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View Full Version : An Idea: Voluntary Gasoline Rationing



Diana Hignutt
09-01-2005, 01:33 PM
It has now become apparent that our government has no interest in slowing the ever-increasing price of gasoline. After, 9/11, you may recall that the president warned the oil industry NOT to price gouge, or they would face prosecution. Now, he has nothing to say. I've heard several "explanations" regarding the sharp increase in fuel prices/oil prices...mostly increased demand. Yet, in my mind, it seems unlikely that demand has doubled in the last four months--which would be the only way to account for the near doubling of the price. One is left with the impression that the government has no interest in slowing the tide of fuel price increases which will lead to double digit inflatation and the potentially worst economic crisis in American history. Why are gas stations allowed to raise the price of gas ALREADY IN THEIR TANKS?

If the governemnt will not do its job, then in becomes encumbent upon the people to do so. Back in the 70's when we had our last oil crisis, the government instituted oil rationing procedures which held the price of gasoline down. I suggest that the American people take it upon themselves to ration gas. IN the 70's you could only buy gas on odd or even days depending on your license plate number. If we voluntarily only buy gas on even days if the first number on our plates is even, or on odd days if the first number on our plates is odd, it would effectively cut demand and force prices down. Such is my modest proposal.

Diana Hignutt

aspier
09-01-2005, 02:06 PM
It has now become apparent that our government has no interest in slowing the ever-increasing price of gasoline. After, 9/11, you may recall that the president warned the oil industry NOT to price gouge, or they would face prosecution. Now, he has nothing to say. I've heard several "explanations" regarding the sharp increase in fuel prices/oil prices...mostly increased demand. Yet, in my mind, it seems unlikely that demand has doubled in the last four months--which would be the only way to account for the near doubling of the price. One is left with the impression that the government has no interest in slowing the tide of fuel price increases which will lead to double digit inflatation and the potentially worst economic crisis in American history. Why are gas stations allowed to raise the price of gas ALREADY IN THEIR TANKS?

If the governemnt will not do its job, then in becomes encumbent upon the people to do so. Back in the 70's when we had our last oil crisis, the government instituted oil rationing procedures which held the price of gasoline down. I suggest that the American people take it upon themselves to ration gas. IN the 70's you could only buy gas on odd or even days depending on your license plate number. If we voluntarily only buy gas on even days if the first number on our plates is even, or on odd days if the first number on our plates is odd, it would effectively cut demand and force prices down. Such is my modest proposal.

Diana Hignutt

No better Diana! Let's all drive less voluntary ... you can still take your car to go for siggarets around the corner (risking a parking fine) etc. I mean but rather take one day (later a day a week or such) and say huh-uh today's MY day and today I am going to play walking. I did it and was so surprise that I actually can still walk! I mean literary walk with my legs and feet! It was strange after all these years but yoepy I shouted: I can walk! And it didn't hurt ... you know. Boy, what is life full of wonderful surprises. (Psst I also noticed that all advertising billboards are on car hight ... you don't notice them when you walk!)

But this 'worry' re petrol ... soon Iran's going to have nuclear stuff to stuff in cars. We could be in on it! Espescially now that we are so successfull in their neigbouring region (Irak) with our goodwill democrasy policies. They just love Western countries in the Arab World! Boy, with all the friends we got there is gonna be a bright bright sunshing day full of easy cruising allover for us. Oh I wouldn't worry too much about rising costs. We stick close to Iran and they'll help us out ... soon!

A Positive lif-attitude wink!

Christine N.
09-01-2005, 04:32 PM
Since the weather is clearing up, I'm getting out my bike. Which I haven't ridden in four years (three years since the baby got here, one while I was pregnant) I'm gonna put my fat old butt on that seat and go to the store for milk and bread. I need a basket though.

I already ration my gas - I just don't drive anywhere unless I absolutely HAVE to. Tomorrow, I have to go to the doctor, so I'm taking Ry to the park that's near the doctor's office instead of one that's miles further.

It's all about organization.

And if that doesn't work... I'm buying a horse. Gotta be cheaper, and think of all that good manure.. my grass will be the greenest on the block!

