$45 FOR A TANK OF GAS!!!!!

Sorry, didn’t mean to yell, but geeze. $45 for 12 gallons of gasoline? I paid that today at Flying J, which is supposed to be cheap. I can remember when it was 30 cents a gallon.

This just shows the utter failure of Barack Obama to allow development of all our off-shore oil fields, which we all know he took steps to block the day he took office because George Bush certainly would have if those darn Liberals in Congress that the GOP outnumbered for 6 years hadn’t blocked him.

This is why the US has to import 60 percent of its oil and we’re beholden to those darn A-Rabs and others.

And not only that, bu… what? You say Obama didn’t have anything to do with it? 

You say the oil shortage was caused by massive and wasteful American consumption over the last 50 years combined with rapid depletion of fields in this country combined with increased consumption overseas that is forcing Americans to bid for oil against Europe and China?

And you say that even if Obama were to order that all oil fields in America and its surrounding territories developed starting today, eliminating all environmental restrictions and federal controls, it would still take more than a decade to show any appreciable increase in production, and depletion of other fields would negate that increase anyway?

Oh, please. It HAS to be Obama’s fault. What else could it be? He’s had a whole two years to fix the problem, what is his problem?

And don’t even tell me that gasoline will cost $5 a gallon this summer. If that’s not Obama’s fault, I don’t know what is.

In other news: AAA has issued its annual measure of how much it costs to own a car — a bit over $8,700 a year. A story on the report is here (click).

Why so much? Gasoline plays its part, and the report is actually using last year’s gasoline prices — but maintenance, insurance and just the cost of buying the darn thing in the first place still lead the costs.

Even at $50 a fillup, I’ll be paying close to $1,000 a year for gasoline, but it is very easy to spend that much in one lump for new tires and a tune-up, or any engine work at all.

AAA’s cost is based on averages, of course, and one of those averages is how often people buy new cars, which tends to be about every three years, so they’re constantly making car payments.

My own experience is different: I’m currently driving the 4th car I’ve ever owned in my entire life, and I’m 62. There was the VW bug, the VW rabbit (a real stinker), the Isuzu Trooper and now the Subaru Forester.

By keeping my cars until the wheels fall off I spread the cost of buying the car — and I always buy used so some other sucker pays the majority of the depreciation — over a decade or more, significantly lowering my per-year cost.

People who think they save money on repairs by buying a new car every three years need to learn to do math — a $300 a month car payment, or whatever it is these days (I have no clue, I always save up and pay cash) — will buy an awful lot of repair work, much of which you can avoid with regular maintenance.

Oh yeah, and by buying a Subaru to start with. Those things never break down, hardly.

When you add all those costs in, it amazes me that people complain about the cost of mass transit. The $10 I spend to take Frontrunner to SLC won’t even buy gasoline any more (three gallons at 24 mpg), let alone all that other stuff.

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30 Responses to $45 FOR A TANK OF GAS!!!!!

  1. Bob Becker says:

    Agree on drive it into the ground strategy. [Our Ford has 146K and counting. It's a '94]. What also works is slowing the hell down and avoiding jackrabbit starts. We took our newish Toyota Yaris on a week long road trip two summers ago [Capital Reef to Four Corners to Durango, to Moab and home], drove 60 on the interstates, 55 on the blacktops, and averaged 43mpg for the trip [well above its EPA highway rating]. It was an experiment to see how much we could save by just slowing down. Turns out, a hell of a lot. Been doing it with both cars since, and gas consumption has dropped noticeably. With gas approaching $4/gal, it matters.

  2. Sarah Sturm says:

    Subaru’s are great! We have two that have surpassed the 300,000 mile mark and are running great. The $400-600 or so we spend in maintenance per year is SOOO much better than a car payment. Plus the gas mileage is pretty good.

  3. rick stewart says:

    …. charlie – somebody needs to invent an electric car with a solar panel on the roof …

    • ctrentelman says:

      rick — someone has — saw it at liberty park a coupla years ago. guy in slc made it. Not sure how practical it was, but it does work.

  4. Caril Jennings says:

    We also drive our “go to work specials” into the ground but try to maintain them the best we can. We currently have a 1988 no frills Jeep with over 200,000 miles. It only get 28mph on the highway. (When I see many new cars with less efficiency, I’m surprised.)

    In the 10 years we have owned it we have averaged $500 a year on maintenance (tune-ups, oil changes, major repairs, new tires). That’s $62.50 a month + gas over the 10 years we have owned it. We bought it very used.

    Of course, we have to endure people’s turned up noses when they see our faithful vehicle. Old paint, rust spots, etc. It is definitely NOT a status symbol! I just chuckle, though, when I see people driving their over-priced gas guzzlers. I almost feel like I’m getting away with something!

    Seeing the writing on the wall years ago, we bought a house close to where we work. Walking to work is easy and so is taking the bus. We runs errands once or twice a week, combining many errands in one trip.

