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From the NYT:

The price of the main U.S. benchmark crude oil plummeted by about $5 on Monday, or about 37 percent, to $11.42 a barrel, a level it hasn’t seen in about two decades.

This is not a new joke, but that’s a pretty good deal on barrels.

I am feeling antsy and want to go on a 1960s-style $0.29 per gallon road trip through a suddenly green yet sunny California.

 
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  1. The real world consequences of ultra easy fed money. Too much speculative money flowed in to oil shale, funding not even marginal projects, that flooded the market with money that will leave many wells depleted, over capacity in oil services and some spectacular debt defaults.

  2. Western Canadian Select $4.23/bbl. Too bad there’s nowhere to road trip.

  3. I sold 8 EPA approved barrels, empty, for $25 each, but I know a barrel in this case is just a measurement. Gas on the reservation, last week, 97 cents.

  4. Shush! Quiet! Governors will hear you and start putting roadblocks across any highways designated “scenic.” Or asking motorists to call in each others’ license plates.

  5. UK says:

    Just flew into a major international airport. The bars, Starbucks and restaurants were open. It was great. An added bonus was that there were obviously many fewer socially phobic panickey lock-in types. If everything else opened up and they all stayed at home, I might get to experience the West at its best and as it used to be – more space and more boldness.

    (I am not in a vulnerable group and can isolate if ill very easily. I will also not be in contact with anyone from a vulnerable group, so it is entirely my own risk – if you deign to call it that.)

  6. Crude is not exactly at $11/barrel. That was a price, briefly, for May WTI futures contracts. Those expire tomorrow and thus all the demand in future crude is about June. Its like being the noodle armed male feminist with a closet full of Hillary signage on The day after the election. Nobody wants to be that guy.

    • Agree: Hebrew National
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    FWIW, May WTI was below -$40 during the day ... if you could figure out how to take delivery of a thousand barrels and get it refined at a good price, you might just get that 29¢ per gallon road trip.
    , @Semperluctor
    June WTI is at about 21 / barrel, and Brent is at about 27 I think. Prices could still go lower, but minus $37.5 was, as you say, because of the roll from the May to the nearby June contract. Oil is making a bottom. But picking one’s bottom is bad manners and frowned upon. : )
  7. It’s funny because a few days ago there was Trump making big news about a “deal” he had struck with OPEC to limit production.

    I should know better by now, but he needs to not taken seriously.

    • Troll: James Braxton
  8. Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.
    , @FPD72
    Obviously, low oil prices are good for the national economy but prices this low are catastrophic for oil-producing regions. Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more. One bright spot for independent producers: many of them have long term contracts with buyers that are set at higher prices than today’s spot market. We’ll see how long those are honored.

    The present glut is the result of much lower demand coupled with Russian and Saudi high production levels. Russia’s production costs are not that low, so what they’re doing is the oil equivalent of dumping.

    We’ll see how Trump’s agreement with Russia and Saudi Arabia works out. Because demand is so low right now it’s going to take a while to burn through the present glut.

    My guess is that the only drilling taking place today is to hold on to leases that have already been paid for and that require rigs to be “spudded in” (drilling to be underway) before a certain date to hold on to the lease. Because the shale wells have a steeper decline gradient than conventional wells, I think we’ll see American oil production start to fall pretty fast.
    , @njguy73
    Depends on whether your economy depends on oil consumption or production. In 1986 a worldwide glut caused oil prices to be cut in half. Drivers were happy, but Texas's economy suffered majorly.
    , @Alexander Turok
    They're not.

    Trump got the idea that they are and now his cultists are mindlessly following him off another cliff.
    , @Whiskey
    Two reasons.

    1. Collapse in consumer demand under Stasi like house arrest.

    2. Crushing of domestic fracking which has high wage employment and supply security.

    Pretty simple.
    , @Hypnotoad666

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude, so low oil prices have to be good for the economy overall. Yet I always hear people say low oil is bad for the stock market. I think that has to be wrong also.

    Even if oil company stocks fall, lower gas prices mean more spending on everything else that other companies make and sell. It's always a net gain if we are a net importer.
    , @McFly
    Great for the economy, bad for powerful and politically connected oil companies.

    Many people think of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and resulting price spike as the end of the post-WWII good times.

    An unexpected oil price spike in the summer of 2007 was the first domino to fall in the 2008 recession that caused many struggling homeowners to default on their mortgages.
    , @Zpaladin
    It’s actually the reverse. A bad economy means low oil prices. And yes, low energy costs benefit everyone as long as price signals aren’t distorted too much.
    , @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    This time, it's a lagging indicator of other things which are catastrophically bad for the economy. Oil is cheap principally because people aren't buying gasoline (rather than, say, the discovery of a number of new deposits vastly increasing supply). People aren't buying gasoline because they're not going about their usual economic activities and are instead sequestered in their homes, not working (or, working but not being productive), and not buying anything other than groceries and other necessities.

    If oil was this cheap for reasons other than a lockdown, it would be great for the economy overall and for consumer spending.
    , @AnotherDad


    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    It's not. Cheap energy is one of the best things you can have. (For pretty much everyone except people making a living providing energy.)

    But when energy prices go down it's a sign that the economy is weaker. When they plummet it's a sign things have really tanked.
    , @James Speaks

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    Crude prices need to be high and stable to justify development of sources. New sources are expensive. Even old (Saudi, Texas, Alaska) fields are slowly becoming more expensive.

    Crude prices need to be really high to make the Ponzi scheme known as fracking to work.

    The number to look at is not cost per barrel priced in some fiat currency (cough cough) but the actual energy cost to extract a unit of energy from the ground. This number is called energy return in energy invested, EROEI. Read up on it, become informed, become concerned.
    , @James Speaks

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    Crude prices need to be high and stable to justify development of sources. New sources are expensive. Even old (Saudi, Texas, Alaska) fields are slowly becoming more expensive.

    Crude prices need to be really high to make the Ponzi scheme known as fracking to work.

    The number to look at is not cost per barrel priced in some fiat currency (cough cough) but the actual energy cost to extract a unit of energy from the ground. This number is called energy return in energy invested, EROEI. Read up on it, become informed, become concerned.
    , @Philip Owen
    Low oil prices will send growth in the EU, Japan, Turkey and India into the stratosphere. China and the UK will do OK.
    , @The Alarmist

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    It's bad for major and regional banks that extended huge amounts of credit to frackers, who can no longer even service the debt much less repay it. Sure, they offloaded enough of this debt on to greater fools, but they still hold enough to make a serious dent in the US banking system's balance sheet.

    If it's bad for the bankers, it must be bad for the economy, right? Why else would we keep bailing out banks?
  9. In 1986 the price of imported oil hit a low of $10.91, which would be $25.72 today. The cost of WTI got down to the $7 range, if I remember correctly from reading the Midland Reporter-Telegram back then, which would be $16.50 today.

    This was during a time in which the US number of operating drilling rigs dropped by 50%. The value of a rig was its value as scrap, minus the cost of tearing it apart. The joke in Midland was that if you opened a new account at the bank the bank gave you a new toaster or a drilling rig, your choice. They ran out of toasters. Another joke: a geologist applied for a job at McDonalds and was told, “Sorry, we’re only hiring geologists with masters degrees.”

    Well servicing rigs went as low as $25,000 at auction.

  10. What is the % split between oil delivered:
    — At the “spot” price, in this case $11.42?
    — Under a “contract” price?

    This historically low price reflects the temporary disruption causes by the WUHAN-19 Pandemic. Prices will increase in a few moths.

    PEACE 😷

  11. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Depends on whose economy.
     
    Exactly! When I was growing up in the UK gas was very expensive, mainly due to high sales taxes intended to prevent wastage and excessive overseas purchases that would affect the balance of payments and ultimately the value of the currency. So going anywhere was very expensive, and as teenagers we often hitch hiked.

    Much later North Sea oil was discovered, and everything changed.

    Now I live in Florida, where we do not produce any oil other than avocado oil, and low oil prices are a blessing, since nearly everyone in this states uses a personal vehicle for work and shopping, and cheaper oil means cheaper gasoline, which is like a tax cut for everyone.

    Not only that, but it should also reduce the cost of transporting goods from place to place, so we can send our orange juice to you more cheaply, and receive your apples more cheaply.

    So if you live in Florida, then it is three cheers for cheap oil.

    But if you live in Saudi Arabia, or Texas, then expensive oil brings prosperity to your state and provides lots of well paid jobs. If you live in Russia, international sales of oil pay for your health care. People in other places have to send you lots of money so that you can buy other things that you want.

    The economies of the all countries that we live in are a tottering house of cards.

    , @kaganovitch
    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.


    I hope you realize that reasons 1 and 2 are basically contradictory. Frackers are the sworn enemies of the Saudis who you claim control the GOP thru the mechanism of "citizens united" donations. Yet the GOP has been solidly behind fracking in every shape manner and form.
    , @Coemgen

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low.
     
    Why didn't Obama, not an "oil man," do the same?
    , @Mr. Anon

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.
     
    In other words, the Clinton/Gore administration promoted cheap and available global-warming juice, while the Republican administration that came after them did not.
    , @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1249422044564992001

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1249691642975727616
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House."

    Now that's a lie. This is a lie. The US was already out of the 1991 Recession by the late spring of 1992, and it was apparent by Election Day of 1992. Clinton benefited by an economy that was starting to chug along as it had been during the boom years of the 1980's.

    Remember: The first year of any presidential administration is the final year of the budget from the previous administration. In other words, 1993, was the last year of the Bush Administration's fiscal year, the US was following the passed budget from the last yr of his administration. Clinton's first fiscal year, his first budget which would dictate economic policy for the US economy didn't start until Oct. 1, 1993. So from the spring of 1992, all the way up to the end of September of 1993, it was still from a government standpoint, still the economy of George HW Bush. So then, if the economy was already getting better during 1992 thru three quarters of 1993, and was entering a boom time for the rest of the 1990's, then the bulk of the credit for starting the initial boom of the '90's belongs to George HW Bush. Also, 1990 and first quarter of 1991 were not bad awful breadline yrs either. They were quite well in fact.

    Thank you for seeing the oversight. Glad to have helped to correct the propaganda, worn out, tireless, and ad nauseam of decades and decades of "Democrats are the economic saviors of the country, while the GOP is the evil crony capitalist fascists, etc etc blah, blah, and blah."

  12. The price of gasoline in Oklahoma and California was once the same?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Doubtful

    I got to OK a lot in those days. Gas under a quarter a gallon was common. The lowest I ever saw was 18.9 cents/gallon.
  13. I hope these rock bottom prices continue long enough for the Saudis to go broke

    • Replies: @Federalist

    I hope these rock bottom prices continue long enough for the Saudis to go broke
     
    They won't. The Saudis are behind this. They'll destroy U.S. domestic production and later force prices up. It's classic dumping.
  14. I don’t know if you actually can buy a barrel of oil at that price, probably not, but if you could, it wouldn’t be a joke. It would be a good price on barrels. Then you’d just have to dump the oil out in a creek or something.

    Greenpeace would be in my backyard, wiping down all the ducks, I’d just be like: Whoever was steering that tanker should be fired.

  15. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Obviously, low oil prices are good for the national economy but prices this low are catastrophic for oil-producing regions. Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more. One bright spot for independent producers: many of them have long term contracts with buyers that are set at higher prices than today’s spot market. We’ll see how long those are honored.

    The present glut is the result of much lower demand coupled with Russian and Saudi high production levels. Russia’s production costs are not that low, so what they’re doing is the oil equivalent of dumping.

    We’ll see how Trump’s agreement with Russia and Saudi Arabia works out. Because demand is so low right now it’s going to take a while to burn through the present glut.

    My guess is that the only drilling taking place today is to hold on to leases that have already been paid for and that require rigs to be “spudded in” (drilling to be underway) before a certain date to hold on to the lease. Because the shale wells have a steeper decline gradient than conventional wells, I think we’ll see American oil production start to fall pretty fast.

    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    No the oil glut is not caused by either Russia or Saudi Arabia, they have restricted production, it is US shale that is massively overproducing, unsurprisingly OPEC+ have adopted the position they won't cut if the US doesn't.
    , @Alexander Turok

    Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more.
     
    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it "drain America first," which it did in fact do.
  16. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Depends on whether your economy depends on oil consumption or production. In 1986 a worldwide glut caused oil prices to be cut in half. Drivers were happy, but Texas’s economy suffered majorly.

  17. Oil that low is not itself a disaster, but it signifies one as demand had to drop precipitously to force the price that low. All that oil not being bought is a whole lot of production not being done, including (maybe especially) agricultural production.

    Not to mention all the driving not being done. That means people not going anywhere, which is a bad thing. Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems – standard psyop procedure. Time to get people moving again.

    Huh, maybe the price of oil can go to $0.00 – all it would take is the end of the Industrial revolution.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    They reported on the 6:30 PM ABC radio news that some oil was "less than zero dollars".
    , @Anonymous
    <<>>
    Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems – standard psyop procedure.
    <<>>

    By "four to six weeks of isolation," do you mean:

    A) Alcatraz-style solitary confinement (i.e. no contact with other people combined with no books/TV/radio and so forth).

    Or

    B) "Four to six weeks" confinement in a typical house or apartment with all the conveniences (TV/books/Internet) but no one going in or out

    ...is supposed to have negative psychological effects?

    I ask because I was led to understand that it is not necessarily the lack of human contact that is so psychologically traumatising in the former case, but rather, the lack of human contact *combined* with absolutely nothing in the way of distraction or entertainment that makes prison solitary so difficult.

    Is that right?
  18. This’ll kill a few state budgets. It’s was a nice little income stream for Montana that was immediately incorporated into spending, with health and human services growing the most.

    Towns like Williston and Sidney are going to have a lot of affordable housing, if anyone wants it.

  19. I’m roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It’s gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    That's not an inconsequential consideration, as I found when I made a three-hour drive recently.
    , @AnotherDad


    I’m roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It’s gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .
     
    There's plenty of places out West--even if you're someplace with no trees.
    , @theMann
    If you are driving alone, have a six-pack of Powerade handy. Once you drink a bottle out, pee back into it. (This is easy enough with practice.) When full, throw the bottle of piss at somebody with California plates.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Seth, depends on what you call the West. San Francisco is pretty far west and peeing in public and defecating in public is well received. Oh, but try to look homeless, or the new term"unhoused." Drive safely.
  20. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:

    You’ll be on lock-down until the price rises. Gas stations will go out of business along with transportation and there goes your food. Can’t afford to pay workers their salary and give the gas away. Cities and states especially California depend on a high price so they can collect their big share in taxes. All that road work the fed does is from gas taxes along with all of Europe’s great welfare systems. fill up before the gas station closes

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    Gas stations make their bird on beer, nips and cigarettes.
  21. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    Depends on whose economy.

    Exactly! When I was growing up in the UK gas was very expensive, mainly due to high sales taxes intended to prevent wastage and excessive overseas purchases that would affect the balance of payments and ultimately the value of the currency. So going anywhere was very expensive, and as teenagers we often hitch hiked.

    Much later North Sea oil was discovered, and everything changed.

    Now I live in Florida, where we do not produce any oil other than avocado oil, and low oil prices are a blessing, since nearly everyone in this states uses a personal vehicle for work and shopping, and cheaper oil means cheaper gasoline, which is like a tax cut for everyone.

    Not only that, but it should also reduce the cost of transporting goods from place to place, so we can send our orange juice to you more cheaply, and receive your apples more cheaply.

    So if you live in Florida, then it is three cheers for cheap oil.

    But if you live in Saudi Arabia, or Texas, then expensive oil brings prosperity to your state and provides lots of well paid jobs. If you live in Russia, international sales of oil pay for your health care. People in other places have to send you lots of money so that you can buy other things that you want.

    The economies of the all countries that we live in are a tottering house of cards.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim " socialism works," he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?
  22. want to go on a 1960s-style […] road trip

    I’d watch out, Steve. The CDC (Cheka for Disease Control) released a report stating that there are 239,457 Corona-deniers currently at large in America. It would be a shame if you got caught in the sweep.

    • Replies: @Hail
    We are past the peak of CoronaMania now, I can only assume, and there probably won't be mass arrests for Corona-related crimes such as driving somewhere not ESSENTIAL, declining to wear a mask, or Denying the Coronacaust.

    The commenter Achmed E. Newman has suggested this is the best time in living memory to hit the road for a long trip, but there's still a risk an out-of-state car would be harassed by Corona Enforcers, I'd think.


    Corona-deniers currently at large in America
     
    How many PhDs in epidemiology or closely related fields are there in the US? I wonder how many would qualify as CoronaDeniers.

    Better to pick off the little guys, though, like that guy California arrested, brought to jail, and humiliated for being at the beach without a doctor's note, or whatever it was.

  23. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    I hope you realize that reasons 1 and 2 are basically contradictory. Frackers are the sworn enemies of the Saudis who you claim control the GOP thru the mechanism of “citizens united” donations. Yet the GOP has been solidly behind fracking in every shape manner and form.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Frackers and Saudis may disagree, but the big oil companies have their fingers in both pies.

    Both frackers and Saudis benefit from high oil prices.
    , @JoaoAlfaiate
    "The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever."

    Really? I believe the oil depletion allowance was reduced from 27.5% to 22% in 1975 under Gerald Ford.
  24. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    They’re not.

    Trump got the idea that they are and now his cultists are mindlessly following him off another cliff.

    • Troll: Manfred Arcane
  25. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low.

    Why didn’t Obama, not an “oil man,” do the same?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Why didn’t Obama, not an “oil man,” do the same?
     
    Because Obama was lazy.
  26. In Reagan times the price of oil also dropped to below $20 and Texas oil business was hurting. VP Bush went to Saudi Arabia to lobby them to cut the oil production so the price would go up. Irrc, Dukakis did not use this in his campaign. I always wondered why? Would that be too populist? Texas would not vote for him anyway. Furthermore he could have argued that low prices were exactly what we wanted to hurt the Evil Empire.

  27. There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That’s a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone’s making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    • Replies: @Seedub
    "There are 42 gallons in a barrel."

    Actually, only about 20 gallons of gasoline can be extracted from a barrel of crude.

    , @FPD72
    There are a lot of stations in LA selling gasoline in the $2.40 range this morning.

    According to the Orange County Register, taxes and fees add 98 cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

    https://www.ocregister.com/2019/04/16/californias-gas-taxes-total-nearly-1-per-gallon-and-include-a-28-cent-mystery-surcharge/

    Other things to consider:

    Depending on the oil, a barrel yields 24 to 28 gallons of gasoline. The rest goes to a number of other uses, with some loss.

    Many refineries have long term contracts with producers, with set prices, to give price assurances to both buyers and sellers.

    Some refinery costs are fixed, others are variable. When sells are lower, as they are today, fixed costs per gallon go up. When sells fall this much, even variable costs per gallon go up as well.

    California gasoline must meet various federal and state EPA requirements for oxygenation and other environment related ingredients. While the price of oil is crashing, ethanol’s price is not.
    , @Lars Porsena
    Mostly the government.

    Buffalo Joe says he got a gallon of gas on the reservation (no tax!) for $0.97, so in LA you are paying $2.28 per gallon in county, state and federal taxes. Over 200% tax.
    , @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)
    , @Hail
    How fast do end-user ("at the pump") prices adjust in cases like this?

    I can only imagine there is some mechanism whereby they go by projected prices over a period of weeks/months, and not up-to-the-minute-updated barrel prices, during price surges and troughs. If prices don't fall to reflect the fall in cost-per-barrel, it would mean the market thinks prices will rebound soon. Or what?

  28. @Seth Largo
    I'm roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It's gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    That’s not an inconsequential consideration, as I found when I made a three-hour drive recently.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    That could be a challenge even in a fully functional NYC. Your wife might not be so flexible, but out on the open road men can go pretty much anywhere in a pinch, al fresco, just don't tumble down a ravine like I almost did once.
  29. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Two reasons.

    1. Collapse in consumer demand under Stasi like house arrest.

    2. Crushing of domestic fracking which has high wage employment and supply security.

    Pretty simple.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok

    1. Collapse in consumer demand under Stasi like house arrest.

     

    This is a cause of low oil prices and not an effect. We're looking for negative effects. You guys remind me of the guys at my high school who thought not being able to smoke weed was fascism.

    Crushing of domestic fracking which has high wage employment and supply security.

