2007/05/31

Lemmings Love Cheap Gas

Two weeks ago Blognonymous reported on a local Shell station that was selling gas at way, Way, WAY above market rates. Turns out that the owner, Bob Oyster, was just trying to screw Shell for driving him out of business with exorbitant rent and anti-competitive policies. But today...his station's next to last day of business, he dropped his prices--6000 gallons of gasoline for under $3.00 a gallon, pumped until his tanks run dry. And the result? Predictable. Lines; Lines around the block; Lines that clogged the intersection at 6th and Harrison in San Francisco; Lines up to 3 hours long!

San Francisco drivers may think that they're getting a bargain filling up on Oyster's gas, but here's the deal lemmings. Even if your wait was just an hour, the only way you're going to get your money's worth is if your car's tank holds more than 80 gallons. Pull the head and figure what your time is worth.

22 Comments:

idiots! i should've been on the corner selling bottled water for an exorbitant price. i would've made more than the gas station.
Just wait till $6 per gallon is a bargain. It's coming under Bush.
That's a good point Kvatch. One that would (obviously did) get by a lot of people.
RAffi... Just like at the airports, captive audience.

Larry... At least out here, I'd be surprised if it didn't hit $5 before the end of the summer.

Chuck... There are few things more important than one's time. 3 hours in a line for gasoline is insane, at any price.
I think those in line just got stuck there & couldn't get out of the gridlock. It couldn't be due to the savings, which I just calculated would've been $6.40 for me.

were you around for the gas lines in the 70's? Calif limited you to odd or even days, depending on the last number on your license plate. I remember long lines then, but if someone had told me one day we'd be happy to get in line for $3/gallon, I'd have asked them to pass me whatever shit they were smokin. ~~ D.K.
were you around for the gas lines in the 70's? Calif limited you to odd or even days, depending on the last number on your license plate. I remember long lines then, but if someone had told me one day we'd be happy to get in line for $3/gallon, I'd have asked them to pass me whatever shit they were smokin.

HA! I remember that well D.K.

I worked at a c-store back in those days and the company I worked for sent us pump covers to slide over the pumps at "pump closing time" each day. The pumps were only open from 6AM until NOON daily as I recall. There was plenty of gasoline in the ground, we just weren't allowed to sell it. Talk about problems with irate customers...

FWIW- the price of regular grade gasoline was 49.9¢ per gallon. Cigarettes were 49¢ per pack. That left plenty of money for beer, 8-Tracks and mood rings! The good old days- cruising around in my new '76 Mercury Cougar XR-7 with the after market speakers cranked...HA!

I'd give up all this "technology" to be able to re-live those days again knowing what I do now.
Lemmings is totally right. I once got in line, for what I thought would be an hour, because a radio station was doing a promotion @ $1.06 (their frequency, of course) per gallon of reg. It only took half an hour though so was well worth it.

Gas was just about $3 at the time.

You're one smart Frog from "hopping" 'round town instead o' driving, Kvatch. {-;
Maybe they were trying to miff Shell as well by helping the guy make his statement. Either way, it's a strange way to spend ones lifetime - waiting in lines.
"were you around for the gas lines in the 70's?"

Was that the 70's, I thought that was the early 80's, my goodness how time fly.

I was station at El Toro, in Calif during that time and I recall waiting in line for gas... never thought I would hear that from someone again.

"Oyster's gas" well I guess Bush has the American people at the point where they might do anything right now.
One more reason to drive a hybrid.

But I'm thinking of selling my car and getting a Vespa.
D.K... I was in Texas in the late 70s and we didn't have the problems with gas availability that the coasts had.

Chuck... A 76 Cougar? I bet that got about 9 miles to the gallon. ;-)

Michael... Well I don't save much time, but I save a LOT of money.
Peacechick... I could understand if the wait was 15 or 20 minutes, but 1 to 3 hours? Insane. Anyway, I'm sure is glad to be rid of Oyster's station.

Let's Talk... My last Honda used to get between 30 and 34 MPG and it was a 2000. So even without getting hybrid you can still get some decent mileage.

Diva... A Vespa? Very cool! We've got hundreds of the scooters around here. I loved my Triumph before I sold it last summer. Just didn't need it, but I am getting itchy to ride again.
Chuck, you wrote:

"FWIW- the price of regular grade gasoline was 49.9¢ per gallon. Cigarettes were 49¢ per pack. That left plenty of money for beer, 8-Tracks and mood rings! The good old days- cruising around in my new '76 Mercury Cougar XR-7 with the after market speakers cranked...HA!"

Since you claim you were driving a '76 Cougar, I guess you are referring to the 1979 gas shortage. Because of my job at the time I can tell you that gas prices in Connecticut passed $1.00 a gallon that summer. Thus, I doubt your claim that you were paying 50 cents a gallon.

Meanwhile, the price of cigarettes has risen due to the massive taxes piled on top of the actual price of the product. If you want to complain about today's high cost to develop lung cancer, see your elected officials who have discovered that smokers are very generous when it comes to forking over tax revenue.

As for the price of gasoline, it is also a big tax-revenue generator for states and the federal government. Meanwhile, if you want lower gas prices, which you all seem to want, tell your elected officials to permit drilling off our coasts and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We have 80 billion barrels of proven reserves in areas that are off-limits to drillers in this country. If drilling were permitted in those areas, oil prices would drop precipitously.
if you want lower gas prices, which you all seem to want, tell your elected officials to permit drilling off our coasts and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Actually no_slappz...nobody said that. That would be just another one of your unsupportable assumptions. You might try reading the post and the comments next time.
Heh... the Bush administration is ALL ABOUT OIL, and about little else besides promoting fundamentalist Christian religious views and privatization of everything. We do need more rich, greedy and power-hungry religious zealots running our country after all, right? No, not at all.

