Phoenix runs out of gas
August 19, 2003 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Phoenix runs out of gas. In a scene reminiscent of the 70's, the entire PHX area is queued up, waiting in line for gas. Since Sunday, when this began in earnest, prices have shot up something like 50% to somewhere in between $2 and $3/gallon for unleaded. Apparently, it doesn't take much to throw off a city like Phoenix's gas supply -- a pipeline that linked Tucson to the greater PHX metro area had to be shut down earlier this month, cutting off a major supply of precious petrol from El Paso. Panic buying ensued, throwing the whole system into total chaos. Think alternative fuel is the answer? Just ask 'Propane Jane.'
posted by ph00dz (67 comments total)
 
Damn that Carter. I'm voting Reagan the first chance I get!!!
posted by jonson at 8:52 AM on August 19, 2003


When you are paying $4.90 a gallon, call me. Until then rejoice in the lack of smog...
posted by twine42 at 8:54 AM on August 19, 2003


On a related note, gas prices in Southern California have shot up about 20 cents in the last two weeks.
posted by Slothrup at 9:00 AM on August 19, 2003


Apparently there's plenty of diesel. My wife drives a Diesel New Beetle. Last night as she filled up at a mostly abandoned station she had several people say "You know, that's diesel!" and she said she got lots of nasty looks from people driving up who figured since she was pumping there must be gas only to find she was pumping diesel.

Good thing I filled up the Explorer on Sunday!

Another interesting thing to note is that most of the price gouging is occuring in the less afluent parts of town. Up here in North Scottsdale (very wealthy) gas is around $2.00 a gallon. Down south in the city center where there's lots of poorer people I've heard of gouging in the range of $4.00 a gallon. Sad...
posted by Fantt at 9:03 AM on August 19, 2003


Fantt: Of course. If you're doing well for yourself, there's less motivation to gouge...
posted by teradome at 9:15 AM on August 19, 2003


I'd bet anything it's a demand issue. $4/gallon gas in the affluent areas of town is far more likely to end up on the TV / desk of state reps / etc, etc.
posted by Wood at 9:37 AM on August 19, 2003


Reminds me of a couple years ago when they broke a pipeline in michigan. That summer was quite painful, I think we topped out at around $2.22 a gallon. However, right after it happened, I vaguely recall there were stories of stations in the detroit area that really started gouging, including at least one that was charging $5.00 a gallon. The attorney general's office came down pretty hard on companies that it caught price gouging, so in most cases it was kept fairly well in check. (With as much driving as my family has to do it was not a particularly fun time on the wallet though).
posted by piper28 at 9:42 AM on August 19, 2003


and bushco gleefully lines its pockets.
posted by quonsar at 9:52 AM on August 19, 2003


They keep saying on the radio that Arizona has no laws against price gouging. The attorney general sounds pretty pissed, but says it can't be stopped.

I wonder what lobby kept gouging legal?
posted by Fantt at 9:53 AM on August 19, 2003


"I wonder what lobby kept gouging legal?"

The ammunition makers?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2003


on 9/11, a gas station around here called Cowboys took to charging something like $3-4 a gallon and was forced by (whoever is in charge of that) to only charge .99 the next day from 10am to 10pm.

but Cowboys got the last laught because the employees are still skanky and the drinks are still often lukewarm!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2003


what does gouging mean? isn't it just normal free markets? why would there be a law against charging more for something that people want? or is gasoline a right (compare with medical care and unemployment benefit...)?
posted by andrew cooke at 10:19 AM on August 19, 2003


Good thing we have all these energy-company types in the White House! or, er, it might be worse, I'm not sure how, but it might!
posted by clevershark at 10:33 AM on August 19, 2003


"price gouging" means charging a consumer an unconscionable amount for the sale of fuel. Price gouging occurs if: (1) the amount charged grossly exceeds the average price at which fuel was readily obtainable within the retailer's trade area during the seven (7) days immediately before the declaration ofemergency; and (2) the increase in the amount charged is not attributable to cost factors to the retailer, including replacement costs, taxes, and transportation costs incurred by the retailer.
posted by goethean at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2003


'gouging'... seems like market forces to me. There is a very small supply and lot of demand, so prices are pushed upwards. Of course it doesn't sound as rousing as "those thiefs at the oil companies" or whatever.
posted by clevershark at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2003


oops, thieves.
posted by clevershark at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2003


I'm not coming down on you clevershark, it's a very easy mistake to make.

