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(How Stuff Works)   This is how gasoline prices are really supposed to work   ( divider line
    More: Followup  
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2896 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Aug 2001 at 8:33 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

56 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-08-30 08:45:51 AM  
2001-08-30 08:51:32 AM  
Slim Jim is good for more than just eating.
2001-08-30 09:03:01 AM  
$20 !

In Britain your tank would cost you approx $80-100

This is because burning petrol (gas) releases a hell of a lot of pollutants into the atmosphere. This is Bad. Luckily most people here have small engined cars that achiee the same performance as your machines but for much less pollution. This is backed up (or perhaps precipitated) by punitive taxes on petrol. We have had blockades, etc over the pricing. Of course if other, less responsible countries were to do their bit and reduce their emmissions a little we wouldnt need to work quite so ha rd at it on their behalf.
2001-08-30 09:04:56 AM  
As usual I blame my inability to type on my keyboard.
2001-08-30 09:14:15 AM  
Fark it, I'm buying a bike.
2001-08-30 09:33:08 AM  
Dirsty: I usually just blame it on heavy drinking.

I think I'm the only person I know who thinks that gas prices really *should* be high, at least in some areas (I live near New York, so...). Driving's a luxury, when there's ample public transportation around, and I have absolutely no problem paying $20 for a tank.

It always bugs me to hear people with giant SUV's that get about 2 miles to the gallon biatch about gas prices. It's wonderfully hypocritical.
2001-08-30 09:33:53 AM  
Dirsty, you say your cars have small engines that match the performance of "our" machines but for much less pollution. Back it up. Where are you? Where are "we?" What engine in what car? I just love it when someone spouts off without anything at all to back them up.
2001-08-30 09:41:36 AM  
It always bugs me when I see people in giant SUV's with WWJD stickers on them.

Ride a farking donkey, thats what he would do!
2001-08-30 09:46:39 AM  
"Photo courtesy Phillips Petroleum Company" - Wow, thanks for the picture, if it wasnt for it, i would have never guessed what the hell the article was about. I mean i've never seen a car being filled up at the gas station. So thats how its done. Now i know. Must study picture and pass it on to others in my village.
2001-08-30 09:49:37 AM  
... they should have made this article more exciting by adding a caption under the picture: "Hey baby, after i'm done with the car, i'm gonna make sure your plumbing is well lubricated and fill you up too"
2001-08-30 09:50:26 AM  
Can we use profanity on the message boards?
2001-08-30 09:51:55 AM  

Apologies for spouting off, however, ANYONE who is not in the USA could lay claimn to this. Except perhaps the middle East for obvious reasons. All around the globe motor manufacturers are designing and building and selling cars with more and more refined engines, able to produce far better fuel consumption and damaging the environment less. FYI I am in the UK. If you want specific examples, compare any of the top ten selling motors in a European country or the far east with the top ten selling motors in the USA. You will find that in terms of fuel consumption there is no comparison.
2001-08-30 09:59:13 AM  
Hey, shaftman, if you think about it, some parties might find your nick offensive too. Wink.
2001-08-30 09:59:24 AM  
Dirsty, thank you for your extremely vague (expected) reply, and thanks for helping me make my point. :)
2001-08-30 10:05:02 AM  
hey, what cars do all of you drive? Lets see those caravans and excursions! ( i drive a little 4 banger Integra GSR that sips fuel on the highway and idles on yesterday's fumes )
2001-08-30 10:12:21 AM  
That article was boring. I thought it was going to be some juicy conspiracy or something.
2001-08-30 10:12:30 AM  
Here's my car with 1.2 liter engine...
2001-08-30 10:22:11 AM  
Shaggie, you suffer what what you decry in others. It is far easier to go 'well, show me' than to do the footwork yourself and prove them wrong.

So stop being so slack, do a bit of research, and prove your own point. A lack of activity on the opponents side does not make your point for you.

Your slack 'you come to me' posts were far more 'expected'.