     

    It's quite easy to generate jobs: just destroy labor-saving machinery.
  30. Right now I’d be happy to take a real road trip even at $29 per gallon.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Heb, make day trips. My wife and I drove to Geneseo NY to visit the Abbey of the Genesee, home to the Trappist Monks of Monk's Bread fame. Today to the Iroquois National Game Refuge to see the Bald Eagles, Ospreys and two Artic (Tundra) swans. Next up a trip through Amish country and back along Lake Ontario. Just can't stay over night. Stay safe.
  31. Even in high-fuel-price UK, it’s looking cheap, and heating oil too. Trouble is

    a) it’s getting warmer
    b) there’s nowhere to go. We last filled up 300 miles from home, as lockdown started during our holiday, and we’ve still got a quarter of a tank left. A trip to the local supermarket twice a week doesn’t use much fuel.

  32. @Harry Baldwin
    That's not an inconsequential consideration, as I found when I made a three-hour drive recently.

    That could be a challenge even in a fully functional NYC. Your wife might not be so flexible, but out on the open road men can go pretty much anywhere in a pinch, al fresco, just don’t tumble down a ravine like I almost did once.

  33. Extreme low oil prices are very bad for alternative energy.

    If I have it right, California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas. If I have it right that is the issue with high Cali fuel prices.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas.
     
    Correct, but there is also a federal standard for military and other uses.

    The CA governor has the authority to permit importation and sale of "federal standard" gasoline by executive order. Of course, Gruesome will never sign such an order because his friends in the refining business pay him not to.
    , @danand
    The Martinez refinery, a few dozens miles North of Silicon Valley, went idle this past weekend; to “support” California gasoline prices.

    “Weak refining margins resulting from poor demand has US West Coast refiners further paring back runs, with Marathon temporarily idling its 161,500 b/d Martinez, California, refinery as stay-at-home orders remain in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The run cuts are paying off, with better margins for all USWC refiners, and will also allow Marathon to reap the benefit of its closure of Martinez with better economics for its 363,000 b/d Los Angeles, California, facility.”
     
    Steve’s cheap hydrocarboned trip may have to be put on hold?

    George, USWC (United States West Coast) CARBOB (California Air Resources Board before Oxygenate Blending) is the standard grade of gasoline supplied to the California market.

    Oxygenate Blending, is fancy for mixing in a splash (~10%) of corn based ethanol.
  34. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude, so low oil prices have to be good for the economy overall. Yet I always hear people say low oil is bad for the stock market. I think that has to be wrong also.

    Even if oil company stocks fall, lower gas prices mean more spending on everything else that other companies make and sell. It’s always a net gain if we are a net importer.

    • Replies: @Lot
    “ The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude”

    Not any more.
    , @travelle lyte
    "everything else that other companies make and sell"

    But they ain't. They're/will be shut down too. What to do with money? Maybe as kindling for survival campfires.
  35. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Great for the economy, bad for powerful and politically connected oil companies.

    Many people think of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and resulting price spike as the end of the post-WWII good times.

    An unexpected oil price spike in the summer of 2007 was the first domino to fall in the 2008 recession that caused many struggling homeowners to default on their mortgages.

  36. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    In other words, the Clinton/Gore administration promoted cheap and available global-warming juice, while the Republican administration that came after them did not.

  37. @kaganovitch
    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.


    I hope you realize that reasons 1 and 2 are basically contradictory. Frackers are the sworn enemies of the Saudis who you claim control the GOP thru the mechanism of "citizens united" donations. Yet the GOP has been solidly behind fracking in every shape manner and form.

    Frackers and Saudis may disagree, but the big oil companies have their fingers in both pies.

    Both frackers and Saudis benefit from high oil prices.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

  38. @Hypnotoad666
    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that's 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That's a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone's making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    “There are 42 gallons in a barrel.”

    Actually, only about 20 gallons of gasoline can be extracted from a barrel of crude.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Right, the rest is diesel and jet fuel, lubricants, bunker oil, and finally tar and asphalt ingredients. Nothing is wasted.

    At one time, economically speaking gasoline was the primary product and others were byproduct: now diesel and jet fuels are the main product. Automotive gas is now the cheapest combustible grade of petroleum.

    Cheap gasoline is a curse, and is profoundly unsustainable. When gas is cheap any and all efforts to put in alternate fuel infrastructure are immediately abandoned and even aggressively destroyed. Then prices spike and very slowly the old plans are reviewed and after “new necessary research” state and local fleets and then some commercial fleets slowly build out. By then, gasoline and diesel are well off peak and people get cold feet.

    Under Obama we had $4/ gallon gas for a while. We were seeing real progress towards a CNG infrastructure buildout when prices plunged and it was immediately abandoned. Ford and Honda had a good selection of CNG factory vehicles. They vanished in two model years.

    When this glut is over- the higher cost oil producers and gas wells off convenient pipeline access capped-I expect light sweet crude to spike again and another round of $4 to $6 a gallon gasoline and maybe $7 diesel. Of course we won’t have learned a damn thing.

    A smart volkish state would put in a price floor- a high minimum price for oil derived gasoline and diesel- with a long enough guaranteed time that infrastructure for CNG/LNG vehicles, or building a coal to motor fuels plant, would pay off.

    The other big obstacle to any change in automotive propulsion is the stealerships. Musk was right that he had to be able to sell direct. State dealership model protection laws should be killed the same way the 21 drinking age was rammed up states’ asses-do it or no highway funds for you.
  39. Anonymous[760] • Disclaimer says:

    Apparently, there exists a very strong correlation – during the 20th century at least – between the ‘real’ price of crude oil per barrel in inflation adjusted terms, and the global rate of GDP growth, an inverse relation pertaining between oil price and economic growth.
    This message effect is said, by some, to have more explanatory power than anything else known in ‘economics’. Which itself is purely a logical deduction in that the general rise in living standards of the last century is more or less wholly explicable to the substitution of human and animal power by machine power.

    The upshot is that the carnage wreaked upon the world economy by Covid 19 might be of brief duration.

  40. 29¢– really, $0.299– in 1969 would be more than $2 today. It’s cheaper now.

    With a generous coupon, we filled up yesterday for under a buck a gallon. We had to buy two pizzas to qualify though. One was chicken Alfredo.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    With a generous coupon, we filled up yesterday for under a buck a gallon.
     
    In New Jersey this would be illegal. In addition to not be allowed to put our own gas, you can't give incentives such as this to sell gasoline. Back when gas stations used to give away jelly jars and various other tchotchkes the television ad would always make a point of saying that the offer was not available in New Jersey.
  41. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    It’s actually the reverse. A bad economy means low oil prices. And yes, low energy costs benefit everyone as long as price signals aren’t distorted too much.

  42. @Hypnotoad666
    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that's 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That's a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone's making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    There are a lot of stations in LA selling gasoline in the $2.40 range this morning.

    According to the Orange County Register, taxes and fees add 98 cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

    https://www.ocregister.com/2019/04/16/californias-gas-taxes-total-nearly-1-per-gallon-and-include-a-28-cent-mystery-surcharge/

    Other things to consider:

    Depending on the oil, a barrel yields 24 to 28 gallons of gasoline. The rest goes to a number of other uses, with some loss.

    Many refineries have long term contracts with producers, with set prices, to give price assurances to both buyers and sellers.

    Some refinery costs are fixed, others are variable. When sells are lower, as they are today, fixed costs per gallon go up. When sells fall this much, even variable costs per gallon go up as well.

    California gasoline must meet various federal and state EPA requirements for oxygenation and other environment related ingredients. While the price of oil is crashing, ethanol’s price is not.

  43. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    This time, it’s a lagging indicator of other things which are catastrophically bad for the economy. Oil is cheap principally because people aren’t buying gasoline (rather than, say, the discovery of a number of new deposits vastly increasing supply). People aren’t buying gasoline because they’re not going about their usual economic activities and are instead sequestered in their homes, not working (or, working but not being productive), and not buying anything other than groceries and other necessities.

    If oil was this cheap for reasons other than a lockdown, it would be great for the economy overall and for consumer spending.

  44. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    It’s not. Cheap energy is one of the best things you can have. (For pretty much everyone except people making a living providing energy.)

    But when energy prices go down it’s a sign that the economy is weaker. When they plummet it’s a sign things have really tanked.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It’s not. Cheap energy is one of the best things you can have. (For pretty much everyone except people making a living providing energy.)
     
    It’s actually bad, AnotherDad. Because the apparent cost doesn’t take into account externalities. Pollution is an important one, but it is dwarfed by another. The biggest hidden cost by far is the faster depletion of a vital—and non-renewable—resource
  45. @Hypnotoad666
    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that's 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That's a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone's making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    Mostly the government.

    Buffalo Joe says he got a gallon of gas on the reservation (no tax!) for $0.97, so in LA you are paying $2.28 per gallon in county, state and federal taxes. Over 200% tax.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    That would be 135%, not over 200%. Also, gas taxes are generally calculated on a per gallon basis, not as a percentage.

    Between state and federal taxes, NJ pays 59.8¢/gal. This is in the top 10 nationally, but still less than NY, CT, and PA, which is why they barely get away with it. It used to be much lower.
  46. @Paleo Liberal
    Frackers and Saudis may disagree, but the big oil companies have their fingers in both pies.

    Both frackers and Saudis benefit from high oil prices.

    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land — to the tune of 600 acres in this case — to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    • Agree: Louis Renault, SOL
    • Thanks: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @gabriel alberton

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.
     
    And what that meant? For me, from what you wrote, it meant a couple of GAY MEN (NB: not to be confused with puny lowercase ordinary gay men) got a pretty good deal. Is their cheese any good?

    Best of luck with your trip, Sailer.

    , @onetwothree
    What does it mean? Shit happens? That just because you own a farm you are not guaranteed eternal profits on whatever it is you're selling? That someone else is--in fact--available to make better use of the land?
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm."

    The juxtaposition of gay men and cheese upsets my tummy.
    , @ScarletNumber
    Perhaps they are Log Cabin Republicans.
    , @danand

    “You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year.”
     
    Mr. Mohawk, I am all for supporting hardworking farmers when they need help. “Butter” definitely comes first. I’d rather we pay for and throw out half what is grown; than risk national starvation.

    https://youtu.be/3V9c4JvPRyQ
  47. @Seth Largo
    I'm roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It's gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    I’m roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It’s gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    There’s plenty of places out West–even if you’re someplace with no trees.

    • Replies: @fish

    There’s plenty of places out West–even if you’re someplace with no trees.
     
    As someone who did some remote geophysics work in the Nevada desert for a time I have two words....military shovel. Urination....we're men....the whole world is our urinal.
  48. And here’s the song to take you there on 29 cents per gallon.

  49. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    And what that meant? For me, from what you wrote, it meant a couple of GAY MEN (NB: not to be confused with puny lowercase ordinary gay men) got a pretty good deal. Is their cheese any good?

    Best of luck with your trip, Sailer.

  50. @Hypnotoad666

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude, so low oil prices have to be good for the economy overall. Yet I always hear people say low oil is bad for the stock market. I think that has to be wrong also.

    Even if oil company stocks fall, lower gas prices mean more spending on everything else that other companies make and sell. It's always a net gain if we are a net importer.

    “ The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude”

    Not any more.

  51. @Hypnotoad666
    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that's 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That's a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone's making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That’s quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam’s Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that–or one of–the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I’ve always been “cheap”, but i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I’m not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    State to state differences in gasoline prices is primarily due to differences in state sales taxes on gasoline. Occassionally, stupid mandates requiring percentages of ethanol or other such materials leads to shortages in particular states.
    , @Colin Wright
    '...I’ve always been “cheap”, but i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I’m not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)'

    Well, the economics can depend on the lines and the price differential.

    When we lived in California, Costco gas was cheaper -- but the lines were formidable.

    One day while sitting there I worked out that this made sense -- if I valued my time at $4.00 an hour or something.
    , @James B. Shearer
    "... but i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market ..."

    I was buying gas at an California I5 exit with several gas stations a few years ago. I don't remember the exact prices but it was something like a few stations at about $2.40 a gallon and a few at about $3.20 a gallon. For just a moment I thought $3.2o was the better price because I was used to just looking at the last two digits and I wasn't used to $.80 price gaps between adjacent stations. I soon figured out that $2.40 is in fact less than $3.20 but I suspect some of people buying gas at the expensive stations (which were doing business) were under the delusion that they were paying $.20 cents less and not $.80 cents more. And I suspect the higher priced stations were counting on this.
    , @hhsiii
    On the east side of Hampton Bays, NY on Long Island gas is $2.55 regular, cash or debit card price. Credit card 10 cents more. About 3 miles to the west end of town, gas is $2.20 a gallon cash price. When there's traffic not always worth the drive, but right now it's fairly easy.
    , @ScarletNumber

    i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market.
     
    Isn't your time worth anything? In New Jersey one doesn't need to be a member of Costco in order to fill up there, and I refuse just to avoid the hordes.

    I’ve always been “cheap”
     
    Ahh, now I see. At least you are honest and don't call yourself frugal.

    Every June/July there is a fair held in the parking lot of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Early in the fair one of the days is designated Half Price Day. That's a day I would never go because every savage from 50 miles around goes that day.

    In a similar vein, never go to the Bronx Zoo on Free Admission Day.
  52. I can see the Sailer’s cruisin’ down the 101, stopping at roadside motels in their convertible ’63 Pontiac Catalina…er… 2007 Japanese econobox, now… And oh, wait, the motels aren’t open, and oh wait, with your health issues, you will be eating nuts and berries from Whole Foods, not Chicken fried steaks from Bob’s Truckstop…

    Dude, your posts have kinda killed the romance for me.

  53. @Jonathan Mason

    Depends on whose economy.
     
    Exactly! When I was growing up in the UK gas was very expensive, mainly due to high sales taxes intended to prevent wastage and excessive overseas purchases that would affect the balance of payments and ultimately the value of the currency. So going anywhere was very expensive, and as teenagers we often hitch hiked.

    Much later North Sea oil was discovered, and everything changed.

    Now I live in Florida, where we do not produce any oil other than avocado oil, and low oil prices are a blessing, since nearly everyone in this states uses a personal vehicle for work and shopping, and cheaper oil means cheaper gasoline, which is like a tax cut for everyone.

    Not only that, but it should also reduce the cost of transporting goods from place to place, so we can send our orange juice to you more cheaply, and receive your apples more cheaply.

    So if you live in Florida, then it is three cheers for cheap oil.

    But if you live in Saudi Arabia, or Texas, then expensive oil brings prosperity to your state and provides lots of well paid jobs. If you live in Russia, international sales of oil pay for your health care. People in other places have to send you lots of money so that you can buy other things that you want.

    The economies of the all countries that we live in are a tottering house of cards.

    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim ” socialism works,” he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?
     
    That is the problem in most oil producing countries, for example the government budget of Russia and Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries and emirates, not to mention Mexico and Venezuela, depends largely on oil.

    Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969, without which the UK would really have been up shit creek without a paddle in the oil embargo of 1973-74 and the ensuing years which saw a new age of oil exploration.
    , @obwandiyag
    Cuba has no oil and is a great success story. (And don't tell me any different. I know more than you. And don't tell me Venezuela funds them. They were a success way before Venezuela found Chavez, and already a success enough to be sending selfless doctors around the world to help people for free. Exactly like the United States.)

    England has oil and is a shithole (except for the wealth of the international compradore bourgeoisie who simply reside there while maintaining official residences in tax havens around the world).
    , @(((They))) Live
    Norway is a country that won the lottery and wisely invested in the future, the UK found oil in the North Sea too but they used the wind fall in a different way, of course it was easier for Norway because their population is much smaller than the UK, AFAIK the low prices won't be too bad for Norway, they have a large sovereign wealth fund to draw on

    Nordic style "socialism" can't really work in a multicultural society IMO, the Bernie Bros will have to come up with some new ideas
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim ” socialism works,” he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories.

     

    These are capitalist countries, with higher taxes on the upper middle class. Rich people don't pay any tax, because they live in Monaco most of the year.

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

     

    That may be true for Norway, but I think it is much less so for Denmark. And not at all for Sweden, Finland, or Germany. Finland gets money from trees, and Denmark from cows, but mostly it's hard work and smart investment.
  54. @Seth Largo
    I'm roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It's gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    If you are driving alone, have a six-pack of Powerade handy. Once you drink a bottle out, pee back into it. (This is easy enough with practice.) When full, throw the bottle of piss at somebody with California plates.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    Trailer Park Boys - Bubbles explains piss jugs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0u6Lb6RCz4
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Good idea. Just don't get the yellow Powerade or you might get confused which is which later on.
  55. @Seth Largo
    I'm roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It's gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .

    Seth, depends on what you call the West. San Francisco is pretty far west and peeing in public and defecating in public is well received. Oh, but try to look homeless, or the new term”unhoused.” Drive safely.

    • LOL: kaganovitch
  56. @Hypnotoad666

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    The U.S. is still a big net importer of crude, so low oil prices have to be good for the economy overall. Yet I always hear people say low oil is bad for the stock market. I think that has to be wrong also.

    Even if oil company stocks fall, lower gas prices mean more spending on everything else that other companies make and sell. It's always a net gain if we are a net importer.

    “everything else that other companies make and sell”

    But they ain’t. They’re/will be shut down too. What to do with money? Maybe as kindling for survival campfires.

  57. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    Genius! Wouldn't want to have super-cheap gas while lots of people are out of work and family budgets squeezed.
  58. Very low oil prices may be good overall, but it’s terrible for the domestic oil and gas industry. Fracking gets all of the attention, but also offshore oil and gas exploration and production provides huge numbers of good paying jobs mostly to actual Americans, rather than a motley crew of third-worlders.

    Besides those directly working offshore, there are numerous businesses of all sizes that support the industry, including areas that are not as obvious like aviation (helicopters service offshore rigs). With most American manufacturing having been offshored to places like China, the oil and gas industry still has jobs, worked mostly by men, that allow a man to work hard and support a family.

    Cheering very low oil prices could turn out like manufacturing everything in China and other sweatshop nations. Hey, look at all the cheap shit we can buy now! What could go wrong?

  59. @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim " socialism works," he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    That is the problem in most oil producing countries, for example the government budget of Russia and Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries and emirates, not to mention Mexico and Venezuela, depends largely on oil.

    Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969, without which the UK would really have been up shit creek without a paddle in the oil embargo of 1973-74 and the ensuing years which saw a new age of oil exploration.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969"

    In 1969 a working Brit male on median income could afford to buy a house and have a wife at home looking after the kids. In what sense have we, as a nation, become more affluent? I know shiny Chinese electronics are very cheap but that does not affluence make.
  60. The price given above, $11.42, is for May barrels and reflects the current supply/demand situation. But the December contract, for example, is currently trading at around $33.50/barrel.

  61. @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim " socialism works," he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    Cuba has no oil and is a great success story. (And don’t tell me any different. I know more than you. And don’t tell me Venezuela funds them. They were a success way before Venezuela found Chavez, and already a success enough to be sending selfless doctors around the world to help people for free. Exactly like the United States.)

    England has oil and is a shithole (except for the wealth of the international compradore bourgeoisie who simply reside there while maintaining official residences in tax havens around the world).

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    obie, Oh, ok, I won't tell you any different, but my very liberal cousin's trip to Cuba, from Toronto, showed him what a shit hole Cuba is, but you know more than me. And I still want you to be safe, but less acerbic.
    , @FPD72
    Are you being sarcastic or just very gullible? I spent eleven days in Cuba in 2013. I lived and ate with Cubans — no hotels or foreign-serving restaurants. I spent two days near rural Pinar del Rio going door-to-door with a doctor, who could write prescriptions but knew that many would not be filled. Our group brought insulin over with us because there was a person in a church who would die without it; there was none available for him for local services.

    Hugo Chavez died while we were there. I saw the “voluntary” demonstration of mourning, accompanied by machine gun wielding soldiers.

    I met families in the most abject poverty imaginable. People stood in line every month to get their monthly food ration. Children older than six were no longer permitted milk. Two year olds urinating in the dirt just outside their one room huts because they had no diapers. Buildings are rotting and collapsing. The esplanade from the capital building to the harbor, once referred to as the Paris of the Caribbean, was lined with buildings with collapsed roofs and balconies.

    I saw numerous young women on the streets of Havana who gave every indication that they were prostitutes, plying their trade with tourists.

    It wasn’t all horrible; some freedoms were being restored. The church leaders I met with were able to minister without significant interference from the government, as long as they stayed away from political issues. Everyone I saw seemed to have sufficient calories, although there were indications of poor nutrition. I was met with warm hospitality at every home I visited, whether by Christians active in the local church or by atheists.
    , @Patricus
    Yeah Cuba is quite a success. Average family incomes of $20 per month provides the good life in spades. Health care is free but remember to bring your own sheets, food, bandages, syringes, and drugs. It's a tropical paradise where people go hungry on the limited imported food. The government rents out selfless doctors then keeps 95% of their pay.

