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Pain at the pump

greenie

Member
Member
It didn't take long. Most homes in Maine are heated by #2 heating oil which is very similar to diesel fuel. Prior to the inauguration I had my tanks topped off at $2.04 a gallon. The delivery driver assured me that prices would rapidly increase, and boy, did they. 14% in one month. One month later and the same product is $2.35. Gasoline was $1.99 a gallon prior to the election - Our car takes premium so $35 would fill an empty tank. Yesterday the wife topped off a less than half full tank for over $40. Regular gas prices have increase since the election from $1.99 to $2.57 a 28% increase. Who knows where it will level out - or even if it will level out.
 

Conrad

Street Cruiser
Forum Subscriber
It appears that you're hinting that the new administration is responsible for the increase in the price of fuel?

If that's true, you may want to do some research to find the real cause.

I'm pretty sure that the new administration has nothing to do with the increase in the price of crude oil or for the shutdown, do to the weather, of Texas refineries.
 
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nosmo

Sport Tourer
Forum Subscriber
Just part of the cycle of up and down. Not so many years ago when gasoline was almost $4/gallon I filled my GMC truck (25 gallon tank) and paid over $80. Two weeks ago I filled up at a grocery-store connected station and used my rewards credit and paid $1.85/gallon.
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
I think it's a combination of quite a few things, weather, cancelation of the Keystone pipeline, refineries still out from the hurricane a few years ago, snow covered roads, etc...
 

greenie

Member
Member
It's a matter of public record. The current administration is anti pipeline, anti-fracking, and is opposed to oil exploration and recovery on public lands. When environmentalists speak about reducing fossil fuel usage they use higher energy prices to discourage use. The worrisome issue is how fast prices are rising.
 

gsun

COG# 9127 CDA# 560
Member
Covid stopped just about everything last year. Prices went in the tank. Oil companies were actually paying to take crude off their hands as their storage tanks were full and the crude was still coming. Crude prices are recovering as people are back driving and businesses are back to work. I see our gas prices creeping up again. Every week it's a couple cents per litre. the cancellation of Keystone should not affect prices in the US as it is self sufficient in crude production due to fracking. The pipeline just makes it easier to distribute and the US can export it's oil to be more efficient. The same in Canada. We import oil in the east and export it in the west. There is no pipeline to get western oil to the eastern provinces.
 

greenie

Member
Member
Actually gas prices were lower prior to Covid-19. I remember filling up on I-35 just south of San Antonio for $1.42 a gallon. I couldn't squeeze $20 into the tank. That was 2 years before Covid-19.
True, there are no east/west pipelines. Railroads, hamstrung by unions and poor track maintenance can be fatal. Lac Megantic July 6th 2013. A 73 car freight train - the engineer the only person on this train ran up against a time limit. He parked the train and went off to get some union rest. He left the train running - something caught fire and the fire department responded - put out the fire and shut off the engine. Train brakes - unlike tractor trailer brakes require air pressure to hold the brakes. The un manned train soon rolled down a 1.2% grade gaining speed as it went. 47 souls were incinerated in town. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-Mégantic_rail_disaster
Unlike other parts of the US tracks in the northeast are poorly maintained - some sections have very low speed limits imposed because the tracks are so poorly maintained.
I'm old enough to recall the Alaskan Pipeline fiction the foes laid out. The pipeline has been a model of good safety. That was about the same time America had less than 50 years of oil left...
 

gsun

COG# 9127 CDA# 560
Member
Also in Lac Megantic, the engineer was supposed to set the hand brakes on every car just incase this happened. he didn't and thus the disaster. The same thing happened in BC a while ago but the train derailed away from any town.
 

red fox

Member
Member
* On the increasing price of oil products, if you pull up the following chart link and type in "USO" in the upper left box you'll see how the wholesale price of USA petroleum has fared the last 5 months.
* If you play with the adjacent box you can see the last 2+ yrs - which shows the pandemic price impact experienced last year. IMPRESSIVE.
* These put a lot of perspective into the equation, imo.

https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui

Greenie posted to start the thread, a good one:
"The delivery driver assured me that prices would rapidly increase, and boy, did they. 14% in one month. One month later and the same product is $2.35. Gasoline was $1.99 a gallon prior to the election - Our car takes premium so $35 would fill an empty tank. Yesterday the wife topped off a less than half full tank for over $40. Regular gas prices have increase since the election from $1.99 to $2.57 a 28% increase."
 
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cmoore

Member
Member
Hard to argue with that chart. The industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. I'm just glad Spring is around the corner.
 

greenie

Member
Member
Also in Lac Megantic, the engineer was supposed to set the hand brakes on every car just incase this happened. he didn't and thus the disaster. The same thing happened in BC a while ago but the train derailed away from any town.
There's quite a lot of information on the Lac Megantic disaster. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...akes-with-deadly-result-idUSBRE96A03I20130711
We rode through town the following June (11 months later) and they were still cleaning up. The point was in bringing up this disaster - the safety of pipelines compared to transporting by rail or trucks.
 