SomeoneElse: Yeah, it was boring. Didn't seem to explain the weekly (or even daily) fluctuations. I can understand month-to-month stuff, but why the weekly? Surely the hand of Adam Smith doesn't work that fast.
2001-08-30 10:26:37 AM  
How much is gas where you live? I paid $1.63/gal this morning in St.Louis. Man, gas sucks...
2001-08-30 10:26:42 AM  
Thank you for your unsolicited opinion, Rhaokarr. I didn't start the "battle of the engines" and don't feel like researching the topic to prove someone wrong. You come off as the kind of person who would go out of their way to do exactly that, though, so be my guest. :)
2001-08-30 10:40:51 AM  
"compare any of the top ten selling motors in a European country or the far east with the top ten selling motors in the USA. You will find that in terms of fuel consumption there is no comparison."

In terms of performance there's no comparison either. People like fast cars, families like big cars. And it's not just Americans; if your gas prices weren't five bucks a gallon you'd see SUVs all over England too.
I'm sick of all these Europeans preaching and spouting off about responsibility and the like, when the only reason they're driving a farking Mini is because they can't afford to drive anything else due to the excise taxes. Can it.
2001-08-30 10:42:49 AM  
$1.63?! in central Jersey a gallon of Exxon regular will cost you $1.29...the Raceway across the highway is $ here in Jersey its all full service...but we do pay rediculous car insurance rates...
2001-08-30 10:43:22 AM  
Here in Minnesota regular unleaded is $1.83 per gallon....

My current car doesn't fall into this category, but if I had my last car right now, a tankful of gas at these prices would double the value of the whole vehicle....
2001-08-30 10:53:06 AM  
"here in central Jersey a gallon of Exxon regular will cost you $1.29"

And they pump it for you! One of the things I love about Jersey, which is really not as bad of a state as people make it out to be.
2001-08-30 10:55:21 AM  
It's ironic cuZ I'm having a record amount of gas
2001-08-30 11:03:21 AM  
If Americans had access to government subsidized long distance mass transportation they would not buy large inefficient vehicles to haul their families around with. Some of our cities have local mass transit. But, if you want to go further than 50 miles from home you need to have a car, and if you have a couple a kids you need a larger car. And if you are going on a longer trip you can either deal with the shiatty air system or pay an arm and a leg for the even shiattier train system.
Those in England find it easy to smirk at Americans and our consumption of gasoline and taste for large vehicles. But, they fail to consider the fact that we have much longer distances to cover without the benefit of a coherent efficient train/light rail system. They also think that every single American drive a Ford Exploder or the like. While these have been the best selling vehicles for the last few years they still do not outnumber the smaller more efficient cars on the road. Americans use more gas, we have farther to go and there are alot more of us.

btw, there is a small christian anti SUV movement growning, their slogan WWJD What Woudl Jebus Drive?
2001-08-30 11:03:39 AM  
Pretnar: By the time those bums stroll over to pump your gas the price goes up a dime.
2001-08-30 11:36:33 AM  
I live in an igloo in canada and it costs $50 to fill a gas tank
2001-08-30 11:59:15 AM  
1.37 today for Mobil gas down the street from me. schwweeettt!!!! its been that cheap for about two weeks. seems they want to sell the station so they lowered the price to make it seem like they get more customers so a potential buyer would find the station more attractive.
2001-08-30 12:02:13 PM  
Shaggie : I see you drive an effcient, small, car. There is always an exception to pove a point. The 2 cars/vans/behemoths behind your "love-bug" would illustrate my point more clearly. Clearly these vehicles ned to be that size a they are employed in heavy construction, strip mining or taking the brats to school?

DJButton : Over a longer distance a car is still an amzingly inefficient means of transport. The difference here is that our high fuel prices make the horrendoulsy expensive Train system (that is rated unreliable and unsafe) seem like a good deal. A similar policy in the good ole U S of A might encourage more rail miles. Of course on smaller journeys the layout of US cities and their 'burb encourages almost continuous use of the car, even just to go buy milk for your cuppa.
2001-08-30 12:03:45 PM  
Hmmm.. interesting. When I clicked on How Gas Prices Work, I expected to see a Chevron worker farking me in my ass while he poured sugar in my tank.
2001-08-30 12:08:43 PM  
Shaggie : I guess this baby ha had a 1.2 block installed also:
2001-08-30 12:16:28 PM  
"Here's my car with 1.2 liter engine... "

