Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't fill 'er up

Getting a full tank of gas is a luxury these days.

My car only takes about 15 gallons, but, at $4.22 a gallon, it costs more than $63 dollars to fill up.

And, my 1995 Camry gets about 25 miles per gallon in the city. Imagine all those giant SUVs. It's more than $100 to fill them up.

I do what I see others doing these days: Ask for $30 worth of regular gas, whip out the charge card and shrug.

Also, I drive a lot less these days. Fewer trips, fewer miles.

For those who still believe that Oregon's gas prices are the highest in the nation, here's a link to AAA's website to get enlightened.

You'll notice that Oregon's average, as of May 29, 2012, is $4.25 for a gallon of regular gas.

In Washington, it's $4.27 a gallon.

In California, it's $4.28 a gallon.

If you can find a station that'll pump your gas in California or Washington, you're likely to pay about $1 more per gallon for a total of over $5 per gallon.

Clearly, if Oregon joined the other states in going all self-serve, gas prices would likely rise, not fall.

Now, look closer at the numbers where most of the drivers live in these three states.

In Eugene, it's $4.30 a gallon. Bend is about what Portland is at $4.23 a gallon.

Medford, near the border of California, has our highest price at $4.32 a gallon.

In Washington, Bellingham shocks drivers to the tune of $4.42. The Seattle area averages about $4.32.

Spokane, far removed from refineries, is sitting pretty at $3.96.

Now, in California, the L.A. area is only about $4.30 a gallon. Meanwhile in San Francisco, where there are refineries, drivers pay about $4.37 a gallon.

In general, rural areas are cheaper than urban areas.

Now, for all those who think that these "all-time" high gas prices are President's Obama's fault for rejecting the Keystone Pipeline, these prices are not the all-time high. No, those occurred in the summer of 2008 when Bush II was president. In fact, oil reached an all-time high of $145 per barrel then.

With crude oil going for $90 a barrel today and demand for gas declining, what gives?

Well, a brief, refinery fire in Washington, "routine maintenance" in California and switching over to summer grade of gas are the excuses exploited by the oil companies to drive up the price of gas.

Speculators can also claim victory in putting the pedal to the metal on oil prices.

Oil companies are gouging drivers because they can. Plus, we give them even more money in the form of enormous tax breaks. Talk about drilling their point home.

We're completely addicted to their product and there is no 12-step program to help us.

We all can't afford an electric vehicle or even a hybrid. But, it looks like we won't have much choice much longer.

It's either that, or ride a bike, work from home or walk.

No, that's progress.

1 comment:

  1. Word: Ride (as in use your bicycle as often as possible) Will it make a difference in the price of gas? Probably not, but it will make you feel better, think better and might even help you lose an extra pound or three. P.S. I ride - road bike and mountain bike - as often as I can and I'm in my 60's so that means anyone can bicycle for fun and health.