25 April 2006

Get a clue.

there has been a chain letter flitting it's way around teh intarwebs about how to lower gas prices. it states some stupid shit about not buying from exxon mobil or anything under that moniker. it makes no reference to abating use or demand. whatever, it's a retarded chain written by somebody who failed high school econ. you're stupid for believing it if you read it, and you're stupid for trying to enact what they say. if demand stays the same, and the supply isn't going to see a glut anytime soon, then your prices won't fall. the thing that pissed me off most was that during a news report today, some john q. public referenced this chain letter. i laughed, cuz, well, retards make me laugh.

but here's where i start getting pissed off: earnings statements for the first quarter are coming out this week. exxon mobil will announce thursday, BP has already, whatever. so, after the earnings statements come out, the news is all over them, "LOOK AT THE PROFITS THE EVIL OIL COMPANIES ARE POSTING"!!!! ok, fine, you need something to attract viewers, gas prices are high, and people are sheep. w00t. but, they're businesses. they're supposed to turn a profit. now, stop, and think about this for a second... what if any one of the top three oil companies actually posted a loss? personally, i don't want to see that day. that will be an ugly day. now, instead of getting all preachy and talking about shit that everybody should know, i'm simply going to point out some math:

this is going to be tailored to michigan, as it's the state i live in

crude oil/barrel...........$70.00 ($1.40/gal)
michigan state tax.........$0.19875/gal plus 6% sales tax
federal excise tax.........$0.184/gal

so right now, we have:

+ $0.184

this price does not include the 6% sales tax. which if it did would put it at $1.89/gal. now, since i couldn't find any reliable sources as to the cost per gallon to refine crude i'm just going to pose a simple question: with gas prices in the area around $2.89/gal do you think you can refine, store, transport, pay your employees, and turn a profit for less than one dollar per gallon? well, actually to be really fair, less than $0.94 (we still need to add the sales tax on). i mean, gas stations run themselves right? there's no overhead, so owners shouldn't need to mark up the product at all right?

anyhow, for 1979, adjusted for inflation the average price per gallon was $2.93 and that was adjusted to 2000 dollars. this being 2006 that sum would be quite a bit higher pushing it over $3.00/gallon. blah blah blah blah. i'm sick of hearing people bitch and moan and blame the oil companies cuz they're teh evil. well, without them you'd be walking asshole. so either, drive less, or shut your cake hole.

for the record:
BP's first quarter report:.............$5.6 billion (-$1 billion from 2005)
Google's first quarter report:......$2.3 billion
Pfizer's first quarter report:........$4.1 billion
McDonalds first quarter report:..$5.1 billion

and some light reading if you want it:
in case you don't pay attention at the pump and want to see what your state is charging you per gallon

the study commissioned by the state of michigan in 2000 for gas prices, trends, etc. (pdf)

so anyhow, i'm tired now, it's 7am, and i am all preached out.


Stepho said...

YES! I agree with everything you're saying. You know what's interesting? We're paying $1.76 a gallon here for gas.

A gallon of 2% milk costs $2.99
A gallon of Snapple would be $10.32
A gallon of Evian would be $21.19

A month's worth of 2 way rides on the RTA would be $90, whereas a month's worth of gas in my car is only about $60.

Here's an idea: unless you are an outdoorsman who needs to go offroading, or you live in an area where they never plow the snow, you don't need a heavy V8 to get you around. If you must drive an SUV, there are smaller V6es available. Also, there are a bunch of nice economy cars on the market that are a hell of a lot safer in the long run. If you're going to be a cuntrag and drive an H2, you can kiss my ass.

Not that I am bitter :)

joe said...

Holy shit, Stephinator. That's more motivation to move to ohio, right there.

It's 2.89 here and rising.

Jacques Roux said...

nice book report, Chud. And it's great to know that I live in the state with the 2nd highest state tax.

Hey, at least we've got awesome views out here.

Scooter said...

No, Joe, it's more of an incentive to invade Ohio.

Drunken Chud said...

stepho... i love you.

joe... there is no motivation to move to ohio. ever.

thanks jaques, but at least none of us live in canada. cuz 16% tax on top of their mad ass gass prices, would drive me crazy. and there are no redeeming qualities.

and it's statements like those scooter, that tell me if you grew your hair out and got a boob job... i'd do you. heh.

Jacques Roux said...

au contrare, Canada has much hotter chicks and better buds (and I ain't talking about the ones from Anheiser) than the States. So while our brothers and sisters to the North my have funny accents and high taxes, there are a few redeeming qualities.

Stepho said...

You know what else I realized? In your post you used the word "cakehole" and in mine I used the word "piehole," without having taken notice of the "cakehole" the first time I read this.


And yes, Joe C. You should come to Ohio. Jobs are a bit more plentiful and properties in good neighborhoods are much cheaper!

Stepho said...