But the built-in Metafilter spell checker catches that error (just tried it).

I'm just curious as to why so many people (and it is usually the heavier posters) apparently refuse to use it?

I see errors like this every day on mefi, and it is almost always by people with hundreds of posts.

Is it like a bravado thing? "I don't need no stinkin spell check?"

Just curious.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:15 AM on August 19, 2003


Spelling critiques from a member who got their username backwards?;-)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:21 AM on August 19, 2003


clevershark, market forces are all very well, and in principle it's okay to charge what the market will bear irrespective of the cost to the seller, because competition tends to even these things out over the long term.

But when the thing being overcharged for is a necessity of life (which fuel unfortunately is for many people who cannot work or obtain food without it), and the reason for the shortage is some kind of emergency, then to deliberately and greatly overcharge is an ethical/moral issue which many constituencies have decided, quite reasonably, to pass laws against.

A temporary emergency doesn't give market forces a chance to work, so consumers are at the mercy of the people who have a supply. You may feel that "market forces" override human concerns but thankfully most american populations disagree with you.

An extreme example would be a water shortage where people are literally dying of thirst. You could make a packet charging $100 for a bottle of water. The fact that it would constitute illegal gouging probably protects the bastards who would do it from being murdered. People despise gougers, and the laws against it reflect the moral horror that they feel.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:22 AM on August 19, 2003


There is a very small supply and lot of demand, so prices are pushed upwards. Of course it doesn't sound as rousing as "those thiefs at the oil companies" or whatever.

oh, how convenient. you may buy into that market forces bullshit, but here in michigan they raise the price every thursday. and ain't it fuckin' amazing how the supply of gasoline burgeons every sunday night? you'd think after all these years they'd have gotten those kinks out of the supply line. the moronic, brainwashed little consumerbot masses will beleive anything.

on preview, what George Spiggott said.
posted by quonsar at 11:25 AM on August 19, 2003


You may feel that "market forces" override human concerns but thankfully most american populations disagree with you.

As another extreme example, imagine you are very ill and require medical attention, clearly it would be inhuman not to provide it to you. Hence the US-wide universal health care system.
posted by biffa at 11:28 AM on August 19, 2003


see, this is the problem with the Church of the Free Market. They're so enamored with this simple little demand curve that, due to various restrictive laws/covenants/monopolies/oligopolies/etc., doesn't actually exist in the wild, that they don't stop to think whether a system entirely governed by "market forces" (a passive-voice euphemism if I've ever heard one) is one that is at all A. workable (which it isn't - any totally free market system run by humans tends to oligopolize relatively quickly) or B. desirable (entirely possible, but contrary to CoFM dogma, not guaranteed).

In a free market with perceived acute shortage, the value of the commodity in question spikes (as in the case with price gouging). If it were a free market, anyone with a few gallons of gasoline could take advantage of the increased market price. However, this is not the case - I'm pretty sure that retailing gasoline without a license and/or membership in a restrictive association is illegal (depending on your state), not to mention the supply chain is constrained by existing relationships, or that the raw supply itself is completely controlled by a small handful of organizations, a handful whose membership is completely closed to new entrants.

I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing: modern industrial economies could not operate with anything approaching efficiency in a truly free market. Price stability is a good thing for a reason. While it may (you believe unfairly) limit the ability of someone lucky enough to have gasoline and the license to sell it in a gouging environment to turn a profit, it also allows long-term business planning across all sectors of the economy. The net economic benefit to the would-be gouger far outweighs the loss of potential short-term profit.

on preview, what quonsar said, transitively.
posted by Vetinari at 11:28 AM on August 19, 2003


monopoly of supply != market forces at work
posted by nofundy at 11:31 AM on August 19, 2003


Free market dogmatists should spend a year in Angola or Albania, which theoretically should be free-market paradises.
posted by goethean at 11:34 AM on August 19, 2003


I'm a little taken aback that a community that normally espouses free enterprise, free will, and capitalist business structures is upset by so-called "price gouging" (and such low-dollar gouging at that: $4/gallon isn't much more than Europe pays, IIRC!)

I'm very surprised that the same accustations aren't leveled at the American health-care and post-secondary education systems. You want gouging? Take a look at your prescription drug prices!

