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Old 09-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #41
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Hi,

I think the statements re. EPA fine levies is an oversimplification of what they actually do. They are not a Watchdog Agency, or strictly, an Enforcement Agency. In fact, that's one of the lesser functions of the Agency.

EPA is a pro-active Agency created to develop ways we can lessen the impact on the Environment and to aid Industry, State and Local Governments, as well as Individuals in achieving these goals. The Star Energy Compliance Program to name just one.

Having said that, EPA has levied some tremendous fines. They even have a statement in their charter which says that they cannot grant immunity and must even levy Fines on Companies who voluntarily come forward to report EPA violations, even if these violations have already been voluntarily corrected. That would seem to make any alleged collusion suspect.

We're all worried about the too high a price for gasoline, but consider this 20 year comparison of the avg. data about the US Car Market comparing 1987 to today:
  • Avg. Fuel Economy (MPG)

    1987 - 22.1
    2006 - 21.0

    Avg. Weight (Lbs.)

    1987 - 3320
    2006 - 4142

    Avg. Horsepower

    1987 - 118
    2006 - 219

    Avg. 0-60 MPH (Sec.)

    1987 - 13.1
    2006 - 9.7

    % Cars/Trucks

    1987 - 72/28
    2006 - 50/50

This is sourced from the most recent issue of Panorama who sourced it from an EPA report: EPA Light Duty Automotive and Fuel Economy Trends 1975 - 2006.

Today's cars are 5% less fuel efficient, 30% heavier, have 186% more Horsepower and are approx. 30% faster in acceleration. Now did Industry force all this upon us or are they just producing what the Market demands?

We complain about Fuel costs, while at the same time, out of the other corner of our mouths praise Super/Turbochargers, Go-Fast Exhaust and Intake systems, Steroidal Power Chips, and the like. Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways. Who affects the cost of Fuel more than we do?...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

PS BTW, not a MM fan either...


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Old 09-22-2006, 08:49 AM   #42
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"This is sourced from the most recent issue of Panorama who sourced it from an EPA report: EPA Light Duty Automotive and Fuel Economy Trends 1975 - 2006.

Today's cars are 5% less fuel efficient, 30% heavier, have 186% more Horsepower and are approx. 30% faster in acceleration. Now did Industry force all this upon us or are they just producing what the Market demands?

We complain about Fuel costs, while at the same time, out of the other corner of our mouths praise Super/Turbochargers, Go-Fast Exhaust and Intake systems, Steroidal Power Chips, and the like. Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways. Who affects the cost of Fuel more than we do?..."


Bingo!
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:52 AM   #43
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I rely on public transportation for 90% of the driven miles I travel.
If I had to commute daily via car I would not hesitate in buying a Prius.
BoxsterS for weekends only.
I think we need to start charging people gas prices base on the cars they
drive. Desperate times call for bla bla bla
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:31 AM   #44
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1. Oil companies don't need to manipulate oil and gas prices in the open markets in order to turn a profit. What their lobbies ensure is that there will always be a profit for them no matter where those prices are. The power of those lobbies extends from as close as tax subsidies at home, to as far as influencing US foreign policy to act as a carrot and a stick to the countries auctioning their energy assets to these companies.

2. Apart from the enormous executive pay packages (which are wrong and undeserved but that's a different subject wider than the issue at hand) if one believes these companies have the game rigged in their favor (which they have), free markets allow for their shares to be bought in the open market so anyone could benefit from that edge (fair or unfair).

3. It is only fair for the users of gasoline (same as all other polluters) to pay to society for the damage they are doing to it. Clean environment is a resource (asset) equally owned by every citizen. The ones that are depleting these assets need to pay a tax (reimburse the rest) for the damage done. The reimbursement should equal the cost of reversing the damage done to the resource. There are studies done to estimate this cost but we could start with a 100% tax on gas and invest the proceeds in research on cleaner sources of energy, and take it form there. The Kyoto Treaty tried to apply this simple principle on a global scale but...

