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Old 05-02-2006, 09:32 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Gas Price Pushes $7/gallon

As Gas Nears $7 a Gallon, More Britons Take the Bus

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, April 28, 2006; A12



LONDON, April 27 -- David Graham pulled up to the gas pump in his shiny black sport-utility vehicle with a "for sale" sign taped in the window.

Graham, 48, a London building contractor, pointed at the price on the pump -- the equivalent of $6.62 a gallon, which means it costs him $125 to fill his tank. "That's why this is for sale," Graham said. "I can't afford it anymore. I have to walk everywhere. Things have gone mad."

As Americans contemplate the misery of a summer of $3-per-gallon gas, drivers in Britain and much of continental Europe look on with resigned envy. High taxes long ago created some of the world's most expensive gasoline on this side of the Atlantic, where a family car is deemed more a luxury than a necessity and many people rely instead on extensive public transportation networks.

But even in Europe, where consumers are used to paying pump prices double, or more, what Americans pay, there is growing alarm over the effect of rising crude oil prices on fuel costs.

Many motorists are driving less and altering the way they shop, take vacations and carry out other routines, according to interviews and opinion polls. Many airlines, delivery services and other fuel-dependent businesses are either passing increases on to consumers through higher prices or taking deep profit cuts.

Andris Piebalgs, the European Union's energy commissioner, warned last weekend that high oil prices were "destroying economic growth" in Europe.

Kate Gibbs of Britain's Road Haulage Association, which represents truckers and trucking companies, said the prices were driving many small trucking companies out of business. "They just can't take it anymore," Gibbs said.

Uncertainty about the West's growing confrontation with Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil supplier, instability in major producers such as Nigeria and Iraq, continued fallout from Hurricane Katrina, and growing demand for oil in China and India are among the reasons analysts cite for the worldwide surge in pump prices.

Drivers in 11 European countries are now paying an average of more than $6 a gallon for gasoline, according to Britain's AA Motoring Trust. "We have always looked upon you Americans with a lot of envy" about gas prices, said David Williams of the trust, an independent research group that advocates for British motorists.

European governments have long used gasoline taxes not only as an important source of revenue, but as a policy tool to drive down oil consumption and reduce pollution.

Williams said taxes account for about 66 percent of the pump price in Britain -- so of the current average price per gallon of $6.48, about $4.27 goes to the government.

U.S. drivers pay an average of about 46 cents per gallon in combined state, federal and local taxes, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent organization in Washington.

"We would like to see zero fuel duties, of course," Williams said. "But we have to put our hands on our hearts and admit that the government needs money for all kinds of things, and this is one way to get it. People do want their schools and hospitals to be better, so this is just practical politics."

Six years ago, when government taxes represented an even larger share of fuel costs, truckers, taxi drivers and other protesters blockaded Britain's oil refineries and storage depots to stop delivery to gas stations. The weeklong strike nearly paralyzed the country.

British government officials said that in an effort to help consumers, they had frozen the primary tax on gasoline since 2003. It has remained at 47.1 pence per liter -- about $3.17 per gallon at today's exchange rates. On top of that duty, consumers also pay a 17.5 percent consumption tax.

In his 2006 budget, announced last month, Gordon Brown, Britain's finance minister, continued the freeze until at least September.

"The government doesn't believe in temporary measures," said a Treasury spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity following standard practice here. "As soon as you start making decisions based on short-term fluctuations in the market, you take yourself out of a stable situation."

In the Netherlands, gas is selling for about $6.16 per gallon, which includes $3.10 in duty and 19 percent sales tax, said Jelle Wils, spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Wils said the government had held "heavy discussions" about tax cuts and other relief measures for consumers but decided not to interfere with market forces.

"We cannot do anything about these prices because they are market prices," Wils said.

But consumer anger is clearly growing. "It's extortion, " said Alan Pirrie, 54, an industrial cleaner who lives near Coventry and drives 100 miles to London and 100 miles home six days a week -- 1,200 miles a week.