The GOP leaders who call themselves "conservative" are so far from the kind of conservatism of the pre-Reagan years that it isn't even funny. Eisenhower would probably be considered a left-wing kookball by today's "conservative" standards. How the Republican party got so far to the right will be a question historians will argue for years after the GOP implodes.

I have been telling my wife during the past several years that the Bush administration just wants to drill the ANWR to piss off the environmental movement and to basically emasculate it... it would just be another way for the administration to exert their control over those who have dissenting opinions, and of suppressing them through discouraging them. I believe that if Bush/Cheney can raise gas prices high enough, the public will get mad enough to tell their Reps and Senators to do what it takes to bring prices down... and the Reps and Senators, along with the public, will be told by the Bush administration and its paid "scientists" that the only way to bring gas prices down is to drill in our nation's wilderness areas. What a solution.

I have always thought that in cities, the concept of "greenspace" is extremely important for the well-being of the city. Similarly, I have always thought that there should be large areas on Earth which are free from development and unspoiled by human activity. Parks, if you will. Sure, make them accessible... just don't ruin them.

You might well call me an "elitist" when I say I think it is just plain IGNORANT for America's "energy plan" to consist of "Let's just keep drilling". Well, so what. I don't think it's the environmental movement that needs to be emasculated... they just want to protect the earth. Let's work on emasculating the oil industry instead, in a gradual way, while we concentrate on better, more earth-friendly ways to propel our vehicles. After all, the oil industry is only out to make money and to be a powerful political player. Do we really need to decrease our quality of life in America just so some already-rich people can get wealthier? And "trickle-down"? Heh... that ain't gonna happen. The rich will just get richer.

What's more important? A good quality of life, or making money? One doesn't always have to equal the other, does it? I don't think so. I will always vote for clean air, for clean water, and for keeping it that way, before I will vote for policies which preserve the wealth of only the wealthiest Americans. Life is more important than money.
Fucking stupid...they waited for hours???
Snave... I think that the whole city/suburb system, the car culture, needs to be rethought. There are some promising attempts to produce "walkable" communities out here in California, but unfortunately without corresponding mass-transit development, the attempts are probably doomed to failure. Soon enough, though there won't be a choice anymore.

Jenny!... Indeed they did. Up to 3 hours sometimes.
The price of regular grade gasoline was 49.9¢ per gallon. Cigarettes were 49¢ per pack. It was 1978. I still have many pictures of my store displays back in those days.
kvatch, you wrote:

"Actually no_slappz...nobody said that. (desiring lower gas prices) That would be just another one of your unsupportable assumptions. You might try reading the post and the comments next time."

Chuck made it very clear he wanted to return to the days of "cheap gas" and cheap cigarettes. Comments from others implied the same. You should learn that people often betray their stated principles when they opine in writing.
snave, you wrote:

"I believe that if Bush/Cheney can raise gas prices high enough, the public will get mad enough to tell their Reps and Senators to do what it takes to bring prices down..."

In other words, we're not there yet. Of course, if the government steps in and sets price caps on gasoline, supplies of gasoline will decrease. Then shortages will develop and we will return to the glorious days of the 70s when we sat in line for gas and were only allowed to buy on certain days of the week.

Those of you who think it's possible to fix prices and improve markets are just nuts. You seem determined to ignore history.

You wrote:

"...and the Reps and Senators, along with the public, will be told by the Bush administration and its paid "scientists" that the only way to bring gas prices down is to drill in our nation's wilderness areas. What a solution."

Are you suggesting that prices can decline if we drill oil in FEWER locations?

Are you suggesting that the increasing number of cars and drivers in this country can get along on LESS gas?

Would you make the same demands about the quantity of water we consume? Should humans drink less of it? Should we use less of it?

Bottled water costs more than gasoline. Does anyone rage against the water bottlers?

I'll bet the average smoker spends more per day on cigarettes than gasoline. But the cost of producing both water and cigarettes is pennies. Yet no one rages.

Moreover, the annual death toll from cigarettes is huge. But I doubt anyone has died from breathing air that contains automobile exhaust.

The cigarette companies have become utility companies that collect billions in tax revenue for the government. Yet no one cares that government at every level now depends on cigarette tax revenue.

However, by barring oil drilling in many parts of the US, the government reduces taxes it would receive from every part of the oil industry. Thus, it must depend more on tobacco taxes to meet budget needs.

Meanwhile, it is well understood that smokers die early and collect far fewer retirement and medical benefits from the government. Thus, they help the economy by dying before they run up large bills.
Chuck, I believed you! I remember the days of 25-cent gas. At the risk of setting him off, I think what Slappy fails to realize is when people say they'd love to re-live those days, they aren't saying they want gas/oil price caps, they're thinking they'd be 30-yrs younger, if they could. At least that's what I'm thinking. And I sure wouldn't spend my 30 extra yrs in some damn gas line. ~~ D.K.
3 hours in a gas line?

I don't believe it.

Who ran the clock? Where did the reporter get that number?

He got it from some dope who was sitting in line. Some dope with nothing better to do than sit in a gas line for a while. A dope with no credibility who spouted his goof-ball fabrication to the reporter.

But the claim of a 3-hour wait was reported as a fact.

People will believe anything.

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