Ooh...ours is $2.76, not $1.76. Typo :)

Drunken Chud said...

well, if you stick close to the border the chicks in canadialand are hotter there jaques. and my lil bro has taken quite a shine to their sticky icky. and curling is almost always on tv... but then, so is soccer... i dunno man. tough call.

well stitches, great minds think alike. and yeah, i kinda figured that was a typo unless the gas stations you were getting your gas from were mining it out back, and refining it in the back room and selling it straight to you. which would be pretty damn efficient. if you think about it.

Coyote Mike said...

I still don't get one very important part of this whole debate: Why are people looking for alternative fuels when we should be looking for alternative engines. The electric car engine is a joke, as are solar powered cars; hybrids only get as good as the car I already have, hydrogen engines aren't ready for mass productions. The internal combustion engine is dying.

As for other things people spend on, I think bottled water is the biggest rippoff. A 20 oz bottle of water costs $1.00 here. For the same price as 16 bottles, I can get a new filter for my faucet and use it for something like 100 gallons. And its tasty after filtration and refrigeration.

Scooter said...



Look it up. We only use oil because we can, not because we have to.

Stickler said...

Awsome post. Just thank your lucky stars you don't live in california, the cheapest I can find regular is $3.22 right now!

I'm gonna be smug and by a hybrid if prices don't change soon!

Scooter said...

Or, stickler, you could buy a diesel and an appleseed reactor and pay around 80 cents a gallon, just remember to declare your fuel consumption on your taxes...

Chuck said...

I think it is time for me to start riding the bike! thes gas prices and having a big ass van is going to be the death of me.

Drunken Chud said...

well mike, the major issue at the heart of your argument is the same i've been making for years. why are we using 150 year old technology in this day and age. however much i agree that we need a new power source. i firmly believe the need for a new fuel source needs to happen as well. however, allowing oil prices to climb would however spur the movement to a new power plant development. but who knows. consumers are odd people.

scooter, it is the engine. highly inefficient. and i'm still unsure of your butanol or algae biodiesel after the fraud of ethanol. which btw cost 70% more to make than it saved. basically it took 144,000 BTU's to produce with an effective BTU output of 80,000.

stick... i too have been considering a hybrid. and not cuz i love the environment. cuz i love money.

now biodiesel is something i CAN get behind. why? i don't know. but i can.

chuck it'd be nice if we lived somewhere that shit was closer and riding a bike everywhere would make sense. if only.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I'm against hybrid cars in their current form. They're completely not cost-effective.

I'm going to use the Honda Civic Base Sedan DX and the Honda Civic Hybrid sedan, since they're both top sellers, and one of the very few car models that come in both a hybrid and a base gasoline engine type.

(all figures are rounded down; and Honda did not have the residual value for either car posted, nor for the approximate repairs/maintenance costs)

12,000 miles a year average. That translates to 1,000 miles a month. Further broken down into 33 miles every day. That’s a complete fill up for the hybrid every: 19 days. (it gets 632.4 miles between fill ups, and that’s an average of 33 miles a day.) the base sedan needs a complete fill up every 16 days.

Assuming we’re working at 2.80 a gallon (seems to be the mean average between our two states, we get a monthly gas cost of: $34.72 every fill up for the hybrid with the sedan costing $36.96 every time at the pump. (2.80 a gallon of gas times the total size of the tank)

Now, the cost for each car to fill up it’s tanks every year at 12,000 miles a year is:

365 days divided by 19 days, the hybrid needs to fill up a little over 19 times a year. The hybrid then costs $659.68 a year to run it on plain old unleaded. ($34.72 a tank for 19 tank fill-ups in one year)

365 days divided by 16 days, the base sedan needs to hit the station a little over 22 times a year. They sedan then costs $813.12 a year to keep it running. ($36.96 a tank with 22 visits to the station over the course of a year).

This gives a yearly discrepancy of $153.44 a year in favor of the hybrid. Basically, if you a buy a hybrid, you’ll save $153.44 a year in fuel.

But wait, I said I was against it. Yep, and here’s why.

The hybrid Civic costs 22,150 dollars base MSRP, and the base sedan is 14,760 dollars. Both models of the car are very much similar, with the only discrepancies in trim levels evening themselves out when you look at the cost for each option. (i.e. the hybrid has climate control standard, costing say, 200 bucks, but the base sedan has a 6 disk cd changer that costs the same different trims, but you’re getting the same amount in options, about).

So the base sedan is $7390 cheaper initial buy than the hybrid sedan. Now, to find out how many years you’ll need to own a hybrid in perfect functioning order to get the cost difference back in saved fuel, you need to do some really simple math.

$7390 divided by $153.44 gives you

48 years.

Raise your hand if you know anyone who’s had a car that long.


Coyote Mike said...

The only reason ethanol was that inefficient was because there weren't enough plants or good enough tech to make it cheaply. That is being changed, so it is a bit of a good thing.