    There might be a few places in Africa that are worse. Haiti is a close match. One advantage is there are few fat people. No one dies from gluttony. On the down side hunger is a bitch.
  62. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    What does it mean? Shit happens? That just because you own a farm you are not guaranteed eternal profits on whatever it is you’re selling? That someone else is–in fact–available to make better use of the land?

  63. @kaganovitch
    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.


    I hope you realize that reasons 1 and 2 are basically contradictory. Frackers are the sworn enemies of the Saudis who you claim control the GOP thru the mechanism of "citizens united" donations. Yet the GOP has been solidly behind fracking in every shape manner and form.

    “The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.”

    Really? I believe the oil depletion allowance was reduced from 27.5% to 22% in 1975 under Gerald Ford.

    • LOL: Lot
  64. @AnotherDad


    I’m roadtripping from the plains to SoCal next week. It’s gonna be interesting to find places to go to the bathroom . . .
     
    There's plenty of places out West--even if you're someplace with no trees.

    There’s plenty of places out West–even if you’re someplace with no trees.

    As someone who did some remote geophysics work in the Nevada desert for a time I have two words….military shovel. Urination….we’re men….the whole world is our urinal.

  65. This morning, May crude is fluctuating between $0.10 and $0.25 per bbl.

    Oops! Canadian crude is negative, -$1.43/bbl. NEGATIVE!!!

  66. I am feeling antsy and want to go on a 1960s-style $0.29 per gallon road trip through a suddenly green yet sunny California.

    Had the same thought.

    My son is flying in to visit in a couple of days and this is one of the suggestions i’ve been meaning to pitch to him. You’re young and you can afford it. Pull together some friends and hit the road this summer. As long as you are mostly camping and seeing stuff out in the wild … this is a *great* time to go–cheap gas, less crowded.

  67. The price of the main U.S. benchmark crude oil plummeted by about $5 on Monday, or about 37 percent, to $11.42 a barrel, a level it hasn’t seen in about two decades. in about two decades.”

    But have you looked lately, like in the last few minutes:

    0733D9E9-1F4E-4F32-8CE1-80D6B2D20811

    Jeb’s not a millionaire anymore, that is, unless he shorted crude within the last few hours.

    • Replies: @Lot
    42 cents a barrel is highway robbery, I’d never pay that much. The current May delivery WTI price of -$6.70 is more than fair.
  68. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1249422044564992001

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1249691642975727616

    Genius! Wouldn’t want to have super-cheap gas while lots of people are out of work and family budgets squeezed.

  69. Keep your eyes on natural gas, something special that we dummies here in America OWN. Our “American” companies are free to sell it to the world. There is no such thing as national or strategic energy. It is all global business.

    What you pay for natural gas, which comes from the American ground upon which you live, is beyond your influence. It is, rather, a result of a globalist, world market. Because “your” government does not represent you.

    But, remember, don’t say anything not nice about China. Rather, just “separate” yourself from it. Stop trading with it, prole. You know you can do that, right? Just stop insulting China and the dear Chinese people.

    If you use natural gas to heat your house, or to cook, or whatever, you know it is better, cheaper, cleaner, more American than oil. (I converted our present house to it, from oil brought in a truck, in 2013.) But do you know that you have no control over it, even though it is an “American” energy resource? Nor does “your” so-called-government do anything-whatsoever to protect it for you, dear American Citizen — even though it is a distinctly American resource?

    I think I’m ready to take a great, American road trip, another one of the many I have already taken!

  70. @danand

    The price of the main U.S. benchmark crude oil plummeted by about $5 on Monday, or about 37 percent, to $11.42 a barrel, a level it hasn’t seen in about two decades. in about two decades.”
     
    But have you looked lately, like in the last few minutes:

    https://flic.kr/p/2iStQmi

    Jeb’s not a millionaire anymore, that is, unless he shorted crude within the last few hours.

    42 cents a barrel is highway robbery, I’d never pay that much. The current May delivery WTI price of -$6.70 is more than fair.

    • LOL: Hibernian
  71. $11.42 per barrel? Oh my:

    As of 2:30 PM EST the price hit NEGATIVE $40.

    Here’s why:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oils-may-contract-skids-about-20-at-nadir-as-crudes-woes-continue-2020-04-19?mod=home-page

    The huge drop in the nearby contract reflects traders scrambling to exit long positions that would require them to take physical delivery of crude amid dwindling storage space. It also reflects a convergence with the physical spot price for oil.

    “The collapse…is mostly a reflection of traders rolling contracts to June as no one wants to take delivery because storage capacity is getting close to being reached,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    There is no storage capacity left in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for NYMEX crude. Nor is there any pipeline capacity left to ship crude to some other place in the US that might still have some storage. Evidently, there is no longer any way to ship it to the Gulf Coast where it could be stored in ships floating offshore.

    Bear in mind, this applies only to crude oil delivered in May (effectively, the current month).

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.
    , @epebble
    Can't the U.S. government take all the oil there is and fill the reserve and receive money for that? Is there not some technology that can pump oil back into the ground (may be for later retrieval)? $40 a barrel sounds like good money to pump into empty oil sand beds underground.
  72. “road trip”

    I’ve been thinking about driving down to LA to visit my friends since business has mostly come to a halt. However, greasy Gavin has set up checkpoints and my friends won’t let me into their homes. They all have backyards, which means I could stand out there, in the shadows, and watch them through the windows. But then there’s the checkpoint problem.

    • Replies: @anon
    lol

    Buy a can of spam and just show it them with the receipt and say were shopping.
  73. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    “A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm.”

    The juxtaposition of gay men and cheese upsets my tummy.

    • LOL: fish
  74. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Crude prices need to be high and stable to justify development of sources. New sources are expensive. Even old (Saudi, Texas, Alaska) fields are slowly becoming more expensive.

    Crude prices need to be really high to make the Ponzi scheme known as fracking to work.

    The number to look at is not cost per barrel priced in some fiat currency (cough cough) but the actual energy cost to extract a unit of energy from the ground. This number is called energy return in energy invested, EROEI. Read up on it, become informed, become concerned.

    • Agree: SOL
  75. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Crude prices need to be high and stable to justify development of sources. New sources are expensive. Even old (Saudi, Texas, Alaska) fields are slowly becoming more expensive.

    Crude prices need to be really high to make the Ponzi scheme known as fracking to work.

    The number to look at is not cost per barrel priced in some fiat currency (cough cough) but the actual energy cost to extract a unit of energy from the ground. This number is called energy return in energy invested, EROEI. Read up on it, become informed, become concerned.

  76. @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    State to state differences in gasoline prices is primarily due to differences in state sales taxes on gasoline. Occassionally, stupid mandates requiring percentages of ethanol or other such materials leads to shortages in particular states.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    Yes prices you usually go up starting about now through May because the refineries have to switch over different blends for the summer in certain parts of the country. Even if the economy is reopened soon, the uncertainty will likely cause a lot of families to cancel summer vacation plans anyway. Gas prices should be low the rest of the year.
  77. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    $11.42 per barrel? Oh my:

    As of 2:30 PM EST the price hit NEGATIVE $40.

    Here’s why:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oils-may-contract-skids-about-20-at-nadir-as-crudes-woes-continue-2020-04-19?mod=home-page


    The huge drop in the nearby contract reflects traders scrambling to exit long positions that would require them to take physical delivery of crude amid dwindling storage space. It also reflects a convergence with the physical spot price for oil.

    “The collapse...is mostly a reflection of traders rolling contracts to June as no one wants to take delivery because storage capacity is getting close to being reached,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
     

    There is no storage capacity left in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for NYMEX crude. Nor is there any pipeline capacity left to ship crude to some other place in the US that might still have some storage. Evidently, there is no longer any way to ship it to the Gulf Coast where it could be stored in ships floating offshore.

    Bear in mind, this applies only to crude oil delivered in May (effectively, the current month).

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.
     
    Correct. Incidentally, where’s commenter slumber_j ?
  78. Hail says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666
    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that's 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.

    That's a 1,140% mark up from the raw material.

    Obviously, there is refining, transportation, and overhead to take into account. But still, that leaves a ton of room for oil company profits and government taxes. Someone's making a lot of money between the well head and the gas pump.

    How fast do end-user (“at the pump”) prices adjust in cases like this?

    I can only imagine there is some mechanism whereby they go by projected prices over a period of weeks/months, and not up-to-the-minute-updated barrel prices, during price surges and troughs. If prices don’t fall to reflect the fall in cost-per-barrel, it would mean the market thinks prices will rebound soon. Or what?

  79. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    $11.42 per barrel? Oh my:

    As of 2:30 PM EST the price hit NEGATIVE $40.

    Here’s why:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-oils-may-contract-skids-about-20-at-nadir-as-crudes-woes-continue-2020-04-19?mod=home-page


    The huge drop in the nearby contract reflects traders scrambling to exit long positions that would require them to take physical delivery of crude amid dwindling storage space. It also reflects a convergence with the physical spot price for oil.

    “The collapse...is mostly a reflection of traders rolling contracts to June as no one wants to take delivery because storage capacity is getting close to being reached,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
     

    Can’t the U.S. government take all the oil there is and fill the reserve and receive money for that? Is there not some technology that can pump oil back into the ground (may be for later retrieval)? $40 a barrel sounds like good money to pump into empty oil sand beds underground.

    • LOL: SOL
  80. anon[157] • Disclaimer says:

    The US is the worlds largest producer of petroleum and it is a major industry.

    The US imports a lot of heavy crude and earns a lot refining it. It also exports a lot of light crude as well as liquids like propane. It is more or less in trade balance on a net basis. Refiners produce larger volumes than they consume by something called processing gains:

    There is an increase in volume through the refining process as a result of an effect known as processing gain. Processing gain simply refers to the volume by which output increases compared to input that occurs as a result of processed petroleum products having a lower specific gravity than the initial crude oil.Aug 29, 2017

    Over the long haul, the US would do well to have less price volatility. Right now, prices are substantially below costs, which is not sustainable.

    It may be a short term consumer windfall, but people will rue that gas was cheap when they didn’t need it, only to return to typical levels when they do.

    Plus, the domestic tight oil industry does what no previous program like corn based ethanol could do. Provide independence from Mid East producers.

  81. The price of the main U.S. benchmark crude oil plummeted by about $5 on Monday, or about 37 percent, to $11.42 a barrel…

    This is not a new joke, but that’s a pretty good deal on barrels.

    While the annual federal deficit explodes to $6 Trillion with more Trillion dollar debt tranches in the hopper.

    It will all even out very perversely for consumers.

  82. Hail says: • Website

    Inflation-adjusted average gas prices in the US have been stable for a century:

    From 1920 to 2020, they’ve almost always moved within a band between $2.00 and $3.50 in 2020 dollars. $2.88 in 2020 dollats is the long-run average. Very few of the years in the last century have been outside that range (four of note are: 1981, 1998, 2008, and 2012 [peak all-time; $3.99 in 2020 dollars]). The 1990s hugged the bottom of the range, it’s true, often just below the $2.00 threshold in 2020$.

    After the early-1980s oil price spike, prices went into a long low period, which many credit with being a key puzzle piece in the Soviet / Warsaw Pact economic-political unravelling by drying-up Soviet oil revenues and ‘fueling’ the series of events between 1987 and 1991.

    The 1990s price trough had US at-the-pump gasoline prices generally in the $1.85 – $2.10 range in 2020 dollars (the lowest ever year, 1998, hit $1.61 in 2020$, which anecdotally the US looks set to hit again in the near term, but unlikely as a yearly average for 2020 when the smoke clears. Then again, 2020 is a year of surprises and things-that-shouldn’t-happen happening).

    Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, “not so fast.” Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    The remnants of the Peak Oil community are debating about whether or not they should shut their community down, since Peak Oil clearly turned out to be a load of garbage. Though having been posted on April Fools' Day, this discussion is serious and ongoing.

    https://peakoil.com/forums/should-this-site-be-shut-down-t77572.html?sid=0c92d4f06bd59344c16d5e2783fa1719


    Despite the constant wailing from the autistic mouthbreathers who call themselves environmentalists, the number of people on the planet is actually very small, and we know very little about it. But one thing we do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that there is practically infinite oil for the next ten millennia.

    , @eD
    "Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, “not so fast.” Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least."

    The theory is in fact solid. The reason why it was worse than useless for predicting the events of the past fifteen years is that peak oilers kept assuming that the world economic system was a free market system.

    The peak oil concept runs on a few core assumptions:

    1. The supply of light sweet crude oil on Earth is finite, since it was created by geological processes in the past. Note there are people who think new oil is being created all the time, or the core of the Earth is made out of oil (note it would still be a finite amount in that case), but these arguments on the flat earther level intellectually.

    2. The most easily accessible supplies of light sweet crude were the first to be used up. Remaining discoveries will be in hard to access places such as the deep open floor, and increasingly expensive to extract, allowing for new technology (new tech itself to a large extent requires cheap oil prices to finance).

    3. As remaining reserves of oil will become more difficult to access, the price of oil will increase since producers will need a higher oil price to cover the extent of extraction.

    4. The world economy is highly sensitive to the price of oil, so permanently higher oil prices pretty much mean everyone get poorer. Note that peak oil discussion boards on the internet attracted a lot of survivalists and hippies who read a lot more than they should have into the "everyone gets poorer" part.

    The basic problem was number #3 . And the error in #3 was not THAT big. The United States, for example, started by obtaining oil by fracking shale. Note that this is not exactly light sweet crude, but once the peak hit oil resources were redefined in include such sources. And companies did in fact require a higher oil price to make fracking possible.

    However, the price of oil from all sources went down. Governments and banks just printed more money, subsidized the frackers, and manipulated oil futures to keep the price of oil low, price discovery be damned. To have market prices reflect things like shortages, you need, well, markets and central banks and governments have been manipulating markets since at least the 2008 financial crash, an event itself that fit well within the peak oil concept.

    Actually, I think a world where few people are commuting to work and all the businesses are closed down reflects what even the craziest, most alarmist posters on the peak oil discussion boards expected pretty well.
    , @SOL
    Yes, there still is, though they have refrained from writing much since there's very little value to guessing a timeline. Some have written about how fracking factors into all of this, but otherwise there has been little new information to consider (e.g. major new discoveries).
  83. @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim " socialism works," he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    Norway is a country that won the lottery and wisely invested in the future, the UK found oil in the North Sea too but they used the wind fall in a different way, of course it was easier for Norway because their population is much smaller than the UK, AFAIK the low prices won’t be too bad for Norway, they have a large sovereign wealth fund to draw on

    Nordic style “socialism” can’t really work in a multicultural society IMO, the Bernie Bros will have to come up with some new ideas

  84. @Hail
    Inflation-adjusted average gas prices in the US have been stable for a century:

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/post_777A.jpg

    From 1920 to 2020, they've almost always moved within a band between $2.00 and $3.50 in 2020 dollars. $2.88 in 2020 dollats is the long-run average. Very few of the years in the last century have been outside that range (four of note are: 1981, 1998, 2008, and 2012 [peak all-time; $3.99 in 2020 dollars]). The 1990s hugged the bottom of the range, it's true, often just below the $2.00 threshold in 2020$.

    After the early-1980s oil price spike, prices went into a long low period, which many credit with being a key puzzle piece in the Soviet / Warsaw Pact economic-political unravelling by drying-up Soviet oil revenues and 'fueling' the series of events between 1987 and 1991.

    The 1990s price trough had US at-the-pump gasoline prices generally in the $1.85 - $2.10 range in 2020 dollars (the lowest ever year, 1998, hit $1.61 in 2020$, which anecdotally the US looks set to hit again in the near term, but unlikely as a yearly average for 2020 when the smoke clears. Then again, 2020 is a year of surprises and things-that-shouldn't-happen happening).

    Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, "not so fast." Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least.

    The remnants of the Peak Oil community are debating about whether or not they should shut their community down, since Peak Oil clearly turned out to be a load of garbage. Though having been posted on April Fools’ Day, this discussion is serious and ongoing.

    https://peakoil.com/forums/should-this-site-be-shut-down-t77572.html?sid=0c92d4f06bd59344c16d5e2783fa1719

    Despite the constant wailing from the autistic mouthbreathers who call themselves environmentalists, the number of people on the planet is actually very small, and we know very little about it. But one thing we do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that there is practically infinite oil for the next ten millennia.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Thanks for that link, I see it got dozens of replies. Here are a few lines from people maybe worth re-copying.

    From Outcast_Searcher:


    Two things I've learned re oil prices by observing data / discussion here for over a decade:

    1). The price of oil is highly volatile over time. (Don't like it -- it will likely change before very long, and often for reasons few expected).

    2). The price of oil is VERY hard to predict ahead of time. We used to have an annual contest and try to pick prices (ranges, timing, etc) for the current year, factoring in the news, etc, every year. Pretty much a random number generator, overall. Fortunes re who was winning and losing would often change wildly from month to month. And year to year.
     


    FWIW, most of the folks around here have an interest in things like energy, but no longer view peak oil as an urgent thing -- it takes time, but many people will change their mind if the facts are obvious enough -- for long enough. (But certainly not all, and there are still peak oil in-our-face faithful folks around here.
     
    A pro-Peak Oil voice from diemos:

    Price is not useful.

    You can always drop the price by doing things to crush demand. It's production that matters.
     

    Juan_P says:

    I think that Peak Oil is a matter of when, not if, so this site remains relevant. [...] Long live peakoil.com!
     
    Others are commenting that while (they say/believe) Peak Oil theory is still worth discussing, the site itself had degenerated into a "a generic doomer site."
  85. @PV van der Byl
    There is no storage capacity left in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for NYMEX crude. Nor is there any pipeline capacity left to ship crude to some other place in the US that might still have some storage. Evidently, there is no longer any way to ship it to the Gulf Coast where it could be stored in ships floating offshore.

    Bear in mind, this applies only to crude oil delivered in May (effectively, the current month).

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.

    Correct. Incidentally, where’s commenter slumber_j ?

    • Replies: @Federalist
    Shares were over $40 at the beginning of the year (and as high as the 70's in the past two years) and around $15 now.
    , @PV van der Byl
    Dunno but I hope he's OK. He doesn't live all that far from me in Manhattan.
  86. @PV van der Byl
    State to state differences in gasoline prices is primarily due to differences in state sales taxes on gasoline. Occassionally, stupid mandates requiring percentages of ethanol or other such materials leads to shortages in particular states.

    Yes prices you usually go up starting about now through May because the refineries have to switch over different blends for the summer in certain parts of the country. Even if the economy is reopened soon, the uncertainty will likely cause a lot of families to cancel summer vacation plans anyway. Gas prices should be low the rest of the year.

  87. @theMann
    If you are driving alone, have a six-pack of Powerade handy. Once you drink a bottle out, pee back into it. (This is easy enough with practice.) When full, throw the bottle of piss at somebody with California plates.

    Trailer Park Boys – Bubbles explains piss jugs

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Way of the road, bud.
  88. Anonymous[430] • Disclaimer says:
    @George
    Extreme low oil prices are very bad for alternative energy.

    If I have it right, California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas. If I have it right that is the issue with high Cali fuel prices.

    California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas.

    Correct, but there is also a federal standard for military and other uses.

    The CA governor has the authority to permit importation and sale of “federal standard” gasoline by executive order. Of course, Gruesome will never sign such an order because his friends in the refining business pay him not to.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Californians routinely elect pols that do this and are proud of this. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    The military buys very little gasoline any more as gasoline is prohibited from shipboard use entirely and all military vehicles are diesel. (Gasoline is banned, but Otto Fuel II (for torpedoes) and several even worse liquid missile fuels are permissible......go figure.) They run on JP-8, which is a subspec of JP-5 with cetane and lubricity requirements to make it better for nonhardened diesel injection systems. It's good for all military diesels and for all military jet aircraft, except the U-2, which burns JP-TS fuel, but can operate on other jet fuels at slightly reduced altitudes. The SR required JP-7 fuel, had no alternatives at any time and JP-7 was not allowed in any other aircraft for propulsion. It wouldn't start without the TEB ignitor system in theory: in practice, the little bit of JP-4/5/8 in the lines mixed in and it would light fine, but they were concerned that if they had a flameout a relight might not be possible. (Just mixing in a specified quantity of other jet fuel, even 5% would do, worked, but "military intelligence" is an oxymoron). I think they probably considered putting a TEB system, or a separate start tank of kerosene or something, on the U-2, so they could have commonality of fuel with the SR, but that would have trimmed into contractor profits.