    Taking the train to SLC makes it a special event – it appeals to the child in me. Almost everywhere I want to go in SLC is on a public transportation line.

    One other way we are out of line with the average car owner is that we only have one car. I know. Preposterous!

  5. hawg says:

    remember when gas first went to 3-4 dollars a gallon a few years back? of course it was bushs fault because he was making his oil buddies rich. ok.
    then it went down to about 1.40 before the election, and stayed pretty good for a bit.
    now it’s back up to 3-4 dollars again.

    so the question is WHY does obama want to make bushes oil buddies rich?

  6. ctrentelman says:

    Because they’re all part of the same evil cabal controlled by the Illuminati in Switzerland, Hawg. I thought that was clear.

    Either that or oil prices are controlled by — gasp! — market forces that the president can’t control, no matter who is in that office. That would be that whole “capitalism” thing you’ve heard about.

  7. hawg says:

    yup, that’s what I thought. it’s market forces that the president can’t control for one guy and blind greed for the other guy.

    • ctrentelman says:

      who said it was blind greed for Bush? Not me, sorry. I’ve been a market forces guy from the get-go.

      • hawg says:

        never said you did say it.
        but like virtually any political football, on either side, one guy is at fault and the other guy is entirely different and different entirely.
        selective memory I guess. say, anybody ever hear/read about gitmo these days??

  8. Stephen Cook says:

    If people had to pay the real world cost of gas, paying a living wage for all involved, including clean-up and restoration of environmental damage, your gas would cost closer to 35 dollars a gallon.
    But thats ok, your fancy computer would cost 35,000 dollars, using the same reasonable criteria.

    Couch on wheels = fail.

    Give a monkey a brain…

  9. Timm gehrett says:

    I commute to slc everyday, by bike and train. Everyone looks at me like Im sacrificing my dignity or something. To drive there I would have to buy a second car. This would cost me $600 a month, not counting maintenance. Instead I paid cash for a very nice commuter bike and $180 a month for frontrunner passes. I recouped my bike purchase in 2 months and now save $420 a month. I do own a van, for the wife and kids, but I have learned there are viable ways to get around this $4/gal nonsense. All the fuel my bike needs is a bagel and a cup of coffee.

  10. Owain says:

    So rube, I mean, Charles, is this Hope or Change you are currently experiencing at the gas pump?

    Welcome to the ObamiNation.

  11. ctrentelman says:

    hey owain, you been sick? We missed you.

    As to your comment — are you saying that Obama is responsible for the rising price of gasoline? Just as bush was? And Reagan was? And Carter was? and Nixon was? and Clinton was? And that other bush was?

    The price of gasoline is determined by the world market. The world market is determined by the good old fashioned economic law called supply and demand. Are you saying the president of the United States should somehow interfer with that market? That’s rather socialistic of you.

    Yes yes, I know, you are going to say that Obama should demand/allow more oil production in this country so the price of gasoline would go back down to $1 a gallon. I would love for you to show me the math — in terms of production and proven reserves — that would show the US could produce enough new oil in the next, say, 5 years, to reduce the amount we import by 5 percent.

    No, you can’t do it. There isn’t enough oil there, nor is there enough production capacity to accomplish that miracle because, among other things, the oil industry, through sloppy work and lack of regulation, blew up and sank one of their rather scarce off-shore deep oil rigs last year. Maybe you heard about it.

  12. Owain says:

    Is there a word limit on posts? I’ve tried to submit some admittedly long responses to things today, but they disappear into the bit bucket without a warning or error message.

  13. Owain says:

    Apparently there is a word limit, so I’ll break this up:

    Not sick, just busy. Regardless, Charles, do you need another lesson regarding Supply and Demand? Pop quiz. Fill in the blank:

    When the supply of oil goes down, the price of oil goes _____.
    A. Up
    B. Down
    C. I have no clue. I flunked economics.
    D. I’m a socialist. To be ‘fair’, prices MUST come down.

    If you chose A, you are correct. If you chose B, try again. If you chose C, go back to school. If you chose D, your initials may be CT.

    • ctrentelman says:

      but aren’t YOU the one who wants prices to come down and for obama to work that miracle?

      • Owain says:

        See the further comments below. I wish for no miracle, but I would like Obama to get the Hell out of the way when it comes to domestic oil production.

  14. Owain says:

    What is Obama doing with respect to oil supply. Google Obama restricts oil drilling and see what you find.

    No drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, no drilling off the Virginia coast, no drilling on federal lands, no drilling in the Anwar in Alaska, no oil shale production, no drilling in the Arctic, no drilling off the west coast, no drilling anywhere.

    If you restrict supply, as Obama has done repeatedly, and demand remains constant (or goes up), OF COURSE prices are going to rise.

    • ctrentelman says:

      i don’t see the math that shows me that allowing drilling in all those places would lower the price of oil/gasoline over the next 5 years, owain.

