Still_Small_Voice

8 Reasons Gasoline Prices Are Going Up in America

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8 Reasons Gas Prices Are Going Up  --  4-13-2019  --  By Doug Whiteman

It's not your imagination: Gasoline prices have been rising fast, toward $3 a gallon in many parts of the country and even to an average $4 or more in parts of California.

And we're still a ways from seeing the worst of it, because auto club AAA says prices may not peak until late May.  At this rate, some families may be forced to dip into their emergency savings to keep their cars fueled.

What's pumping up prices at the pump? Here are eight reasons you're paying more for your fill-ups.

Read more here:  https://moneywise.com/a/reasons-gas-prices-are-going-up

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Of particular note is item #1... Losing refineries is HIGE, because the U.S. hasn't build a new oil refinery since the '70s.  This is a problem.

Edited by unixknight

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21 hours ago, unixknight said:

Of particular note is item #1... Losing refineries is HIGE, because the U.S. hasn't build a new oil refinery since the '70s.  This is a problem.

The industry is aware of this.  And they are planning MANY more.  Some are even bio-fuel refineries.  I don't know exactly what that will entail.  But it is a BIG DEAL.

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1 minute ago, Mores said:

The industry is aware of this.  And they are planning MANY more.  Some are even bio-fuel refineries.  I don't know exactly what that will entail.  But it is a BIG DEAL.

Glad to hear it.  The problem is it takes a LONG time to build such a facility, so its effect on fuel prices won't be felt for years.

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Just now, unixknight said:

Glad to hear it.  The problem is it takes a LONG time to build such a facility, so its effect on fuel prices won't be felt for years.

That is true.  If all the financing is settled, then it will take a minimum of three years to get a SMALL plant up and running.  But even a small plant often takes four to five years.

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On 4/14/2019 at 10:28 PM, Still_Small_Voice said:

I am glad one of my vehicles averages 34 to 41 miles per gallon.  We will likely see $3 per gallon soon in Utah again soon sadly.  It's sad for those who cannot afford the twenty percent and higher increase in gasoline costs.

I felt this needed to be juxtaposed with something...

3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You know that gasoline is actually incredibly cheap, right? 

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 9.50.03 AM.png

Ah!  There it is.

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You know that gasoline is actually incredibly cheap, right? 

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 9.50.03 AM.png

We also have it pretty good compared to Europe, where gasoline is often two or three times as expensive.

The thing is, because  the U.S. economy relies so heavily on cars and trucks, a price increase affects us much more than it does to Europeans.  The majority of Americans drive to work, while the majority of Europeans use public transit.  We have a lot more trucks to move goods over much longer distances.  Not to mention railroads, which are almost entirely diesel powered in America while many European rail lines are electric.  

So we do have cheaper prices, but we're also more sensitive to market fluctuations.

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1 minute ago, unixknight said:

We also have it pretty good compared to Europe, where gasoline is often two or three times as expensive.

The thing is, because  the U.S. economy relies so heavily on cars and trucks, a price increase affects us much more than it does to Europeans.  The majority of Americans drive to work, while the majority of Europeans use public transit.  We have a lot more trucks to move goods over much longer distances.  Not to mention railroads, which are almost entirely diesel powered in America while many European rail lines are electric.  

So we do have cheaper prices, but we're also more sensitive to market fluctuations.

Right, because Europe is much more condensed while America is still pretty rural. Not complaining, I prefer it that way. 

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9 minutes ago, unixknight said:

We also have it pretty good compared to Europe, where gasoline is often two or three times as expensive.

Have you looked to our neighbors to the north?  I saw a video of someone doing a piece on Canada's healthcare system and asked Canadians about how they felt about the socialized system.  He got a mixed bag.  One of the topics was gasoline.  He looked up at the prices and noticed they were just a bit higher than US prices.  "That's not too bad, really."

The Canadian he spoke with pointed out that the prices shown were PER LITER.  So, apparently about four times as much as US prices.  That was when prices were sky high everywhere.  I'm not sure what it's like today.

And remember that Europe was trying to "go green", so they got rid of their refineries and any means of producing oil.  All that meant was that they had to import their oil from Russia.  Do you honestly believe Russia didn't bilk them for as much as they could?

Edited by Mores

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29 minutes ago, Mores said:

And remember that Europe was trying to "go green", so they got rid of their refineries and any means of producing oil.  All that meant was that they had to import their oil from Russia.  Do you honestly believe Russia didn't bilk them for as much as they could?

Oh yeah they totally did.  And not just oil, but Europe gets most of its natural gas from Russia.  (Not a strategic vulnerability for most of the NATO nations to rely on Russia for their energy needs.  Nope, nothing to see here, folks.)  It's why I giggle inside when somebody starts lecturing me about how much better Europe does everything than the U.S.  European energy is a house of cards.  The only thing they get right that we don't, is that France relies heavily on nuclear power while here it's nigh impossible to get a new nuclear power plant built.