Pirrie said it costs him almost $120 to fill the tank of his small Fiat van, and he has to fill up three times a week. "Of course they should cut the tax, but there's no chance," said Pirrie, who said he and other drivers expected prices to continue rising. "It's life."

The average gasoline price in Britain has risen 19 percent since January 2005. Many stations are charging well above the $6.48 national average; at least one in London's chic Chelsea neighborhood was charging nearly $8 a gallon last weekend.

"It's disgusting," said Elizabeth Jones, 50, a pharmacy assistant, who was pumping $40 worth of gas -- for half a tank -- into her little Ford Fiesta in a working-class neighborhood in west London.

Jones said she now takes the bus to the grocery store instead of driving. She and her husband sold their second car because they couldn't afford to fill two tanks.

Alan Skitt, driving a small Renault Kangaroo van in Poplar, a modest neighborhood in London's East End, called the price increases "awful." He blamed President Bush, contending that the Iraq war had contributed significantly to the volatility in the price of oil.

"It's mad, isn't it?" said Heidi Alley, who was driving her compact Ford in Poplar. She said 10 pounds -- about $18 -- worth of gasoline used to last her four days, but now lasts only three. "I've got to run round with the kids. Either you pay it or you're walking."

Brian noted; And just when you thought your government should come to your rescue, there is not as much incentive by the Governments of countries or states to find a solution as their incomes are largely derived from the fuel taxes??
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:50 AM   #47 (permalink)
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brian, nothing personal but i feel a lot of the pics/links you have posted to be innapropriate and border on bigoted.

the profit gained from the retail price of gasoline increases in the past 4 years have not been yielded by the arab states or iran or even papua nu guinea (one of the poorest states in the world and a significant oil producer). the price of crude oil on the commodity market is near irrelevant to the real world. its a good excuse for the retail and even wholesale pricing of petroleum products (not just gasoline but all petroleum products) to go up. yet i see jumps of 10% or more at the pump without a relative increas in the price of products that contain a large amount of petroleum based products inside them.

in short terms, the people who are making money off the supposed petroleum price increase are the wholesalers and retailers putting the price of the final wholesale and the retail products at a level that suits them. i will concede that a lot of the time the raw producers are the wholesale and retail providers tho. the real end benefit to the producers of crude is a lot lower then most people imagine, theyre not rolling in cash anymore then they have been since their first barrel of crude was loaded on to a ship x numbers of years ago.

seans investment tips: hit companies that are involved solely in the refinement, distribution of refined products, wholesale of petrochem 'byproducts', and the retailers of gasoline/diesel/lpg. they're the ones who are laughing their way to grand cayman.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:28 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Hi, Sean.
Thanks for bringing out some good points.
The price of crude oil in the world market is only one component that affects the actual retail price at the gas pump, and accounts for approximately 65% of the actual cost. The mark-ups that severely affect consumers are from the oil refineries and wholesalers of oil, gas and derivative products.
In fact, when one major Texas oil refinery was damaged by fire, gas prices suddenly went up (specially felt here in California), even when actual global oil prices at the time were stable.
This again happened when Hurricane Katrina struck, knocking down several facilities in the Gulf States.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:54 AM   #49 (permalink)
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As for fuel prices, autos/boats/yachts etc... You'll have to pay the price if you want to continue commuting daily to work & back, enjoy your toys on the water or for what other reasons... Either that or park/dock them...
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:02 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Or buy a sailboat.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:08 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Heck, even a bicycle, rubber raft w/ oars ofcourse or a bus pass
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Crude Oil Prices & Politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
brian, nothing personal but i feel a lot of the pics/links you have posted to be innapropriate and border on bigoted.
Sorry you feel that way. I do have have some strong opinions on this fuel and energy situation, and some VERY strong condemation of our shortsighted industralist and Congressmen. In the USA, we have let our 'maintained low fuel prices' lull us into non-action to address the future. Now all of a sudden we wake up to big fuel spikes and ask where are the farsighted technologies we should have been working on. I've said for years, "WAKE UP AMERICA"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
the profit gained from the retail price of gasoline increases in the past 4 years have not been yielded by the arab states or iran or even papua nu guinea (one of the poorest states in the world and a significant oil producer). the price of crude oil on the commodity market is near irrelevant to the real world......in short terms, the people who are making money off the supposed petroleum price increase are the wholesalers and retailers putting the price of the final wholesale and the retail products at a level that suits them.
I would strongly disagree with you there. The price of the 'crude oil barrel' is the price of the oil coming out of the ground, not the refined price. As this price goes up the country with that ground supply of crude benefits directly. Now granted the people of that country may not benefit do to various arrangements between the oil companies that developed the source and the 'powers-that-be' in those countries. In many, many situations the 'major' world oil companies are profiting not only on the refinement and distribution of the oil products, but sometimes very heavily on 'buying at a big discount' from the less developed nations and kicking back payments to a few political types. And even when they buy at a discount, you don't suppose they will use this figure in their accounting when the world price is higher.