MadScientistMatt
09-01-2005, 05:41 PM
Well, here in Georgia our governor had to declare yesterday that they would prosecute price gouging, as we had a panic over Huricane Katrina and rumors that there wouldn't be any more shipments of gasoline to the state for a while. Things really got crazy with people scrambling for gas - at least one station decided to take advantage of the gas panic and charge $6 a gallon. But this was a temporary, rumor-fueled spike, not the way things rose before the hurricane.

Unfortunately, the price of oil has climbed worldwide in a very short time. It's worldwide, not a US-only problem.

I like the idea of voluntary gas rationing, but I don't think an odd-even day scheme is the best way to do it. Didn't work too well in the '70s, either. If you have rules that you can't buy gas on certain days, you'll just fill up a day early. Instead, see what sort of gas use reduction plan fits into your life. It may be that you might make a rule that you will only buy a certain number of gallons per week, and once you've done that you won't buy any more fuel. Or you might make a list of everywhere you plan to visit in the week and come up with a way to do this while driving the least number of miles. Or buy a scooter or small motorcycle for some trips. My own gas conservation plan this year was that I traded in my SUV for a Ford Focus.

Just, whatever you do, see if you can find a way to use less gasoline.

maestrowork
09-01-2005, 05:57 PM
Don't forget to car pool!

Paint
09-01-2005, 07:33 PM
Gouging is common. It is rampant here in a tourist town. Accepted even, although I hate it and don't do it personally as a business person. Rationing was successful in Denver for water. Why wouldn't it work on some level for gas? At least the powers that be could see that consumers won't tolerate the urestricted rising prices.

Do you think you are gouged? Look at your credit card rates. Now that's a blight on America. I better quit or I'll have to use the soapbox smilie.

Carole
09-01-2005, 07:35 PM
I wish I lived in an area where I could walk to run errands. I can't, at least not with the ability to also carry back what I bought - groceries, etc.- because it's more than a few miles to the nearest grocery. (plus, I live on a mountain) Unfortunately, that stupid old SUV out in the driveway is necessary. We wouldn't be able to haul the stuff we haul with anything else. Hubby's work equipment and all that. It just makes me sick. It also makes me wish I could transport back to pioneer days and live off the land with a horse & cart. Yep. I'm a hippie - sorta. I'm sure I could find something to complain about if I was living off the land, though.

robeiae
09-01-2005, 08:35 PM
Just to be clear, the rationing of gas in the '70's was a bad move, IMO. It didn't do anything positive. If you remember, there were always looooong lines for gas. This is because the gas stations merely opened and dispensed gas to maintain their current profit levels. The tactic provided no incentives for gas companies to find a way to lower prices. Moreover, no new gas stations were built; what was the point? Thus, demand increased as the popultion grew and more people could drive, but the supply was frozen.

The solution is simple: don't buy what you can't afford. Cut up your gas cards NOW. The last thing you want is to be paying interest on top of these prices. This will lead to a decrease in profits for all parties involved in selling gas, including banks and the government. Prices will eventually normalize.

Rob :)

P.S. Of course, I know that most people will simply continue using the same amount of gas, even when they can't afford to, so it is unlikely prices will come down any time soon.

maestrowork
09-01-2005, 10:20 PM
I'm glad I filled up when the gas was $2.56, and I still have about 350 miles to go before having to fill up again. I'm not driving anywhere unless I have to.

tjwriter
09-01-2005, 10:43 PM
I ration gas as best I can now. I don't go anywhere unless I have to. This is going to kill our household. For the last 6 months, at the least, we have stopped going out to eat or doing almost any unnecessary running and we strapped as it is. My husband and I work together, so we ride together, which saves us money. I have cut almost anything luxury from our budget and we are still tight. I have no idea where we are going to get the extra money to support a rising gas bill.

Edited to add: There is almost no public transportation in the city I work in and we don't have any kind in the town we live in. We have to do all our own driving.