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15 minutes ago, unixknight said:

Oh yeah they totally did.  And not just oil, but Europe gets most of its natural gas from Russia.  (Not a strategic vulnerability for most of the NATO nations to rely on Russia for their energy needs.  Nope, nothing to see here, folks.)  It's why I giggle inside when somebody starts lecturing me about how much better Europe does everything than the U.S.  European energy is a house of cards.  The only thing they get right that we don't, is that France relies heavily on nuclear power while here it's nigh impossible to get a new nuclear power plant built.

When will people learn just how safe and clean nuclear power is?  Unfortunately, like fossil fuels, it is a finite resource.

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2 minutes ago, Mores said:

When will people learn just how safe and clean nuclear power is?  Unfortunately, like fossil fuels, it is a finite resource.

I'm a basket case on nuclear power. This is one I actually don't want privatized, because the best way to keep it sustainable is to have every plant operate with the same design and interchangeable parts.  That, of course, means regulation.  One of the reasons the U.S. nuclear industry failed is that each plant was uniquely designed, and getting replacement parts was time consuming and expensive.  Most of the nuclear plants in Canada and Europe are similar enough that they can trade parts.

But then I also get concerns about the number of nuclear plants we would need to build.  If each nuclear plant can support about 1 million households, we'd need about 100 nuclear plants to support our current needs. As we build more, we open more doors for an catastrophic event.  That concerns me a bit.

But I want it!

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25 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I'm a basket case on nuclear power. This is one I actually don't want privatized, because the best way to keep it sustainable is to have every plant operate with the same design and interchangeable parts.  That, of course, means regulation.  One of the reasons the U.S. nuclear industry failed is that each plant was uniquely designed, and getting replacement parts was time consuming and expensive.  Most of the nuclear plants in Canada and Europe are similar enough that they can trade parts.

Kinda?  

The big issue in the U.S. is that when  Three Mile Island happened, people went nuts and panic set in even though the actual amount of radiation that leaked out was less than a single medical X-ray, and that's if you were standing right at the fence line of the plant.  That didn't stop the media (which was sensationalist even back then) from running stories to scare people and get people to tune in.  (Essentially, clickbait before there were clicks.)  

The other big scare was Chernobyl, though if one knows anything about the way nuclear reactors are designed and the difference between U.S. and Soviet designs, it's easy to see why an accident like that can't really happen here.*

I'm not sure parts interchangeability would be the fix, though I don't see that as a bad thing.  Also, they can be privatized and regulated.  No reason we can't have the best of both worlds.  It's also worth noting that because of such tight regulation, nuclear power plants actually result in less radiation release into the atmosphere than coal burning power plants.  It's true.  Coal plants often burn coal that contains radon gas, which isn't regulated by the EPA or the  NRC because the radon is naturally occurring.  The coal is burnt in the plant and the radiation is released into the atmosphere.  To switch from coal plants to nuclear plants would result in less radiation released into the atmosphere.  My source on that?  A conversation with a former engineer at a nuclear power plant in my state.

It's understandable to be concerned about a hundred nuclear plants in the U.S., but keep in mind that the Navy runs more reactors than that in our warships.  Every single submarine in the fleet, whether it's an attack sub or a ballistic missile sub, runs on nuclear power.  Our entire fleet of aircraft carriers do as well.  According to Wikipedia, we currently have 11 supercarriers, each of which is powered by two reactors, plus 69 nuclear submarines with one reactor apiece.  That's a total of 91 in current service, not counting ones under construction.  Only one nuclear powered U.S. Navy sub has been lost and that was back in the '60s, and it wasn't due to a reactor problem as far as we know.  

*The reason Chernobyl happened and why that can't happen here is in the design of the reactor.  Soviet reactors were just scaled up versions of the reactors used in their nuclear submarines.  One feature of their reactor cores is they use carbon to absorb stray neutrons from the reaction.  The Chernobyl power plant was running a safety test with the reactor improperly configured.  As a result, the carbon caught fire and the pressure from the heat caused the reactor to blow apart.  It was not a nuclear explosion.  Carbon burns really really well, and the burning carbon released all the trapped radiation into the atmosphere in a very dirty cloud of smoke.  What do we do in the U.S.?  Instead of carbon to absorb trapped neutrons, we just use water.

Edited by unixknight

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@Mores @unixknight and others.  Do not hold your breath waiting for new refineries.  Federal (including environmental) regulations make new refineries impossible.  This is not all bad - living next to (in the neighborhood of) a refinery is a death sentence.  With the pressure of the "Green new Deal" do not bet your paycheck (money) on gas prices going down in the long run.  I am not advocating the Green new Deal - which would be a dawn of another "Dark Ages" but we do need to rethink a few things.

We need to break the habit of running around with one person in a car - it should be the great exception not the rule.  Freeways should have 4 HOV lanes and one LOV (low occupancy vehicle) lane. 