I hope this is not a boast of "look how environmentally friendly I am," since without a vapor recovery system that car gives off more harmful emissions PARKED than an SUV driven 50 miles.
Does it even have a catalytic converter?
2001-08-30 12:27:32 PM  
I'm David Stanfill and I'm a busy business man.
2001-08-30 12:38:33 PM  
Dirsty: The 2 vehicles behind mine in that picture are my neighbors'. One is a chevy truck with a small 4 cylinder engine. The other is a van and the guy who runs it DOES use it for his construction work. As far as the "badmofo" picture goes, no- That had a 5.0 and was not driven on the street. If you'll look closely at the picture then you'll see it was parked in the grass in my side yard. It was a drag-car only.
Pretnar: Look 2 comments up from mine where I posted a picture of my car. Brutisboot asked what kinds of cars everyone drove. I responded. No, my '63 Bug does not have a catalytic converter. I'll have to look into your scientific claim that my car gives off more harmful emissions parked than an SUV driven 50 miles. That sounds like a very intelligent, well thought-out statement so it must be true. Any more intelligent questions/comments?
2001-08-30 12:57:51 PM  
"Look 2 comments up from mine where I posted a picture of my car. Brutisboot asked what kinds of cars everyone drove. I responded."

Okay, that's why I made sure to say "I hope this is not a boast," although in context now it seems like it was.

"I'll have to look into your scientific claim that my car gives off more harmful emissions parked than an SUV driven 50 miles. That sounds like a very intelligent, well thought-out statement so it must be true."

Just because you a)don't know anything about it, b)don't believe it, or c)don't want to believe it is no reason to get sarcastic. You obviously aren't very well versed on the subject to assume that the only major pollutants that spew forth from that Bug of yours come from the tailpipe.
2001-08-30 01:02:17 PM  
Pretnar, get over yourself. Glad I could help! :)
2001-08-30 01:05:57 PM  
What has always bothered me it the 9/10 cent that is always tacked onto the price. Then when it says $1.29 9/10, people will go around and say "Hey, it's only $1.29 down at Texaco!"...but it's not! It's basically $1.30 when you round up. Why doesn't anyone round up? Why don't gas prices ever have 3/10 cent or 7/10 cent at the end? Why am I rambling on about this minor issue?
2001-08-30 01:08:09 PM  
Shaggie: What excatly is your point? Are you denying any of the following points:
1: The average, newly purchased, American car is more polluting than the average car elsewhere.
2: This is a direct result of the tax regime in place.
3: This is harmful to the environment.
4: A change in said tax regime would therefore be benficial to the environment globally.
5: The USA therefore has a moral commitment to make such a change in the tax regime.

If not, I'm afraid my vague and spouting comments will have to stand for the time being.
2001-08-30 01:19:09 PM  
Dirsty, I'm unsure about the average newly purchased American car compared to the average car elsewhere so YES I'll deny that until I see proof. I drive on the roads here every day just like you you don' I see what kinds of cars are on the road at least in this area. The majority of the cars I see are smaller cars, probably because most people (in this area) are commuting and want efficient cars. I don't know, and haven't seen you provide any kind of proof of YOUR claim. I don't agree with your #1 claim since you haven't done ANYTHING to convince me of it so I can't agree with any of your other points since they all follow it. Just be glad you're in the UK where everything is perfect. I'm sure glad you're there. I'm also glad you recognize your comments for what they are. (vague and spouting) :)
2001-08-30 01:20:16 PM  
Pretnar : "the only reason they're driving a farking Mini is because they can't afford to drive anything else due to the excise taxes"
That is my point exactly. We can't afford to. Because of taxes. I didn't say it was a choice we made.

