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  1. #1
    Ya never know 'til ya try littledog's Avatar
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    Elections are over-gas prices are up

    Is it any co-incidence that gas prices fell dramatically before the November elections last year in the USA and that now they are rising up again? I am not into politics very much so maybe this question is irreverent. Also not having a car it is of minor concern to me. It just seems kind of fishy to me though.

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    Not to get political here, but yes, gas prices do fall dramatically before each election to try to woo voters into voting for the political party that supports the oil companies. Guess which party that would be?

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    Hi All-

    Prices are essentially controlled by the market and it's all a matter of supply and demand. You want to do a part in helping push prices down? Purchase $10.00 of gas and drive with a quarter-tank rather than filling it to the brim. Who hasn't topped-off their tank when getting ready for a holiday weekend? I think that politics play a far smaller role in gasoline/heating oil costs than we realize.

    ~ Blue Jays ~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays
    Hi All-

    Prices are essentially controlled by the market and it's all a matter of supply and demand. You want to do a part in helping push prices down? Purchase $10.00 of gas and drive with a quarter-tank rather than filling it to the brim. Who hasn't topped-off their tank when getting ready for a holiday weekend? I think that politics play a far smaller role in gasoline/heating oil costs than we realize.

    ~ Blue Jays ~
    But you'll still be buying the same amount of gas.
    For every time you do that, there would be 3 other people doing the same thing since they didn't buy it all at once...

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    Hi mastershake916-

    Fuel economy peaks as a vehicle nears empty because the car is at its lightest. For many vehicles, this could be a 100-pound variation...for trucks, even twice that amount. From a convenience viewpoint, it's a pain-in-the-butt, but it does reduce overall demand and it doe result in improved overall fuel mileage. BTW, 916 as in Ducati? CBR pilot here...

    ~ Blue Jays ~

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    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays
    Hi mastershake916-

    Fuel economy peaks as a vehicle nears empty because the car is at its lightest. For many vehicles, this could be a 100-pound variation...for trucks, even twice that amount. From a convenience viewpoint, it's a pain-in-the-butt, but it does reduce overall demand and it doe result in improved overall fuel mileage. BTW, 916 as in Ducati? CBR pilot here...

    ~ Blue Jays ~
    I guess that makes sense - but I've always heard you get your best mileage when it's full. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it though.

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    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Well remember for the firsst time since the 70's demand for oil had not increased for a spell not sure how long after 3 dollar gas.
    It reminds me of a ski lodge. Only they wait for summer.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philatio
    I guess that makes sense - but I've always heard you get your best mileage when it's full. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it though.
    That's probably true on rear wheel drive cars with a longitudinal transmission and driveshaft shaft. For every one degree in universal joint angle, it causes a three hp parasitic drag, and there are two or three univeral joints on those type of vehicles. Most car manufacturers of these type of cars have factored in universal joint angles for a vehicle with a full tank of fuel. A vehicle with lighter fuel load would have a steeper universal joint causing more parasitic drag, and a decrease in fuel mileage on steady, flat surface driving. In constant stop and go driving, the lighter fuel load should negate the decrease in fuel mileage caused by the parasitic drag of the steeper driveshaft and universal joint angle.
    Automotive basics 101 is now dismissed.

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledog
    Is it any co-incidence that gas prices fell dramatically before the November elections last year in the USA and that now they are rising up again? I am not into politics very much so maybe this question is irreverent. Also not having a car it is of minor concern to me. It just seems kind of fishy to me though.
    Write a letter to the editor at your local newspaper. They love to print this tin hat "fishy" conspiracy stuff.

  10. #10
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - i hope gas goes up even more... that's more incentive to *not* drive (although we haven been a 'no-commute' household for more than a year now - myself since '97)...

  11. #11
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Write a letter to the editor at your local newspaper. They love to print this tin hat "fishy" conspiracy stuff.
    Other "fishy" concepts:
    * the US is in Iraq to secure oil supplies
    * the US is now eyeing Iran for the same reason
    * the world oil price is controlled by a cartel
    * lapses in oil supply would have a catastrophic effect on the West
    Yeah, feel free to write your editor on any of the above.