Believe me those countries with oil in the ground have benefited greatly over this past year as barrel prices doubled....well maybe not 'all of the people' of those countries.

We have oil in the ground right her in this country that has been purposefully left there until the price of the crude barrel got much better. Why take it out when you know the price is only going up, way up!!

Refinery capacity. The oil companies claim that enviromentalist have kept them from building new refineries. Poppycock, they have purposefully refrained from building new refineries so as to keep the prices up via supply/demand. Hess oil even idled down a big refinery down in St Criox, then eventually sold it to Citgo, now owned by Venezuela.


Quote:
Originally Posted by marigo
I didn't realize Chavez was the poster child of the BBC...
I don't know that he is, but come June we are going to see some more fireworks between him and our President Bush. I won't be surprised to see Mr Chevez meet with an 'accidental death'. Just have a read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"
http://www.democracynow.org/article..../12/31/1546207
http://www.johnperkins.org/
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Ship Propulsion & Energy Supply/Management

And Sean, just to say that I'm not always so negative on subjects, but want to present some positive ideas, I'll include this posting I made on another forum....and it is boat related!!

Ship Propulsion & Energy Supply/Management

Looking for more efficient ship propulsion concepts is all well and good, but one should realize that modern commerical container ships are really pretty efficient with their super big slow turning diesels and hulls operating at or below hull speed. Fast navy ships are very likely not nearly as efficent. Some of the big diesels also burn relatively lowly refined fuels.

But in the scheme of things the total fuel burn by commerical ships is probably miniscule in comparision to our vehicle usage, and particularly that of the USA. If we really want to effect the conservation of our world's oil based energy supplies, this is the technology we really need to concentrate on in the short term. If we did nothing more than demand an increase of only 10% better fuel economy of our US vehicles, we could effect the supply-demand equation in a VERY substantial manner. And we could easily do this 10% without even decreasing the overall size of our vehicles....just decrease the cubic-inches a little.

It's unbelievable that our Congress had the balls to pat themselves on the back when they passed the "comprehensive energy bill" a short while ago, that included practically no conservation, and only minimal acknowledgement of alternative research. I've preached for years now that we should divert a very small percentage of our budget and brain power devoted to building WMD into a national effort like our moon space program and really attack this alternative fuel vehicle question. Not only would it work to conserve our world's petroleum resources, but would result in some significant number of new technologies that we could likely export around the world.

One big solution to our energy equation has to be 'storing energy'. We just don't have a lot of good storage capabilities, particularly as related to electrical energy. Many times we are forced to use as we generate it. Think of the possiblities if we could really efficiently store electrical energy. Our sun is a fantastic source of energy as it bombards us with it every day. But our collectors (solar cells) just don't have the capacity to give us the energy density we need to power up a lot of our energy consuming items. And we need better storage methods than our current crop of batteries.

