40 thoughts on “Today’s Not Particularly Deep Thought, 11/17/08

  1. First!

    Those were my deep thoughts a week ago. This morning it was down to $1.69 where I am. I can’t remember when it was last this low. I guess there’s a silver lining to every economic downturn.

  2. You know what was great about $4 + a gallon? All the 16 and up year olds that couldn’t afford it, actually cut down on traffic, A LOT more people used public transportation and the drive to work was pleasant. And the second it dropped in price, fewer people on the buses and congestion increased. We are sheep being led somewhere unpleasant.

  3. It’s also nice to earn money off gas for buying groceries. Last week I had more in discount than gas cost and filled up for free. And if I go to the store today, I should earn the rest of what I need to do it again this week. Wahoo!

    Something tells me it’s not the awesome deal it seems to be, but trying to do the arithmetic to know for sure makes the blood vessels in my head tighten up.

  4. At AUD$1.50/L that’s roughly USD$3.69/Gal I’m paying.

    Unfortunately I still see a lot of city-based SUV drivers on the roads, but the schadenfreude? PRICELESS

  5. Personally, being a non-American, I would prefer for you guys to pay the same price that we in the Netherlands do (we pay about € 1.50 per liter, which is about $ 7.2 per gallon).
    It’s not that I don’t like Americans, but with all the free market and innovation in America, alternatives like electric cars would get a major boost from that. I think Americans are able to do that much faster than Europeans. I also think the medium term will prove that once again.

  6. I filled up on Saturday for $1.51/gal. After the grocery card discount it was $1.41/gal. I just drove back from Alabama and the prices kept falling the further I drove.(Sneering at the expensive stuff)

  7. Extreme gas prices can have interesting effects, since very high prices effectively increase supply by making it economically feasible to extract oil from places like tar sands. I also think if the current gas price drop spilled over to diesel it would probably reduce the effects of the current economic crisis.

  8. I think when the bus went by the gas stations this morning it was down to $1.89 at the interstate BP, and $1.83 a few blocks away at the QT.

  9. I would totally use public transportation if the Detroit suburbs had public transportation that was actually useful.

    However, it doesn’t, so I am not going to feel bad about paying $1.88 for gas, because I don’t really have any other choice.

    (Yes, I could make my daily commute 3x as long, and take the bus. I actually like -seeing- my family.)

  10. Isn’t it interesting how we now consider nearly $2.00 gas a bargain? But hey, I’m an old foggy that remembers when they had to upgrade all the gas pumps so they could handle over $1 for a gallon of gas.

  11. I paid $2.43 in Central Vermont.

    But I don’t even bother filling my tank because the price drops on average twice a week. So why would I fill my tank when I’ll be able to get it cheaper in a few days?

    I did the opposite when things were going up: I’d fill up at the cheapest place I could find hoping to forestall having to pay the higher price.

    Guess you could call me a “speculator”…

  12. I agree with Philbert. I wish gas prices had stayed higher for longer, to give industry the incentive to push through alternative solutions to gas guzzling cars. I think innovators in America could solve our energy problems if there was enough money in it for them, but dropping energy prices are going to stall that innovation.

    Personally, I still blame our entire energy crisis on the 1970’s era environmentalists who killed the nuclear power industry. Imagine what the country would be like now if we had abundant, cheap electricity from nuclear plants. Electric cars would have replaced internal combustion, the price of oil would be low and there wouldn’t be Saudi funding for terrorists, greenhouse gasses wouldn’t be a problem because of no coal burning power plants and oil burning cars.

  13. The closest gasoline dealer to my house dropped 28 cents in two days. $2.19 to $1.99 th $1.91. Not that I’m complaining, but being an old fart I remember 24.9 cents per gallon, and the 1973 frenzy about how 50 cents/gallon could ruin the economy.

  14. Not that I’m complaining, but being an old fart I remember 24.9 cents per gallon, and the 1973 frenzy about how 50 cents/gallon could ruin the economy.

    On the other hand, in 1973 a salary of $20,000/yr was considered pretty darn good.

  15. $3.02 here in the MatSu Valley, Alaska. You know, where they pump it out of the fucking ground. Shell and Exxon keep this crap up, and they are going to get tarred, feathered, and set on fire. The state was supposed to investigate price gouging – obvious price gouging – but then our idiot governor went off for two months of campaigning and forgot about it, our idiot senior Senator became a convicted felon and couldn’t be bothered, and our only Representative is under investigation and is worried about other things. Gah.

    Bitter? Me? Noooooo.

  16. How low will it go? And how long will we enjoy it?

    Makes me want to buy a 500 or 1,000 gallon tank and put it under the car port. See if I can get one of the companies to send a truck out and fill me up for the year.