Conrad

Street Cruiser
Forum Subscriber
It's a matter of public record. The current administration is anti pipeline, anti-fracking, and is opposed to oil exploration and recovery on public lands. When environmentalists speak about reducing fossil fuel usage they use higher energy prices to discourage use. The worrisome issue is how fast prices are rising.

You're going to have to do some research on the anti-fracking claim above as it's not completely true.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Actually gas prices were lower prior to Covid-19. I remember filling up on I-35 just south of San Antonio for $1.42 a gallon. I couldn't squeeze $20 into the tank. That was 2 years before Covid-19.
True, there are no east/west pipelines. Railroads, hamstrung by unions and poor track maintenance can be fatal. Lac Megantic July 6th 2013. A 73 car freight train - the engineer the only person on this train ran up against a time limit. He parked the train and went off to get some union rest. He left the train running - something caught fire and the fire department responded - put out the fire and shut off the engine. Train brakes - unlike tractor trailer brakes require air pressure to hold the brakes. The un manned train soon rolled down a 1.2% grade gaining speed as it went. 47 souls were incinerated in town. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-Mégantic_rail_disaster
Unlike other parts of the US tracks in the northeast are poorly maintained - some sections have very low speed limits imposed because the tracks are so poorly maintained.
I'm old enough to recall the Alaskan Pipeline fiction the foes laid out. The pipeline has been a model of good safety. That was about the same time America had less than 50 years of oil left...
I'm sorry...but..what? How is this the union's fault? What does the U.S. track maintenance have to do with a disaster that took place in Canada? Usually rest requirements are set by the government for railroad employees. Even if the engineer was a union member, his failure to set enough of the hand brakes and test them properly isn't the fault of the union. Like any bureaucracy, union negotiated rules designed for safety and benefit of the employees can under certain circumstances seem ludicrous. It's difficult to conceive of every situation when sitting at a negotiating table. However, if you think we would all be safer and richer with management in total control answering only to government regulations made by heavily lobbied business suited legislators that don't get any input from alternate sources with working hands on knowledge (unions), then you are indeed drinking the wrong Kool-Aid.

As for the pipeline itself in Alaska, we have been lucky there...so far...but I doubt many of the safeguards we have in place would be there if it wasn't for the cries of the pipeline opponents. It was constructed in only 2 years entirely by unionized labor despite their alleged hamstringing of management. Now one could argue that the Exxon Valdez disaster would have never occurred if it wasn't for the pipeline supplying the ship with the crude....but I think that the way Exxon operated that ship, the same disaster would have occurred eventually somewhere else. Maybe in a less sensitive area, maybe in a more sensitive area. Probably in an area with easier access for the clean up crews, but perhaps not.

Nothing is perfect, including Unions, and some are worse than others. Certainly most unions are more concerned with their membership's employment environment than they are with the natural environment, because..well that's their job. However, overall they get a lot of blame for things that are not their fault. Many of the ones tossing the eggs are the ones that wish they were receiving Union negotiated benefits but don't want to go through the effort to organize and pay dues*. They just want to sit and complain and blame somebody.

*hmmm kinda reminds me of another thread on this forum about paying dues and joining something organized. :unsure:
 

rwulf

Member
Member
It seems to me that after every election prices of something goes up and people complain.
Nothing ever gets done about it. Our government does, to some extent, and should stay
out of pricing.
In regards to pipeline safety we, here in Michigan, are still dealing with the damage done
by an Embridge pipeline to the Talmage creak, spelling maybe wrong. This same Canadian
company has a pipeline in the Straights of Mackinaw, commissioned in 1954. There are
very few records of maintenance on this pipe. Because of public concerns, even thou they
say it is safe, they are planning on boring a tunnel under the straights. Most of the product
in this pipe goes thru the state of Michigan to Canada.
My question is with the coming of electric vehicles these tar sand products will decrease.
This being a foreign company Michigan has every little say in what is being done with
this pipe.
Do we blame price increases on the pandemic, unions, governments or just greed. With
electric in the future the price of gas will go up because we need to support an industry
that sells less product and to maintain profits the price will go up.
All I can say and do is get ready for a real ride on the price roller coaster.
Union member and concerned citizen.
 

greenie

Member
Member
"My question is with the coming of electric vehicles these tar sand products will decrease." Actually electric powered cars will require more, not less electrical grid capability. There's no free lunch.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
There's no free lunch.
Hey! I think you've found something we can agree on. Well done.