IMO, increased gas prices are A Very Good Thing. It encourages people to drive less and walk more; it encourages people to use mass transit; it encourages people to purchase fuel-economical cars. The only downside I see is in increased product prices due to increased long-haulage shipping costs.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:38 AM on August 19, 2003


FFF: indeed, while gouging for the necessities of life is morally bankrupt, one hopes that it might actually do some good in this case, to make people think about their dependency. Next thing you know they're demanding safe bike lanes and decent public transportation. It's to prevent this catastrophe to the U.S. oiligarchy (if that's not a grotesque neologism) that so many of our subsidies to the oil industry (most notably military and diplomatic support) are carefully hidden.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:44 AM on August 19, 2003


FFF -- that might be true if Phoenix had any kind of extensive public transportation system to fall back on. Although I'm new to the desert -- just moved here 3 weeks ago -- as far as I can tell, the only way to get around is by car. The price increase in gas hits all kinds of businesses that rely on cars. For instance, ice cream trucks, taxi drivers, pizza delivery, etc... even deliveries around the city are getting pretty ugly.
posted by ph00dz at 11:44 AM on August 19, 2003


"But the built-in Metafilter spell checker catches that error"

All grammer and spelling Nazis must die. Rounded up and fed to pigs. We misspeel because we hate you personally. If you were to leave and never come back, all spelling errors would cease.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:01 PM on August 19, 2003


but here in michigan they raise the price every thursday

The amusing thing about this is that a while back AAA made a comment saying that barring a major event (which a pipe breaking would qualify as), gas prices should never rise by large amounts overnight (don't remember the exact number they used to illustrate by large amounts, but I tihnk it was 20 cents). Apparently in michigan, thursday is a major event. It's annoying as all hell. (And shows that even in a state that has price gouging laws you can still get away with it if you don't make it exceedingly large).

(And come to think of it, the $5.00 a gallon stuff was probably the time just after 9/11, not the pipeline break here. The pipeline break did still raise prices significantly, but I can't remember if it ever got that high (I do remember the 2.22 a gallon once though))
posted by piper28 at 12:02 PM on August 19, 2003


I'm just curious as to why so many people (and it is usually the heavier posters) apparently refuse to use it?


Well, if they're like me, it's called being lazy. After all, if you spellcheck something, then you'll actually have to go through and fix all the spelling errors (and still get annoyed when something passes because it's a word, just not the right word).
posted by piper28 at 12:04 PM on August 19, 2003


I'm in Phoenix and I too waited in line yesterday for over an hour. In the grand scheme of things, $1.95 for a gallon of gas is a pretty small price to pay for having the ability to come and go as I please at my own pace rather than having to sit in the blistering sun waiting for the bus (which I feel is worse for the environment, even been behind one of those things?). If I were to see $4 gas, I'd be less pissed off at the merchant than I would be at the system. I mean, if its either no gas or $4 gas, I know which way I'm leaning.
On a side note, they're actually building a train system that goes throughout the city that basically goes where people don't live and drops them off in places with even less residents, much like Detroit's People Mover train.
posted by bwinnard at 12:07 PM on August 19, 2003


you may buy into that market forces bullshit, but here in michigan they raise the price every thursday. and ain't it fuckin' amazing how the supply of gasoline burgeons every sunday night?

It's not amazing, it's a large number of SUV-driving suburban morons who keep tanking up on the same schedule every week.

A free market allows everyone to operate as brainlessly as they'd like. FWIW you yanks haven't a farking clue as to what it's like to pay a lot for gasoline. That's why you buy SUVs you practically never take off-road.
posted by clevershark at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2003


is worse for the environment, even been behind one of those things?).
Why do people equate what they see as worse? Instead of learning how things work and knowing the end results.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:43 PM on August 19, 2003


i own a small SUV which spends about 80% of its time off road clevershark. your ignorant generalizations about us "yanks" are typical limey arrogance coming from one whose country single-handedly invented imperialism. for your information, the behavior of the michgan gasoline market vastly precedes the existence of SUV's, but you must be too young to remember such a time. your entire nation is the size of a small american state, so what the hell would you know about dependence on gasoline anyway?
posted by quonsar at 12:47 PM on August 19, 2003


Never mind the gasoline shortages. You have to wonder what's going to happen when Phoenix runs out of water.

