Will there be a change?

So as you noticed yesterday… the gas swept from ~$2.87 to ~$3.19… and back down to ~$3.09 this morning.

Who know’s where it will go today?

The real question is… what have you changed in your life around gas prices? Have you started travelling less? Made more decisions based on the fact that you could drive, walk, or ride a bicycle?

I know that I haven’t, but that’s because I’m fortunate enough to drive a long distance for my company and they compensate me for that… but for anyone who has to budget for gas… I would imagine it could be a nightmare. Am I lucky? Yeah… kinda… but I definitely still feel the hurt when I go to the pump and my little 4-banger (4 cyl. 13 gallon tank), I still get the $35 to $40 bill at the end. It sucks and it’s scary.

For instance, my little sister called me the other day and was on her way home… she gasps and says, “Wow, I might not have enough gas to get home… but I can’t afford to fill it up this week… maybe I can scrap to get a few gallons in to make it home.”

That kind of stuff scares me. I don’t know about you… but what were you thinking when you heard news that Iran announced today that it will push prices of barrels of oil to $200 a barrel if the UN goes through with its sanctions and plans to ensure Iran does not carry through with a nuclear program. $200 a barrel. That’s insane. We’d be in a crisis. (Or maybe I’m just being freightened like I’m supposed to be aka government control).

Then you mix in the possibility of moving minimum wage up to $7.25… It’s just a busy time in the news I guess. Hezbollah… Iran… Heat… Gas Prices…

Speaking of, I have to go fill my tank… crap.

13 Comments so far

  1. mike h (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:24 am

    Personally I think it’s kind of silly when people freak out about the price of gas jumping $0.05, $0.10, or $0.20 a gallon in a day. Price jumps (and dives) happen every day. It’s so normal and a part of every day life. Why be so suprised? I can’t speak for people trying to make ends meet who don’t necessarily have the money to fill their car up. But for me, hitting $3.20 a gallon isn’t going to stop me from driving. What will it take? $4.00 a gallon? $5.00? $10.00?

    Great new things happen in times of crisis. Eventually the price of gas will cost more than most will want to pay (again, $5.00/gallon? $6.00/gallon?), and as a result, some entrepreneur or business who has positioned themselves for that moment will be able to deliver a solution to the problem, be it more fuel efficiency or alternative fuels.

    But to me, right now, I don’t even blink at the $3.20 mark. Who cares. It’ll take more than that for me to re-think my driving habits and lifestyle on the road.

    Fossil fuels are soooo 20th century.


  2. jake (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    It is definitely silly when people talk about the small price jumps… my bigger picture view is slightly more frightening.

    Your point about what “would” it take to make us stop driving… is fantastic. Makes you wonder all kinds of things: Is there something better that they are intentially not telling us about? Is someone being paid off NOT to develop better transportation means? Will the price of gas incline to an unstable point BEFORE a breakthrough comes? How long will the plateau be there if there is one? (plateau of waiting for the new breakthrough while the gas prices are high)

    Next thing you know… you’re going to pay for a snicker’s bar with a gallon of gas.


  3. mike h (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:32 am

    Oh, don’t mind my little rant about people being suprised at gas prices… that was a little tangent and slightly off-topic.

    Yeah, things are spinning out of control in a way, but it’s just more incentive to reduce dependency on fossil fuels other nations who we have such GREAT relationships with.


  4. Greg (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:44 am

    Has anyone else noticed the price of oranges spiked 9 cents/lb? No, because it wasn’t the lead story on Kare 11 the first Friday of every month. As for me, I love my SUV gas pig, even though it costs $45-50 each time I fill it. I like sitting up higher than traffic, and winter driving is a snap – a variable that cannot be overlooked in MN. And in case of an accident, I’ll be super safe surrounded by my huge metal (not plastic) beast. People bitch about gas prices but still go out for $50-100 dinners, buy Starbucks coffee at $4/cup or eat fast food every day for lunch. For most everyone, it shouldn’t be difficult to come up with an extra $2 to fill a tank when the price spikes on a given day. I believe the media likes to hype the price fluxes and make a story where there really isn’t one. I’ve switched from oranges to bananas – delicious!


