Gas prices: how high will they get? [renamed]

I know it’s been debated before, but how high will the cost of gas get? And will it have a noticable effect (at least in the short-term) our drivinf habits?

I like the new *BSG ***much **better.

I don’t know how high gas will get, but I once read that its estimated that it will have to go to about $5.50 before we’ll see any real change

I agree with John Mace, but I can’t help but feel some sympathy for the old fans. The new version took the name, but jumped to another genre entirely. The old version was a lighthearted cosmic odyssey, like Star Wars. The new version is dark. Extremely dark. Like, bend-you-over-a-cot-and-rape-you dark. I can see where some of the anger comes from.

Yeah, the old BSG was sweet, but the new one’s improved gas mileage really makes it a winner.

I’m confused, and may fall down.

alphaboi867, e-mail a Mod (use the Report function on this post if you wish) and let us know just what you want done with this thread.

The title makes no sense in this Forum and the title makes no sense in the OP. Rather than guess, I’m just going to close it until you figure out what you want.

[ /Moderating ]

Re-opened thread after correcting title per alphaboi867.

(He states that he does not know how the original title, Galactica 1980 marathon on SciFi, wound up on this thread.
No harm, no foul, but we recommend a bit more sleep or a bit less of something else when posting.)

For those who are thoroughly confused, now, the OP reads

[ /Moderating ]

I’m in a minority I’m sure, but I hope gas prices do get higher. I think high gas prices, say over $5 a gallon would force a change in habits for the US and fuel (no pun intended) innovation.

I think low gas prices have allowed the US to build inefficient communities and fostered social isolation. I think if prices increase, Americans will re-visit living in cities which will necessarily force us to re-think social policy.

Also, high gas prices will mean that real alternatives will be needed and companies will get serious about developing new technologies. It will also drive the use of more mass transit.

This might sound utopian, but Europe is somehow able to manage with gas prices twice as high as what we have in the states.

Impossible to really answer…though the correct answer is it will get as high as people are willing to pay. Once it crosses a certain threshold other alternatives that are waiting in the wings will kick in because they will become economically competetive. My guess from what I’ve read is that will happen somewhere between $7-10/gallon…though we will probably see some significant changes once the $5/gallon is crossed. As others have pointed out though, Europe seems to get along fine and their gas is at priced at least double what it is here in the states…so figure that ~$6/gallon should still be fine.

Going to be an interesting few decades (and you know what the Chinese say about living in interesting times)…


The talking heads on CNN said we should see $4.00/gal. before the end of the summer driving season. They said for every dollar increase on the price of a barrel, add a dime to the price at the pump.

The rise in prices we’re seeing right now is happening without the Middle East stopping any production at all. If (when?) their output slows, we’ll see some pretty quick changes in price here.

I agree that higher prices that force us to change our consumption habits could be a very good thing. I work from home, but my husband drives 60 miles a day to and from work. We consolidate trips all the time and still pay $325 a month on gas. If it gets much worse, people will have to look at carpooling, public transportation, and other conservation measures just to maintain. That’s probably a good thing. It will get worse before it gets better and we need to start taking alternate power sources seriously.

I don’t know. As far as I can tell, most of this is speculation inflation rather than anything else. Is there any honest reason gas prices are increasing, or are some idiots in the futures market just holding the rest of America and the world hostage?

Hm. So if our gas prices go up, Europe’s go up even worse, as do China’s. How badly can they stand $12 dollar/gallon gas, with their taxes? Or China, with their lower average salary? This isn’t just a US issue. We’re not running out, it’s not harder to get it, why is it going up?

Um, we’re running out, it’s harder to get it, and the rest of the world is industrializing. That’s why it’s going up.

And as China and India use more and more of it–look out!

We’re not going to run out of fuel to burn in cars, mind you. Eventually the price of petroleum-based fuel will be so high that it will be just as cheap to make fuel from coal and corn. Of course, by that time, we will be looking at $10.00/gallon fuel.

