long as they can.

Like last time though, motorcycle sales will soar.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:04 AM   #34
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If high mileage is a goal then a Honda 250cc motorcycle is a viable choice. A guy at work has one and in an effort to get 100 mpg with it he did get 99.5 mpg stock, no modifications. Close enough. They're popular worldwide for that reason.

2012 Rebel Overview - Honda Powersports And they're cute. I've been trying to get DW on one for a couple of years.

Back on topic, I don't see a huge change in behavior until gas gets to $6 or more, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth, whining and moaning. The people with low-mileage vehicles would have to write off so much loss on them that they'll stay with them for as long as they can.

Like last time though, motorcycle sales will soar.
And if so, more people will die... not a great tradeoff IMO....
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #35
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For both national security reasons, and economic reasons, we should be utilizing the energy resources we have available, thus coal, crude, and nat gas will be with us for a while. I'm not naive enough to think "green" energy will generate any significant percentage of total energy consumed in the near-term, and/or longer, though if energy prices somehow reflected "hidden" costs, it might make solar or wind somewhat more competitive. I'm also not naive enough to believe the extraction and use of hydrocarbons or coal is somehow "clean". And declarations of how we have some hundred or two years of energy resources will be cold comfort for those a hundred or two years hence...
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #36
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Seems to me it is all about supply and demand, the only problem is big oil controls the supply of finished gasoline. They are closing down refineries left and right.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:21 PM   #37
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Seems to me it is all about supply and demand, the only problem is big oil controls the supply of finished gasoline. They are closing down refineries left and right.
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Refiners would be overjoyed not to have to close those refineries. Unfortunately, the economics of refining on the east coast are absolutely terrible and refiners are subject to the economics of their business regardlss of whether hey are controlled by a big oil company or not.

Fas prices by me have been around 3 bucks a gallon for quite some time and have not budged even as they have jumped on the coasts. The market has regionalized because there is not enough pipeline capacity and the specific oil east coast refineries are dependent on is Brent, which is trading at a large premium.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #38
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I absolutely LOVE the price of gas going up. It keeps traffic down. I'd happily pay $5 or more a gallon if it meant I'm not sitting in traffic with everyone else this summer. Obviously, gas is way too cheap; last night I was returning from DS and DIL's home in Napa to my place in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. From their driveway until i was through Sacramento, over 60 miles of 4 and 5 lane freeway, I never got over 40 miles an hour due to all the traffic. The extra 45 minute drive added an additional 2 gallons of fuel to the drive. Normally the drive takes me 5 gallons each way. At $4 a gallon, heavy traffic cost me an additional 40% more in fuel, not to mention the time involved. If gas was 40% higher in cost; $5.60 a gallon, my bet is that the traffic wouldn't have been near as much and I would have paid the same for my drive and gotten home at a regular time. Count in the wear and tear, stress, potential for an accident and insurance affects, and high gas prices end up being a cost savings.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:24 PM   #39
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Talk about traffic jams in California, just as we thought it could not get any worse, it never failed to amaze us.

Thirty years ago, we used to do many road trips through California, from San Diego onto San Fran and beyond. Traffic was always heavy, but probably nothing like it is now. In the last 20 years, we have not done much of that. Two years ago, driving the MH through LA at 10PM, the heavy traffic drove me nuts.

We have a niece who works in LA and lives in a small apartment. Her home is in San Diego. She said that when she wanted to go home on a Friday night, she would have to wait until near midnight to start the trip. Good grief!

I remember in the late 70s, I was in Long Beach for a vacation, and decided to make a day trip down to SD to visit a friend. Traffic was heavy, but the fact that I was able to make it back to LB in the same evening is something that current residents could only dream about.

I am planning the RV trip for this summer, and again, one leg of the trip calls for driving down California. This time, I am cutting to the east of the Sierra Nevada, and probably going through Death Valley. Will see if traffic is going to be heavy there!
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #40
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Core inflation is minus food and energy, because they are more volatile leaving them out allows the government to report benign numbers that don't increase COLAs or interest payments.

Fixed!
The CPI-W and the CPI-U, which are used to index SS benefits and TIPS returns, include food and energy.

The BLS provides many numbers, including CPIs without food and energy. The Fed tends to emphasize the "without", partially because it's less volatile, and partially because food and energy don't respond to changes in the US money supply in the same way as most other prices.
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