I lived in the valley of the sun quite a few years ago when the population was just starting to grow, and have visited on many occasions since. Building up a major metropolitan area (currently at 3.1 million in population) so far from multiple sources for fuel and water seems pretty dangerous.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:55 PM on August 19, 2003


but here in michigan they raise the price every thursday

Perhaps I'm being particularly obtuse here, (it wouldn't be the first time), but why does the price rise every thursday? Is Friday aimlessly drive your car round for 24 hours day in Michigan or something?

*Genuine question, not trying to display typical limey arrogance*
posted by squealy at 12:55 PM on August 19, 2003


Is Friday aimlessly drive your car round for 24 hours day in Michigan or something?

That's all there is to do in Belleville.

Seriously, lots of outdoorsy types around here who drive out to remoter parts of the state to hike and camp and hunt and etc. on the weekends.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:02 PM on August 19, 2003


but why does the price rise every thursday? Is Friday aimlessly drive your car round for 24 hours day in Michigan or something?

friday is the beginning of the weekend in a state chock full of parks, lakes and woods which tens of tousands of residents, as well as tens of thousands of tourists like to take advantage of on a regular basis.
posted by quonsar at 1:06 PM on August 19, 2003


Aah, OK. Thanks PinkStainlessTail and quonsar.
posted by squealy at 1:07 PM on August 19, 2003


increased gas prices are A Very Good Thing. It encourages people to drive less and walk more; it encourages people to use mass transit; it encourages people to purchase fuel-economical cars.

So you're suggesting that I either create a new mass transit system where I live because there is none, or I start walking or biking the 50 miles I commute each day? There goes my sleep!!

First, I DO drive an economical car. Second, I live that far away from my job because 1. there are no jobs in my profession in the town in which I live and live near 2. I cannot afford to live in the towns near my job as the cost of living is about double that of where I do live. Yeah in a perfect world I would love public transportation for my long commute. I willingly surrender the freedom of coming and going as I please if someone would just build some public transportation that runs between towns near me. There is a commuter train I can take, but by the time I drive there, I could be halfway to work, and the cost of train fare and parking way outweighs the costs of commuting. And the final injury was my company prohibiting people from working at home any longer, which was a boon for me as at least one or 2 days a week I could stay home and not use any gas, but then The Company deciced it was cheaper for them to get everyone in every day instead of paying for internet service at our homes.
posted by archimago at 1:09 PM on August 19, 2003


Quonsar, the brits didn't invent imperialism, I feel confident that there are millions of SUVs whose tires never touch dirt (not on purpose anyway), and America's size and its dependence on gasoline are not as closely related as you suggest: prior to the automotive boom in the first half of the century, we were quite good at building railroads and streetcar systems. Their loss was a choice made by consumers, and abetted by industries which in many cases bought and dismantled them to encourage the transition to more profitable automobiles. It has very little to do with the physical dimensions of the country.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:12 PM on August 19, 2003


Is Friday aimlessly drive your car round for 24 hours day in Michigan or something?


Tourism and traveling... It's the same way in Wisconsin.
posted by drezdn at 1:12 PM on August 19, 2003


One thing I'd like to see is the oil companies pay a fair market value into the treasury for the licenses and services provided to them by the people of America, and pass those costs back onto us at the pump. This would (or should) lower our taxes and correspondingly raise pump prices to something like European levels; and stop unfairly spreading costs, in the form of taxes, to people who voluntarily limit their fuel consumption.

If food and goods cost more as a result of increased transportation prices, this would not only be compensated for by lower taxes but it might also drive distribution to more economical modes; and we might see a resurgence in railway infrastructure development, which would increase our energy and transportation security.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:29 PM on August 19, 2003


I'm just curious as to why so many people (and it is usually the heavier posters) apparently refuse to use it?

I do a better job than it can.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:42 PM on August 19, 2003


Quonsar, the brits didn't invent imperialism, I feel confident that there are millions of SUVs whose tires never touch dirt (not on purpose anyway), and America's size and its dependence on gasoline are not as closely related as you suggest

well dammit, george, don't go getting all fact-checker on my ass, i was just trying to insult the guy!
posted by quonsar at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2003


Thomcatspikey, please explain to me the concept behind empty buses driving aimlessly around town putting soot in the throats of whoever is on the sidewalk or driving behind them being good for the environment. A google search for "reasons empty buses are good for the planet" yielded nothing.
posted by bwinnard at 2:21 PM on August 19, 2003


"reasons empty buses are good for the planet"
In the grand scheme of things, $1.95 for a gallon of gas is a pretty small price to pay for having the ability to come and go as I please at my own pace rather than having to sit in the blistering sun waiting for the bus (which I feel is worse for the environment, even been behind one of those things?).