    They still make JP-7, by the way, so someone somewhere uses it but no one will admit who or where-probably some unmanned drone program. I've heard it said that Stoddard Solvent is basically the same as JP-7 but can not confirm this.
  89. Hail says: • Website
    @BenKenobi

    want to go on a 1960s-style [...] road trip
     
    I'd watch out, Steve. The CDC (Cheka for Disease Control) released a report stating that there are 239,457 Corona-deniers currently at large in America. It would be a shame if you got caught in the sweep.

    We are past the peak of CoronaMania now, I can only assume, and there probably won’t be mass arrests for Corona-related crimes such as driving somewhere not ESSENTIAL, declining to wear a mask, or Denying the Coronacaust.

    The commenter Achmed E. Newman has suggested this is the best time in living memory to hit the road for a long trip, but there’s still a risk an out-of-state car would be harassed by Corona Enforcers, I’d think.

    Corona-deniers currently at large in America

    How many PhDs in epidemiology or closely related fields are there in the US? I wonder how many would qualify as CoronaDeniers.

    Better to pick off the little guys, though, like that guy California arrested, brought to jail, and humiliated for being at the beach without a doctor’s note, or whatever it was.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  90. @(((They))) Live
    I hope these rock bottom prices continue long enough for the Saudis to go broke

    I hope these rock bottom prices continue long enough for the Saudis to go broke

    They won’t. The Saudis are behind this. They’ll destroy U.S. domestic production and later force prices up. It’s classic dumping.

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    That might be their plan, but I don't see it working, fracking companies will go bust, but the oil is still there to be extracted when prices rise again
  91. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Low oil prices will send growth in the EU, Japan, Turkey and India into the stratosphere. China and the UK will do OK.

    • Replies: @Just Passing Through
    Are the oil prices not low because those countries you mention have more or less shut down their economies and so demand is low? Once their oil-hungry machinery gets up and running, oil prices will climb and the growth will not improve.
  92. Oil just settled at -$40 a barrel, Steve.

    I’m not ready to buy the dip yet. If it gets to -$60 I may just have to buy. Is buy the right word?

  93. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.
     
    Correct. Incidentally, where’s commenter slumber_j ?

    Shares were over $40 at the beginning of the year (and as high as the 70’s in the past two years) and around $15 now.

  94. @Hebrew National
    Right now I'd be happy to take a real road trip even at $29 per gallon.

    Heb, make day trips. My wife and I drove to Geneseo NY to visit the Abbey of the Genesee, home to the Trappist Monks of Monk’s Bread fame. Today to the Iroquois National Game Refuge to see the Bald Eagles, Ospreys and two Artic (Tundra) swans. Next up a trip through Amish country and back along Lake Ontario. Just can’t stay over night. Stay safe.

  95. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Crude for June delivery is still going for about $20/barrel.
     
    Correct. Incidentally, where’s commenter slumber_j ?

    Dunno but I hope he’s OK. He doesn’t live all that far from me in Manhattan.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Dunno but I hope he’s OK.
     
    Don’t worry—I believe he’s decamped with fam to CT and is doing fine.

    My shout-out was an on-topic reference to his handle “slumber_j” i.e. Schlumberger… I assume it’s a reference to that firm.
  96. @Paleo Liberal
    Depends on whose economy.

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low. This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.

    To be more specific, whenever OPEC had low oil prices, Clinton had the US government buy oil, then sell it when prices went up. Selling the oil forced OPEC to lower prices. Good for the consumer, bad for the oil companies.

    When Bush and Cheney were in power, they kept oil prices higher. Not surprising for two Texas oil men.

    Oil companies have more power these days for two reasons:
    1. Citizens United opened up the flow of money from oil companies, including money from Saudi oil sheiks, into campaign coffers. The GOP hasn’t done against the wishes of big oil since then. Ever.

    2. Fracking makes the US a much larger oil producer. Fracking is relatively expensive, and is only profitable when oil is expensive. At cheap oil prices, the cost of getting oil out of the ground is very much higher than the price is oil.

    “This put more money in the hands of consumers, which continued the economic boom his entire time in the White House.”

    Now that’s a lie. This is a lie. The US was already out of the 1991 Recession by the late spring of 1992, and it was apparent by Election Day of 1992. Clinton benefited by an economy that was starting to chug along as it had been during the boom years of the 1980’s.

    Remember: The first year of any presidential administration is the final year of the budget from the previous administration. In other words, 1993, was the last year of the Bush Administration’s fiscal year, the US was following the passed budget from the last yr of his administration. Clinton’s first fiscal year, his first budget which would dictate economic policy for the US economy didn’t start until Oct. 1, 1993. So from the spring of 1992, all the way up to the end of September of 1993, it was still from a government standpoint, still the economy of George HW Bush. So then, if the economy was already getting better during 1992 thru three quarters of 1993, and was entering a boom time for the rest of the 1990’s, then the bulk of the credit for starting the initial boom of the ’90’s belongs to George HW Bush. Also, 1990 and first quarter of 1991 were not bad awful breadline yrs either. They were quite well in fact.

    Thank you for seeing the oversight. Glad to have helped to correct the propaganda, worn out, tireless, and ad nauseam of decades and decades of “Democrats are the economic saviors of the country, while the GOP is the evil crony capitalist fascists, etc etc blah, blah, and blah.”

  97. @SunBakedSuburb
    "road trip"

    I've been thinking about driving down to LA to visit my friends since business has mostly come to a halt. However, greasy Gavin has set up checkpoints and my friends won't let me into their homes. They all have backyards, which means I could stand out there, in the shadows, and watch them through the windows. But then there's the checkpoint problem.

    lol

    Buy a can of spam and just show it them with the receipt and say were shopping.

  98. @Michaeloh
    Crude is not exactly at $11/barrel. That was a price, briefly, for May WTI futures contracts. Those expire tomorrow and thus all the demand in future crude is about June. Its like being the noodle armed male feminist with a closet full of Hillary signage on The day after the election. Nobody wants to be that guy.

    FWIW, May WTI was below -$40 during the day … if you could figure out how to take delivery of a thousand barrels and get it refined at a good price, you might just get that 29¢ per gallon road trip.

  99. @obwandiyag
    Cuba has no oil and is a great success story. (And don't tell me any different. I know more than you. And don't tell me Venezuela funds them. They were a success way before Venezuela found Chavez, and already a success enough to be sending selfless doctors around the world to help people for free. Exactly like the United States.)

    England has oil and is a shithole (except for the wealth of the international compradore bourgeoisie who simply reside there while maintaining official residences in tax havens around the world).

    obie, Oh, ok, I won’t tell you any different, but my very liberal cousin’s trip to Cuba, from Toronto, showed him what a shit hole Cuba is, but you know more than me. And I still want you to be safe, but less acerbic.

    • Replies: @Gabe Ruth
    Yeah, I work with a true born SWPL that went to Cuba for a week, sounded grim. I'm sure it's not much grimmer than life in the US for the lower 50% or so, just a different kind grim depending on where you are. But success story is a stretch.

    My coworker is really funny because whenever he actually notices anything around him, you can see the bad-thoughts start welling up, and then you can watch the doublethink kick in. It's remarkable.
  100. @SFG
    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?

    It’s bad for major and regional banks that extended huge amounts of credit to frackers, who can no longer even service the debt much less repay it. Sure, they offloaded enough of this debt on to greater fools, but they still hold enough to make a serious dent in the US banking system’s balance sheet.

    If it’s bad for the bankers, it must be bad for the economy, right? Why else would we keep bailing out banks?

  101. @MEH 0910
    Trailer Park Boys - Bubbles explains piss jugs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0u6Lb6RCz4

    Way of the road, bud.

  102. Hail says: • Website
    @JohnPlywood
    The remnants of the Peak Oil community are debating about whether or not they should shut their community down, since Peak Oil clearly turned out to be a load of garbage. Though having been posted on April Fools' Day, this discussion is serious and ongoing.

    https://peakoil.com/forums/should-this-site-be-shut-down-t77572.html?sid=0c92d4f06bd59344c16d5e2783fa1719


    Despite the constant wailing from the autistic mouthbreathers who call themselves environmentalists, the number of people on the planet is actually very small, and we know very little about it. But one thing we do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that there is practically infinite oil for the next ten millennia.

    Thanks for that link, I see it got dozens of replies. Here are a few lines from people maybe worth re-copying.

    From Outcast_Searcher:

    Two things I’ve learned re oil prices by observing data / discussion here for over a decade:

    1). The price of oil is highly volatile over time. (Don’t like it — it will likely change before very long, and often for reasons few expected).

    2). The price of oil is VERY hard to predict ahead of time. We used to have an annual contest and try to pick prices (ranges, timing, etc) for the current year, factoring in the news, etc, every year. Pretty much a random number generator, overall. Fortunes re who was winning and losing would often change wildly from month to month. And year to year.

    FWIW, most of the folks around here have an interest in things like energy, but no longer view peak oil as an urgent thing — it takes time, but many people will change their mind if the facts are obvious enough — for long enough. (But certainly not all, and there are still peak oil in-our-face faithful folks around here.

    A pro-Peak Oil voice from diemos:

    Price is not useful.

    You can always drop the price by doing things to crush demand. It’s production that matters.

    Juan_P says:

    I think that Peak Oil is a matter of when, not if, so this site remains relevant. […] Long live peakoil.com!

    Others are commenting that while (they say/believe) Peak Oil theory is still worth discussing, the site itself had degenerated into a “a generic doomer site.”

  103. @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    ‘…I’ve always been “cheap”, but i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I’m not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)’

    Well, the economics can depend on the lines and the price differential.

    When we lived in California, Costco gas was cheaper — but the lines were formidable.

    One day while sitting there I worked out that this made sense — if I valued my time at $4.00 an hour or something.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  104. Rather than worrying about the price of oil, which is influenced by all sorts of political and short-term economic factors, most Americans should be more worried about the sky-high valuations of IT growth stocks like Amazon. Are these stocks really going to deliver ongoing massive profit growth when the world has to go back to work in a month or so? Over-investment in growth stocks is a sign of looming economic stagnation.

    When an economy is strong, investors go for value stocks, as they are confident they will go up long term. However, when an economy is weakening and slowing, there is huge demand for the few companies that are still growing in a low-growth economy.

  105. @Federalist

    I hope these rock bottom prices continue long enough for the Saudis to go broke
     
    They won't. The Saudis are behind this. They'll destroy U.S. domestic production and later force prices up. It's classic dumping.

    That might be their plan, but I don’t see it working, fracking companies will go bust, but the oil is still there to be extracted when prices rise again

  106. eD says:
    @Hail
    Inflation-adjusted average gas prices in the US have been stable for a century:

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/post_777A.jpg

    From 1920 to 2020, they've almost always moved within a band between $2.00 and $3.50 in 2020 dollars. $2.88 in 2020 dollats is the long-run average. Very few of the years in the last century have been outside that range (four of note are: 1981, 1998, 2008, and 2012 [peak all-time; $3.99 in 2020 dollars]). The 1990s hugged the bottom of the range, it's true, often just below the $2.00 threshold in 2020$.

    After the early-1980s oil price spike, prices went into a long low period, which many credit with being a key puzzle piece in the Soviet / Warsaw Pact economic-political unravelling by drying-up Soviet oil revenues and 'fueling' the series of events between 1987 and 1991.

    The 1990s price trough had US at-the-pump gasoline prices generally in the $1.85 - $2.10 range in 2020 dollars (the lowest ever year, 1998, hit $1.61 in 2020$, which anecdotally the US looks set to hit again in the near term, but unlikely as a yearly average for 2020 when the smoke clears. Then again, 2020 is a year of surprises and things-that-shouldn't-happen happening).

    Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, "not so fast." Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least.

    “Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, “not so fast.” Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least.”

    The theory is in fact solid. The reason why it was worse than useless for predicting the events of the past fifteen years is that peak oilers kept assuming that the world economic system was a free market system.

    The peak oil concept runs on a few core assumptions:

    1. The supply of light sweet crude oil on Earth is finite, since it was created by geological processes in the past. Note there are people who think new oil is being created all the time, or the core of the Earth is made out of oil (note it would still be a finite amount in that case), but these arguments on the flat earther level intellectually.

    2. The most easily accessible supplies of light sweet crude were the first to be used up. Remaining discoveries will be in hard to access places such as the deep open floor, and increasingly expensive to extract, allowing for new technology (new tech itself to a large extent requires cheap oil prices to finance).

    3. As remaining reserves of oil will become more difficult to access, the price of oil will increase since producers will need a higher oil price to cover the extent of extraction.

    4. The world economy is highly sensitive to the price of oil, so permanently higher oil prices pretty much mean everyone get poorer. Note that peak oil discussion boards on the internet attracted a lot of survivalists and hippies who read a lot more than they should have into the “everyone gets poorer” part.

    The basic problem was number #3 . And the error in #3 was not THAT big. The United States, for example, started by obtaining oil by fracking shale. Note that this is not exactly light sweet crude, but once the peak hit oil resources were redefined in include such sources. And companies did in fact require a higher oil price to make fracking possible.

    However, the price of oil from all sources went down. Governments and banks just printed more money, subsidized the frackers, and manipulated oil futures to keep the price of oil low, price discovery be damned. To have market prices reflect things like shortages, you need, well, markets and central banks and governments have been manipulating markets since at least the 2008 financial crash, an event itself that fit well within the peak oil concept.

    Actually, I think a world where few people are commuting to work and all the businesses are closed down reflects what even the craziest, most alarmist posters on the peak oil discussion boards expected pretty well.

    • Thanks: Hail, Mark G.
    • Replies: @anon
    Old peak oil was peak oil supply. They couldn't envision peak oil demand. The real juice behind their theorizing was a dystopian price/supply dynamic that never occurred.

    I would contend that even though fracking pushed us into over supply, that $100 oil would have driven offshore development to the extent that prices would have responded.

    We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown. The UK now uses zero coal.

    Any essential depleting commodity could produce a similar dystopian scenario. But they mostly haven't happened.
  107. @George
    Extreme low oil prices are very bad for alternative energy.

    If I have it right, California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas. If I have it right that is the issue with high Cali fuel prices.

    The Martinez refinery, a few dozens miles North of Silicon Valley, went idle this past weekend; to “support” California gasoline prices.

    “Weak refining margins resulting from poor demand has US West Coast refiners further paring back runs, with Marathon temporarily idling its 161,500 b/d Martinez, California, refinery as stay-at-home orders remain in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The run cuts are paying off, with better margins for all USWC refiners, and will also allow Marathon to reap the benefit of its closure of Martinez with better economics for its 363,000 b/d Los Angeles, California, facility.”

    Steve’s cheap hydrocarboned trip may have to be put on hold?

    George, USWC (United States West Coast) CARBOB (California Air Resources Board before Oxygenate Blending) is the standard grade of gasoline supplied to the California market.

    Oxygenate Blending, is fancy for mixing in a splash (~10%) of corn based ethanol.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal's 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don't have any proof, though.

  108. Hey isteve looks like less gas sales means less ethanol sales which seems to mean less industrial gas carbon dioxide produced.

    Coronavirus-driven CO2 shortage threatens US food and water supply, officials say

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/20/carbon-dioxide-shortage-us-food-water-
    coronavirus

    searching on carbon dioxide shortage had other industries like beer too.

  109. @Jonathan Mason

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?
     
    That is the problem in most oil producing countries, for example the government budget of Russia and Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries and emirates, not to mention Mexico and Venezuela, depends largely on oil.

    Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969, without which the UK would really have been up shit creek without a paddle in the oil embargo of 1973-74 and the ensuing years which saw a new age of oil exploration.

    “Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969”

    In 1969 a working Brit male on median income could afford to buy a house and have a wife at home looking after the kids. In what sense have we, as a nation, become more affluent? I know shiny Chinese electronics are very cheap but that does not affluence make.

    • Agree: Cortes
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    In 1969 many Brits still heated their homes with coal and did not have central heating. Gasoline still had lead. Pollution was terrible. Everyone smelled of cigarette smoke. The average quality of housing was terrible. Britain was not yet in the EU and the choice of foods was very limited. Relatively few people owned cars.
  110. How long does it take to build tanks or reservoirs to store oil for future use?

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Kramerica Industries has a few prototypes
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathon, years ago there were boiler makers who could build tanks at an unbelievable pace, we called these welders "Tankies." The got their hourly rate plus a poundage bonus. But, back then, no OSHA, so no welder hanging in a bosun chair. No EPA permits needed in case the tank failed. Built coal silos for power houses and the weld testing, sonic and x-ray slow you down. Nice thought though. Stay safe.
  111. anon[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @eD
    "Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, “not so fast.” Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least."

    The theory is in fact solid. The reason why it was worse than useless for predicting the events of the past fifteen years is that peak oilers kept assuming that the world economic system was a free market system.

    The peak oil concept runs on a few core assumptions:

    1. The supply of light sweet crude oil on Earth is finite, since it was created by geological processes in the past. Note there are people who think new oil is being created all the time, or the core of the Earth is made out of oil (note it would still be a finite amount in that case), but these arguments on the flat earther level intellectually.

    2. The most easily accessible supplies of light sweet crude were the first to be used up. Remaining discoveries will be in hard to access places such as the deep open floor, and increasingly expensive to extract, allowing for new technology (new tech itself to a large extent requires cheap oil prices to finance).

    3. As remaining reserves of oil will become more difficult to access, the price of oil will increase since producers will need a higher oil price to cover the extent of extraction.

    4. The world economy is highly sensitive to the price of oil, so permanently higher oil prices pretty much mean everyone get poorer. Note that peak oil discussion boards on the internet attracted a lot of survivalists and hippies who read a lot more than they should have into the "everyone gets poorer" part.

    The basic problem was number #3 . And the error in #3 was not THAT big. The United States, for example, started by obtaining oil by fracking shale. Note that this is not exactly light sweet crude, but once the peak hit oil resources were redefined in include such sources. And companies did in fact require a higher oil price to make fracking possible.

    However, the price of oil from all sources went down. Governments and banks just printed more money, subsidized the frackers, and manipulated oil futures to keep the price of oil low, price discovery be damned. To have market prices reflect things like shortages, you need, well, markets and central banks and governments have been manipulating markets since at least the 2008 financial crash, an event itself that fit well within the peak oil concept.

    Actually, I think a world where few people are commuting to work and all the businesses are closed down reflects what even the craziest, most alarmist posters on the peak oil discussion boards expected pretty well.

    Old peak oil was peak oil supply. They couldn’t envision peak oil demand. The real juice behind their theorizing was a dystopian price/supply dynamic that never occurred.

    I would contend that even though fracking pushed us into over supply, that $100 oil would have driven offshore development to the extent that prices would have responded.

    We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown. The UK now uses zero coal.

    Any essential depleting commodity could produce a similar dystopian scenario. But they mostly haven’t happened.

    • Replies: @eD
    "We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown."

    This is where I disagree.

    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is, but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction. I really don't know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered "societal meltdown".

    I guess it depends on what people were expecting.
  112. @Coemgen

    When Clinton was president, he quite openly used the strategic oil preserves to manipulate oil prices to keep them low.
     
    Why didn't Obama, not an "oil man," do the same?

    Why didn’t Obama, not an “oil man,” do the same?

    Because Obama was lazy.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  113. @Philip Owen
    Low oil prices will send growth in the EU, Japan, Turkey and India into the stratosphere. China and the UK will do OK.

    Are the oil prices not low because those countries you mention have more or less shut down their economies and so demand is low? Once their oil-hungry machinery gets up and running, oil prices will climb and the growth will not improve.

  114. @theMann
    If you are driving alone, have a six-pack of Powerade handy. Once you drink a bottle out, pee back into it. (This is easy enough with practice.) When full, throw the bottle of piss at somebody with California plates.

    Good idea. Just don’t get the yellow Powerade or you might get confused which is which later on.

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Good idea. Just don’t get the yellow Powerade or you might get confused which is which later on."

    LOL. And if your equipment is large, you will need a bulk gallon-sized Gatorade bottle so you can get your member ALL the way inside the hole -- "just the tip" causes backsplash. I learned this the hard way [no pun] on a trip to Laughlin from the Inland Armpit 20 years ago.