MadScientistMatt
09-01-2005, 10:57 PM
Water rationing can work with odd-even days for lawn watering and the like, but only because that has a few advantages that gas rationing doesn't have. For example:

It prevents people from watering their lawns every day, something a lawn fanatic might try in hot, dry weather. Few people fill their gas tanks on a daily basis.

Unless you have a complicated automatic sprinkler system with timers and all, you have to be at home for a significant part of your lawn-watering to move the sprinklers around and turn things on and off. So if your watering day is inconvenient for you, you might just skip it.

So, the odd-and-even strategy can force less water use in some cases. On the other hand, it seems like the '70s era attempt to ration gas like that was more an effort at government trying to do something, anything, to give the impression that they were doing something about gas prices, instead of a well thought out move.

Carole
09-01-2005, 11:54 PM
The prices at the closest Exxon raised TWICE today. Early this morning they were at $3.09 and about an hour ago they were at $3.29.

I gassed up at Kroger and with my little discount card, I got it for $3.06 a gallon. It's sickening to think that I was happy to find it that "cheap".

Unique
09-02-2005, 03:29 AM
I just came home from "a day on the town". I've only been going out once a week as it is. Today was: haircuts, library, grocery shopping, post office, then home. All in a circle. What would I cut back to? Driving once a month?

WriteRead
09-02-2005, 06:00 AM
Diana, you're sooooo right! Why would they forfeit their profits, when it's so easy to say "The Pres will consider tapping the oil reserves in the next few days"? Why does it have to take him "a few days" to give a directive, esp under those extreme circumstances?

Why is the price in the tanks going up, when it was already paid by the co's? Taking ugly advantage of the situation, that's the answer!

Dan

robeiae
09-02-2005, 06:07 AM
You know who is gonna feel the pinch from this gas crisis: Starbucks. It turns their four-buck drink into a five-buck drink. Man, I practically live there. But I stopped as of today. The one by me will probably have to fire someone.

Rob :)

P.S. Fast-food will feel it, too (but I'm not giving investment advice).

Dawno
09-02-2005, 10:06 AM
My company particpates in a program called "EcoPass" We get a sticker good for a year of free rides on the light-rail and other local transit. There's a stop right outside of my building at work and a station not far from where I live. I've got half a gallon of gas in the car that cost less than $3.00 a gallon and I'm gonna see how long I can make that last.

reph
09-02-2005, 11:38 AM
Today was: haircuts, library, grocery shopping, post office, then home. All in a circle.
You're doing it right: bunching errands for greatest efficiency. It saves time, too.

I don't drive at all. My husband drives but doesn't like it. We picked a house within walking distance of essential goods and services to minimize car travel. I recognize, though, that not everyone likes to live in a city.

People could drive less if businesses of the same kind were spread out instead of clustered together, so that each neighborhood had one of everything. For instance, within a few blocks we have several antique stores and restaurants, but there's no big hardware store or office-supply store nearby.

DTNg
09-02-2005, 02:36 PM
I was raised by hippies who believed in walking every where they could. My three year old can walk circles around most of the neighborhood soccer moms. We walk to playgroups and the park (all less than a mile away) though I do take the wagon if he gets tired. (He prefers to pull his bear around.)

Preschool starts next week and it's a half mile up the road. We'll walk as usual. The nearest shopping center is three miles away, however. I don't mind walking this while my son is in school to save on gas.

A few years ago we moved to the 'burbs from NYC. I don't miss the noise or crowds, but I do miss walking everywhere, not to mention the best public transportation system in the country.

sassandgroove
09-02-2005, 11:38 PM
I have to say this. Yes, we need to do our part and drive less and bunch errands into one trip and carpool. But I have to say this...Right now the issue isn't the supply of gas, it is a distribution problem becuase there are refinerys in the gulf coast and pipelines that were damaged. What the government needs to do is allow more refineries to be built in a wider range of places, and allow us to tap into our own resources, like Anwar, so we don't have to rely on foreign oil.

paprikapink
09-05-2005, 02:04 AM
I see a lot of advantages to restricting our driving speed to the speed limit. First off, we use less gas that way. Also minimizes anxiety about "is that a cop?" Less fuel burned results in less pollution. Fewer accidents. Accidents less likely to be fatal. Makes our neighborhoods nicer places to be.