4. The US automobile and oil lobbies have influenced policy for so long (decades) that now it may be socially prohibitive (recessions, unrests, etc.) for all polluters to pay for the damage they are causing to the environment (millions of lower class commuters that depend on their car and cheap gas for their livelihood). Without the influence of these lobbies, and starting from the New Deal onwards the optimal way would have been for US to invest much more in public transport infrastructure instead of highways and roads for individual vehicles. Now we are all paying the price for the bias in those historical policy decisions. These lobbies have even influenced marketing and through movies, books, magazine articles have brainwashed people to think of public transport as something "lowly", "unindividualistic", "for poor people", "against the American free spirit", "call of the open highway", etc. They are still as powerful as ever. Campaign finance reform should address their influence but theres' no one to push things in the right direction, yet.

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Old 09-22-2006, 09:49 AM   #45
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Blah, blah blah.

I am still waiting.

How much SHOULD gas cost and how did you arrive at that number?
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:51 AM   #46
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"Desperate times call for bla bla bla"

Whose desperate, I am not!

I love free markets. If I want to drive a Prius and save on gas costs, I can.

If I want to drive a Hummer and pay to fill that up, I can.

As gas prices rise, more Prius' tend to be sold, less Hummers.

Demand diminishes, supply stays the same, prices drop.

The reverse is try also.

Let the good times roll.

Unless you want to rail against the MAN.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:40 AM   #47
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well the rest of us are desperate!
The family of four that now has to pay 100% more to heat their already expensive to heat home and fill up their gas tanks now and have less money to kick into their non-existent 401K and junior's college fund. Which therby forces them to shop at Walmart with what is left which leads to them relying more heavily on "made in China" which sends another's family's job to Beijing and they're now on umeployment/public assistance.

Meanwhile the top dogs of the oil and gas industry are picking out the latest offerings from Maranello. Ha!!

Make no mistake we are in the midst of an energy crisis that has lead us into a war that has severely undermined our militaries reputations and we're all going to take a bite out of that S#*T sandwich to pay for it all.

Gas should cost what you are willing to pay for it. I'm willing to pay $1 per gallon.
Guess what? Aint nobody selling it for a buck so my BoxsterS sits collecting dust.
Guess I'm going to have to pay $2.80 for 93. Whatever they feel like charging we have to pay! It's like saying how much do you want pay for that Liver transplant?
It doesn't matter what you want to pay whatever they charge you have to shell out. Or you can die a slow painful death. If the Hospital decide to triple the cost even though their costs aren't rising proportional to the increase it doesn't matter. You still have to pay because you can't get your Barber to do the liver transplant (well not anymore)!
Add to that manipulation of the market by speculators (much like the currency markets going haywire because the Treasury Secretary catches a cold) and BINGO allot of people have made a ton of dough betting on futures while we are cursing the gas pump at the Exxon.
p.s. most individual investors lose money buying unleaded gas futures.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #48
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"Gas should cost what you are willing to pay for it. I'm willing to pay $1 per gallon"

I love this statement. In your line of work, you should get paid what you think you deserve.

Do you?

Likely not! What you are paid is that point where the compensation is equal to what you are willling to TAKE and what one employer is willing to PAY.

That would be supply and demand meeting at an agreed upon rate of pay.

How much is your boxster worth, same thing!

Your thoughts on how much you want to pay are irrelevant to Porsche. That number is always very low. I want my Boxster for 15 grand please!

However, in the aggregate, what millions of folks are willing to pay IS relevant to Porsche.

So it is with gas. If folks are NOT willing to pay $3.50 per gallon IN THE AGGREGATE, the price will fall.

How do they do that? They simply buy less of that $3.50 price. That HAS been happening recentlyh and will continue to happen as folks search out substitutes.

Scooters, small cars, motorcycles, driving less etc.

That is the way it works now.

Or, you can have government controlled pricing.

Want to try that for a while?

I don't think so.

BTW-We Americans have the highest standard of living on average in the world. Why are you trying to get me to cry for our economic plight? We have the lowest gas prices and yet you whine about it because they are higher than they were.

Grow up, commodity prices change often and more often than other goods and services.

Deal with it.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:37 PM   #49
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"Meanwhile the top dogs of the oil and gas industry are picking out the latest offerings from Maranello. Ha!!"

Sounds to me like you simply jealous!
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:22 PM   #50
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All this reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw in the '70s when we had to have odd/even rationing because of price controls on fuel. It read: "Eat More Beans. . .America Needs the Gas".
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:33 PM   #51
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All this reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw in the '70s when we had to have odd/even rationing because of price controls on fuel. It read: "Eat More Beans. . .America Needs the Gas".
ROFLMAO!! Thanks for laugh, and thanks to MN Boxster for quoting actual figures. Boy, I want to be Mr. Rove. He seems to be able to rule the entire world with no end in site. But then they would assign 3 more black helicopters to monitor my daily commute and calls to aunt Suzi.