Everybody would drive a TVR cerbera if they had the choice, but common sense dictates that this would rapidly kill our planet. So we tax the hell out of pertrol and consumption goes down. Apply the same logic in the USA and you get one much healthier planet.
2001-08-30 01:22:47 PM  
Dirsty, what 'tax regime'? The average new car emissions are gotten fromt the manufacturers and include everything from tiny SLEV civics all the way up to 'light trucks' which includes SUVs. The tax structure has nothing to do with it, its an equation created by the government (influenced by industry) to obtain a number. There are NO tax incentives to either producing or purchasing an inefficient vehicle in the US. As a matter of fact, as sales tax, licensing fees and many parking taxes are based on the value of the vehicle buying the over priced SUVs result in paying more taxes!

Also, every vehicle produced in the US is now 95% cleaner than any vehicle produced just 15 years ago. The SUVs pollute more because they use more gas, because they are heavier, and because high torque (hauling) engines cannot be made to be very efficient. But they still produce FAR LESS harmful emissions than the same vehicle would 10-15 years ago.
Americans are not trying to evade their responsibility to reducing pollution, although the current administration seems to think its good policy. So, if you are going to rant on about 'tax policy' etc. without really knowing what you are talking about thats fine, just dont expect to be taken seriously.
2001-08-30 01:26:14 PM  
"Everybody would drive a TVR cerbera if they had the choice, but common sense dictates that this would rapidly kill our planet."

Common sense? That's one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard in my entire life!
Good god, if this planet were as fragile as you'd have us believe, we'd all be LONG dead.

"Pretnar, get over yourself."

Well, that's one way to respond to an argument you can't top (speaking of "very intelligent, well thought-out).
This thread's going nowhere. . .
2001-08-30 01:30:54 PM  
Dirsty, I'm so glad that everyone in the UK are totally logical actors and don't make decisions based on frivolous influences. And, as I said before, if Americans are given the choice of public transit or personal cars for commuting they overwhelmingly choose public transit. For examples of this see ridership numbers for New York, DC and Boston's metro system. Unfortunately, public transit in the rest of the nation is either a joke or missing entirely. Thats what happens when you have a HUGE farking country to move people around in.
And as I have been to the UK I have to tell you that there a PLENTY of cars on the road in states of disrepare belching black smoke etc. Also, if you really want to see some pollution go to China, or India. I have found that the first two weeks in those areas and you are bleeding from your sinuses and coughing out black bits in the morning. Funny thing is I haven't ever had that kind of reaction in LA?
2001-08-30 01:32:56 PM  
Pretnar, this thread is going somewhere. Right down the tubes. Yeah, I had to pull the old "Get over yourself" routine with you. You were very easy to peg as someone not worthy of any real response. A time waster. "Pearls to swine" as the saying goes. Down the tubes, I sez. :)
2001-08-30 01:37:47 PM  
Grandpa always said to avoid wrestlin with the hogs cause:
"you both end up muddy, but the hog likes it!"
2001-08-30 01:39:11 PM  
DJButton: BINGO! heh heh
2001-08-30 01:43:57 PM  
Shaggie : That was a circular argument and so won't stand up in court. You cannot deny knowledge of vehgicle efficiency and then propose some kind of "I drive on the roads round here" statement. Scientific I think not.

DJ Button: In the UK the price of fuel is dictated by the govt who tax it to the same extent they do fags (in other words a few hundred % of the manufacturers resale value) Also we have different tax brackets acording to fuel efficiency.

Pretnar : The problem is we dont know how fragile the planet is, so it makes sense ot err on the side of caution.

Laters. I have a home to go to. On the underground of course. (P.S. I drive a 4litre Jag XJR with a TWR supercharger, but then I can afford the tax) ;o)
2001-08-30 01:49:26 PM  
"In the UK the price of fuel is dictated by the govt who tax it to the same extent they do fags..."

WHAT!?!?! They tax fags over there? :)
I didn't know I was in court, Dirsty.
And after all that whining you say you drive a gas guzzler. Classic. hahahaha!!!
2001-08-30 02:08:15 PM  
Shaggie: Apologies for the colloquialism. In the UK a fag is a ciggie or a tab or a baxter or a cigarette.

I am not whining Shaggie, I am trying to propose the statement that low fuel taxes in the USA contribute to global emissions problems and that by adopting a more punitive tax regime on pollutants we would all benefit. Unfortunately I find myself having to defend this position. Now I really mut go and join the other tube-monkeys (again that is a colloquialism).
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