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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Oops ... just thought of another conspiracy topic:
    * your gasoline purchases go indirectly (probably through Saudi Arabia...) to finance Osama bin Ladin.
    Otherwise, what has he been living on all these years. Apparently, he was as poor as dirt in 1998, but now manages to fund a worldwide terror network.

  13. #13
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    They had a guy from UCAN (?) on the radio yesterday. He said prices do indeed go down before elections and up afterwards. He said it wasn't probably presidential or party politics, but that the various actors in oil production (the oil companies, the oil-producing countries) in general didn't want oil to be on the radar when people were set to do their voting.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  14. #14
    austropithicus
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    They had a guy from UCAN (?) on the radio yesterday. He said prices do indeed go down before elections and up afterwards. He said it wasn't probably presidential or party politics, but that the various actors in oil production (the oil companies, the oil-producing countries) in general didn't want oil to be on the radar when people were set to do their voting.
    Ah, so the price is not based strictly on supply and demand. There are a handful of corporations that sell retail gasoline in the US. It is not difficult for them to coordinate prices when they see fit.

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    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    They had a guy from UCAN (?) on the radio yesterday. He said prices do indeed go down before elections and up afterwards. He said it wasn't probably presidential or party politics, but that the various actors in oil production (the oil companies, the oil-producing countries) in general didn't want oil to be on the radar when people were set to do their voting.
    I heard a piece on NPR about a month ago saying something similar, it went into detail about the price of crude and percentage of gasoline output from the refineries showing that the people who ran the refineries maxed the gasoline output just before the elections, now they have to make up the reduced inventories of the other products and produce less gasoline.

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    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by austropithicus
    Ah, so the price is not based strictly on supply and demand. There are a handful of corporations that sell retail gasoline in the US. It is not difficult for them to coordinate prices when they see fit.
    Yes, within limits. Its not like they're rolling the prices back to 1970 prices -- just suppressing them a few pennies a couple weeks to make people feel like things are getting better. This sort of micro-manipulation happens all the time. Look at all the car dealerships and mattress stores that have "sales" every President's day.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I read that the current price increases are occurring much more rapidly than past increases. And there's no Katrina, 9/11, new war or other crises to explain the current increases.
    and you really have to wonder about the impact on the stock market, which has been tanking.

    There is a world oil market that explains many of the fluctuations. But it is not a free market by any means. There are many manipulations on both the supply side and the demand side that influences prices. Some of these manipulations are legal or "fair" but many are not.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays
    Hi All-

    Prices are essentially controlled by the market and it's all a matter of supply and demand. You want to do a part in helping push prices down? Purchase $10.00 of gas and drive with a quarter-tank rather than filling it to the brim. Who hasn't topped-off their tank when getting ready for a holiday weekend? I think that politics play a far smaller role in gasoline/heating oil costs than we realize.

    ~ Blue Jays ~
    Have you ever considered not driving at all? That thought has occurred to a few of us on this carfree forum!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays
    Hi mastershake916-

    Fuel economy peaks as a vehicle nears empty because the car is at its lightest. For many vehicles, this could be a 100-pound variation...for trucks, even twice that amount. From a convenience viewpoint, it's a pain-in-the-butt, but it does reduce overall demand and it doe result in improved overall fuel mileage. BTW, 916 as in Ducati? CBR pilot here...

    ~ Blue Jays ~
    Sorry, just area code.
    I guess that weight can make a difference.

    Thank you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd
    ... that the people who ran the refineries maxed the gasoline output just before the elections
    I've heard several news reports of that as well. Normally refineries concentrate on producing gasoline up through Labor day (Summer Mode). Then they switch to making home heating oil (Winter mode). Last year reports say they kept the refineries running full tilt in Summer mode through the fall election season flooding the market with excess gasoline.