Here is a thought and political argument for revealing current political stupidity.  The one ever increasing factor to pollution (climate change) that is never actually politically addressed is population growth.  In the USA the single most contribution to population growth is immigration - including both legal and illegal.  It is foolish and stupid to attempt or pursue any "Green Deal" and ignore illegal immigration.  We cannot have "Greenness" and massive population growth fueled by ever increasing immigration - unless of course we eliminate (significantly) already existing populations.  Anyone, especially politicians, that support both greenness and increased immigration (especially illegal immigration) are outright lying about what they know or are trying to accomplish.  Just from the standpoint of pollution (and climate change if that is important to you) - there should not be even one person illegally in this country.  Politically - believing in (or thinking of) doing something about climate change (or any pollution for that matter) and living in (supporting in any way) a sanctuary city or concept friendly to illegal immigration is proof that you are too stupid to vote or participate in any political arena.  (please note the last paragraph is not directed towards @Mores or @unixknight)

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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1 hour ago, Mores said:

When will people learn just how safe and clean nuclear power is?  Unfortunately, like fossil fuels, it is a finite resource.

There are indication that hydrocarbons (what we call fossil fuels) are very renewable.  There are even advertisements of generating fossil fuels with algae - we already use corn but that just is not as advertised - yet.

 

The Traveler

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7 minutes ago, Traveler said:

We need to break the habit of running around with one person in a car - it should be the great exception not the rule.  Freeways should have 4 HOV lanes and one LOV (low occupancy vehicle) lane. 

I'm not sure that's feasible with the long commutes many people have.  Within a short range and high population, I think a push for greater use of (and improved) public transit is a good idea... but for longer commutes the problem is this:  I live almost exactly at the midpoint between Washington DC and Baltimore.  If I commute to work in Baltimore, I may be one of hundreds from my area going up there, but we all have different final destinations.  Carpooling is useful if there are others in the same building who happen to live in the same neighborhood, but that tends not to be the case.

7 minutes ago, Traveler said:

(please note the last paragraph is not directed towards @Mores or @unixknight)

It didn't seem to be directed at us, no worries.  Still, it's never a bad idea to be extra clear about stuff.  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Mores said:

When will people learn just how safe and clean nuclear power is?  Unfortunately, like fossil fuels, it is a finite resource.

Not really. Effectively, nuclear power is unlimited. If we extracted uranium from seawater (which would cost ten times as much as mining it, but still be waaaaaaaay cheaper than anything else), it will naturally replenish itself for hundreds of thousands of years with no diminution in the uranium seawater concentration. And we can always use thorium as a breeder material, which is about FOUR HUNDRED times more common than the uranium used in reactors.

The key is to abandon the horrific solid pellet fuel reactors that today constitute 100% of all nuclear plants and move to molten salt reactors. This would boost efficiency (because the reactor runs much hotter), be immensely safer, and solve almost all of MoE's nightmares.

Edited by Vort

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8 minutes ago, Vort said:

Not really. Effectively, nuclear power is unlimited. If we extracted uranium from seawater (which would cost ten times as much as mining it, but still be waaaaaaaay cheaper than anything else), it will naturally replenish itself for hundreds of thousands of years with no diminution in the uranium seawater concentration. And we can always use thorium as a breeder material, which is three times more common than uranium and about FOUR HUNDRED times more common than U-235, the fissile isotope of uranium.

The key is to abandon the horrific solid pellet fuel reactors that today constitute 100% of all nuclear plants and move to molten salt reactors. This would boost efficiency (because the reactor runs much hotter), be immensely safer, and solve almost all of MoE's nightmares.

I don't like this solution. I'm a democrat. I wouldn't know what to do without nightmares.

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3 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I'm not sure that's feasible with the long commutes many people have.  Within a short range and high population, I think a push for greater use of (and improved) public transit is a good idea... but for longer commutes the problem is this:  I live almost exactly at the midpoint between Washington DC and Baltimore.  If I commute to work in Baltimore, I may be one of hundreds from my area going up there, but we all have different final destinations.  Carpooling is useful if there are others in the same building who happen to live in the same neighborhood, but that tends not to be the case.

It didn't seem to be directed at us, no worries.  Still, it's never a bad idea to be extra clear about stuff.  Thanks!

For most of my working travel - I commuted on a bicycle.  For many years I commuted 25 miles one way.  With the heavy traffic I added about an hour a day in commute time but since I did not have to exercise (because I have a desk job) commuting by bicycle saved me time, money and significantly improved my health.   Any area of high density travel should have public transportation.  It should be part of our infrastructure as much as a freeway is - and if properly designed would be even faster and cheaper for everyone.

I believe that using public transportation or commuting by bicycle (especially bicycle 😎) should have tax incentives - if we as an nation are serious about pollution.

 

The Traveler

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3 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I don't like this solution. I'm a democrat. I wouldn't know what to do without nightmares.

You could always become a Republican and dream that everything will always eventually turn out to be alright - as long as we keep the government out of it.  Or be ultra extreme like me and become a libertarian. 

 

The Traveler

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Just now, Traveler said:

You could always become a Republican and dream that everything will always eventually turn out to be alright - as long as we keep the government out of it.  Or be ultra extreme like me and become a libertarian. 

 

The Traveler

That's one of those nightmares that keeps me going. :)

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