No use arguing with closed minds that refuse to even account for the normal market forces that have the greatest effects. It's like saying two opposing fronts had nothing to do with a tornado that destroying refinery. It was Almighty God Rove who called it out of the sky so his buddies could raise the price of gas and make milliions.

I'm outta here.
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:16 PM   #52
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Conspiracy theories like these need some essential elements.

An event or situation that is undesirable.

A fundamental belief that OTHER humans are totally evil, but I am not!

That nothing bad happens on its own, there has to be bad guys doing it!

On a few "facts" which clearly are self-evident, ie. rich people got that way by cheating. How else could they get there if not for this cheating.

Mix them up and you have "The Da Vinci Code!"
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:39 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
"Meanwhile the top dogs of the oil and gas industry are picking out the latest offerings from Maranello. Ha!!"

Sounds to me like you simply jealous!

Ha! I now plenty of folks who have more money than I could ever begin to know what do with and I have never wished I was in there place. That amount money seems to only have complicated their lives.

There's nothing wrong with getting paid, it's the American way. People just seem indiferent to how so many our enriching themselves at the cost of our future healthcare, clean air/water, fiscal outlook and manufacturing base. It used to be that these folks got rich but everone in AMERICA benefited in the long term and the government rewarded that way of doing business. Nowadays those special interests get rich and the benefits go overseas while messing up everything at home (while our current government makes it as easy as possible). and who the hell is going to pay for all these debts when the clowns in Washington have departed this Earth??

anyhoo, I've previously worked with/in federal law enforcement/investigation both in public and private sector capacities. I've encountered/befriended all manner of prosecutors. My doubts about our ability/desire to go after corporate cheats in all sectors of trade and finance is not limited to what I read on judicial watch or see on tv. I've heard plenty straight from the horses mouth. The list of one time idealists fighting for the little guy turned-fed-up-cynic, is a very very long one. "we were trained to go after corruption/collusion and then told to back off and concentrate on something else" is a refrain I've heard too many times.


anyhoo...Karl Rove secretely running the world ? That guy couldn't lead a conspiracy out of paper brown bag. The gang that couldn't shoot straight. I laugh when I hear they are responsible for orchestrating this and that. The nutters give them too much credit. Karl Rove and his bunch are merely door mats for coporate wealth. Rove's Pretty good at getting out the vote though, I'll give him that.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:54 AM   #54
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Perfect,

You can't have it both ways.

One minute, it is a massive govt/industry conspiracy that has our prices moving.

The next minute, the govt can't find its way out of a paper bag.

Ditto, the spot traders. One minute they are pulling all the strings, the next, well, what's a 6B loss?

The fact is, the prices go up, and then they go down.

It is the history of commodities, throughout all time.

The funny thing is that G. Soros, that great liberal windbag, rode the commodities gravy train to Billionaire status.

Now, once he got there, well, time to have the REST of us fund the govt to do everything.

What a hypocrite! He almost took down the British economy while getting rich but now he has a heart!

PS-The bottom of the US economic scale still has it better than it ever did and better than most of the rest of the world.

Not bad for paying no taxes, huh?


PPS-the lastest data on taxes is that the bottom 50% of wage earners pay on average 3% their income in federal taxes. That is down 50% from 2000, when they paid just 4.5%.

This does not count refundable tax credits, which makes the number even lower.

Makes you proud to be an American.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:20 PM   #55
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Avg. Fuel Economy (MPG)

1987 - 22.1
2006 - 21.0

Avg. Weight (Lbs.)

1987 - 3320
2006 - 4142

Avg. Horsepower

1987 - 118
2006 - 219

Avg. 0-60 MPH (Sec.)

1987 - 13.1
2006 - 9.7

% Cars/Trucks

1987 - 72/28
2006 - 50/50
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According to these figures from MNboxster if correct, we've been able to make 20% of the cars heavier (i.e. larger, smoother riding, safer, roomier), 30% faster, almost 50% more powerful with only a 1mpg sacrifice for fuel economy. Is this bad? If only the goverment could be so effective. . . .
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:57 PM   #56
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2 points:

1- Is there a shortage of Premium fuel in NJ? The price bump from regular to premium increased from 20 to 40 cents per gallon over the last 2 months.What is the difference from regular to premium in other parts of the country and world?