  115. @Hail
    Inflation-adjusted average gas prices in the US have been stable for a century:

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/post_777A.jpg

    From 1920 to 2020, they've almost always moved within a band between $2.00 and $3.50 in 2020 dollars. $2.88 in 2020 dollats is the long-run average. Very few of the years in the last century have been outside that range (four of note are: 1981, 1998, 2008, and 2012 [peak all-time; $3.99 in 2020 dollars]). The 1990s hugged the bottom of the range, it's true, often just below the $2.00 threshold in 2020$.

    After the early-1980s oil price spike, prices went into a long low period, which many credit with being a key puzzle piece in the Soviet / Warsaw Pact economic-political unravelling by drying-up Soviet oil revenues and 'fueling' the series of events between 1987 and 1991.

    The 1990s price trough had US at-the-pump gasoline prices generally in the $1.85 - $2.10 range in 2020 dollars (the lowest ever year, 1998, hit $1.61 in 2020$, which anecdotally the US looks set to hit again in the near term, but unlikely as a yearly average for 2020 when the smoke clears. Then again, 2020 is a year of surprises and things-that-shouldn't-happen happening).

    Peak Oil Theory, which predicted long-run rising prices, looked to be coming true for much of the 2000s and into the early 2010s. But then, not. Or, "not so fast." Is there still an active Peak Oil community? The theory is still solid, but other variables got in the way, which distorts the timing at least.

    Yes, there still is, though they have refrained from writing much since there’s very little value to guessing a timeline. Some have written about how fracking factors into all of this, but otherwise there has been little new information to consider (e.g. major new discoveries).

  116. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:

    then on the other side of oil going to nothing there is these people voluntarily walking off the job- I wonder if they have personal protective equipment for their protest?

    “More than 300 Amazon employees will call out of work starting Tuesday in protest of the online retail giant’s treatment of workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The call out is organized by labor groups United for Respect, New York Communities for Change, and Make The Road New York and will be the largest mass action by workers yet amid the crisis.

    The nationwide protest follows several strikes at facilities in Staten Island, Chicago and Detroit where employees have tested positive to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    “I’m calling out this week because I’m scared to come to work and can’t trust Amazon to keep me and my co-workers safe,” Jaylen Camp, an Amazon worker at a fulfillment center in Romulus, Michigan, said.”

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/493772-hundreds-of-amazon-workers-to-walk-off-starting-tuesday

  117. @obwandiyag
    Cuba has no oil and is a great success story. (And don't tell me any different. I know more than you. And don't tell me Venezuela funds them. They were a success way before Venezuela found Chavez, and already a success enough to be sending selfless doctors around the world to help people for free. Exactly like the United States.)

    England has oil and is a shithole (except for the wealth of the international compradore bourgeoisie who simply reside there while maintaining official residences in tax havens around the world).

    Are you being sarcastic or just very gullible? I spent eleven days in Cuba in 2013. I lived and ate with Cubans — no hotels or foreign-serving restaurants. I spent two days near rural Pinar del Rio going door-to-door with a doctor, who could write prescriptions but knew that many would not be filled. Our group brought insulin over with us because there was a person in a church who would die without it; there was none available for him for local services.

    Hugo Chavez died while we were there. I saw the “voluntary” demonstration of mourning, accompanied by machine gun wielding soldiers.

    I met families in the most abject poverty imaginable. People stood in line every month to get their monthly food ration. Children older than six were no longer permitted milk. Two year olds urinating in the dirt just outside their one room huts because they had no diapers. Buildings are rotting and collapsing. The esplanade from the capital building to the harbor, once referred to as the Paris of the Caribbean, was lined with buildings with collapsed roofs and balconies.

    I saw numerous young women on the streets of Havana who gave every indication that they were prostitutes, plying their trade with tourists.

    It wasn’t all horrible; some freedoms were being restored. The church leaders I met with were able to minister without significant interference from the government, as long as they stayed away from political issues. Everyone I saw seemed to have sufficient calories, although there were indications of poor nutrition. I was met with warm hospitality at every home I visited, whether by Christians active in the local church or by atheists.

  118. @Jonathan Mason
    How long does it take to build tanks or reservoirs to store oil for future use?

    Kramerica Industries has a few prototypes

  119. @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    “… but i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market …”

    I was buying gas at an California I5 exit with several gas stations a few years ago. I don’t remember the exact prices but it was something like a few stations at about $2.40 a gallon and a few at about $3.20 a gallon. For just a moment I thought $3.2o was the better price because I was used to just looking at the last two digits and I wasn’t used to $.80 price gaps between adjacent stations. I soon figured out that $2.40 is in fact less than $3.20 but I suspect some of people buying gas at the expensive stations (which were doing business) were under the delusion that they were paying $.20 cents less and not $.80 cents more. And I suspect the higher priced stations were counting on this.

  120. @theMann
    Oil that low is not itself a disaster, but it signifies one as demand had to drop precipitously to force the price that low. All that oil not being bought is a whole lot of production not being done, including (maybe especially) agricultural production.

    Not to mention all the driving not being done. That means people not going anywhere, which is a bad thing. Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems - standard psyop procedure. Time to get people moving again.

    Huh, maybe the price of oil can go to $0.00 - all it would take is the end of the Industrial revolution.

    They reported on the 6:30 PM ABC radio news that some oil was “less than zero dollars”.

  121. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @theMann
    Oil that low is not itself a disaster, but it signifies one as demand had to drop precipitously to force the price that low. All that oil not being bought is a whole lot of production not being done, including (maybe especially) agricultural production.

    Not to mention all the driving not being done. That means people not going anywhere, which is a bad thing. Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems - standard psyop procedure. Time to get people moving again.

    Huh, maybe the price of oil can go to $0.00 - all it would take is the end of the Industrial revolution.

    <<>>
    Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems – standard psyop procedure.
    <<>>

    By “four to six weeks of isolation,” do you mean:

    A) Alcatraz-style solitary confinement (i.e. no contact with other people combined with no books/TV/radio and so forth).

    Or

    B) “Four to six weeks” confinement in a typical house or apartment with all the conveniences (TV/books/Internet) but no one going in or out

    …is supposed to have negative psychological effects?

    I ask because I was led to understand that it is not necessarily the lack of human contact that is so psychologically traumatising in the former case, but rather, the lack of human contact *combined* with absolutely nothing in the way of distraction or entertainment that makes prison solitary so difficult.

    Is that right?

  122. @anon
    Old peak oil was peak oil supply. They couldn't envision peak oil demand. The real juice behind their theorizing was a dystopian price/supply dynamic that never occurred.

    I would contend that even though fracking pushed us into over supply, that $100 oil would have driven offshore development to the extent that prices would have responded.

    We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown. The UK now uses zero coal.

    Any essential depleting commodity could produce a similar dystopian scenario. But they mostly haven't happened.

    “We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown.”

    This is where I disagree.

    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is, but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction. I really don’t know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered “societal meltdown”.

    I guess it depends on what people were expecting.

    • Replies: @anon
    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    This morning my dog wanted to outside for a few minutes. Then two hours later the sun came up.

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is,

    Today's "this" was an artifact of the oil futures market and a huge decline in demand.

    but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction.

    Nah. All those cars and ships and airplanes and locomotives have not been destroyed, just parked.

    I really don’t know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered “societal meltdown”.

    There's a lot of things you don't know. But don't let that stop you from commenting!
    , @Kim

    “We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown.”
     
    Economic and social conditions in the USA have been deteriorating ever since the USA hit peak conventional oil in the early 1970s. How could anyone not notice this and see the correlation with the end of cheap (economic) oil?

    It was the early 1970s when the Rockefellers decided to bring China online because they knew that a less wealthy world needed cheaper manufacturing, as a way to deal with falling wealth (falling demand) in the West and it also needed more consumers to sustain demand for increasingly expensive-to-produce oil .

    So it was in the early 1980s - to ensure that demand could be sustained - that the cheap money faucet was opened full blast and let run for the next 40 years and now the only way to support global demand is apparently to have a global debt of $250 trillion, with consumers up to their necks in credit card debt and three - count 'em, three - massive economic collapses in the last twenty years.

    The world is currently using ten barrels of oil for every barrel that is discovered. There hasn't been a truly gianty discovery of oil since 1962. We have had the North Sea, not cheap but nice, and Cantarell (1976) but it is also just about finished now. So what now?

    If the world is so awash with cheap (economic) oil, why do we have to drill offshore or mine tar sands or frack? This is rubbish oil - and most of what is in a barrel of fracked "oil" is not even oil, it is what they call boe, or a "barrel of oil equivalent" - compared to the halcyon days of mid-east oil.

    Why are frackers so deep in debt they can never repay? I mean, if what they do is economic?

    Why have the oil majors spent the last ten years cutting their capex back almost to nothing?

    There is enough oil left for hundreds of years? Well, certainly, there will be plenty of oil left in the ground and under the oceans by the time industrial civilization grinds out its final plastic product, but that will be because it is too expensive to extract relative to what people can pay. Yes, demand destruction is the name of the peak cheap (economic) oil game.

    All of these undeniable facts stare us in the face, yet fearful, whistling-in the-churchyard idiots keep insisting that they can't see the logic of peak cheap (economic) oil in operation.

    Yes, peak cheap (economic) oil exists. It is a fact. We don't have to wait for it to "happen". We are all living in it right now.

    Or have you not noticed the ever-deteriorating standards of living and society in the USA and the Western world today?

  123. @Whiskey
    Two reasons.

    1. Collapse in consumer demand under Stasi like house arrest.

    2. Crushing of domestic fracking which has high wage employment and supply security.

    Pretty simple.

    1. Collapse in consumer demand under Stasi like house arrest.

    This is a cause of low oil prices and not an effect. We’re looking for negative effects. You guys remind me of the guys at my high school who thought not being able to smoke weed was fascism.

    Crushing of domestic fracking which has high wage employment and supply security.

    It’s quite easy to generate jobs: just destroy labor-saving machinery.

  124. @danand
    The Martinez refinery, a few dozens miles North of Silicon Valley, went idle this past weekend; to “support” California gasoline prices.

    “Weak refining margins resulting from poor demand has US West Coast refiners further paring back runs, with Marathon temporarily idling its 161,500 b/d Martinez, California, refinery as stay-at-home orders remain in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The run cuts are paying off, with better margins for all USWC refiners, and will also allow Marathon to reap the benefit of its closure of Martinez with better economics for its 363,000 b/d Los Angeles, California, facility.”
     
    Steve’s cheap hydrocarboned trip may have to be put on hold?

    George, USWC (United States West Coast) CARBOB (California Air Resources Board before Oxygenate Blending) is the standard grade of gasoline supplied to the California market.

    Oxygenate Blending, is fancy for mixing in a splash (~10%) of corn based ethanol.

    I’ve long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal’s 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don’t have any proof, though.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    I used to travel to SF a lot in business. There was a gas station I often passed on the way to work. The price was almost always exactly $1 more than the gas station near my house in Wisconsin. One time the gas price changed lowered a few cents/gallon in SF in the middle of a trip. When I got home, the neighborhood station had lowered its price by exactly the same amount, and was still exactly $1 cheaper.
    , @anon
    I’ve long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal’s 6 counties.

    It's probably the Masonic-Illuminati conspiracy.

    Or it could be that the specific requirements SoCal puts on gasoline are unique, requiring special treatment different from Arizona that costs more money to perform. Which explanation makes more sense to you?

    Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    Oh, well, you got me with that ultra-reliable source. SecState Hillary did no wrong with her private, hackable server in the bathroom, either.

    If Kevin Drum said it and you believe it, that settles it!

    , @Anonymous
    Special California gasoline costs more to produce and only a limited number of refineries are set up to make it. It's still a lot cheaper than avgas, though, so don't bitch.

    if I lived in California I would strongly consider a CNG or Propane (LP Gas) burning vehicle as in California those fuels are much cheaper than California gasoline.

    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    http://www.100ll.com/

    They show prices for 100LL and Jet A, but not the other grades of Avgas which a few places still offer. In Alaska and the Pacific NW you can still get green, and one batch of purple is made for the Reno Air Races each year.

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won't sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.
    , @Lot
    Of course they conspire!

    The main method is when things get a bit too competitive... whoops we all need to shut down our refineries for emergency maintenance at the same time... darn that summer reblend is taking a lot longer than we expected, we’ve only been doing it every single year for decades.

    A few years ago California passed a cap and trade co2 emission law that is effectively a gas tax that goes up every year, but a complicated one that doesn’t have a clear amount. One estimate is the equivalent to a 61 cent per gallon tax for 2021, which seems about right to me based on the larger gap between California and neighboring states in gas prices now versus 6 years ago.

    I’m not complaining. Illegals and tax cheats and the many fake ”Nevada residents” can’t avoid the gas tax like they can income taxes, so raise it another 60 cents if other taxes get cut, admittedly a big “if.”
  125. @PV van der Byl
    Dunno but I hope he's OK. He doesn't live all that far from me in Manhattan.

    Dunno but I hope he’s OK.

    Don’t worry—I believe he’s decamped with fam to CT and is doing fine.

    My shout-out was an on-topic reference to his handle “slumber_j” i.e. Schlumberger… I assume it’s a reference to that firm.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Jenner I feel you may be the only one who truly gets me.



    https://cdn.seatguru.com/en_US/img/20180607145757/seatguru/airline_photos/LO.jpg
    , @Anonymous
    They used to own Heathkit. Heathkit was profitable, but during a boom not profitable enough. So they killed it. A lot of people have tried to restart it but no one with both capital and an understanding of the products that would sell. Nor the willingness to do the detail work that made Heathkits buildable by anyone with a willingness to read and follow the book.

    Right now they’d be doing a land office business.
  126. @Jim Don Bob
    Good idea. Just don't get the yellow Powerade or you might get confused which is which later on.

    “Good idea. Just don’t get the yellow Powerade or you might get confused which is which later on.”

    LOL. And if your equipment is large, you will need a bulk gallon-sized Gatorade bottle so you can get your member ALL the way inside the hole — “just the tip” causes backsplash. I learned this the hard way [no pun] on a trip to Laughlin from the Inland Armpit 20 years ago.

  127. @Buffalo Joe
    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim " socialism works," he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories. Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim ” socialism works,” he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories.

    These are capitalist countries, with higher taxes on the upper middle class. Rich people don’t pay any tax, because they live in Monaco most of the year.

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

    That may be true for Norway, but I think it is much less so for Denmark. And not at all for Sweden, Finland, or Germany. Finland gets money from trees, and Denmark from cows, but mostly it’s hard work and smart investment.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Reg, I forced myself to watch a few Dem debates. When Mayor Pete said "Socialism doesn't work." Bernie threw a dimissive wave at him and growled..."Look at Denmark." So I did. Spent a couple of hours researching Denmark. Oil is a big export. Danes, whether they worked or not, receive a government funded pension at age 62. Taxes, tariffs and sales of offshore oil fund the pensions.
  128. @Goatweed
    The price of gasoline in Oklahoma and California was once the same?

    Doubtful

    I got to OK a lot in those days. Gas under a quarter a gallon was common. The lowest I ever saw was 18.9 cents/gallon.

  129. @Steve Sailer
    I've long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal's 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don't have any proof, though.

    I used to travel to SF a lot in business. There was a gas station I often passed on the way to work. The price was almost always exactly $1 more than the gas station near my house in Wisconsin. One time the gas price changed lowered a few cents/gallon in SF in the middle of a trip. When I got home, the neighborhood station had lowered its price by exactly the same amount, and was still exactly $1 cheaper.

  130. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @eD
    "We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown."

    This is where I disagree.

    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is, but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction. I really don't know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered "societal meltdown".

    I guess it depends on what people were expecting.

    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    This morning my dog wanted to outside for a few minutes. Then two hours later the sun came up.

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is,

    Today’s “this” was an artifact of the oil futures market and a huge decline in demand.

    but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction.

    Nah. All those cars and ships and airplanes and locomotives have not been destroyed, just parked.

    I really don’t know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered “societal meltdown”.

    There’s a lot of things you don’t know. But don’t let that stop you from commenting!

  131. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I've long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal's 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don't have any proof, though.

    I’ve long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal’s 6 counties.

    It’s probably the Masonic-Illuminati conspiracy.

    Or it could be that the specific requirements SoCal puts on gasoline are unique, requiring special treatment different from Arizona that costs more money to perform. Which explanation makes more sense to you?

    Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    Oh, well, you got me with that ultra-reliable source. SecState Hillary did no wrong with her private, hackable server in the bathroom, either.

    If Kevin Drum said it and you believe it, that settles it!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective. When he and I arrive at similar suspicions, I take notice.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it's not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere. The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California's special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected. Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California's shortage of refining capacity. The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

  132. Go! Put several Jerry Cans in your trunk so you can skip gas stations in CA. Take a tent, a telescope, coolers of “friends”, water and food. Maybe a radio is a good idea.

    The flowers, birds, frogs croaking are amazing right now. Check WeatherUnderground before you go. Go to Idaho – less people, and not a lock-down state. Go to Lava Hot Springs – this type of water is anathema to viruses. It’s a cute, very small town; plenty of hotels…and they have campgrounds! You’ll love this town. The springs are AMAZING!

    Go, you may never do this again!

    • Replies: @yarro
    And this?

    https://visitidaho.org/covid-19-travel-alert/

    While we understand and appreciate the desire to travel and enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors, leisure travel to or within Idaho is restricted at this time. On March 25, 2020, Governor Little issued a 21-day stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration. On April 15, 2020, Governor Little extended the stay-home order through April 30, 2020. Per the Stay-Home Order, individuals arriving in Idaho from another state or country are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If an individual will be present in Idaho for fewer than 14 days, that individual must self-quarantine for the duration of their visit. Idahoans may leave their residences only for essential services, activities, governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.
  133. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I've long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal's 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don't have any proof, though.

    Special California gasoline costs more to produce and only a limited number of refineries are set up to make it. It’s still a lot cheaper than avgas, though, so don’t bitch.

    if I lived in California I would strongly consider a CNG or Propane (LP Gas) burning vehicle as in California those fuels are much cheaper than California gasoline.

    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    http://www.100ll.com/

    They show prices for 100LL and Jet A, but not the other grades of Avgas which a few places still offer. In Alaska and the Pacific NW you can still get green, and one batch of purple is made for the Reno Air Races each year.

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won’t sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.

    • Replies: @anon
    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    Could it be that FBO knows he's your only source?

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won’t sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.

    Looks like that's the case. Oh, well. Say, whattaya griping about for 2 lousy gallons anyway? $12 is lunch money now.
  134. @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    On the east side of Hampton Bays, NY on Long Island gas is $2.55 regular, cash or debit card price. Credit card 10 cents more. About 3 miles to the west end of town, gas is $2.20 a gallon cash price. When there’s traffic not always worth the drive, but right now it’s fairly easy.

  135. @Steve Sailer
    I've long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal's 6 counties. Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    We don't have any proof, though.

    Of course they conspire!

    The main method is when things get a bit too competitive… whoops we all need to shut down our refineries for emergency maintenance at the same time… darn that summer reblend is taking a lot longer than we expected, we’ve only been doing it every single year for decades.

    A few years ago California passed a cap and trade co2 emission law that is effectively a gas tax that goes up every year, but a complicated one that doesn’t have a clear amount. One estimate is the equivalent to a 61 cent per gallon tax for 2021, which seems about right to me based on the larger gap between California and neighboring states in gas prices now versus 6 years ago.

    I’m not complaining. Illegals and tax cheats and the many fake ”Nevada residents” can’t avoid the gas tax like they can income taxes, so raise it another 60 cents if other taxes get cut, admittedly a big “if.”

  136. @anon
    I’ve long been suspicious that oil companies have some kind of cartel thing going in California where they exploit Clean Air rules to keep gas prices up in California or SoCal’s 6 counties.

    It's probably the Masonic-Illuminati conspiracy.

    Or it could be that the specific requirements SoCal puts on gasoline are unique, requiring special treatment different from Arizona that costs more money to perform. Which explanation makes more sense to you?

    Kevin Drum has similar suspicions.

    Oh, well, you got me with that ultra-reliable source. SecState Hillary did no wrong with her private, hackable server in the bathroom, either.

    If Kevin Drum said it and you believe it, that settles it!

    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective. When he and I arrive at similar suspicions, I take notice.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it’s not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere. The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California’s special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected. Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California’s shortage of refining capacity. The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    California has the best alt fuels build out in the US and consumers are not interested. They also do not apply political pressure for lower gas prices through easing the ridiculous requirements, in fact, the California resident on average seems to enjoy the pain.

    Just take what Ron is paying and buy a Tesla and be happy.
    , @anon
    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective.