I had the idea you were talking about soot out the tail pipe, never saw empty buses in your comment. See empty trollies going by my work all the time, waste, agree. Back to my soot argument, since I've written it already;)

Ever smell "rotten eggs" from the car in front of you. The rotten egg smell is a results by a distinctive chemical reaction, hydrogen sulfide but you don't see it. Suit is what you are seeing out a bus, burnt carbon. There are more chemicals too, but diesel burns cleaner than gas. The trollies around me use natural gas, which is a cleaner burner than diesel.

I'm confused here: they're actually building a train system that goes throughout the city that basically goes where people don't live and drops them off in places with even less residents, much like Detroit's People Mover train. Trains moving people from nowhere to more nowhere. ???
posted by thomcatspike at 3:22 PM on August 19, 2003


Suit...yes your suit will turn black standing behind a bus; Soot is you what are seeing out a bus...
posted by thomcatspike at 3:26 PM on August 19, 2003


I know that this is a subject that will cause great pain, but it will only get worse. Perhaps it will make people think about alternatives to car dependency [touching faith in humanity, dreamy smile].

Then again, if it is like Britain after the "great fuel crisis" you'll soon forget about any problems and then carry on as normal, until something really serious happens.

(And, hypocrite that I am, I wish I only had to pay $4 a gallon for petrol)
posted by lerrup at 3:29 PM on August 19, 2003


Big fat America running short on cheap gas?! Really, I'm crying for you guys. Hope you all make it thru the dark times.

[/smug UK cyclist]

quonsar: *koff*Rome!*koff*
posted by i_cola at 3:33 PM on August 19, 2003


friday is the beginning of the weekend in a state chock full of parks, lakes and woods which tens of tousands of residents, as well as tens of thousands of tourists like to take advantage of on a regular basis.

So save yourself $5 and fill up on Thursday morning. It's not like the price increase catches you by suprise or anything.
posted by jaek at 3:58 PM on August 19, 2003


Wow. I thought it was Americans who were supposed to be the assholes who hated people from other countries. Now I see it's the other way around.
posted by Foosnark at 4:04 PM on August 19, 2003


It's not like the price increase catches you by suprise

*whoosh*
posted by quonsar at 4:35 PM on August 19, 2003


We hate because we love. You can see the sense in that surely? It still ain't too late to come back. We'll forget all about the dressing up as Injuns and the tea throwing, honest. (Though throwing away good tea still irks somewhat).
posted by squealy at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2003


Quonsar's point's been made already, but locals DO gas up on Mon. or Tues. or, at the latest, Thurs. 10:00 a.m. I gassed up at a local tinytown last Thurs. at the last of four stations across from each other--three had gone from $1.52 to $1.68, and the Mobil was the slowest on the draw. Problem is, if you are driving 400-500 mi. in transit, you do have to gas up somewhere.

Oil companies have kept the refinery capacity in MI a very small distance behind consumption. Drive south to Indiana or Ohio and the price drops a good deal, and it's not the gas taxes.

But i_cola is right--until we're paying $5 a gallon (priced per litre), we should stop crying. Incidentally, I think we _should_ be paying that, or somewhere near that--only via federal tax earmarked for renewables (not hydrogen split off from oil--what's the point?).
posted by palancik at 6:36 PM on August 19, 2003


it's true. i know it's true, because no one here will shut up about it, ever.
posted by jimmy at 7:37 PM on August 19, 2003


Good God. Pissing and moaning because the price of gas goes up on Thursday. Here's an idea: Buy your gas on Tuesday or Wednesday! I would bet that the service stations want their business to be steady, so they can staff and manage the station more efficiently. In order to promote a steady business they reward customers who buy when their volumes are low, and penalize customers who buy when their volumes are high. If you are an observant consumer, you can be certain to pay less than the average Joe does for gas.