I have always had an interest in 'super flyweels' as a storage method ever since I learned of their original development by Johns Hopkins Labs years ago doing my college days. Hopkins wanted to put BIG flywheels (at the time low-tech weighted wheels) in underground chambers at power plants and have the excess energy available at night from these plants spin up the wheels so they could be called upon the next day during peak periods rather than turning on a 'peaking turbine'. And I began to follow their re-development in the late 90's as several parties sought to re-invent them for auto use. I was real excided when Chrysler sought to enter La Mans with a flywheel powered car.

I still have a lot of old material stored away on this subject (before my computer days). But I believe if you simply 'google' "super flyweels" you will get a lot of info, for instance:

http://www.answers.com/topic/flywheel-energy-storage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage

http://www.n-t.ru/tpe/ts/hpu.htm

http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home5/PG01898441/flywheel.htm

http://www.inc.com/magazine/19980601/939.html

http://www.allpar.com/model/patriot.html

http://www.rqriley.com/sld010.htm
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:17 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Hi Brian
Thanks for the flash from the past. Flywheels for energy storage.I believe that they have potential in stationary installations. Power generating stations to smooth out supply makes sense.
TANSTAAFL rules. There are alternative fuels already available for mobile use. We have a company crew bus in Eastern Canada that has been running on methyl ester /diesel mix for over a year, works like a charm. Methyl esters are using rapeseed oil as a feedstock so infinitely renewable.Energy input costs to output is 1 to 3 so positive output.
Haven't looked in to it too much but apparently algal oil farms are in pre-production phase and could replace much of U.S. domestic petroleum requirements. Input to output in the 1 to 12 range.
I have asked for responses to the use of these fuels in marine engines, Cat and MTU, so far no response. Will advise.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:00 AM   #55 (permalink)
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"I wonder what the fuel cost in Europe are this summer??"

To answer this one, median price of all European Countries is now 1,32 euros per liter. Most expensive countries price is now 1,40 while most cheap one´s like Eastern part of the EU Countries it´s still the low level under 1 euro per liter (Estonia, Lithuanian, Poland etc.).

Western Europe mostly priced between 1,32 - 1,38 mostly like UK, German, France, Viking (Norway, Sweden, , Denmark, Finland).

Our local oil company just called the estimate of retailprice will soon head up to 1,40 with current price barrell level - so I suppose this is what we will get as summerprice. Certainly marinas allways charge a bit extra compared to car fuelstations.

One Gallon is 3,785 Liters > makes average price of 5,2 $ per gallon, if you convert this price to your submarine $ using days quota, then it makes

6,55 $ gallon
==========

Happy travelling someone could put it.

We might suffer hard fuelprice, but be aware we are buing US assets and perhaps US made boats soon - allready 30% discount for us or would be if we would not have an amazing commodities runaway, oil price is only one raw-material which heading up, there´s tons more, more aggressive one´s. Copper, Sink, Silver, Gold, Metals, Plastic, , Titanium, Aluminium just to mention few which prices rocketing far more that oil or gas itself.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:02 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Latest Fuel Prices

Thought it might be interesting to revive this older thread that started out talking about 2 dollar gas. The average for cars now in the USA is 3.25 per gal for regular, and climbing.

What is it at the marinas this Memorial Day weekend??

I'm still betting we will see $100/barrel crude this year when Israel bombs those Iranian nuclear facilities by the end of the year...certainly during Bush's presidency??
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:02 PM   #57 (permalink)
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I do believe that Vancouver has the sad distinction of having the most expensive gas in North America.
One liter Canadian is $1.29 or $4.89 US Gallon, this is for Regular gas.
Unfortunately my car and I would think most newer ones take premium, sailing it well over the $5.US a gallon mark.

It won't be long before you will be able to buy a SUV for a $1.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:48 PM   #58 (permalink)
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This is my solution;

www.apteramotors.com
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Old 05-29-2007, 04:01 AM   #59 (permalink)
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In Britain we are paying roughly £1 / $2 per litre £4/$8 gallon, with more increases on the cards.

I'm getting rid of the car and back to a motorbike!!!
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:18 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Potomac River Gas Prices

$4.19/gallon at Fort Washington (Proud Mary) Marina last week - will probably look like a bargain when this post is read again in a few years.
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