Sometimes we jump at the first thing that sounds good, wind power solar power etc....it's time to fully examine all alternative energy sources from a logical scientific point of view instead of a protectionist emotional point of view. Several year ago my wife was irate over the stopping of incandescent light bulb manufacture. Now we have more lights on and at much lower cost due to incandescent filament emulating LED light bulbs, she's happy about it all. However, to be honest I have no idea how much the LED production industry pollutes vs. how much power we used to use on incandescent bulbs, and to be honest in winter the incandescent bulb actually helped heat the house (if you don't believe that, stick your hand on top of a household incandescent bulb that's been on ten minutes)...I doubt they did it as efficiently as our 90% heater but still that heat didn't just disappear. Of course it hurt me in the summer with AC so I think it's a good thing overall but like I said how much more does the LED industry pollute? ...or does it? I don't know. Anybody?
 

cmoore

Member
Member
My FIL spent his entire career as a civil engineer and designed hydro-electric dams all over the world. If you look up the Orinoco Dam and Three Gorges Dam you will get an idea about what he was involved in. He would always say "you don't get something from nothing"...goes along with the no free lunch comment which we can all agree on.
 

greenie

Member
Member
Around here functioning hydro dams are being taken off line - madness. I had an impromptu tour of an old and small hydro generating system near Heber City Utah back in the 1980's. Water was impounded at a higher elevation and fed to the turbine below via pipes. Very cool and minor impact to the area. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ut0125/
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
We have a dam near us, it's a small one that dammed a creek to create a bit of a lake for an upstream golf course. When we were kids, we used to shovel it off and we could ice skate the whole length of the river, about 1/3 mile, we always sent out the youngest kid to test the ice, our thinking was he was the lightest, I think we should have sent the heaviest kid. Nobody ever fell through, although Marty Zeihm crashed through once on his sled head first, it was shallow, but boy did we laugh. Dams are good. :)
 

rwulf

Member
Member
Our problem here in Michigan is the cost of maintaining these old low head
dams, and we have a lot of them. The Eatonville dam, that failed this past
spring, was not producing enough electric to pay for it's maintenance so the
owner let it stand unattended and not maintained. This spring heavy rain and
there goes the dam. People on Sanford lake now have 150 or 200 foot of beach.
With all the slit that has built up over the years that beach is nothing but muck.
 

cmoore

Member
Member
Yep, Dams have to be maintained. The Lake Dunlop Dam on the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Texas failed a few years ago so no more lake until they do something about it. White Rock Lake here in Dallas has to be dredged every 20 to 30 years to take care of the silt that builds up. Didn't mean to hijack the thread but it does go along with the whole energy thing.
 

greenie

Member
Member
The silt issue may be more regional. In some parts of the United States rivers are brown with suspended silt frequently during the year. Here in Maine it's very rare to see brown water - due probably to the terrain featuring a lot of granite and ledge being so close to the surface. Hydro dams that were discontinued in Maine were mostly fishway related.
Quebec built a huge hydroelectric dam - the James Bay Project - that provides 40% of Quebec's electrical power. Quebec has 59 hydroelectric facilities and has the lowest KWH cost in Canada. 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Maine's KWH cost is .17 cents (if you google to fact check Maine's KWH is .7 also but a 10 cent delivery charge is included to obfuscate the matter)
Quebec's low electricity cost attracts businesses and improves the standard of living.
Quebec has so much hydroelectric power it has the ability to export power to other states and provinces. Maine has become such a totally bat poop crazy environmental state that every attempt to build or improve transmission lines through Maine is met with staunch opposition.
The contrast between socialist Quebec's standard of living compared to Maine's endemic poverty is a continuing source of fascination for me.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Maine has become such a totally bat poop crazy environmental state that every attempt to build or improve transmission lines through Maine is met with staunch opposition.
The contrast between socialist Quebec's standard of living compared to Maine's endemic poverty is a continuing source of fascination for me.
Maybe so, but it sure is nice to visit there. When we rode up there after the 2019 National, we loved Maine. After the constant 45 mph speed limits and clogged roads in MA, VT. and NH. it was like a breath of fresh air figuratively and literally when we entered ME. Quebec??...slow speed limits and unfriendly people...We quickly skedaddled over to Ontario where it was more Canadian and much more friendly (although the speed limits still sucked). ...oh right "Pain at the Pump"...between the exchange rate and purchasing fuel in liters I still have no idea what I paid per gallon in Canada for fuel. :unsure:
 

gsun

COG# 9127 CDA# 560
Member
Maybe so, but it sure is nice to visit there. When we rode up there after the 2019 National, we loved Maine. After the constant 45 mph speed limits and clogged roads in MA, VT. and NH. it was like a breath of fresh air figuratively and literally when we entered ME. Quebec??...slow speed limits and unfriendly people...We quickly skedaddled over to Ontario where it was more Canadian and much more friendly (although the speed limits still sucked). ...oh right "Pain at the Pump"...between the exchange rate and purchasing fuel in liters I still have no idea what I paid per gallon in Canada for fuel. :unsure:
A lot!!! Don't think about it. It will just piss you off.
 

greenie

Member
Member
1.23 per liter Canada = 4.24 Canadian = 3.36 USD per gallon regular gasoline, Levis P.Q.... $1 USD = .79 Canada

Quebec speeding fines are approaching $1,000. Ontario has high fines as well plus the possibility of the confiscation of the vehicle. Up until the 1980's Canada was pretty lax with speed limit enforcement... 90 KMH is pretty much standard throughout Canada. If I'm careful and observant I still go just under 80 mph there as other traffic occasional travels at - but it's taking a chance.
 
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Strawboss

Member
Member
I've been to Maine, I've been to Quebec and Ontario and agree pretty much with Marty. :) The fuel prices there never bothered me at all though, the reasons they don't would fill another thread.
 
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