    Those of you who heat your home with oil are very lucky it has been a very mild Winter 'cause I don't think there was a lot of excess supply out there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I read that the current price increases are occurring much more rapidly than past increases. And there's no Katrina, 9/11, new war or other crises to explain the current increases.
    and you really have to wonder about the impact on the stock market, which has been tanking.

    There is a world oil market that explains many of the fluctuations. But it is not a free market by any means. There are many manipulations on both the supply side and the demand side that influences prices. Some of these manipulations are legal or "fair" but many are not.
    If you are talking about the price increases in the recent weeks, and I get your location (michigan) correctly, the explanation is simple. Ontario suffered two fires at refineries about two weeks ago that knocked esso's (a division of exxon) refinery capacity to a fraction of it's normal ability to produce. Coupled with an unrelated problem in Montreal and a CN railway strike Ontario had (not sure if they still do) dozens, if not a hundred service stations with no gasoline in the last few weeks.

    Some gasoline might have been shipped across the border - but standards in michigan are different than ontario, but it is likely that a lot of people from windsor to sarnia were taking their cars across the border to fill up (more than usual that is).

    If you want to find a conspiracy in this latest runup (about 20% increase in Toronto, about 10% in calgary), it's that refinery capacity is extremely tight - which makes gasoline prices quite volatile. The exacerbating factor is that when people see the price increasing - they panic, fill up their tank (particularly if they see stations shut down because of a lack of gas), causing a spike in demand and a commensurate increase in prices.

    If people were rational actors they would avoid buying gas when it's expensive and only buy it when it's cheap (below a certain amount). The drivers of America (and any other place) have this power - but they refuse to stop driving in response to price signals. However - the price of gas is just a small fraction of people's gross (and disposable incomes), so they drive no matter what the cost is (look at the UK, etc).

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajman

    If people were rational actors they would ...
    Who wants to talk about rationality when they can sniff out a fishy conspiracy instead?

  23. #23
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    To be clear - I don't think there is any conspiracy - it's pretty obvious that refineries are capital intensive, difficult to get permits to build, and have been terrible investments for years. The oil companies (ESSO in this case) are mandated to turn a profit and they will not make investments that are useless. If motorists really wanted to reduce the price of gas - they just have to use less (however oil can be used for a lot of stuff - so you might just shift production to other things). However - no matter what the price of gas is - if you use less of it, you'll be spending less.

    I for one spent about 200 - 400 cdn on gas last year (only because I drove from toronto to calgary - cost split between two).

  24. #24
    Dare to be weird!
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    The official word from the Energy Information Administration:

    "World oil markets tightened in recent weeks in response to production cuts by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the return of cold winter weather in North America...

    "Average monthly motor gasoline prices are expected to increase by nearly 40 cents per gallon from February ($2.28 per gallon) through June, peaking at $2.67 per gallon. Rising crude oil prices and seasonal demand are the principal drivers for this expected increase...

    Link

    So the official explanation is that higher gas prices are largely due to decreased supply (OPEC oil production cuts) and increased demand (recent cold winter weather in the US). Over at TheOilDrum they have been debating why OPEC production cuts are occurring. That is, if they can sell oil at historically high prices, why are they cutting back? No clear answer has yet emerged from that debate.

  25. #25
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn
    That's probably true on rear wheel drive cars with a longitudinal transmission and driveshaft shaft. For every one degree in universal joint angle, it causes a three hp parasitic drag, and there are two or three univeral joints on those type of vehicles. Most car manufacturers of these type of cars have factored in universal joint angles for a vehicle with a full tank of fuel. A vehicle with lighter fuel load would have a steeper universal joint causing more parasitic drag, and a decrease in fuel mileage on steady, flat surface driving. In constant stop and go driving, the lighter fuel load should negate the decrease in fuel mileage caused by the parasitic drag of the steeper driveshaft and universal joint angle.
    Automotive basics 101 is now dismissed.
    thanks


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