Friday, June 13, 2008

Ways To Fix The Gas Problem

Post 17:

I went to fill up my tank today (heading off this weekend to go hang out with my father's folks) and it rang up to 42.64$ with tax. 42.64$ for 10 bloody gallons of this stuff. I remember when I started driving (4 years ago, roughly) that to fill up the same car (my gold Ford Focus) it cost only about 20$. That is right, in 4 years we have doubled our price of gas. So, I got to thinking, what exactly is the problem here. Well, four things popped into my head pretty quickly - We need to develop alternative energy sources (car wise) - we need to expand public transportation - We need to build new refineries - We need to stop the selling of Gas on the Stock Exchange. Yep, the pretty typical arguments popped into my head, but, hey, what did one expect? I mean, with gas the way it is now, and no signs of slowing, why does Congress sit there and do nothing? Gas prices: what really grinds my gigantic notched wheels.

We Need to Develop Alternative Energy Sources (car wise):
Yes, this is the standard banner of any person who is talking about that pesky little gas problem. The problem is that congress keeps refusing to do anything meaningful here, they say that by 2020 all cars need to have 35 MPG or more. That would be nice and all, if we were averaging about 10 MPG now. Currently, the average car gets 19.8 MPG with most getting far more than that. My Focus (six years old) gets about 27 MPG on average. So, in 12 years we should only increase by an average of 15 MPG? That is absurd. Why not force them to be 40, 50, or even 60. The Hybrids can easily do that, why not make it so that that is the biggest issue. Hybrids, Electric Cars, and the like all work well and have an as-of-yet-unknown lifespan. It is high time we encourage people to drive these vehicles. And, to drive down the costs, it is time that Congress acts to fund research into cost-saving techniques dealing with these vehicles.

We Need to Expand Public Transportation:
Everyday on my way to work I ride COTA. This route takes me about an hour and costs me roughly 20$ a day in wages over what I would have had otherwise. Keep in mind, I live only about 10-15 minutes by car away from where I work. I ride COTA to save myself from the hassle, and because I can ride for free (fine, it is a 9$ per quarter fee from OSU). That said, if I want to go from Columbus to Cleveland or Cinci I could not feasibly do it except via car. Furthermore, even to go downtown on non-weekdays the only viable option is a car (I do bike it though sometimes). We need to invest in more public transport, from rails to neighboring cities (I envision the US all connected via rails that the PASSENGER TRAINS GET PRIORITY on) to busing that actually works. By decreasing the demand for this oil we should drop the price (assuming static market).

We Need to Build New Refineries:
After Katrina gas prices jumped for one reason, our refineries were damaged. The last time we built a refinery was over 32 years ago!! That is right, 32 years. You wonder why gas is so high; the gas is not the problem, merely the refining is. I think that we should raise taxes by roughly 1-3$ a year (that would mean between 300million and 900million $ a year) and use it to build new refineries. Not only would this create lots of new jobs, it would also stimulate the economy and lower the gas prices. Now, if only we could convince the average American to not eat that Burger on that one day.

We Need to Stop Selling GAS on the Stock Exchange:
Enron crashed because they were allowed to trade futures. World Com had accounting errors. Gas prices go up because the Wall Street firms keep saying they will. It is a self serving interest; the firms hold stock in Crude Oil and then say it will increase, which increases it's market value. That, in turn, allows them to keep saying it will increase. If we take Crude off of the market we would stop this inflation, which, it looks like, is the main cause of the increase in gas prices over the last decade.

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Anonymous said...

Did you ever think that maybe rising gas prices are a blessing in disguise? Since Americans don't like to change their habits until they are mildly inconvenienced, maybe high gas prices (which aren't even that high compared to other developed countries) will be the kick in the ass we need to loosen our dependence on oil. Less superfluous trips to the mall maybe?

Barga said...

I agree that they could be a blessing in which shows us the errors of our ways, yet, I still think that the other things i mentioned are valuable, regardless of the overall outcome.

Hajile said...

I think people need to get out and walk more.

In Europe, most people walk/bike to where ever they are going, savings cars for long trips. IMO, this is the way to go.

Of course, it could be said that it would be less practical here, as our stuff tends to be farther apart. Europe is more condensed.

And like I ever see it happening. It would be too much of a hassle for us Americans.

But cities have absolutely no excuse. I know they have the subway, but I think they need even more public transportation, like rail cars or something.


Barga said...


Yes, we should walk more, or bike, or stuff like that. The problem is that in most cities they have a shitty mass-transit system and no good area to bike. I would bike to my girlfriends everyday, as she lives roughly two miles away, but I can not as that would involve me biking on some quite dangerous roads.
That is the main problem, we are not set up like Europe which, at the time of it's creation, is set up as a walking area (that was all they had for the most part).

Daniel said...

Reduce Oil Usage and Lower Emissions

I have read a lot of these messages about how to reduce the price of gas. So far everyone has been side stepping the real solution to the problem. First in order to get gasoline you need crude oil. Crude oil is used in every thing you use, every plastic water bottle to your coffee cup to the dashboard to the detergent you wash your clothes in. How about the keyboard you use to write these messages.

The major project is to reduce the use of oil. For a solution that is only a minor change in our life is in our use of the Automobile. Do the math with me and see how much we can save.

When you bought your auto you have an expectancy of 5years or approx. 100,000 miles use of it. What are the two major products used in an automobile? Motor Oil and Gasoline, both products of Crude Oil. Most autos average 5 quarts of oil, a oil filter, and an air filter to be changed every 3000 miles. Most take it to 5000.

Well 100,000 divided by 3000 = 33.33 oil changes. Most oil changes cost between $19.95 - 29.95. I'll use the $19.95 for low end ball park figures. $19.95 x 33 =$685.35 spent on oil changes over the 100,000 miles or approx. 5 years. (This doesn't include the air filter)

Now let's quit using crude oil in our autos, change to a 25,000 mile synthetic lubricant with a 25,000 mile oil filter, and a 100,000 mile air filter.

You will need 4 changes for 100,000 miles - each change will cost $30.00 for oil 5x$6.00 , one oil filter $6.00 one air filter $19.00 = $55.00 x 4 = $220

Ordinary Oil Change Synthetic Oil Change Savings
$685.35 for oil only $220.00 * $465.35

*These are your dealer costs doing the changing yourself.

Now let's work on the gasoline. If your car already has a few miles on it, it probably isn't getting the same MPG as it did when it was new. Carbon has built up on the intake valve, piston head, and exhaust valve, you probably have a little black smoke coming from the tail pipe.

To take care of this I have a Fuel Reformulator that by using 1 oz per quart of oil in your newly changed oil ( which helps extend the life of the oil even longer) and for the first 3 tanks of gas 2 oz per 10 gallons of fuel, then after the 3rd tank go to 1 oz per 10 gallons.

The first 3 tanks clean your engine from the build up that has occurred. Cleaning your fuel injector, piston, intake valve, and exhaust valve. While also Reformulating your fuel so it sprays into the combustion chamber in a finer spray so it will evaporate and burn more efficiently, which then cleans up the emissions by 30 % or more. After this cleaning of your engine you should notice an increase of 7% to 19% increase in MPG. After 100 gallons of fuel you should have traveled equal to the mileage of 110 gallon of fuel or more.

Now using just the saving on the oil change you have eliminated 165 qt. Or 41.25 gallons of oil. Nearly one barrel of oil. Now if 100,000 of you would join me in this effort we could save 4,125,000 gallons of oil or 75,000 barrels of oil. How many vehicles are there anyway? It will be 5 -10 years before an alternative vehicle will be in the market place anyway so why not start with what we have.



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