Contrary to popular belief, speed limits aren't just so cops have an excuse to give you tickets (there are some wicked exceptions). Engineers set these things. It's about road conditions, the amount of traffic on that street -- many factors. Once I noticed that most 25 MPH zones are in areas where there are lots of free-roaming humans, I started to really feel like a heel to zip through them.

It is not easy. The hostility one experiences when driving the speed limit is intense. You'd think you were breaking the law the way people scowl at you. I figure that just because I couldn't get out of the house on time doesn't give me the right to make the road less safe for you. I try to restrict my rushing to before I get in the car. Life would be a bit pleasanter if the driver behind me shared my perspective, or at least respected my right to practice it. Especially when I'm in the slow lane!

That was another strategy implemented in the 70s -- reduce highway speed limits. I'd love to see statistics about how much speed reduction=how much increased fuel efficiency. I'm not interested in reducing speed limits. But what if we observed the ones we have?

Doyle
09-05-2005, 03:55 AM
There are many who will be doing everything we can to conserve gas and energy. But we can have little impact on the overall problem. China is now starting to "come on line" in demand for gas. There is nothing we can do to influence their demand. We are talking about One Billion Plus population, that is almost 3 times the USA population. The amount of gas that China will suck from the dwindling supply pretty well guarantees continuing rising prices.

Really want to make a difference? Do not buy anything manufactured in China. Absolutely nothing! That is the only way to have an impact on the global market, take away the money from the buyers.

I am sorry to say that I do not believe we have the will to do so.

We are a short sighted and profit hungry people. When the very rich start to feel the pinch, then look out, the scenario will be set to "create" an enemy that can be used to motivate us all by fear.

Just hunker down, do the best you can on the local scale, and try to be prepared. 10-20 years is my guess.

Christine N.
09-05-2005, 03:59 PM
What I want to know is... why is MY gas so high? I live within 10 miles of TWO refineries. All the gas in the Del. Valley doesn't come from the Gulf.. it comes from HERE. It travels a whopping 10 miles MAX... so why is MY GAS SO EXPENSIVE??


I also have started driving the speed limit, coasting to a stop, rolling when I start, using that accelerator as LITTLE as possible.

Rabe
09-06-2005, 10:58 PM
My own gas conservation plan this year was that I traded in my SUV for a Ford Focus.


And I plan on trading in my Focus on an SUV.

A hybrid SUV more correctly!

Now, I may have gotten the idea of it wrong, but as I understand it, it uses the electric engine under 40mph and in most 'stop n go' situations, which means city driving. Since I live in a tiny town without speed limits above 40mph in most of the town...I should hardly EVER use gas in town. Only on the occasional trips. Which, means, for most trips, I *might* have to fill up before coming back home...but that 'fill up' would only be half a tank!

Of course my other plan has been to walk most places I go, especially work. Since it's only a mile away. And to the gym...cause that gets me two miles of *walk* time in to increase the caloric burn AND a bit of a warm-up! Plus walking is a great time for thinking about writing projects. I often walk a lot in the winter nights when snow has completely covered the ground. So beautiful, peaceful and magical.

Rabe...

Diana Hignutt
09-07-2005, 03:23 PM
What I want to know is... why is MY gas so high? I live within 10 miles of TWO refineries. All the gas in the Del. Valley doesn't come from the Gulf.. it comes from HERE. It travels a whopping 10 miles MAX... so why is MY GAS SO EXPENSIVE??


There are seven oil refineries on the Delaware River. The vast majority of the Delaware Valley's oil is refined here. Oil Tankers deliver the crude here. People who say that the spike in gas prices was due to the destruction of the refineries on the Gulf Coast still then have to explain the price increases which took place before them. Also, the Chinese demand is beginning to come on, there aren't one billion Chinese people driving around in SUV's yet. The impact of Chinese demand is currently overstated.