  17. I just paid CAD $0.894/Litre (no idea how much that is per gallon, because I’m lazy and don’t feel like trying to figure out how to convert it) this morning to fill my car up. I’m much more of a fan of $32.00 fill ups than $55.00 fill ups.

  18. I’m glad the gas prices are going down, even though I no longer live in the States and don’t drive in any case. I’m glad for people like my mom, for who that extra dollar or two per gallon she’s saving can make the difference between paying all her bills herself or having to borrow from the grandparents again. She lives on the outskirts a small, rural city–big enough to need a car in, but no public transportation, unless you count a cab.

    It’d be really keen if the auto industry was spurred to make really viable alternatives, but I’d rather not see broke-to-poor working class folks suffer from high fuel prices in the process.

  19. It’s down to about $1.86 here (.10/gal off if I use my Kroger cart w00t!). I was very pleasantly surprised when I filled up over the weekend for $35. Given that I drive a 4-cyl Camry and only drive back and forth to work, that should last me a couple of weeks!

    Of course, our “family” vehicle is not quite as good on the gas mileage and I have lots of driving in my future given the spread out nature of my extended family and the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Ah well, I’ll enjoy it while I can.

  20. About $5.80 a US gallon here in the UK. And sterling has lost about 25% of its dollar value since I was last in the US in August, so not so long ago it would have been much more in $ terms on two grounds.

  21. I paid $2. If I hadn’t been in a hurry to fill the tank before I was late for work that we were sent home from anyway, I should have shopped around, because it was definitely lower at other gas stations. Still, $2 is a lot better than the $3.85 or whatever I remember paying a few weeks ago.

  22. My family went nuts… they drove in from Scranton yesterday to Cleveland and were like “Do you know how lucky you are to have $1.85 gas?” My response: “I know how lucky I am to have an RTA pass, that’s for sure!” Apparently, in NEPA, gas was like $2.20.
    On the way down to Westerville for NCAA DIII XC Regionals on Saturday, we passed a place that had it for $1.72. I guess Ohio’s just a good place to be! We get cheap gas and snow… what more could a girl want?

  23. Down to £0.93 a litre here in the UK in some places. Which is still over US$6 a gallon at current rates (using 4.54 litres per UK gallon).

  24. Ed @ 31: I think US gallons are a bit different to UK gallons, ie 3.79 litres per US gallon. Takes the price here for a US gallon to $5.29 using todays exchange rate of 1.50 US$ per £.

  25. We had a news report over the weekend that gas had come down to $2.98/gallon. Hawai’i’s Paradise Tax lives!

    And, since I need to fill up the tank, I was pleased about it!

  26. @Matthew in Austin:
    “Imagine what the country would be like now if we had abundant, cheap electricity from nuclear plants. Electric cars would have replaced internal combustion, the price of oil would be low and there wouldn’t be Saudi funding for terrorists, greenhouse gasses wouldn’t be a problem because of no coal burning power plants and oil burning cars.”
    In France we do have cheap electricity from nuclear plants. 80% of electricity here is nuclear, with about 10% hydro, a little bit of wind, and some natural gas making up the rest. Ik makes the country far less dependable on fossil fuels for non-mobile use and results in an unusually low production of CO2 per citizen, for a European country. But we don’t have electric cars and pay the equivalent of about 6 to 7 dollars for a gallon of gasoline or diesel (mostly tax).

    Just today the French Environmental Ministry published its plans for durable energy development. Every French region is supposed to get its own large solar power plant between now and 2020 (they want France to become leader in large-scale solar), and 2 million homes should be getting heat pump systems (geothermal power). I’m not sure this will help keep fossil fuel affordable or help develop affordable and practical electric cars, though.
    We live in interesting times.

  27. not being near a gas station, I can only assume that we’re still paying closer to $3 than to $2, mostly because my friends would have celebrated at the reduced fuel costs.

    Still, when I got my license earlier this year, I was paying something like half my hourly wage per gallon of gas. It’s nice to have that bump down to something a little more like one quarter.

  28. On the one hand, it’s nice to be able to fill my tank for less than $20. On the other, I wonder if the recent vote against a small increase in sales tax to improve public transit in St. Louis County might have gone the other way if gas had been $4 a gallon on election day.

  29. Los Angeles gas prices remain pretty high: around $2.50 a gallon. That’s still way better than mid-summer, when prices are topping $5 a gallon in some areas (*cough* Santa Barbara *cough*).

  30. Waiting for the other “OMG we is economicatedly depressitized!” shoe to fall, i.e. when the oil companies come around for a handout rescue package.

    Meanwhile I continue to ride the bike and the bus, TYVM.

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