    He has a different political perspective, I agree.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it’s not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere

    You agree with me. Furthermore, that makes you guys a captive market.

    . The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California’s special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected.

    Illuminati! It's gotta be them!

    Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California’s shortage of refining capacity.

    When was the last time a new oil refinery was built anywhere in the continental US?

    The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Gee, that seems like something that could only happen in a one-party state. How did it occur in California?

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    Ok. Putting on my Libertarian hat, I suggest you build your own refinery and drill more offshore oil in the Santa Barbara channel! That'll fix everything!

    SIgh.

    C'mon, Steve, this kind of petty whining is beneath you. Really.

    , @anon
    "Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California."

    Bigger gas tanks also means more money for the state and fed, regardless of the price of gas. The fed takes their cut per gallon and the state takes theirs too. Then they tax again yearly just so you can drive it and pretend you don't need their permission and that it's really yours. Even if you don't drive it, you still have to pay for it, just in case it runs and might drive your vehicle.
  137. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Dunno but I hope he’s OK.
     
    Don’t worry—I believe he’s decamped with fam to CT and is doing fine.

    My shout-out was an on-topic reference to his handle “slumber_j” i.e. Schlumberger… I assume it’s a reference to that firm.

    Jenner I feel you may be the only one who truly gets me.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Air-oaf Lot? j/k :)
  138. Anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad


    Remind me why low oil prices are *bad* for the economy again?
     
    It's not. Cheap energy is one of the best things you can have. (For pretty much everyone except people making a living providing energy.)

    But when energy prices go down it's a sign that the economy is weaker. When they plummet it's a sign things have really tanked.

    It’s not. Cheap energy is one of the best things you can have. (For pretty much everyone except people making a living providing energy.)

    It’s actually bad, AnotherDad. Because the apparent cost doesn’t take into account externalities. Pollution is an important one, but it is dwarfed by another. The biggest hidden cost by far is the faster depletion of a vital—and non-renewable—resource

  139. @eD
    "We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown."

    This is where I disagree.

    Peak global light sweet crude production (about 2005) was followed pretty quickly by the great financial crisis (2008).

    Then twelve years after that you get whatever this is, but whatever it is it definitely involves demand destruction. I really don't know how closing all businesses and putting masses of people under house arrest is not considered "societal meltdown".

    I guess it depends on what people were expecting.

    “We lived through peak whale without societal meltdown.”

    Economic and social conditions in the USA have been deteriorating ever since the USA hit peak conventional oil in the early 1970s. How could anyone not notice this and see the correlation with the end of cheap (economic) oil?

    It was the early 1970s when the Rockefellers decided to bring China online because they knew that a less wealthy world needed cheaper manufacturing, as a way to deal with falling wealth (falling demand) in the West and it also needed more consumers to sustain demand for increasingly expensive-to-produce oil .

    So it was in the early 1980s – to ensure that demand could be sustained – that the cheap money faucet was opened full blast and let run for the next 40 years and now the only way to support global demand is apparently to have a global debt of $250 trillion, with consumers up to their necks in credit card debt and three – count ’em, three – massive economic collapses in the last twenty years.

    The world is currently using ten barrels of oil for every barrel that is discovered. There hasn’t been a truly gianty discovery of oil since 1962. We have had the North Sea, not cheap but nice, and Cantarell (1976) but it is also just about finished now. So what now?

    If the world is so awash with cheap (economic) oil, why do we have to drill offshore or mine tar sands or frack? This is rubbish oil – and most of what is in a barrel of fracked “oil” is not even oil, it is what they call boe, or a “barrel of oil equivalent” – compared to the halcyon days of mid-east oil.

    Why are frackers so deep in debt they can never repay? I mean, if what they do is economic?

    Why have the oil majors spent the last ten years cutting their capex back almost to nothing?

    There is enough oil left for hundreds of years? Well, certainly, there will be plenty of oil left in the ground and under the oceans by the time industrial civilization grinds out its final plastic product, but that will be because it is too expensive to extract relative to what people can pay. Yes, demand destruction is the name of the peak cheap (economic) oil game.

    All of these undeniable facts stare us in the face, yet fearful, whistling-in the-churchyard idiots keep insisting that they can’t see the logic of peak cheap (economic) oil in operation.

    Yes, peak cheap (economic) oil exists. It is a fact. We don’t have to wait for it to “happen”. We are all living in it right now.

    Or have you not noticed the ever-deteriorating standards of living and society in the USA and the Western world today?

    • Agree: SOL
  140. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective. When he and I arrive at similar suspicions, I take notice.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it's not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere. The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California's special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected. Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California's shortage of refining capacity. The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    California has the best alt fuels build out in the US and consumers are not interested. They also do not apply political pressure for lower gas prices through easing the ridiculous requirements, in fact, the California resident on average seems to enjoy the pain.

    Just take what Ron is paying and buy a Tesla and be happy.

  141. @Jonathan Mason
    How long does it take to build tanks or reservoirs to store oil for future use?

    Jonathon, years ago there were boiler makers who could build tanks at an unbelievable pace, we called these welders “Tankies.” The got their hourly rate plus a poundage bonus. But, back then, no OSHA, so no welder hanging in a bosun chair. No EPA permits needed in case the tank failed. Built coal silos for power houses and the weld testing, sonic and x-ray slow you down. Nice thought though. Stay safe.

  142. @Reg Cæsar

    Jonathan, when Bernie Sanders would proclaim ” socialism works,” he would point to Denmark and Norway as socialist success stories.

     

    These are capitalist countries, with higher taxes on the upper middle class. Rich people don't pay any tax, because they live in Monaco most of the year.

    Problem is, the largess that these two countries shower on their citizens is funded by export of North Sea oil. What happens now?

     

    That may be true for Norway, but I think it is much less so for Denmark. And not at all for Sweden, Finland, or Germany. Finland gets money from trees, and Denmark from cows, but mostly it's hard work and smart investment.

    Reg, I forced myself to watch a few Dem debates. When Mayor Pete said “Socialism doesn’t work.” Bernie threw a dimissive wave at him and growled…”Look at Denmark.” So I did. Spent a couple of hours researching Denmark. Oil is a big export. Danes, whether they worked or not, receive a government funded pension at age 62. Taxes, tariffs and sales of offshore oil fund the pensions.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Danes, whether they worked or not, receive a government funded pension at age 62. Taxes, tariffs and sales of offshore oil fund the pensions.
     
    Same as Alaska, which nobody calls socialist. Besides, the oil could dry up tomorrow and the Danes would do just fine.

    Whereas oil-rich Angola and Nigeria...
  143. @Buffalo Joe
    Reg, I forced myself to watch a few Dem debates. When Mayor Pete said "Socialism doesn't work." Bernie threw a dimissive wave at him and growled..."Look at Denmark." So I did. Spent a couple of hours researching Denmark. Oil is a big export. Danes, whether they worked or not, receive a government funded pension at age 62. Taxes, tariffs and sales of offshore oil fund the pensions.

    Danes, whether they worked or not, receive a government funded pension at age 62. Taxes, tariffs and sales of offshore oil fund the pensions.

    Same as Alaska, which nobody calls socialist. Besides, the oil could dry up tomorrow and the Danes would do just fine.

    Whereas oil-rich Angola and Nigeria…

  144. @Reg Cæsar
    29¢-- really, $0.299-- in 1969 would be more than $2 today. It's cheaper now.

    With a generous coupon, we filled up yesterday for under a buck a gallon. We had to buy two pizzas to qualify though. One was chicken Alfredo.

    With a generous coupon, we filled up yesterday for under a buck a gallon.

    In New Jersey this would be illegal. In addition to not be allowed to put our own gas, you can’t give incentives such as this to sell gasoline. Back when gas stations used to give away jelly jars and various other tchotchkes the television ad would always make a point of saying that the offer was not available in New Jersey.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    I've bought gas in New Jersey and it is weird, like a trip back to the '60s and some guy coming up to my dad's window. And the price was about 75% of what it was where I lived and pumped my own.

    Oregon is the only other state that does this, and it's been suspended for the time being:


    https://www.wweek.com/news/2020/04/11/the-oregon-state-fire-marshal-extends-self-service-gas-through-april-25/
  145. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    California gas can only come from a small number of refineries that can produce California mandated gas.
     
    Correct, but there is also a federal standard for military and other uses.

    The CA governor has the authority to permit importation and sale of "federal standard" gasoline by executive order. Of course, Gruesome will never sign such an order because his friends in the refining business pay him not to.

    Californians routinely elect pols that do this and are proud of this. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    The military buys very little gasoline any more as gasoline is prohibited from shipboard use entirely and all military vehicles are diesel. (Gasoline is banned, but Otto Fuel II (for torpedoes) and several even worse liquid missile fuels are permissible……go figure.) They run on JP-8, which is a subspec of JP-5 with cetane and lubricity requirements to make it better for nonhardened diesel injection systems. It’s good for all military diesels and for all military jet aircraft, except the U-2, which burns JP-TS fuel, but can operate on other jet fuels at slightly reduced altitudes. The SR required JP-7 fuel, had no alternatives at any time and JP-7 was not allowed in any other aircraft for propulsion. It wouldn’t start without the TEB ignitor system in theory: in practice, the little bit of JP-4/5/8 in the lines mixed in and it would light fine, but they were concerned that if they had a flameout a relight might not be possible. (Just mixing in a specified quantity of other jet fuel, even 5% would do, worked, but “military intelligence” is an oxymoron). I think they probably considered putting a TEB system, or a separate start tank of kerosene or something, on the U-2, so they could have commonality of fuel with the SR, but that would have trimmed into contractor profits.

    They still make JP-7, by the way, so someone somewhere uses it but no one will admit who or where-probably some unmanned drone program. I’ve heard it said that Stoddard Solvent is basically the same as JP-7 but can not confirm this.

  146. @Buffalo Joe
    obie, Oh, ok, I won't tell you any different, but my very liberal cousin's trip to Cuba, from Toronto, showed him what a shit hole Cuba is, but you know more than me. And I still want you to be safe, but less acerbic.

    Yeah, I work with a true born SWPL that went to Cuba for a week, sounded grim. I’m sure it’s not much grimmer than life in the US for the lower 50% or so, just a different kind grim depending on where you are. But success story is a stretch.

    My coworker is really funny because whenever he actually notices anything around him, you can see the bad-thoughts start welling up, and then you can watch the doublethink kick in. It’s remarkable.

  147. @Lars Porsena
    Mostly the government.

    Buffalo Joe says he got a gallon of gas on the reservation (no tax!) for $0.97, so in LA you are paying $2.28 per gallon in county, state and federal taxes. Over 200% tax.

    That would be 135%, not over 200%. Also, gas taxes are generally calculated on a per gallon basis, not as a percentage.

    Between state and federal taxes, NJ pays 59.8¢/gal. This is in the top 10 nationally, but still less than NY, CT, and PA, which is why they barely get away with it. It used to be much lower.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena

    Also, gas taxes are generally calculated on a per gallon basis, not as a percentage.
     
    I know, I just gave it as a percentage.

    You calculate tax on before tax sales price. If you buy an item that costs $100 and there is a 10% sales tax you pay $110. So if something costed $0.97 before tax and $3.25 after tax that would be over 200% sales tax. I know it's not sales tax, I'm just saying.

    Granted though it is not all tax, some of it is probably just because various locations are more expensive. The gas station still has to make up for property taxes and minimum wage and the like.
  148. @AnotherDad

    There are 42 gallons in a barrel. At $12 per barrel that’s 28.5 cents per gallon for the oil itself. Yet in Los Angeles gas is still around $3.25 per gallon.
     
    That's quite a bit different than here in Florida. I did a quick check on LA gas prices and a bunch of Costco, Sam's Club and Arco prices were 2.29.

    California generally has that--or one of--the highest gas taxes at 60 cents or so. Texas one of the lowest at 20 cents. The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents everywhere. At a Costco in Austin you can get $1.29 gas.

    I've always been "cheap", but i'm still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market. Even more so know when anyone can check prices and work a cheap station into their trips. (I'm not even a smart phone guy and i can do it.)

    i’m still perplexed why anyone fills up at these stations that are way above market.

    Isn’t your time worth anything? In New Jersey one doesn’t need to be a member of Costco in order to fill up there, and I refuse just to avoid the hordes.

    I’ve always been “cheap”

    Ahh, now I see. At least you are honest and don’t call yourself frugal.

    Every June/July there is a fair held in the parking lot of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Early in the fair one of the days is designated Half Price Day. That’s a day I would never go because every savage from 50 miles around goes that day.

    In a similar vein, never go to the Bronx Zoo on Free Admission Day.

  149. @YetAnotherAnon
    "Britain has also become much more affluent than it was before the discovery of said North Sea oil in 1969"

    In 1969 a working Brit male on median income could afford to buy a house and have a wife at home looking after the kids. In what sense have we, as a nation, become more affluent? I know shiny Chinese electronics are very cheap but that does not affluence make.

    In 1969 many Brits still heated their homes with coal and did not have central heating. Gasoline still had lead. Pollution was terrible. Everyone smelled of cigarette smoke. The average quality of housing was terrible. Britain was not yet in the EU and the choice of foods was very limited. Relatively few people owned cars.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "The average quality of housing was terrible."

    But you could BUY it, not rent it. You could start with an unheated house (but which still had coal fireplaces, and coal was affordable) and improve over the years as finances offered, adding central heating, double glazing etc. And a brand new 3-bed semi with all those features plus a garage in 1969 was maybe £5k in the English Midlands. Built to Parker Morris standards compared with which today's homes are for pygmies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Morris_Committee#Standards

    Those terrible Victorian terraces which councils were knocking down in the 1970s are now worth hundreds of thousands, millions in London.

    How long have you been out of the UK? Have you seen the appalling standard of British new-build homes, their amazing shrinking rooms and even more amazing shrinking gardens?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7247235/Persimmon-apologises-probe-reveals-problems-including-faulty-fire-door-unsealed-showers.html
  150. anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    Special California gasoline costs more to produce and only a limited number of refineries are set up to make it. It's still a lot cheaper than avgas, though, so don't bitch.

    if I lived in California I would strongly consider a CNG or Propane (LP Gas) burning vehicle as in California those fuels are much cheaper than California gasoline.

    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    http://www.100ll.com/

    They show prices for 100LL and Jet A, but not the other grades of Avgas which a few places still offer. In Alaska and the Pacific NW you can still get green, and one batch of purple is made for the Reno Air Races each year.

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won't sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.

    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    Could it be that FBO knows he’s your only source?

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won’t sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.

    Looks like that’s the case. Oh, well. Say, whattaya griping about for 2 lousy gallons anyway? $12 is lunch money now.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The vast majority of Avgas does in fact go into airplanes, which all FBOs will sell fuel to.

    It is not illegal to sell avgas to anyone, except to put it in a motor vehicle licensed for on road use which is equipped with a catalyst and marked "unleaded fuel only", but if they directly dispense it into a motor vehicle of any type many believe that the state may require them to pay road tax on every gallon they pump. I don't think it's true, but someone told them that. None the less, no one with any sense is running any vehicle on avgas, catalyst or not. 100LL avgas generally measures about 92 on the R+M/2 scale, since the avgas octane measurement scale was designed for large displacement supercharged air cooled radial engines operating at stratosphere altitudes.

    On car engines operated on roads, straight avgas will foul plugs really bad. The old red 80/87 was okay but its octane was so piss poor by R+M/2 standards it was only good for old flatheads and farm tractors and such. In race cars and boats, it doesn't foul plugs because you are operating at high power settings continuously.

    What people with vintage high compression sports and muscle cars do do with avgas is use it as an additive to regular autogas to increase octane and for valve seat lube for those nitwits that didn't have hardened seats put in when they did the last valve job. 100LL works great for that, green 100/130 even better and purple 115/145 even better yet.

    The other nonaviation use for avgas is in boats with fiberglass integral fuel tanks, and in small engines because basically it doesn't attack vintage fuel system materials and can last for years without going bad. I had to rebuild the carb on my Gravely every year, with 100LL (I get them to add a tiny dollop of Alcor TCP scavenging agent) it hasn't needed any fuel system maintenance whatever since I tore everything down in 2016. I had the tank acid stripped and a bung silver soldered in to use a motorcycle petcock on the bottom and rebuilt the carb. It does still foul the plug but that's a fast change out and I'm good. It starts first pull each season and with a good sharp blade I'm ready to terrorize the neighborhood as when the "Starship Enterprise" bush hog hits bumps on the ground or tree roots it lops them flush and chucks the divots out with enough force to seriously dent aluminum house siding. I have no neighbors with aluminum siding, but I am careful around basement windows.
  151. anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective. When he and I arrive at similar suspicions, I take notice.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it's not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere. The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California's special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected. Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California's shortage of refining capacity. The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective.

    He has a different political perspective, I agree.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it’s not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere

    You agree with me. Furthermore, that makes you guys a captive market.

    . The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California’s special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected.

    Illuminati! It’s gotta be them!

    Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California’s shortage of refining capacity.

    When was the last time a new oil refinery was built anywhere in the continental US?

    The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Gee, that seems like something that could only happen in a one-party state. How did it occur in California?

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    Ok. Putting on my Libertarian hat, I suggest you build your own refinery and drill more offshore oil in the Santa Barbara channel! That’ll fix everything!

    SIgh.

    C’mon, Steve, this kind of petty whining is beneath you. Really.

  152. @ScarletNumber

    With a generous coupon, we filled up yesterday for under a buck a gallon.
     
    In New Jersey this would be illegal. In addition to not be allowed to put our own gas, you can't give incentives such as this to sell gasoline. Back when gas stations used to give away jelly jars and various other tchotchkes the television ad would always make a point of saying that the offer was not available in New Jersey.

    I’ve bought gas in New Jersey and it is weird, like a trip back to the ’60s and some guy coming up to my dad’s window. And the price was about 75% of what it was where I lived and pumped my own.

    Oregon is the only other state that does this, and it’s been suspended for the time being:

    https://www.wweek.com/news/2020/04/11/the-oregon-state-fire-marshal-extends-self-service-gas-through-april-25/

  153. @Michaeloh
    Crude is not exactly at $11/barrel. That was a price, briefly, for May WTI futures contracts. Those expire tomorrow and thus all the demand in future crude is about June. Its like being the noodle armed male feminist with a closet full of Hillary signage on The day after the election. Nobody wants to be that guy.

    June WTI is at about 21 / barrel, and Brent is at about 27 I think. Prices could still go lower, but minus $37.5 was, as you say, because of the roll from the May to the nearby June contract. Oil is making a bottom. But picking one’s bottom is bad manners and frowned upon. : )

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Oil isn't bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake, June WTI will have similar issues in due course. Every investor, both sophisticated and retail, should steer well clear of structured products like USO, a number have blown up in the past few weeks, and others have suffered huge losses.
  154. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    Perhaps they are Log Cabin Republicans.

  155. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    I got my annual two gallons of 100LL for the Gravely a short time ago. The FBO out here still has the balls to ask $6 a gallon even though national price at FBOs has dropped :

    Could it be that FBO knows he's your only source?

    Other FBOs around here are cunts and won’t sell to can buyers for excuses that do not make sense. Roosterville will but the owner and his son are quite nuts and I am not comfortable going on his property.

    Looks like that's the case. Oh, well. Say, whattaya griping about for 2 lousy gallons anyway? $12 is lunch money now.

    The vast majority of Avgas does in fact go into airplanes, which all FBOs will sell fuel to.

    It is not illegal to sell avgas to anyone, except to put it in a motor vehicle licensed for on road use which is equipped with a catalyst and marked “unleaded fuel only”, but if they directly dispense it into a motor vehicle of any type many believe that the state may require them to pay road tax on every gallon they pump. I don’t think it’s true, but someone told them that. None the less, no one with any sense is running any vehicle on avgas, catalyst or not. 100LL avgas generally measures about 92 on the R+M/2 scale, since the avgas octane measurement scale was designed for large displacement supercharged air cooled radial engines operating at stratosphere altitudes.

    On car engines operated on roads, straight avgas will foul plugs really bad. The old red 80/87 was okay but its octane was so piss poor by R+M/2 standards it was only good for old flatheads and farm tractors and such. In race cars and boats, it doesn’t foul plugs because you are operating at high power settings continuously.

    What people with vintage high compression sports and muscle cars do do with avgas is use it as an additive to regular autogas to increase octane and for valve seat lube for those nitwits that didn’t have hardened seats put in when they did the last valve job. 100LL works great for that, green 100/130 even better and purple 115/145 even better yet.