And "gouging" is the best way to allocate a scarce resource. No one who doesn't need gas is going to pay $5.00 a gallon during a temporary shortage, when s/he can wait four or five days to fill up. On the other hand, someone who needs gas desperately can buy it because others, seeing the high price, deferred their purchases. Because others deferred their purchases, there is still gas to be purchased.

AAA made a comment saying that barring a major event...gas prices should never rise by large amounts overnight.
Gas prices usually reflect replacement cost. What the station paid for the gas it's selling isn't nearly as important as what it costs to replace said petrol. And as someone who watches the price of Light Sweet Crude, Brent, and West Texas Intermediate everyday, I can tell you that prices are volatile. This chart, while not plotted daily, ought to illustrate the point. Economagic is so cool.
posted by trharlan at 8:02 PM on August 19, 2003


I have to admit, the transit system in Phoenix sucked when I lived there. They didn't even have service on sundays. It is getting better though, and the light rail system will connect downtown phoenix, tempe and the central corridor. Meanwhile, I hear that 70% of the busses in phoenix actually run on natural gas. So not too many of them are spewing soot. Perhaps the transit system just has it in for you. Last time I was in Phoenix for business, I was able to get from my hotel by the airport to Tempe without any problems. The buses were from half to completely full.
posted by eckeric at 10:24 PM on August 19, 2003


Wow. I thought it was Americans who were supposed to be the assholes who hated people from other countries. Now I see it's the other way around.

- No lad I can assure you that in every country I have spent any time in there are always some assholes who hate people from other countries, but often that would stretch their imagination to breaking point so the inhabitants of the next village would suffice.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:04 AM on August 20, 2003


p.s. Quonsar, us inventing imperialism, such lavish praise indeed.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:05 AM on August 20, 2003


Wow, I never realized quonsar was a lefty pro-pollution activist until this thread!
posted by wackybrit at 3:13 AM on August 20, 2003


Ynoxas: I can't speak for anyone else, but personally I so rarely make a spelling error, and am so completely unconcerned about it when I inevitably do, that to use teh spell checker would cause an unconscionable strain on my free time.
posted by walrus at 3:56 AM on August 20, 2003


trharlen: Looking over this chart of the last year I don't see how the $4 per barrel change in the last 2 months means the .50 per gallon rise in gas costs. I also don't see how a pipeline problem in AZ causes the prices to jump $.20 per gallon hours later in Michigan. But I'm just a part-time commuter I don't make millions in profit each year.

We have a lot of Americans complaining about costs, but I see precious little anyone is doing about it. Here's a couple: How about a tax on gas guzzlers? Let's make a formula: tax = $5000/MPG. You buy a vehicle that gets 50 miles per gallon you're exempt. Oh, and if you can't fit a standing 8' tall armoire in the bed of your vehicle it isn't a truck and has to perform to car standards.
posted by ?! at 5:27 AM on August 20, 2003


Oh, and if you can't fit a standing 8' tall armoire in the bed of your vehicle it isn't a truck and has to perform to car standards.

Then you'd start seeing more vehicles like this.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:46 AM on August 20, 2003


I believe that every state in the union has a gas tax, ?!. So... in a very real sense, the folks with the lincoln navigators are paying for it now.
posted by ph00dz at 7:34 AM on August 20, 2003


This situation is not going to improve with Labor Day coming up, a traditional price-gouging weekend nationwide. This morning, I heard a report that AAA is predicting the highest rate of on-road holiday travel in nine years. I filled up last night for $1.51/gallon, I'm predicting a top out at $1.65 before things start settling back down. Of course, then we'll see the Thanksgiving gouge, the Christmas gouge and the midwinter gouge which they always blame on the inexplicable concept of refining automotive gasoline and heating oil in the same places and the inability to do both simultaneously, even though it seems to affect areas that don't use oil for heat at all.

Why is the automotive industry wasting time hybridizing vehicles that already get fairly strong gas mileage, tiny things like Civics and the like, when the combined public demand and fuel efficiency issues make it clear that what we need are hybrid family sedans, minivans, and SUVs?

My kingdom for a hybrid vehicle with a seating capacity greater than one celebrity and his/her ego.
posted by Dreama at 9:37 AM on August 20, 2003


PinkStainlessTail: Howdy neighbor. 48111 myself.

Dammit, I want gas to be .99/gallon again. Screw market conditions.
posted by Yossarian at 10:10 AM on August 20, 2003


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