Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheap American Gas!

It seems like everybody is complaining about the price of gas around here. Apparently, Connecticut has some of the highest gas prices in America. This morning, I paid $4.39/gallon for gas. And what do I think about it???

cheap, Cheap, CHEAP!!!!!

I'm not sure what the price of gas is in Switzerland these days, but the lowest I ever paid in the 10 years we lived there was about CHF 1.20 per liter. Using today's exchange rate, the current price of gas in CT - about the most expensive in the country - comes out to about CHF 1.00 per liter. That's right! Gas in CT is still cheaper than the cheapest I ever paid in Switzerland - even when oil was $50 per barrel.

People have gone completely crazy. I buy gas at possibly the most expensive gas station around because it is right along the edge of the Merritt Parkway. The Mobil I go to has its own exit. I pull off, fill up, and go right back on. It's convenient, and I don't drive any extra miles (it's on the way to/from Mrs. TBF's office) or spend time idling waiting in a line to buy cheap gas.

The alternative is going to the cheap gas station which is about 2.5 miles past our exit. There, I can save about 10¢ per gallon, but I'll have to wait in a line stretching into the street. Given the current price of gas, and calculating our 18.3 mpg average since buying our vehicle last September, we pay about 24¢ per mile for gasoline. That means, going out of our way to save 10¢ per gallon will actually cost us $1.20 to drive the extra 5 miles. Even if our 19.2 gallon tank were nearly completely empty (it never is), the 10¢/gallon times 19 gallons would save us $1.90 minus $1.20 driving to the cheap station. A total savings of 70¢ for the hassle of waiting in line with a bunch of tightwad geezers telling me about how they remember back in "the good old days" when gas was 19¢ per gallon (Yeah, and you made something like $75 per week!).

The only reason people are freaking out about the price of gas is because it's one of the few commodities where the price is posted on lit up signs all over town for everybody driving by to constantly see what the price of that commodity is.

Apparently the price hasn't gone up enough yet to cause people to change their habits. Most cars I see on the Merritt have only a driver, so people still aren't carpooling. I still see parents waiting at the bus stops in the morning with their kids in the back of an idling SUV - walking distance from their homes. I'm still not seeing that many hybrids or small, fuel-efficient cars on the road. It's a perfect example of people complaining, but then not doing anything about it.

It's going to take gas prices hitting $7.50 gallon before anybody does anything about it. And... THE OIL COMPANIES KNOW IT!!!

Enough ranting. I feel better now.

5 comments:

The Big Finn said...

Two days in a row! How about that?!?!?!?!

Michael said...

Gas at $4.50 a gallon is EXPENSIVE but a 16oz cup of Starbucks at $3.00 is affordable....uhm yeah, right!

The Big Finn said...

Michael - I'm glad you pointed that out. I can't tell you how many times I've pointed out to people that something costs more per gallon than gasoline - drinking water, soda pop, etc., etc.

The Big Finn said...

I just paid $3.49 for a quart of organic tomato juice. That's nearly $14 per gallon!!!

Expat Traveler said...

LOL - TBF - now that's funny about tomato juice! I would totally agree that gas is cheap, cheaper than in Canada at least! We are up to 1.31 per liter, so that's what? $5 plus per gallon.. Yuck! We don't drive much around our small town here so I can't complain and yes we have a fuel efficient car and I walk or bike nearly everywhere.

But you are so right about the habits, people complain but don't do anything about it.