    The other nonaviation use for avgas is in boats with fiberglass integral fuel tanks, and in small engines because basically it doesn’t attack vintage fuel system materials and can last for years without going bad. I had to rebuild the carb on my Gravely every year, with 100LL (I get them to add a tiny dollop of Alcor TCP scavenging agent) it hasn’t needed any fuel system maintenance whatever since I tore everything down in 2016. I had the tank acid stripped and a bung silver soldered in to use a motorcycle petcock on the bottom and rebuilt the carb. It does still foul the plug but that’s a fast change out and I’m good. It starts first pull each season and with a good sharp blade I’m ready to terrorize the neighborhood as when the “Starship Enterprise” bush hog hits bumps on the ground or tree roots it lops them flush and chucks the divots out with enough force to seriously dent aluminum house siding. I have no neighbors with aluminum siding, but I am careful around basement windows.

  156. @FPD72
    Obviously, low oil prices are good for the national economy but prices this low are catastrophic for oil-producing regions. Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more. One bright spot for independent producers: many of them have long term contracts with buyers that are set at higher prices than today’s spot market. We’ll see how long those are honored.

    The present glut is the result of much lower demand coupled with Russian and Saudi high production levels. Russia’s production costs are not that low, so what they’re doing is the oil equivalent of dumping.

    We’ll see how Trump’s agreement with Russia and Saudi Arabia works out. Because demand is so low right now it’s going to take a while to burn through the present glut.

    My guess is that the only drilling taking place today is to hold on to leases that have already been paid for and that require rigs to be “spudded in” (drilling to be underway) before a certain date to hold on to the lease. Because the shale wells have a steeper decline gradient than conventional wells, I think we’ll see American oil production start to fall pretty fast.

    No the oil glut is not caused by either Russia or Saudi Arabia, they have restricted production, it is US shale that is massively overproducing, unsurprisingly OPEC+ have adopted the position they won’t cut if the US doesn’t.

    • Replies: @FPD72
    According to this article in Forbes, the Saudis INCREASED production by 1 MMBOE a day in April while Russia refused to cut their already high production.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2020/03/09/russia-will-beat-saudi-arabia-in-this-oil-price-war/#7d196dc214a6

    What’s your source?
  157. @Lot
    Jenner I feel you may be the only one who truly gets me.



    https://cdn.seatguru.com/en_US/img/20180607145757/seatguru/airline_photos/LO.jpg

    Air-oaf Lot? j/k 🙂

  158. @Semperluctor
    June WTI is at about 21 / barrel, and Brent is at about 27 I think. Prices could still go lower, but minus $37.5 was, as you say, because of the roll from the May to the nearby June contract. Oil is making a bottom. But picking one’s bottom is bad manners and frowned upon. : )

    Oil isn’t bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake, June WTI will have similar issues in due course. Every investor, both sophisticated and retail, should steer well clear of structured products like USO, a number have blown up in the past few weeks, and others have suffered huge losses.

    • Replies: @danand

    “Oil isn’t bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake.”
     
    LondonBob, it’s funny you mention USO. On a lark bought a few long duration USO straddle option contracts a little while back. Just took a guess that oil was not going to be too stable for a while.

    Posting this pic as it’s hard to imagine we’ll see this again:

    https://flic.kr/p/2iSLbQM
    , @LondonBob
    As predicted the June WTI price has now crashed, a Barclays share oil ETF is being wound up and USO looks in trouble.
  159. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

    Sorry, I did not get a response from the OP, so I thought I would try the rest of the board. Would anyone care to have a go at answering this?

    <>
    Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems – standard psyop procedure.
    <>

    By “four to six weeks of isolation,” do you mean:

    A) Alcatraz-style solitary confinement (i.e. no contact with other people combined with no books/TV/radio and so forth).

    Or

    B) “Four to six weeks” confinement in a typical house or apartment with all the conveniences (TV/books/Internet) but no one going in or out

    …is supposed to have negative psychological effects?

    I ask because I was led to understand that it is not necessarily the lack of human contact that is so psychologically traumatising in the former case, but rather, the lack of human contact *combined* with absolutely nothing in the way of distraction or entertainment that makes prison solitary so difficult.

    Is that right?

    • Replies: @The Real and Original David
    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it's one of them speaking when you hear "corona isolation is killing us psychologically."

    Introverts, believe me, are having no problem; most don't even notice.

  160. @Anonymous
    Sorry, I did not get a response from the OP, so I thought I would try the rest of the board. Would anyone care to have a go at answering this?

    <>
    Four to six weeks of isolation tends to cause psychological problems – standard psyop procedure.
    <>

    By “four to six weeks of isolation,” do you mean:

    A) Alcatraz-style solitary confinement (i.e. no contact with other people combined with no books/TV/radio and so forth).

    Or

    B) “Four to six weeks” confinement in a typical house or apartment with all the conveniences (TV/books/Internet) but no one going in or out

    …is supposed to have negative psychological effects?

    I ask because I was led to understand that it is not necessarily the lack of human contact that is so psychologically traumatising in the former case, but rather, the lack of human contact *combined* with absolutely nothing in the way of distraction or entertainment that makes prison solitary so difficult.

    Is that right?

    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it’s one of them speaking when you hear “corona isolation is killing us psychologically.”

    Introverts, believe me, are having no problem; most don’t even notice.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    <>
    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it’s one of them speaking when you hear “corona isolation is killing us psychologically.”
    <>

    Right. From where I am standing, there is a huge difference between being asked to stay at home with books, DVDs, the Internet, and so forth vs. being thrown in a cell with only your fingers and toes for distraction.

    I do understand people not liking being at home for a prolonged period and I'm not unsympathetic. However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it.

    Thank you for the reply.
  161. @anon
    You'll be on lock-down until the price rises. Gas stations will go out of business along with transportation and there goes your food. Can't afford to pay workers their salary and give the gas away. Cities and states especially California depend on a high price so they can collect their big share in taxes. All that road work the fed does is from gas taxes along with all of Europe's great welfare systems. fill up before the gas station closes

    Gas stations make their bird on beer, nips and cigarettes.

  162. @LondonBob
    Oil isn't bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake, June WTI will have similar issues in due course. Every investor, both sophisticated and retail, should steer well clear of structured products like USO, a number have blown up in the past few weeks, and others have suffered huge losses.

    “Oil isn’t bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake.”

    LondonBob, it’s funny you mention USO. On a lark bought a few long duration USO straddle option contracts a little while back. Just took a guess that oil was not going to be too stable for a while.

    Posting this pic as it’s hard to imagine we’ll see this again:

    1463CB94-C48D-47CA-BCC9-9A07ED56B751

  163. @Buzz Mohawk
    Ignore these people.

    You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year. One family I have known since 1979 had to sell their farm when milk prices in the 1990s got too low.

    Hey, do you know who bought their 600-acre farm? A couple of GAY MEN who now make cheese on that farm. I built a log cabin in their woods in 1979 with the son of those original, American farmers, lived there for seven months alone with my dog, and learned how it all worked, circa 1980. It was an American family farm.

    That family had owned that land for two centuries. It was a grant to their ancestor, of the very same family name, who fought in our revolution. The then-new State of New York gave land -- to the tune of 600 acres in this case -- to any man brave enough to have fought the British Empire.

    Too bad now nobody, not even our esteemed hosts here, has any concept of what that meant.

    We here in America have all the energy we need. It is only when we go outside this wonderful continent-of-resousces that we encounter complications.

    “You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year.”

    Mr. Mohawk, I am all for supporting hardworking farmers when they need help. “Butter” definitely comes first. I’d rather we pay for and throw out half what is grown; than risk national starvation.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    dan, the thing about dairy farms is you HAVE TO MILK YOUR COWS. You don't have to plow right now for corn or dig potatoes, but cows have to milked on schedule. We have two big yogurt plants in nearby Batavia, NY and a huge cheese plant in nearby Pembroke, NY. Maybe if the price of yogurt and cheese come down, farmers can sell some milk instead of dumping. Cows rotting in their stalls.
  164. @Jonathan Mason
    In 1969 many Brits still heated their homes with coal and did not have central heating. Gasoline still had lead. Pollution was terrible. Everyone smelled of cigarette smoke. The average quality of housing was terrible. Britain was not yet in the EU and the choice of foods was very limited. Relatively few people owned cars.

    “The average quality of housing was terrible.”

    But you could BUY it, not rent it. You could start with an unheated house (but which still had coal fireplaces, and coal was affordable) and improve over the years as finances offered, adding central heating, double glazing etc. And a brand new 3-bed semi with all those features plus a garage in 1969 was maybe £5k in the English Midlands. Built to Parker Morris standards compared with which today’s homes are for pygmies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Morris_Committee#Standards

    Those terrible Victorian terraces which councils were knocking down in the 1970s are now worth hundreds of thousands, millions in London.

    How long have you been out of the UK? Have you seen the appalling standard of British new-build homes, their amazing shrinking rooms and even more amazing shrinking gardens?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7247235/Persimmon-apologises-probe-reveals-problems-including-faulty-fire-door-unsealed-showers.html

  165. @LondonBob
    No the oil glut is not caused by either Russia or Saudi Arabia, they have restricted production, it is US shale that is massively overproducing, unsurprisingly OPEC+ have adopted the position they won't cut if the US doesn't.

    According to this article in Forbes, the Saudis INCREASED production by 1 MMBOE a day in April while Russia refused to cut their already high production.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2020/03/09/russia-will-beat-saudi-arabia-in-this-oil-price-war/#7d196dc214a6

    What’s your source?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    OPEC+ won't cut if the US doesn't, it is the US that has relentlessly increased production despite weak demand. Don't need sources to know that.
    , @Alexander Turok
    So, basically, you're position is that the Saudis and Russians should have cut their production while America has drastically increased its production.

    A mystery why they don't agree...
  166. @FPD72
    According to this article in Forbes, the Saudis INCREASED production by 1 MMBOE a day in April while Russia refused to cut their already high production.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2020/03/09/russia-will-beat-saudi-arabia-in-this-oil-price-war/#7d196dc214a6

    What’s your source?

    OPEC+ won’t cut if the US doesn’t, it is the US that has relentlessly increased production despite weak demand. Don’t need sources to know that.

  167. @danand

    “You need prices to support whatever work you do. That is basic. My dairy farmer friends deal with milk prices every day/month/year.”
     
    Mr. Mohawk, I am all for supporting hardworking farmers when they need help. “Butter” definitely comes first. I’d rather we pay for and throw out half what is grown; than risk national starvation.

    https://youtu.be/3V9c4JvPRyQ

    dan, the thing about dairy farms is you HAVE TO MILK YOUR COWS. You don’t have to plow right now for corn or dig potatoes, but cows have to milked on schedule. We have two big yogurt plants in nearby Batavia, NY and a huge cheese plant in nearby Pembroke, NY. Maybe if the price of yogurt and cheese come down, farmers can sell some milk instead of dumping. Cows rotting in their stalls.

  168. @ScarletNumber
    That would be 135%, not over 200%. Also, gas taxes are generally calculated on a per gallon basis, not as a percentage.

    Between state and federal taxes, NJ pays 59.8¢/gal. This is in the top 10 nationally, but still less than NY, CT, and PA, which is why they barely get away with it. It used to be much lower.

    Also, gas taxes are generally calculated on a per gallon basis, not as a percentage.

    I know, I just gave it as a percentage.

    You calculate tax on before tax sales price. If you buy an item that costs $100 and there is a 10% sales tax you pay $110. So if something costed $0.97 before tax and $3.25 after tax that would be over 200% sales tax. I know it’s not sales tax, I’m just saying.

    Granted though it is not all tax, some of it is probably just because various locations are more expensive. The gas station still has to make up for property taxes and minimum wage and the like.

  169. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Real and Original David
    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it's one of them speaking when you hear "corona isolation is killing us psychologically."

    Introverts, believe me, are having no problem; most don't even notice.

    <>
    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it’s one of them speaking when you hear “corona isolation is killing us psychologically.”
    <>

    Right. From where I am standing, there is a huge difference between being asked to stay at home with books, DVDs, the Internet, and so forth vs. being thrown in a cell with only your fingers and toes for distraction.

    I do understand people not liking being at home for a prolonged period and I’m not unsympathetic. However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it.

    Thank you for the reply.

    • Replies: @HA
    "However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it."

    I'd wager that's because you're more resilient psychologically than the wilting flowers who because of the lockdown now think they understand what Anne Frank or the people cowering in bomb shelters during the London Blitz went through. Or else those who even now want to compare the coming recession to what the people who survived Hiroshima or Dresden had to endure.

    People who already had to deal with that kind of fragility and damage and economic vulnerability will indeed suffer and in some cases die because of the lockdown, and the social hardships it inflicts, just as the vast majority of people who suffer from coronavirus have pre-existing medical conditions. I realize it's difficult to weigh one set of lives against the others, and that's what politicians are having to do now. Still, it rankles when people who are hyper-aware of one kind of pre-existing damage (perhaps because they close to someone who has it) are the very same ones who insist that the people with the other kind of damage aren't even worth trying to save.

  170. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Drum is a sensible guy with a different political perspective. When he and I arrive at similar suspicions, I take notice.

    California gasoline is not very fungible. When prices are high here, it's not legal to bring in gasoline from elsewhere. The question is whether the various accidents and maintenance periods that seem to shut down sizable chunks of the small number of big refineries that make California's special forms of gasoline for quite a bit of the time happen more than could be expected. Moreover, nobody seems very interested in trying to do much about California's shortage of refining capacity. The politicians mostly want higher gasoline prices and the oil companies seem to have made their peace with that in California.

    Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.

    “Perhaps Ford and GM would like cheaper gas prices to sell more pickup trucks in California? They are about the only organized interests I could see (and their dealers) with the resources to push hard for cheaper gasoline prices in California.”

    Bigger gas tanks also means more money for the state and fed, regardless of the price of gas. The fed takes their cut per gallon and the state takes theirs too. Then they tax again yearly just so you can drive it and pretend you don’t need their permission and that it’s really yours. Even if you don’t drive it, you still have to pay for it, just in case it runs and might drive your vehicle.

  171. @FPD72
    According to this article in Forbes, the Saudis INCREASED production by 1 MMBOE a day in April while Russia refused to cut their already high production.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2020/03/09/russia-will-beat-saudi-arabia-in-this-oil-price-war/#7d196dc214a6

    What’s your source?

    So, basically, you’re position is that the Saudis and Russians should have cut their production while America has drastically increased its production.

    A mystery why they don’t agree…

    • Replies: @FPD72

    So, basically, you’re position is that the Saudis and Russians should have cut their production while America has drastically increased its production.
     
    First of all, I’m not a position.

    Secondly, I wasn’t taking a position. I was simply stating my understanding of the decline of the oil market and cited Forbes as a reputable source of information and analysis.

    My position? To the degree possible within legal constraints, the US should reduce its oil production in the same percentage as Russia and the Saudis. I don’t know the detail of the deal struck by Trump with Russia and the Saudis but I would guess it’s something along those lines.

    Range, Parsley, and others have asked the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulates the oil industry in Texas) to reduce the allowable production within the state for the first time since 1972. I hope the TRC goes along with this, but only as a temporary measure. The TRC has an interest in preserving the industry but not in insuring high prices, which back in the 1950s and 60s seemed to be its mission. Most of the shale producers in Texas can stay in business in the $40-50 range. As soon as the glut, caused by government mandated shutdowns around the world, is worked down, the TRC should get out of the way and let less efficient operators go under. More efficient companies will purchase their assets and oil will continue to be produced. We were already seeing a scaling back of new drilling by some large players, such as Concho, to improve their cash flow and increase their efficiency (such as by increasing the spacing between wells).
  172. @FPD72
    Obviously, low oil prices are good for the national economy but prices this low are catastrophic for oil-producing regions. Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more. One bright spot for independent producers: many of them have long term contracts with buyers that are set at higher prices than today’s spot market. We’ll see how long those are honored.

    The present glut is the result of much lower demand coupled with Russian and Saudi high production levels. Russia’s production costs are not that low, so what they’re doing is the oil equivalent of dumping.

    We’ll see how Trump’s agreement with Russia and Saudi Arabia works out. Because demand is so low right now it’s going to take a while to burn through the present glut.

    My guess is that the only drilling taking place today is to hold on to leases that have already been paid for and that require rigs to be “spudded in” (drilling to be underway) before a certain date to hold on to the lease. Because the shale wells have a steeper decline gradient than conventional wells, I think we’ll see American oil production start to fall pretty fast.

    Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more.

    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it “drain America first,” which it did in fact do.

    • Replies: @FPD72

    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it “drain America first,” which it did in fact do.
     
    I can find no record of oil tariffs during the time period you cited. In 1959 the Eisenhower administration instituted an oil quota that limited oil imports to no more than 9% of US use. Nixon was forced to abandon this in 1973 during the nation’s gas shortage.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.
  173. Anonymous[578] • Disclaimer says:
    @Seedub
    "There are 42 gallons in a barrel."

    Actually, only about 20 gallons of gasoline can be extracted from a barrel of crude.

    Right, the rest is diesel and jet fuel, lubricants, bunker oil, and finally tar and asphalt ingredients. Nothing is wasted.

    At one time, economically speaking gasoline was the primary product and others were byproduct: now diesel and jet fuels are the main product. Automotive gas is now the cheapest combustible grade of petroleum.

    Cheap gasoline is a curse, and is profoundly unsustainable. When gas is cheap any and all efforts to put in alternate fuel infrastructure are immediately abandoned and even aggressively destroyed. Then prices spike and very slowly the old plans are reviewed and after “new necessary research” state and local fleets and then some commercial fleets slowly build out. By then, gasoline and diesel are well off peak and people get cold feet.

    Under Obama we had $4/ gallon gas for a while. We were seeing real progress towards a CNG infrastructure buildout when prices plunged and it was immediately abandoned. Ford and Honda had a good selection of CNG factory vehicles. They vanished in two model years.

    When this glut is over- the higher cost oil producers and gas wells off convenient pipeline access capped-I expect light sweet crude to spike again and another round of $4 to $6 a gallon gasoline and maybe $7 diesel. Of course we won’t have learned a damn thing.

    A smart volkish state would put in a price floor- a high minimum price for oil derived gasoline and diesel- with a long enough guaranteed time that infrastructure for CNG/LNG vehicles, or building a coal to motor fuels plant, would pay off.

    The other big obstacle to any change in automotive propulsion is the stealerships. Musk was right that he had to be able to sell direct. State dealership model protection laws should be killed the same way the 21 drinking age was rammed up states’ asses-do it or no highway funds for you.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, never mention the word "coal" or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.
  174. Anonymous[578] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Dunno but I hope he’s OK.
     
    Don’t worry—I believe he’s decamped with fam to CT and is doing fine.

    My shout-out was an on-topic reference to his handle “slumber_j” i.e. Schlumberger… I assume it’s a reference to that firm.

    They used to own Heathkit. Heathkit was profitable, but during a boom not profitable enough. So they killed it. A lot of people have tried to restart it but no one with both capital and an understanding of the products that would sell. Nor the willingness to do the detail work that made Heathkits buildable by anyone with a willingness to read and follow the book.

    Right now they’d be doing a land office business.

  175. @LondonBob
    Oil isn't bottoming yet and all those retail investors piling in to USO are making a huge mistake, June WTI will have similar issues in due course. Every investor, both sophisticated and retail, should steer well clear of structured products like USO, a number have blown up in the past few weeks, and others have suffered huge losses.

    As predicted the June WTI price has now crashed, a Barclays share oil ETF is being wound up and USO looks in trouble.

    • Replies: @anon
    May WTI settled at $10.01 but may slide a bit more.

    June 411.45, July $18.60, Aug $21.56

    Fairly straightforward price curve given the world situation. US strategic oil reserve being topped up.

    Panic on, dude!
  176. @obwandiyag
    Cuba has no oil and is a great success story. (And don't tell me any different. I know more than you. And don't tell me Venezuela funds them. They were a success way before Venezuela found Chavez, and already a success enough to be sending selfless doctors around the world to help people for free. Exactly like the United States.)

    England has oil and is a shithole (except for the wealth of the international compradore bourgeoisie who simply reside there while maintaining official residences in tax havens around the world).

    Yeah Cuba is quite a success. Average family incomes of $20 per month provides the good life in spades. Health care is free but remember to bring your own sheets, food, bandages, syringes, and drugs. It’s a tropical paradise where people go hungry on the limited imported food. The government rents out selfless doctors then keeps 95% of their pay.