As for bio-deisel, how the fuck am I supposed to afford a vehicle that burns any form of deisel. I drive a 2002 Ford Focus hatchback. Manual transmission. I drove it on a 6 hour interstate trip and got between 35 and 40 MPG, at or slightly above the speed limit. My mother's Toyota gets even better, and its not a hybrid. I fill my car once every 3-4 weeks. I run it on 10% ethanol, which keeps any water from getting into the engine, which in turn helps keep it running cleaner.

I know different fuels are not the way to go. There must be a way to turn an overabundant substance into a fuel source, and create an engine to burn it cleanly.

Drunken Chud said...

harrison, the one major flaw in your argument is that you are comparing pure cost to cost benefit. you're not looking at cost/incentive. sure, you may only save $153/year but the tax incentive you get for owning a hybrid more than makes up for the 7grand because you can use the deduction every year you own it. plus, if you're like me and an independant conractor in the eyes of the tax law, you can also deduct all maintenence and repairs. that, plus the $153/year are the reasons i personally do not see any disadvantages in owning a hybrid.

mike, i'm with you on that. i really am. but... you shouldn't start out an argument by saying we don't new and different fuels, then call for new and different fuels. hehe. but yes, point made and taken.

Coyote Mike said...

its late and I've been reading student papers. Logic has failed me.

Drunken Chud said...

yeah, you get a pass on this one then.

Scooter said...

"scooter, it is the engine. highly inefficient. and i'm still unsure of your butanol or algae biodiesel after the fraud of ethanol. which btw cost 70% more to make than it saved. basically it took 144,000 BTU's to produce with an effective BTU output of 80,000."

If you weren't bigger than me, I would kick you in the nuts, and then slap your face and call you Sally.

Compression engines, also known as diesels, have around a 45 percent efficiency rate. The other 55 percent is thermal waste. However, if one were to place a heat, or "Stirling" engine to capture that energy, and use it to charge some batteries for the electric motor that complements the engine, suddenly that heat is not waste, but an ENERGY SOURCE.

Add on energy recovering brakes, and you have the most efficient vehicle ever, around 60 to 65 percent.

Fuck you and your little dog, too. "Very inefficient", my ass.

As for ethanol, FUCK ETHANOL! Modern fermentation techniques allow the same amount of butanol to come from a bushel of corn as ethanol. Butanol has a BTU of 110,000 as opposed to ethanol's 84,000.

The BTU rate is so high, that it can be used in any lightly modified gasoline engine.

Flex fuel vehicles were a good idea ten years ago. No longer.

AND! You don't need to use corn. Old newspapers, switch grass, bumper crop apples, lawn clippings; anything with cellulose.

Stickler said...


I don't care about the average, I care about myself. By your logic I should be driving that, but in fact I drive upwards to 18 to 20 thousand miles a year. That unfortuantly is what happens when you live in LA.

Also our gas prices are 40 cents higher then your average for regular.

Also with the huge tax incentive we get, it is more economical in the long run to own a hybrid. Even if it means sheling out the additional 6,000 dollars now to buy a honda civic.

Scooter, I agree with you it is all about the engine. My friend Bob studied mechanical engineering in college. For his senior year they created an engine that ran on corn oil. It is cheaper, easier to create, and keeps farmers employed.

The problem is oil companies hold a monopoly over the automotive industry. And I don't think think the auto manufactuerers would suddennly go, "Ok well guess were not gonna put oil in our cars anymore!"

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

Too much math in that. I will be honest, I skimmed the end.

But I did get that chain letter. I despise chain letters in general. Stop telling me I'll have bad luck if I don't forward it!
I will have bad luck whether I forward it or not! I gots nothin' ta lose!!


Anonymous said...

Be honest, how much of a tax break can you honestly get over the course of the ownership of the car that will make up for a $7,000 initial investment. And that's not just $7,000. that's $7,000 extra you have to pay tax on, and unless you bought it in cash, another $7,000 that you have to pay interest on for the loan of the car.

And what about those who aren't independent contractors? People who can't claim their car is a work vehicle and get their tax back on repairs. And speaking of repairs, who would even be able to fix something that goes wrong with the hybrid engine? Or what about the 1-gear transmission that they're all running right now? You'd most likely have to go right back to the dealership and pay whatever cost they wish to fix whatever went wrong with it. (which is also why i didn't even try to include it in my original post - too many variables)

I just do not see buying a hybrid car for the cost-effective, especially when you have to own one for nearly 48 years to get the money back. The car won't even last nearly that long. I'd be amazed if it lasted just a fourth of that time.

That's alot of money to make up for to save just a few dollars every time you fill up your car.


Drunken Chud said...

well, depending on your income bracket, you can make back that 7 grand in tax incentives in about 2-3 years. 5 if you're low income bracket. it's a pretty damn good incentive they give. and i think i'm underselling it. i'm pretty sure the last i saw, which was a few years ago that it came out to a $5,000 per year incentive. cuz people were bitching that for a 25k car they paid for themselves in 5 years minus interest. but i know they reworked the incentive in the past year or so. but yeah, it's a huge incentive. and not one to be scoffed at.

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