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Archive for Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gas prices highest ever for this time of year

February 19, 2012

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NEW YORK — Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.

At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.

“You’re going to see a lot more staycations this year,” says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react.”

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil.

Oil around the world is priced differently. Brent crude from the North Sea is a proxy for the foreign oil that’s imported by U.S. refineries and turned into gasoline and other fuels. Its price has risen 11 percent so far this year, to around $119 a barrel, because of tensions with Iran, a cold snap in Europe and rising demand from developing nations. West Texas Intermediate, used to price oil produced in the U.S., is up 4 percent to around $103 a barrel. That’s 19 percent higher than a year earlier.

Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the U.S. economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. That’s only 0.2 percent of the total U.S. economy, but economists say it’s a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Shopping/errands methods

One big idea: Less demand for oil around the world = less war

For everyday errands:

  1. Start walking to do shopping and pay bills. Bike trailers that convert to strollers would be a smart companion. Or used baby strollers

  2. Bike to do shopping and pay bills. Bike trailers would be a smart companion

  3. Street ready electric golf carts to do shopping and pay bills. Coolers would be great companions that which are secured with straps. Not allowed on highways( Iowa,6th and 23rd)

  4. Small fuel efficient vehicles = the most expensive choice

  5. Public Transportation

Notice fuel prices never return to previous lows. Instead keep inching higher and higher.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

And tune up the vehicles plus keep tires inflated at psi suggested inside the driver side door.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

Slippery slope we are heading down. Many companies small and large use increased fuel costs to push in extra boosts in revenue beyond the true cost.

Translation: Here comes inflation. Better, why is a green pepper costing 2 bucks mommy?

Please before we here all of us need to crowd in a stinky bus, remember farmers, folks living rural, and last but not the least the small independent person who must drive to make a living.

uncleandyt 2 years, 9 months ago

Some strangers give me the impression that they think "American oil" is somehow the property of all Americans. Keystone part one is up and leaking. Drilling is not banned in the Gulf. Ride the Truth

Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, no common sense is more like it here. You have told everyone in Lawrence you are broke and I am sure your new best friend "Barack", President Obama to you, will hear about that real soon.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 9 months ago

Fuel was at $1.85 a gallon with Obama took office.

Shane Garrett 2 years, 9 months ago

I would buy more stocks if I didn't have to drive to work. (sic).

classclown 2 years, 9 months ago

merrill (anonymous) says…

Shopping/errands methods...

  1. Street ready electric golf carts to do shopping and pay bills. Coolers would be great companions that which are secured with straps. Not allowed on highways( Iowa,6th and 23rd)...

February 19, 2012 at 4:36 a.m.

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"Not allowed on highways( Iowa,6th and 23rd)"

That's where all the stores are.

gphawk89 2 years, 9 months ago

I'll gladly pay $8 a gallon from now until early November if that's what it takes to bring about some more "change".

JackMcKee 2 years, 9 months ago

Am I the only one that sees Merrill's name on a post and just scrolls past it as soon as possible?

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Why do you imagine that? Is it because your walls are covered with articles about Obama/Pelosi/Reid -- or does your mom not allow you to decorate the basement?

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

If we are talking about how we imagine the lives of other posters, then yes, seriously.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

""Not allowed on highways( Iowa,6th and 23rd) That's where all the stores are."

Laws allow for crossing those streets and there are many ways to get there. I've done it on my bicycle. This town is easy to get around while avoiding the fast moving roadways.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 9 months ago

Looking at the bigger picture, which is more expensive?

a) Driving out to a field in Pennsylvania or Texas and drilling a well. b) Drilling for oil from a platform floating a couple of miles above where the hole starts.

Why are there offshore platforms?
It has something to do with the fact that easy oil from Pennsylvania and Texas is mostly gone.

At the same time, population in the US has about doubled since Pennsylvania was a major oil-producing state, and, as noted, demand for petroleum from other parts of the world has increased a lot.

There is a finite amount of oil on the earth, and we are using it up faster than it is being made. Easy to access fields are dwindling, it is becoming more expensive to extract, and the demand is going up; no one in their right mind should expect the price to not go up. There is nothing that any individual or political party can do to change those basic facts.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

KDOT might want to think commuter train service instead of new highways = better bang for the tax buck.

tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

Of course the oil prices are going up. The economy is improving. The oil companies can't have that. How else will they get their man in the White House?