    There might be a few places in Africa that are worse. Haiti is a close match. One advantage is there are few fat people. No one dies from gluttony. On the down side hunger is a bitch.

    • Replies: @A123

    Yeah Cuba is quite a success. Average family incomes of $20 per month provides the good life in spades.
     
    Great life... Free Rent until the building collapses and kills your kids (1)

    Most of Cuba’s grand old buildings were confiscated from the wealthy and distributed to the poor and middle classes after a 1959 revolution that promised housing, health care and education as universal rights. But with state salaries of about $25 a month and government agencies strapped for cash, most buildings have seen little maintenance in decades.

    And that’s the story in a nutshell. Communists promised people housing as a universal right and the result some 60 years later is people living in tiny, substandard hovels, fearing that the next rainstorm could bring the building collapsing down on them and their children.
     
    Communist Utopia in Action

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2018/12/03/socialist-paradise-havana-3865-buildings-collapsed-since-2000/
  177. @LondonBob
    As predicted the June WTI price has now crashed, a Barclays share oil ETF is being wound up and USO looks in trouble.

    May WTI settled at $10.01 but may slide a bit more.

    June 411.45, July $18.60, Aug $21.56

    Fairly straightforward price curve given the world situation. US strategic oil reserve being topped up.

    Panic on, dude!

    • Replies: @danand

    “US strategic oil reserve being topped up.”
     
    #506, just need a plot, a really big truck, oh, and some rigging:

    https://flic.kr/p/2iSWkLM
  178. @Lagertha
    Go! Put several Jerry Cans in your trunk so you can skip gas stations in CA. Take a tent, a telescope, coolers of "friends", water and food. Maybe a radio is a good idea.

    The flowers, birds, frogs croaking are amazing right now. Check WeatherUnderground before you go. Go to Idaho - less people, and not a lock-down state. Go to Lava Hot Springs - this type of water is anathema to viruses. It's a cute, very small town; plenty of hotels...and they have campgrounds! You'll love this town. The springs are AMAZING!

    Go, you may never do this again!

    And this?

    https://visitidaho.org/covid-19-travel-alert/

    While we understand and appreciate the desire to travel and enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors, leisure travel to or within Idaho is restricted at this time. On March 25, 2020, Governor Little issued a 21-day stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration. On April 15, 2020, Governor Little extended the stay-home order through April 30, 2020. Per the Stay-Home Order, individuals arriving in Idaho from another state or country are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If an individual will be present in Idaho for fewer than 14 days, that individual must self-quarantine for the duration of their visit. Idahoans may leave their residences only for essential services, activities, governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Yarro, that is amazing! My wife and I and our two daughters drove from Salt Lake City through Idaho to Jackson Hole,Wyoming. The Swan Valley was a visual delight, but did not see a whole lot of people. Laughed everytime we saw a "Watch for Stopped School Buses" sign. What kids? What schools? This is lock down in the extreme.
    , @Lagertha
    I am, Lagertha, uber-Bitch!! hahhahahhaa
  179. HA says:
    @Anonymous
    <>
    There are a lot of touchy-feely extrovert types who would see no difference between your A) and B). Usually it’s one of them speaking when you hear “corona isolation is killing us psychologically.”
    <>

    Right. From where I am standing, there is a huge difference between being asked to stay at home with books, DVDs, the Internet, and so forth vs. being thrown in a cell with only your fingers and toes for distraction.

    I do understand people not liking being at home for a prolonged period and I'm not unsympathetic. However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it.

    Thank you for the reply.

    “However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it.”

    I’d wager that’s because you’re more resilient psychologically than the wilting flowers who because of the lockdown now think they understand what Anne Frank or the people cowering in bomb shelters during the London Blitz went through. Or else those who even now want to compare the coming recession to what the people who survived Hiroshima or Dresden had to endure.

    People who already had to deal with that kind of fragility and damage and economic vulnerability will indeed suffer and in some cases die because of the lockdown, and the social hardships it inflicts, just as the vast majority of people who suffer from coronavirus have pre-existing medical conditions. I realize it’s difficult to weigh one set of lives against the others, and that’s what politicians are having to do now. Still, it rankles when people who are hyper-aware of one kind of pre-existing damage (perhaps because they close to someone who has it) are the very same ones who insist that the people with the other kind of damage aren’t even worth trying to save.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    <>
    I’d wager that’s because you’re more resilient psychologically than the wilting flowers who because of the lockdown now think they understand what Anne Frank or the people cowering in bomb shelters during the London Blitz went through.
    <>

    I am sorry to hear that some people are ill-informed enough to think that the conditions in 2020 are even remotely similar to those of 1940. Having heard accounts of the blitz from family members who went through it, I think I can safely say that anyone teleported from the latter era into the world of 2020 would be laughing.

    <>
    Or else those who even now want to compare the coming recession to what the people who survived Hiroshima or Dresden had to endure.
    <>

    In must confess that, in some ways, I find the world of 1940 more tolerable than that of 2020. The 21st century seems to have spawned a peculiar species of of self-aggrandisement with which I have found it difficult to come to terms.

    In 1940, if you were bombed out of your home, all your possessions gone, you simply said, "Hitler has moved us on" and left it at that. In 2020, it seems as though, if a large portion of the population is faced with something as minor as a hangnail, it is The End of the World, and, should the government not *immediately* intervene with a self-esteem workshop (and, of course, lots of cash) the lawsuits will never stop.

    With a worldview like that, it is no wonder people are comparing a few weeks confinement in a comfortable, entertainment-filled house to Anne Frank's ordeal. It is more than a little sickening, to be honest.
  180. @Patricus
    Yeah Cuba is quite a success. Average family incomes of $20 per month provides the good life in spades. Health care is free but remember to bring your own sheets, food, bandages, syringes, and drugs. It's a tropical paradise where people go hungry on the limited imported food. The government rents out selfless doctors then keeps 95% of their pay.

    There might be a few places in Africa that are worse. Haiti is a close match. One advantage is there are few fat people. No one dies from gluttony. On the down side hunger is a bitch.

    Yeah Cuba is quite a success. Average family incomes of $20 per month provides the good life in spades.

    Great life… Free Rent until the building collapses and kills your kids (1)

    Most of Cuba’s grand old buildings were confiscated from the wealthy and distributed to the poor and middle classes after a 1959 revolution that promised housing, health care and education as universal rights. But with state salaries of about $25 a month and government agencies strapped for cash, most buildings have seen little maintenance in decades.

    And that’s the story in a nutshell. Communists promised people housing as a universal right and the result some 60 years later is people living in tiny, substandard hovels, fearing that the next rainstorm could bring the building collapsing down on them and their children.

    Communist Utopia in Action

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://hotair.com/archives/john-s-2/2018/12/03/socialist-paradise-havana-3865-buildings-collapsed-since-2000/

  181. @Alexander Turok
    So, basically, you're position is that the Saudis and Russians should have cut their production while America has drastically increased its production.

    A mystery why they don't agree...

    So, basically, you’re position is that the Saudis and Russians should have cut their production while America has drastically increased its production.

    First of all, I’m not a position.

    Secondly, I wasn’t taking a position. I was simply stating my understanding of the decline of the oil market and cited Forbes as a reputable source of information and analysis.

    My position? To the degree possible within legal constraints, the US should reduce its oil production in the same percentage as Russia and the Saudis. I don’t know the detail of the deal struck by Trump with Russia and the Saudis but I would guess it’s something along those lines.

    Range, Parsley, and others have asked the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulates the oil industry in Texas) to reduce the allowable production within the state for the first time since 1972. I hope the TRC goes along with this, but only as a temporary measure. The TRC has an interest in preserving the industry but not in insuring high prices, which back in the 1950s and 60s seemed to be its mission. Most of the shale producers in Texas can stay in business in the $40-50 range. As soon as the glut, caused by government mandated shutdowns around the world, is worked down, the TRC should get out of the way and let less efficient operators go under. More efficient companies will purchase their assets and oil will continue to be produced. We were already seeing a scaling back of new drilling by some large players, such as Concho, to improve their cash flow and increase their efficiency (such as by increasing the spacing between wells).

  182. @Alexander Turok

    Oil is similar to steel, medical gloves and respirators: if you don’t want to be dependent on foreign sources you have to expect to pay more.
     
    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it "drain America first," which it did in fact do.

    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it “drain America first,” which it did in fact do.

    I can find no record of oil tariffs during the time period you cited. In 1959 the Eisenhower administration instituted an oil quota that limited oil imports to no more than 9% of US use. Nixon was forced to abandon this in 1973 during the nation’s gas shortage.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    I had misremembered the quotas as tariffs. The point still remains.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.
     
    Our oil was drained, look what happened to production in the 1970s.
  183. @anon
    May WTI settled at $10.01 but may slide a bit more.

    June 411.45, July $18.60, Aug $21.56

    Fairly straightforward price curve given the world situation. US strategic oil reserve being topped up.

    Panic on, dude!

    “US strategic oil reserve being topped up.”

    #506, just need a plot, a really big truck, oh, and some rigging:

    6963AEB4-CCDB-4CFA-A826-ABB9CAB292B5

  184. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @HA
    "However, I have trouble seeing it being psychologically damaging in its own right (as opposed to the concomitant unemployment it means for many), which was why I asked about it."

    I'd wager that's because you're more resilient psychologically than the wilting flowers who because of the lockdown now think they understand what Anne Frank or the people cowering in bomb shelters during the London Blitz went through. Or else those who even now want to compare the coming recession to what the people who survived Hiroshima or Dresden had to endure.

    People who already had to deal with that kind of fragility and damage and economic vulnerability will indeed suffer and in some cases die because of the lockdown, and the social hardships it inflicts, just as the vast majority of people who suffer from coronavirus have pre-existing medical conditions. I realize it's difficult to weigh one set of lives against the others, and that's what politicians are having to do now. Still, it rankles when people who are hyper-aware of one kind of pre-existing damage (perhaps because they close to someone who has it) are the very same ones who insist that the people with the other kind of damage aren't even worth trying to save.

    <>
    I’d wager that’s because you’re more resilient psychologically than the wilting flowers who because of the lockdown now think they understand what Anne Frank or the people cowering in bomb shelters during the London Blitz went through.
    <>

    I am sorry to hear that some people are ill-informed enough to think that the conditions in 2020 are even remotely similar to those of 1940. Having heard accounts of the blitz from family members who went through it, I think I can safely say that anyone teleported from the latter era into the world of 2020 would be laughing.

    <>
    Or else those who even now want to compare the coming recession to what the people who survived Hiroshima or Dresden had to endure.
    <>

    In must confess that, in some ways, I find the world of 1940 more tolerable than that of 2020. The 21st century seems to have spawned a peculiar species of of self-aggrandisement with which I have found it difficult to come to terms.

    In 1940, if you were bombed out of your home, all your possessions gone, you simply said, “Hitler has moved us on” and left it at that. In 2020, it seems as though, if a large portion of the population is faced with something as minor as a hangnail, it is The End of the World, and, should the government not *immediately* intervene with a self-esteem workshop (and, of course, lots of cash) the lawsuits will never stop.

    With a worldview like that, it is no wonder people are comparing a few weeks confinement in a comfortable, entertainment-filled house to Anne Frank’s ordeal. It is more than a little sickening, to be honest.

    • Agree: HA
  185. @Anonymous
    Right, the rest is diesel and jet fuel, lubricants, bunker oil, and finally tar and asphalt ingredients. Nothing is wasted.

    At one time, economically speaking gasoline was the primary product and others were byproduct: now diesel and jet fuels are the main product. Automotive gas is now the cheapest combustible grade of petroleum.

    Cheap gasoline is a curse, and is profoundly unsustainable. When gas is cheap any and all efforts to put in alternate fuel infrastructure are immediately abandoned and even aggressively destroyed. Then prices spike and very slowly the old plans are reviewed and after “new necessary research” state and local fleets and then some commercial fleets slowly build out. By then, gasoline and diesel are well off peak and people get cold feet.

    Under Obama we had $4/ gallon gas for a while. We were seeing real progress towards a CNG infrastructure buildout when prices plunged and it was immediately abandoned. Ford and Honda had a good selection of CNG factory vehicles. They vanished in two model years.

    When this glut is over- the higher cost oil producers and gas wells off convenient pipeline access capped-I expect light sweet crude to spike again and another round of $4 to $6 a gallon gasoline and maybe $7 diesel. Of course we won’t have learned a damn thing.

    A smart volkish state would put in a price floor- a high minimum price for oil derived gasoline and diesel- with a long enough guaranteed time that infrastructure for CNG/LNG vehicles, or building a coal to motor fuels plant, would pay off.

    The other big obstacle to any change in automotive propulsion is the stealerships. Musk was right that he had to be able to sell direct. State dealership model protection laws should be killed the same way the 21 drinking age was rammed up states’ asses-do it or no highway funds for you.

    Anon, never mention the word “coal” or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Anon, never mention the word “coal” or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.

    I must enquire: wouldn't a CNG-fueled leafblower be asking for trouble?

    Or do the wonderfully "progressive" folks in CA plan to abolish combustion engines in e.g. leaf blowers and replace the blowers with Peasant Power (i.e. they are going to insist that the luckless serfs can sweep up leaves, etc. without any motorised assistance whatever)?

    (Of course, I know almost nothing about CNG applications; doubtless my writing the above makes that all-too-apparent.)
  186. @yarro
    And this?

    https://visitidaho.org/covid-19-travel-alert/

    While we understand and appreciate the desire to travel and enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors, leisure travel to or within Idaho is restricted at this time. On March 25, 2020, Governor Little issued a 21-day stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration. On April 15, 2020, Governor Little extended the stay-home order through April 30, 2020. Per the Stay-Home Order, individuals arriving in Idaho from another state or country are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If an individual will be present in Idaho for fewer than 14 days, that individual must self-quarantine for the duration of their visit. Idahoans may leave their residences only for essential services, activities, governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.

    Yarro, that is amazing! My wife and I and our two daughters drove from Salt Lake City through Idaho to Jackson Hole,Wyoming. The Swan Valley was a visual delight, but did not see a whole lot of people. Laughed everytime we saw a “Watch for Stopped School Buses” sign. What kids? What schools? This is lock down in the extreme.

    • Replies: @yarro
    OK, thanks for this! We're in New Jersey, and I thought we could be getting pulled over based on our license plates.
  187. @FPD72

    They had oil tarrifs in the 1950s and 1960s. Critics called it “drain America first,” which it did in fact do.
     
    I can find no record of oil tariffs during the time period you cited. In 1959 the Eisenhower administration instituted an oil quota that limited oil imports to no more than 9% of US use. Nixon was forced to abandon this in 1973 during the nation’s gas shortage.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.

    I had misremembered the quotas as tariffs. The point still remains.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.

    Our oil was drained, look what happened to production in the 1970s.

    • Replies: @FPD72

    Our oil was drained, look what happened to production in the 1970s.
     
    American oil production during the 1970s fell, not because the oil had been “drained,” but because of simple economics. From August 1971 to January 1981 the federal government controlled the price of domestic oil. Legislation passed in 1975 allowed the president to gradually phase out price controls over the period between June 1979 and September 1981, after which prices would rise to world market levels. However, even this action was hindered by the windfall profits tax, which was in effect from 1980 until 1988.

    With domestic prices set below world market levels, there were no financial incentives to increase production. As existing wells declined, new drilling wasn’t sufficient to replace the lost production. In many cases, even the remediation of declining wells didn’t make economic sense and wells with recoverable oil were plugged and abandoned.
  188. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, never mention the word "coal" or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.

    Anon, never mention the word “coal” or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.

    I must enquire: wouldn’t a CNG-fueled leafblower be asking for trouble?

    Or do the wonderfully “progressive” folks in CA plan to abolish combustion engines in e.g. leaf blowers and replace the blowers with Peasant Power (i.e. they are going to insist that the luckless serfs can sweep up leaves, etc. without any motorised assistance whatever)?

    (Of course, I know almost nothing about CNG applications; doubtless my writing the above makes that all-too-apparent.)

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, California is pushing for battery powered lawn and garden tools. Berkeley has already banned natural gas in all new construction, stoves, furnaces, grills, etc. Not well thought through as most back up generators run on natural gas or propane. Imagine being a chef and trying to roast peppers on an electric stove.
  189. @Alexander Turok
    I had misremembered the quotas as tariffs. The point still remains.

    Yeah, our oil is really drained, which is why our oil production was at record levels before the Covid-19 panicdemic crash.
     
    Our oil was drained, look what happened to production in the 1970s.

    Our oil was drained, look what happened to production in the 1970s.

    American oil production during the 1970s fell, not because the oil had been “drained,” but because of simple economics. From August 1971 to January 1981 the federal government controlled the price of domestic oil. Legislation passed in 1975 allowed the president to gradually phase out price controls over the period between June 1979 and September 1981, after which prices would rise to world market levels. However, even this action was hindered by the windfall profits tax, which was in effect from 1980 until 1988.

    With domestic prices set below world market levels, there were no financial incentives to increase production. As existing wells declined, new drilling wasn’t sufficient to replace the lost production. In many cases, even the remediation of declining wells didn’t make economic sense and wells with recoverable oil were plugged and abandoned.

  190. @Anonymous
    Anon, never mention the word “coal” or you will be labeled a climate destroyer. And please when you use initials, CNG or LNG, first use the words and then go to initials. California already has laws on the books to abolish combustion engines, all sizes, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws etc.

    I must enquire: wouldn't a CNG-fueled leafblower be asking for trouble?

    Or do the wonderfully "progressive" folks in CA plan to abolish combustion engines in e.g. leaf blowers and replace the blowers with Peasant Power (i.e. they are going to insist that the luckless serfs can sweep up leaves, etc. without any motorised assistance whatever)?

    (Of course, I know almost nothing about CNG applications; doubtless my writing the above makes that all-too-apparent.)

    Anon, California is pushing for battery powered lawn and garden tools. Berkeley has already banned natural gas in all new construction, stoves, furnaces, grills, etc. Not well thought through as most back up generators run on natural gas or propane. Imagine being a chef and trying to roast peppers on an electric stove.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Anon, California is pushing for battery powered lawn and garden tools. Berkeley has already banned natural gas in all new construction, stoves, furnaces, grills, etc. Not well thought through

    I wonder if the line of reasoning behind this push is: "if you ban gas-powered engines, manufacturers will be forced to improve batteries overnight so that they are both efficient enough and priced reasonably enough to make an as-yet uninvented generation of tool practical"?

    (And, no, I don't think California has thought things through, either.)

    I understand California has recently made marijuana legal. This, to me, seems the more likely explanation for that way of "thinking": marijuana-addled Californians not putting two and two together properly.
  191. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, California is pushing for battery powered lawn and garden tools. Berkeley has already banned natural gas in all new construction, stoves, furnaces, grills, etc. Not well thought through as most back up generators run on natural gas or propane. Imagine being a chef and trying to roast peppers on an electric stove.

    Anon, California is pushing for battery powered lawn and garden tools. Berkeley has already banned natural gas in all new construction, stoves, furnaces, grills, etc. Not well thought through

    I wonder if the line of reasoning behind this push is: “if you ban gas-powered engines, manufacturers will be forced to improve batteries overnight so that they are both efficient enough and priced reasonably enough to make an as-yet uninvented generation of tool practical”?

    (And, no, I don’t think California has thought things through, either.)

    I understand California has recently made marijuana legal. This, to me, seems the more likely explanation for that way of “thinking”: marijuana-addled Californians not putting two and two together properly.

  192. @yarro
    And this?

    https://visitidaho.org/covid-19-travel-alert/

    While we understand and appreciate the desire to travel and enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors, leisure travel to or within Idaho is restricted at this time. On March 25, 2020, Governor Little issued a 21-day stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration. On April 15, 2020, Governor Little extended the stay-home order through April 30, 2020. Per the Stay-Home Order, individuals arriving in Idaho from another state or country are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If an individual will be present in Idaho for fewer than 14 days, that individual must self-quarantine for the duration of their visit. Idahoans may leave their residences only for essential services, activities, governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.

    I am, Lagertha, uber-Bitch!! hahhahahhaa

  193. @Buffalo Joe
    Yarro, that is amazing! My wife and I and our two daughters drove from Salt Lake City through Idaho to Jackson Hole,Wyoming. The Swan Valley was a visual delight, but did not see a whole lot of people. Laughed everytime we saw a "Watch for Stopped School Buses" sign. What kids? What schools? This is lock down in the extreme.

    OK, thanks for this! We’re in New Jersey, and I thought we could be getting pulled over based on our license plates.

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