Monday, March 7, 2011

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet....

When I left work early Monday morning our price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.69. Our price has gone up 30 cents in a little over a week.
It's out of control. And it's not gonna get any better as long as the unrest in the Middle East continues.
All those "oil industry analysts and experts" who've been predicting $4 to $5 for a gallon of gas nationwide by Memorial Day are gonna be a little bit behind the curve.
Shit, we're gonna have $4 for a gallon of gas by the end of March.
This is shaping up to be a repeat of the Summer of 2008, when the price of regular gas at our station peaked at $4.59 per gallon. At least I think it did. I've blocked-out most of that summer. With all the bitching & complaining & screaming about gas prices that were out of my control, it was pure Hell coming to work every day.
Can't wait for a re-run of it.
Now for the good news:
I'm in Washington, where we have at least a 42-cent-per-gallon state gasoline tax. (It was 42 cents per gallon last time I heard; it's probably gone up, though.)
So your price may be lower. But it won't be for long. I've already heard about stations posting $4 for a gallon. In Seattle, naturally. And in California.
But it's gonna happen everywhere. And sooner than you think. Get used to it.
Now, you may ask, as a gas station employee: How do I feel about this?
Well, I can't wait for the non-stop screaming, the endless circling of cars around the gas pumps, homing-in like vultures, the massive panic before the price gets raised AGAIN, EVEN HIGHER ... as if there's no tomorrow.
Just can't wait.
But don't I have any sympathy for the poor consumer, for the people who have to commute miles to work & for whom every gas-price increase is just more money out of their pocket that they can't afford?
Sure I do. But I'm paying the same outrageously high prices you are. I don't have a choice either.
I'm just glad I only live a mile down the road from my work. I can always walk if I have to, if the price gets REALLY outrageous. I hope that doesn't happen. But I don't really drive that much, so it's not going to affect me that much even if gas hits $5 per gallon. God forbid....
Besides, I'm not sure folks learned much last time. Though rather than filling-up, lots of people just tossed in $5 or $10 or $20, there were still tons of people driving Hummers or big trucks -- or Corvettes, BMW's, Mercedes's, etc.
Some of these folks even complained to me about the prices. Actually, a LOT of them did. Some of them were yelling.
And all I could think was: You're driving THAT, and you're complaining to ME about high gas prices?
I still remember one guy in a truck who pulled into the station with a screech of tires, slammed his truck door shut, began screaming when he saw our posted price, screamed all the way from the gas pumps across the parking lot and through our front door, screamed gibberish at me for a full minute while I was in the middle of ringing-up another customer, then screamed all the way back to his truck and left the station with another screech.
I never understood a word he said. I think maybe he was under a little too much stress.
All the other incidents I remember from the ugly Summer of 2008 are nowhere near as funny.
If you're on a limited budget, I sympathize. I am, too. And I'm glad I live close to my work.
But there's millions of people out there who could maybe learn some valuable lessons from outrageous, criminally high gas prices.
Like: How to live within your means.
How not to whine about how good you've got it.
Maybe drive less, walk more.
Maybe schedule your work days or free time so you don't have to drive so much.
Remember that most of the rest of the world pays a LOT more than we do for gas. We've been spoiled for a LONG time....
Because there's no way around this one, folks. It's coming. Soon. We're gonna have to deal with it.
Should be a real boost for the economy. Or at least for the oil companies. I'm not gonna get a raise out of this -- well, maybe, after it's all over -- if I survive. And my experience & knowledge after 7+ years of doing this tells me that my boss the owner only makes about a penny or two per gallon of profit on the gas he sells. All that money's going right back to the oil company.
Should have a great trickle-down effect, too. Should drive food and utilities prices even higher. And they're WAY too high already.
I have no solutions, I'm just ranting.
Anybody wanna talk about this? Or argue about it?
More soon....


Perplexio said...

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were speaking with someone from the oil industry. He was blasting Obama for even suggesting dipping into our reserves. He said it won't lower gas prices at all as its crude oil not to mention he's only talking about releasing about 10 million gallons. As a country we use 20 million gallons a day. What effect is a half a day's worth going to have?

He said if Obama really understood the oil industry and wanted to get prices under control he'd start allowing off-shore drilling in order to increase the supply of oil.

He also mentioned that several months ago when he was doing a segment on Fox Business he was urging the administration to buy buy buy oil. The price at the time $33/barrel.

I do wonder though-- how much of the spike in prices is due to what is going on in Libya and how much is due to speculators taking advantage of what is happening in Libya to artificially drive up the prices even more than they already are?

R S Crabb said...

Thank God I'm not in the gas station business. If I had to hear bitchy customers I'd tell them to go yell at the Oil speculators and traders jacking the price up. I feel for ya.

Four years ago we had the same problem but at that time everybody blamed Bush while Goldman Sachs and the hedgefunders traded it up to record levels. Of course I read that is we do drill in our own waters it's not the US oil, it goes overseas.

I drive 80 miles to work and back home but no trip is wasted. If I had to go to the store after work or do errands or bargain hunt I plan it all on every trip. But then again, no matter what we do to save or conserve the GD traders along with Big Oil are the read robber barons, not the middle east. The Government should have a plan worked out back when it was 33 bucks a barrel but they never did or do.

rastronomicals said...

It's ALL speculation. Why else would the price at the pump go up 35 cents in 3 days when crude from Libya takes 2 - 3 weeks to get to a refinery here?

I'd string those traitorous fuckers up by the balls in the center of town if it were up to me.

I'm driving 50 miles round trip each day in my '99 Toyota and I need to fill up every four business days. I remember how painful 2008 was, and the only difference between then and now is I finally got a lousy stinkin' long overdue $25 raise this year.

Which ought to cover the gravy these fuckers are making on oh about a single fillup, never mind the light bill and the food . . . .

Perplexio said...

Regardless of Bush's innocence or culpability in what happened back in 2008 he did himself a terrible disservice when he appointed Henry Paulsen to Sec. of the Treasury. Paulsen's old cronies at Goldman Sachs were laughing at that move all the way to the bank.

While I'm not sure of Bush's involvement in the gas price spike in 2008, I do really wonder about Paulsen's involvement. I know a lot people who hate(d) Bush want him investigated for war crimes and etc. I think that's a waste of money. Investigate Paulsen instead. I wouldn't be surprised if he was/is guilty of some crimes. If Bush was somehow behind those same crimes that involvement would likely come up in the same investigations anyway.

TAD said...

Thanx for commenting, all. Of course The Nazi is all about the outrage. & this is an outrage.
Good Ghod, I couldn't imagine driving 50 or 80 miles to&from work. Yeezus....
At least Nixon did gas-price controls back during the OPEC oil embargo in the early '70s, when gas was only about 50 cents per gallon. But that was when oil wasn't a commodity that could be price-speculated upon internationally. The only way I can make these latest go-rounds make sense is to remember that my dollar is only worth about 25 cents....
Can't wait to go in to work here in awhile (after my "weekend off") & see what price we're at TONIGHT....
Thanx again for your interest, & I sympathize with those of you who make long commutes....

Perplexio said...

The US Dept. of Energy website has a tool where you can pull data into a chart and export to MS excel. Out of curiosity I did a chart showing the price per barrel vs. the US average price per gallon month to month from 2006 through the forecasted prices through the end of 2012. The results were interesting