Last quarter the oil companies posted a 40% increase in profits according to the AP. I'm going to be very interested in those statistics for the current quarter.

diana

BlueTexas
09-07-2005, 07:32 PM
I wish I could cut down on gas. I already drive a little car because I have to--I drive, roundtrip, 100 miles a day to work, and my husband does the same. Our hours are such that we can't ride together.

There is no public trasportation in the town where I live, and no reasonable way to use the poor system where I work.

If I worked in the town where I live, I'd take a 40% pay cut--at least, assuming I could find a job. With gas prices rising, we've stopped eating out entirely, and most things we buy at the grocery store are generic anymore.

If my gas budget was 40% of my income, the answer would be easy--but there seem to be be no answers. If we moved into the city, an apartment would cost double our current mortgage.

Unique
09-07-2005, 08:12 PM
A Homeschooling friend of mine sent me an email today about a gas boycott. Pessimist that I am....
But here's the info if anyone would like to participate.
<It's edited to eliminate redundancy>

TIRED OF THE GAS PRICES?? Let's all stand up and make a statement - we
won't pay these prices.

Please fill up on the 6th of September 2005 and don't buy gas on the 7th,
8th or 9th. Have a great week!

Years back on April 30,1999 a gas-out was staged across Canada and the
U.S. to bring the price of gas down, and it worked. It's time to do
something again. Only this time lets make it for three days instead of just
one.

paprikapink
09-07-2005, 08:59 PM
Okay. On accounta I been feeling waaaay too popular lately, I'm going to put this notion forward....gas should be expensive.

It's necessary, useful; precious; dangerous; it requires complicated refining and transporting; its use and production are inherently toxic and destructive to air, water, and land; and it's finite.

That gas has been so cheap for so long as made us feel that we could drive as big a car as we want, as fast as we want, as far as we want. We can live far from where we work and even far from where we shop and go to school. We're all really really used to these things. But if (well, let's face it, when) gas becomes more and more expensive, gradually our society and our culture will accommodate the changes necessary to live within our means.

sassandgroove
09-07-2005, 09:47 PM
Thank you Paprika Pink, I agree. My parents had an exchange student from Germany stay with them a few years ago. They lived in a small town where kids would go 'cruising' as an activity. It surprised Simon, because in Europe gas is so much more expensive. I know that when I was in highschool, I didn't give a second thought to gas. I'd borrow the car and drive to the next town with my friends 'just because.' Maybe if gas stays expensive, we'll learn to appreciate it more and not waste it.

It goes back to the whole driving thing. People think of driving as a right, but it is not, it is a privelege. We need to respect that. Most places in the U.S. people pretty much need a car, I certainly couldn't walk anywhere from where I live (except, ironically, the gas station. ha.) but we do take driving and the availabilty of gas for granted.

robeiae
09-08-2005, 05:39 AM
That gas has been so cheap for so long as made us feel that we could drive as big a car as we want, as fast as we want, as far as we want. We can live far from where we work and even far from where we shop and go to school. We're all really really used to these things.
It's why we're not European (really).

Rob :)

Paint
09-08-2005, 07:33 PM
This is an e-mail I received:



These companies import Middle Eastern oil:
Shell............................ 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco......... 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil............... 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway... 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco............................62,231,000 barrels
If you do the math at $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION! (oil is now $55-$60 a barrel)


Here are some large companies that
do not import Middle Eastern oil:

Citgo......................0 barrels
Sunoco...................0 barrels
Conoco..................0 barrels
Sinclair.................0 barrels
BP/Phillips............0 barrels
Hess.......................0 barrels
ARC0....................0 barrels

I wonder if it is true? It would definately influence where I spend my money.

ChunkyC
09-08-2005, 07:36 PM
I see a lot of advantages to restricting our driving speed to the speed limit. First off, we use less gas that way. Also minimizes anxiety about "is that a cop?" Less fuel burned results in less pollution. Fewer accidents. Accidents less likely to be fatal. Makes our neighborhoods nicer places to be.