2- The run up and collapse in energy prices was a function of free market forces , not a conspiracy.Surely a supply demand /scenario (Katrina , South Asia demand, geopolitical tension ) pushed wholesale energy prices up.
This energy inflation was a huge profit for energy companies and for energy commodity speculators (hedge funds ).The power of leverage in the commodities futures markets gave speculators the ability to control energy prices.
Any maket that can be leveraged can be subject to extreme , even irrational price movements in the short term. The beauty of a free market is that supply and demand will bear the fair price over the longer term.
Look up Amaranth , a hedge fund that lost $6 billion (billion with a b) when they got caught holding the bag when the music stopped in natural gas futures.
If you have money invested with any mutual fund , you are a participant in hedge funds as mutual funds , pension funds , state funds (not wealthy individuals) hold the largest balances at hedge funds.


dbth, the price "premium" for 93 octane in the Chicago area has been around 18-22 cents for a very-very long time.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:38 PM   #57
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Is this bad? If only the goverment could be so effective. . . .
Hi,

You just don't get it. After 20 years of trying to improve the situation, we've slipped backwards, and not because of need, but because of want...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:18 PM   #58
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Hi,

You just don't get it. After 20 years of trying to improve the situation, we've slipped backwards, and not because of need, but because of want...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
_______________________________________________

Errr, actually I do get it. My point is in your definition of "bad." There are plenty of people who think bigger, faster, stronger, roomier, smoother, safer vehicles at the cost of 1 mpg over 20 years is a damn fine improvement indeed. Many people believe that this is progress, not regression. After all, nobody really "needs" a car when there's public transportation, horses, shoes, bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards. In fact, I've seen an increase of at least %1000 of people using non-fossil fuel modes of transportation at rush hour every day. They''re everywhere. They don't want to pay high gas prices so they dont.

I "want" my cars and motorcyles and I'm willing to pay the gas to drive them. Which is why I drive my motorcyle 10 months out of the year (IN MICHIGAN!!) to save on gas.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:56 AM   #59
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_______________________________________________

Errr, actually I do get it. My point is in your definition of "bad." There are plenty of people who think bigger, faster, stronger, roomier, smoother, safer vehicles at the cost of 1 mpg over 20 years is a damn fine improvement indeed. Many people believe that this is progress, not regression. After all, nobody really "needs" a car when there's public transportation, horses, shoes, bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards. In fact, I've seen an increase of at least %1000 of people using non-fossil fuel modes of transportation at rush hour every day. They''re everywhere. They don't want to pay high gas prices so they dont.

I "want" my cars and motorcyles and I'm willing to pay the gas to drive them. Which is why I drive my motorcyle 10 months out of the year (IN MICHIGAN!!) to save on gas.

God bless the free capital markets!
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:01 AM   #60
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_______________________________________________

Errr, actually I do get it. My point is in your definition of "bad." There are plenty of people who think bigger, faster, stronger, roomier, smoother, safer vehicles at the cost of 1 mpg over 20 years is a damn fine improvement indeed. Many people believe that this is progress, not regression. After all, nobody really "needs" a car when there's public transportation, horses, shoes, bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards. In fact, I've seen an increase of at least %1000 of people using non-fossil fuel modes of transportation at rush hour every day. They''re everywhere. They don't want to pay high gas prices so they dont.

I "want" my cars and motorcyles and I'm willing to pay the gas to drive them. Which is why I drive my motorcyle 10 months out of the year (IN MICHIGAN!!) to save on gas.
Hi,

Nowhere did I say anything was bad, just what is. Also, while people using alternative means may be more noticeable, their numbers aren't currently accounting for much at all. Look at any Major Municipality and Urban Crawl is an increasing, not a declining issue.

But, you do raise an interesting point. If significant numbers do move away from fossil fuel dependence for personal transportation, that would leave fewer of us to support the Oil & Gas Industry infrastructure, and of course margins. Seems to me that this will, at least in a short term micro-economic sense, have a negative effect on prices for the consumer as well. Sounds like there's just no winning...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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