Here’s a plain fact, folks: You’ll never see gas under $2.50 again. Ever. And I predict that, within a year, it will be $5.00 a gallon.

For those wondering about consumption, here is another grim reality: Gas has a very inelastic demand curve. That means that there is a rock bottom amount that society is going to use no matter how high the price goes up. But a grimmer truth is this: Rich folks in Escalades (the most irresponsible vehicle ever created? You can identify someone as a stupidass just by the fact s/he drives one.) don’t give a shit how high gas goes. Hell, it’s almost of benefit to them to show how conspicuously they can consume. Meanwhile, the poor writhe in agony as the price of fuel goes through the roof.

Fun will be had by all.

Except Europe’s higher gas prices are the result of very high gas taxes…which insulates them against price shocks. If you’ve already got a $3.00/gallon tax on gas, an increase of $1.00/gallon isn’t that large a percentage change, from $5.00/gallon to $6.00/gallon, a 20% increase. Whereas with no tax that increase is from $2.00 to $3.00, a 50% increase.

If you think they’re idiots, there are investment vehicles for you to take advantage of that. Have you invested in any? And what’s an “honest” vs “dishonest” reason for prices to change? Even if the gas companies are “just jacking up the price to rake in more profits” that just means they were probably undercharging before. If they can get a higher price for their product, why shouldn’t they? That’s how capitalism works. (And everytime that Congress has investigate the oil companies for anti-competative behavior, they have come up dry. Sure, they may have found a few problems here and there, but no systemic problems in the industry have been found.)

Because the demand at the lower price outstrips the supply.

John, ice your panties down. What I’m getting at is that there is no intrinsic, supply based issue here. Guatemala’s not doing too bad, Canadia’s oil shale may go profitable about now (I seem to recall it became profitable at around 65-70 a barrel), and the Middle East pipeline’s not shut down. We just have idiot futures traders kiting the price up. They’re going to make some hefty short-term profits, but I’m smelling bubble here, followed by collapse. I hear people on the radio talking about a hundred dollars a barrel. Salivating at it, quoted on the news. Meaning about five bucks a gallon in the US, and about seven in Europe, I’m estimating.

I’m reasonably sure that’s not sustainable. But I may be wrong. The question is, how long, and why hasn’t it hiked this way before?

Oh, but it did, come to think of it. How did that end?
If they think they can get it, oh, more power to them, but something tells me that an external force beyond futures traders is going to kick in sometime soonish.

The futures traders are “idiots”, but you know the real scoop? Pardon me if I’m not persuaded. The OPEC countries have a very good reason for not just opening the spigot, and demand is growing faster than supply. Unless you think China is suddenly going to de-industrialize and that India is going to as well, then there is every reason to believe that this isn’t just a bubble.

I’m not saying I know the real scoop, I just have a cousin who’s a fruit futures trader, and he’s a total Masters of the Universe idiot, as are most of his friends. I’m sure the cocaine use has lessened since the 80s, but I tell you, these aren’t the wisest people in the world. Most aggressive, maybe, but my god, what a pack of assholes and fools.

I’m not sure I could do his job any better, but I do know that they really have no concept of the future past two weeks. And that’s being generous. Then again, they may not need it.

My question is, will this make China and India de-industrialize, or cause a shakeup anywhere besides the US? I don’t think we can say we’re running out. We may eventually, but we’re not now. Europe, Lemur866 says, is cushioned from this, it’s not as bad a shock. China and India?

I think you hit on it right there. When you read in the paper about the oil futures price increases, isn’t it usually just the price for next month?

I don’t know if I agree with Lemur’s analysis. If the price of gas goes up a buck, does it really matter if that it’s $3 to $4 or that it’s $5 to $6? It still takes the exact same additional chunk out of someone’s budget.

Well, the scare quotes the news is using in my area are ‘An independent trader’ (CBS, 880 AM) saying ‘100/barrel by October’. So he’s predicting a climb that I’m not seeing, because I have this nasty feeling, and it’s purely subjective, that there’s an amount of bubble here, where the government has to step in at some point, whereupon we’re going to get a crash.