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02/18/2012

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John D

I can already see the pre-election pandering. Cut the national gas tax? Use the Strategic Petroleum reserve? Subsidize SUV sales? The possibilities are endless.

Bill Hicks

There is an interesting twist to the increasing gas prices story here in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with the recent refinery shutdowns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Gas prices are galloping upwards in these parts well ahead of the rest of the country.

Here in Virginia, the spread between prices in NOVA and downstate has widened to as much as 70 cents according to Gas Buddy, whereas 20-30 cents is more typical. Definitely a development worth keeping an eye on.

Charles Monroe

@Bill what ya need is a solar powered tank truck and you could arb. the prx between no. and so. VA.

Compound F

Dave, you're indispensable. I know you think, "why am I wasting my time?" but you're not. totally not.

Wanooski

Gas prices were falling here in the northwest over the last few weeks, I have been waiting with great trepidation for the other shoe to drop. It was hovering just under 4 bucks a gallon for several months and slowly started to creep down to around 3.50 over the last couple weeks, I think it was likely speculative bullshit prompted by that hardcore propaganda campaign about America's return to "energy independence".

Dave Cohen

@Compound F

Re: not wasting my time

Thanks. I need to hear that once and awhile.

-- Dave

teri schooley

Dave,
A tiny bit of the increase in prices in the US is that Congress allowed the ethanol subsidy to expire on Jan. 1. Dealers were given a 4.5 cent per gallon discount on gas that had 10% ethanol added to it. The discount is gone as of the beginning of the year, resulting in an immediate 5 cent increase. Now, the "adding ethanol" thing was retarded - adding ethanol reduces gas mileage by roughly 3 miles per gallon in most makes of cars and wreaks havoc to food production, etc. I have not seen that any of the big oil companies have stopped adding ethanol; they just aren't getting the financial break for doing so. No doubt Exxon loves diluting their product with ethanol, since it makes people have to fill up more often.
In any case, it looks like you still get ethanol in your gas, it just costs the same as gas without it now.
I have never figured out how they worked the numbers so that if you buy 93-octane (or whatever) that has been diluted with ethanol by 10% it can still be called 93-octane. Can corn ethanol be refined into differing grades?
Maybe that's a stupid question? For sure it's irrelevant - they can probably find a way to put cow pee in the gas and legally call it "high test" these days.

Brian Hansen

Dave - I see you've progressed from peak oil to peak civilization! I'm impressed. Drop me a line if you get a chance - I'd enjoy hearing how you're doing. Impressive sites with a lot of thoughtful insights (as usual)

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