Contrary to popular belief, speed limits aren't just so cops have an excuse to give you tickets (there are some wicked exceptions). Engineers set these things. It's about road conditions, the amount of traffic on that street -- many factors. Once I noticed that most 25 MPH zones are in areas where there are lots of free-roaming humans, I started to really feel like a heel to zip through them.

It is not easy. The hostility one experiences when driving the speed limit is intense. You'd think you were breaking the law the way people scowl at you. I figure that just because I couldn't get out of the house on time doesn't give me the right to make the road less safe for you. I try to restrict my rushing to before I get in the car. Life would be a bit pleasanter if the driver behind me shared my perspective, or at least respected my right to practice it. Especially when I'm in the slow lane!

That was another strategy implemented in the 70s -- reduce highway speed limits. I'd love to see statistics about how much speed reduction=how much increased fuel efficiency. I'm not interested in reducing speed limits. But what if we observed the ones we have?
You are so right on the money here, Paprika! I started doing just that about a year ago. I drive a standard, so it's real easy to pop it into neutral and coast along the off ramp and so on. Before, I would go about 650-700 kilometres on a tank of gas in my Saturn. Now I'm going 750-800. My 25 kilometre trip to work takes 3 1/2 minutes longer. I know, I know, it's hard to fathom how I can subject myself to such a hardship. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

I see the same things you mention as far as the attitudes of morons--I mean motorists who seem to think I should be under some sort of obligation to help them break the law by exceeding the speed limit myself. It's also amazing how often you reach a red light and roll up alongside the guy who blasted away from the previous light. He burned twice the fuel you did and wore twice as much off his brake pads slowing down, and gained nothing.

Another plus: the stress reduction from driving slower is phenomenal. You have plenty of time to make that lane change, etc. I arrive at my destination far more relaxed than before.

If we all drove the speed limit, we'd save millions of barrels of crude a year, not to mention the rest of the benefits.

aspier
09-10-2005, 09:17 PM
Maybe interesting for you to know: in Belgium they (the government) are going to give everybody some percentage money to buy gas at the higher prices. The more you buy the more you get tax returned etc. I am not a economist and also my English in in the sentence above isn't so hot.

Anyway, anybody for a socialistic spin down the vast highways of France? 'We can just as well have fun' could be the attitude. No that shouldn't really be + I cope the full scale of the petrol use on world economy and the need to do something about it. But then again the prices in capatalistic USA is still about a third from what we pay! Etc.

paprikapink
09-11-2005, 08:03 AM
It's also amazing how often you reach a red light and roll up alongside the guy who blasted away from the previous light. He burned twice the fuel you did and wore twice as much off his brake pads slowing down, and gained nothing.



I first noticed this phenomenon years ago, when I was the one blasting past the slowpokes and then they'd be right beside me at the next light. It's much more satisfying now to be the cool cucumber who glides up just in time for the green.

ChunkyC
09-11-2005, 05:51 PM
I first noticed this phenomenon years ago, when I was the one blasting past the slowpokes and then they'd be right beside me at the next light. It's much more satisfying now to be the cool cucumber who glides up just in time for the green.
And how often does the light turn green in time for you to avoid using your brakes altogether and you cruise on through the intersection while hot-dog boy is just getting off the line? It's really hard to resist waving as I go by.

aspier
09-11-2005, 07:54 PM
While you guys were hagling with the hotdog boy at the green lights ... no it had turned orange ... no it hadn't etc. important news came through on the radio while I was doing an extra drive in Normandy checking out the birds (=sea gulls ugh hum + birdlover such). News says 'Voila we are going to import trousers from China! Some 45 million trousers has arrived in several ports!'

So?

Well petrol ... economy ... trade with USA Levi jeans such! Less import fom USA. Too expensive for the socialists. Less urning IN USA. Less profit! Prices go up. More use of petrol. You will have to use double the amount of petro driving around looking for better paid jobs!

Big smile! A Lewis codroy made in China ... mm mm it can't be that chinese. Who would notice anyway as I'm in the car all day drive up to try and raise my tax refund!

aspier
09-11-2005, 07:57 PM
Just joking see? Smile! (But its true about the chines import of 45 mil trousers)