Steve Jacob 2 years, 9 months ago

The numbers say you are right about the economy, but nobody wants to believe it. The Fed sure don't believe it, because they say inflation is not an issue.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Record profits nearly every quarter for a decade or more might have something to do with gas prices, as might speculation in oil markets.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 9 months ago

Right, and if you have

a) something in plentiful supply around the world b) something with limited supply and increasing demand

Which do you think will make you more money?

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Or they could be happy with less profits so working people could afford to drive.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

This sort of common sense approach seems to be missed by many people, who seem to think only in extremes.

Of course, to be fair, public companies have financial obligations to their shareholders, and if they stop maximizing profits, they may be violating those.

Katara 2 years, 9 months ago

Many of those shareholders are their workers.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 9 months ago

I think I'll try doing without more government price fixing for now, or maybe you think that the majority of people will not seek to maximize their own profit. That's a pleasant fantasy.

Cheap gas is not an inalienable right.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 9 months ago

Since the republicans have nothing else to offer, it would not surprise me if they asked their Big Oil masters to raise prices through speculation to create a talking point for the election year and to slow down economic growth that hurts their numbers.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

If prices on everything were rising at a consistent level with gas, then you might be right. They are not. As a single product, the price of gas is going up. What will you be saying when the price of gas reaches a peak and then comes back down -- that our dollar is more valuable and that the government is behind deflation?

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

If anyone thinks that gasoline will forever be cheap should have their head examined. It is a finite resource that is growing in demand. Certainly, if John McCain was in office today does not mean we would be enjoying inexpensive gasoline. Gas prices rose and fell under Bush, under Clinton, under Bush, under Reagan, under Clinton ...

Or, too bad Michelle Bachmann is already out of the race for President. She promised $2 a gallon gas!

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

So you are saying you are doing exactly what the liberal ilk do, but in reverse? Brilliant.

For once, try not behaving so predictably. "But ... but ... Bush!"

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

Looks like merrill's trotting out all his golden oldies, no matter how impractical they are.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

He wasn't anointed, he was elected. And of course, to you Obama is responsible for everything you don't like.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

huh? How is blaming Obama for everything, including things that he has zero control over, a "fact"? Of course, blaming Obama for everything he hates about America -- like people voting, for example -- is a fact of life for i T.S._just_math. How sad that he lives for his hatred of our duly elected President.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

But is it inaccurate? You are, after all, the one who pointed out that whites have lost all control after Obama was elected, are you not?

No, wait, that (according to the moderator's rules) wasn't you. It was someone who just so happened to write exactly like you and express the same exact opinions. Um ... sure.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

Don't like high gas prices? Don't buy gas. Walk.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

I've noticed that the group that whines the loudest about how government shouldn't be in the position of taking care of us are now the first to whine that the government should be taking care of us by making sure we have access to cheap gasoline.

Mixolydian 2 years, 9 months ago

There are just too many variables involved to lay this mess at Obama's feet, but no matter which political party you fall under, you have to look warily at an administration that has deemed high energy prices to be a laudable goal in the interest of promoting conservation.

The high price of gas is bad enough, but what it does to the price of everything else is what's really damaging. Forget the price of a gallon of gas and look at the price of a gallon of milk over the past 2 years. The price of all food. The price of absolutely anything that's transported. Our dollar has been weakened by our out of control debt and bond rating reduction and that's just piling on to this inflation.

Inflation and a much higher unemployment rate than is actually being reported is kiling us. The stagnation of the late 70's is preferable to these conditions.

tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

It is Obama's fault. His policies are digging us out of the mess that Bush left, and it's not what the conservatives wanted. The oil companies want him out as president, so they hike up prices to make the economy worse. In the meantime they make even more money. A win-win situation for them.
Of course, since Iran is going to cut off Europe, then prices are naturally going up. That is if capitalism really works in the oil business, which it doesn't.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

You can't drill your way out of this. We have to start transitioning away from a fossil fuel based economy.

Bush couldn't do and Obama can't do it either.

Big Oil has a strangle hold on the US Congress.

Expect a lot of propaganda about how paying $5 a gallon is a good thing.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

Everybody buy a Volt! We can keep warm by standing near them when they explode into flames.

Shane Garrett 2 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the laugh, it was getting too serious up in here.

classclown 2 years, 9 months ago

Jane (anonymous) replies…

What about Mass Street? Isn't it a highway? Seems I remember they closed down the 'adult' store on Mass using the fact that it is a highway, and thus not allowed. I could be wrong, please advise. February 19, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.

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I believe the opposite is true. If memory serves, in an effort to get rid of that store, the city made an ordinance that those types of stores must be limited to highways and then told them they had to go after that business had already been established at that location.

Mass street is not a highway therefore, no naughty businesses.

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