      All you give me are some generalities, and not correct ones at that — drilling in the Gulf is up over last year, i believe. For certain, US oil production is up: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0d198396-6b77-11e0-a53e-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1Keps2UnN

      The REAL problem is that new drilling in the US will never be enough to counteract the depletion of oil fields overseas, where the US buys two thirds of its oil. Prices are set on the world market, too, meaning the US would have to produce enough to impact the world supply, not just the US supply — unless, of course, you have a way to make sure oil companies in the US only sell their oil to US consumers. That might mean nationalizing the companies, of course, which would not be very capitalistic.

      Until you solve the world supply/demand problem, and get the rest of the world to quit buying cars that use our oil that somehow got put under all the land those stupid arabs live on, you will not solve the problem.

      • Owain says:

        I tried to make a much longer post with statistics, links, and ‘math’ to back up my claim, but I am limited in the size posts I am able to make on this site. Find a way to increase the post size, and I’ll supply you with the data.

        According to the sources I found, there are ample domestic oil supplies available. Obama has been choking off not only the supply of oil for the last 3 years, but the government in general has be strangling refining capacity as well. That all serves to restrict supply, which causes prices to rise.

  15. Owain says:

    And as far as the oil rig in the Gulf goes, yeah, let’s look at that.

    The interior department granted a waiver to BP so they didn’t have to do an environmental impact report regarding the risk of an oil spill FOR THE RIG THAT BLEW UP and causes the spill.

    Further, prior to the explosion, required federal inspections of the rig were not performed properly.

    Now why might that have been? Follow the money. Could it have been because Obama was the top recipients of BP contributions over the past 20 years?

    Maybe so…

    • Charles Trentelman says:

      so you are saying we need more and stricter federal regulation especially for environmental issues?

      I could not agree more. Thanks.

  16. Owain says:

    No, I’m saying that we should enforce the regulations we have, which are adequate, and eliminate the corrupt practices of granting waivers and skipping inspections to organizations that make political contributions to Democrats.

    Nice blind spot you have there, Charles. How do you avoid walking into walls?

  17. Charles Trentelman says:

    You got me Owain. I concede you are right. Clearly, the minerals mine safety people’s lax oversight was obviously engineered by President Obama, as detailed in the link you put up:

    \Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.

    Under a revised statement given to the AP on Sunday, MMS officials said the last infraction aboard the rig, which blew up April 20, killing 11 and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, occurred in August 2003, not March 2007 as originally stated.\

    I especially like — really, no denying facts — how President Obama managed to be responsible for all that starting in 2003 — probably used the same magic he used to fake, retroactively, his birth announcements in the hawaiian newspapers.

    Of course the guy who was president then — bush? — was not responsible. How could he be? Obama was. Because we all know Bush got no campaign donations from anyone involved in the oil business. Nope nope nope, all his donations were from environmental groups.

    • Owain says:

      Nice selective reading of the article, but you fail to address the actual cause for concern. The issue is not for problems that were discovered when inspections were being properly conducted during the Bush administration. Problems happen, which is why inspections are conducted, and it sounds like the inspections during the Bush administration were stringent, as evidenced by the problems discovered.

      Compare that with the inspections made in the current administration just prior to the catastrophe. “In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by AP, the agency has released copies of only three inspection reports, from Feb. 17, March 3 and April 1. According to the documents, inspectors spent two hours or less each time they visited the massive rig. Some information appeared to be “whited out,” without explanation.”

      So, inspections were rigorous under the Bush Administration and numerous problems were discovered and (hopefully) corrected. By contrast, under the Obama administration, inspections were cursory or not conducted at all, and in April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded. What was different between the two circumstances?

      Oh yeah! Obama was the top recipient of BP contributions over the past 20 years? Quite a coincidence, don’t you think?

  18. Owain says:

    Here’s an interesting data point for you…


  19. Owain says:

    If you object to the ‘skyrocket’ quote, take it up with Don Surber.

    Regardless, the graph on gas prices he presents speaks for itself, does it not? If you want a Obama quote that relates to directly to gas prices, here’s one for you from back during the Presidential campaign.

    Some people think Obama doesn’t have a coherent energy policy. That isn’t true. He has an energy agenda that he cannot discuss truthfully, because most Americans wouldn’t stand for it and wouldn’t agree with it. His actual energy policy involves jacking the price of all forms of energy sky high, not just electricity, but gas as well because only when that happens will stupid Americans curb their energy consumption.

    He didn’t exactly make a real big secret of this during the campaign, so if you don’t like paying $45 for a tank of gas, don’t complain to me.

    You voted for him, DUDE, not me.

  20. Owain says:

    More data verifying that the Obama Administration is intent on choking domestic oil production.


    Supply and demand. If this keeps up, Charles, before long you’ll be looking back with wistful nostalgia at the time when 12 gallons of gas cost you ONLY $45.

    Be careful what you wish for…

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