  5. noodleman (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 11:47 am

    Yes, it is all relative. A 20-cent-per-gallon jump is, what, 7% of $3? Back when gas was regularly $1.60, a 7% jump would’ve equaled 6- or 7-cents per gallon … exactly the kind of percentage jump we saw every weekend back then and still see today. So I don’t know what the worry is. Retailers aren’t jacking the price up any more than they’ve always done. It just seems greater because peoples’ perceptions haven’t yet caught up with inflationary realities.


  6. Justin (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

    Good points all around. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that prices over $3 weren’t big news. The facts are, everyone deals with it, and it’s right in our faces everyday. But like Greg said, the price of oranges isn’t in your face everyday. (of course that could be the argument that it is a big deal, cause everyone buys gas).

    But it’s more about the number, “$3!!!!” It’s in our faces and it’s a big deal to individuals right now, but in the long run, hopefully these prices will sponsor a change. I believe I heard we’ve depleted 1/3 of the world’s resources. What are we going to do about that? What are you going to do about that?


  7. mike h (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

    Greg, I can’t argue about you preferring to sit higher or feeling safer. But I’d argue that winter driving in MN really isn’t that bad with a small front-wheel drive car. I see just as many SUVs and pickups in ditches in the winter as cars. During a snow storm last year I saw a Durango spin 360 right in front of me while I kept my distance in my little 2WD car. There ARE times (e.g. deep snow) when 4WD is much much easier to use than 2WD, but how many times a year do I really wish I had it? Maybe two or three? Of course, our winters have been pretty mild for the last five years too. If the snow fell harder and more often then I’d buy the truck/4WD argument. I owned a Jeep for a few years but thought the 4WD only made a difference on the deep snow days. It’s just not enough benefit for the cost, to me. I don’t find myself in situations wishing I had a bigger vehicle. Maybe it’s my driving style. Who knows. As long as there’s a demand for SUVs, auto companies should keep making them, but I won’t buy one.


  8. Joe (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

    I hate not being able to see what traffic is doing in front of you SUV drivers.

    You should know that every time you get in front of me – I’m saying a little prayer that you tip over while taking a corner and blow up. Nothing personal, but all you you drive like you own the road.

    Also, if you’re driving to the front of rush hour traffic (I-35 to 494) and cutting ahead of 30-40 cars… You should note that one of these days someone is going to shoot out your back windows.


  9. Joe (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

    Wow, that was a rant!

    Ok, so I probably won’t shoot out your windows (no guns,) but I can hope that someone else will.


  10. Erica (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

    We went through the same excitement when gas jumped over $2/gallon. I just came from CA where the cheapest gas I saw was $3.19. I also spent, at a minimum, $3/day on public transit around the Bay Area. If I just drive to work and back, that’s less than one gallon of gas used, and in my Saturn, less than $3/day.

    But I know I shouldn’t be spewing any more into the atmosphere than I have to. And if I didn’t have to pay a car payment and insurance, that would significantly reduce my out-of-pocket. Tough to go car-free when you live here, though.

    You could go back and forth on the cost calculations. The sense of impending doom is what scares me. There’s clearly going to be a breaking point in my lifetime.


  11. Lex (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    Did I notice the change? Not really. I can still look at folks across the pond and be thankful the gas prices are as low as they are. We’ve had it easy for a long time.

    Have I changed my habits? Yes. I ride my motorcycle more because the mileage is way better and filling up costs me Did I notice the change? Not really. I can still look at folks across the pond and be thankful the gas prices are as low as they are. We’ve had it easy for a long time.

    Have I changed my habits? Yes. I ride my motorcycle more because the mileage is way better and filling up costs me


  12. Dave Dash (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

    bike


  13. mike h (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 7:38 am

    Arguably, prices over in Europe are higher because demand is lower. They don’t rely on cars as much, so people buy less gas. If gas companies want to make money in Europe, they’ll need to raise the price because they sell less.

    Now, I’m no economics expert, but I THINK that’s what the law of supply and demand was about :)



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