OUTRAGEOUS GAS PRICES
Outrageous Gas Prices
Outrageous Gas Prices: Are They Real or Political?
If you have been following the news, or just simply going to get your car filled up, you have noticed that gas prices have gone up almost 60 cents per gallon here in the last week. In my opinion, this is outrageous!
THE HYPE: SUMMER BLEND VERSUS WINTER BLEND
The hype they are feeding us is that it is because we have switched over to a necessary summer blend of gas. This is what first caught my attention. I am thinking “Wait, I live in Southern California, not North Dakota, or even New York. There is not that huge of a temperature difference here between winter and summer. Do we really need a different blend of gas in summer than from the one we use in winter?”
So, I started doing my research on exactly what is summer blend gas versus winter blend gas anyway? Here is how the difference works.
In the winter, during colder mornings, as an example, the idea is that your gas needs to be easily combustible so that your car starts easier. Therefore, the winter gas blends have a large percentage of butane. Butane is highly combustible and pretty cheap, compared to other possible replacement additives.
However, the theory goes on that, in the summer, you do not want gas that is so highly combustible because it can cause vapor lock, making the car stall, and then making it even harder to start. And causing a “pollution” problem as well as unburnt gases escape.
TWO BLENDS NO LONGER NECESSARY
However, vapor lock is far more common in older gasoline fuel systems. Most modern engines are equipped with fuel injection to avoid vapor lock problems. So, the idea of summer blend gas, where it needs to be not so combustible, is largely bunk today.
Therefore, the summer blend gases that get rid of the high percentage of cheaper highly-combustible butane, in favor of a lesser combustible mixture is unnecessary. Any fuel that does vaporize in modern engines essentially gets recycled back into liquid form and is used. Therefore, the cost of the blend itself, summer being a more expensive blend, is unnecessary; unless you are the state government, and want the taxes on the higher dollar amount, of course.
WHAT IS THE TRUTH?
So, what is the truth about higher gas prices? If we do not really need two blends, then what is really going on?
Well, it turns out, the root of the problem, or should I say, the root of the higher gas prices, lies with the refineries themselves. The refineries need to shut down several months each year for maintenance. This makes sense. So, during this period, they do not make any gas. Does this cause an unnatural shortage? I don’t know. Seems to me they could stock up beforehand, or rotate shutdown schedules amongst the different refineries so there isn’t a shortage? I don’t know enough about how a refinery works or how Mobil Oil or Chevron, let’s say, schedule their shutdown and maintenance times.
SOUNDS OILY TO ME
Here is what I do know and this sounds pretty fishy (or oily, if you are into puns), to me. We operate on a supply and demand system – the more supply we have, the lesser the price, and the less supply we have, the higher the price, which makes sense. If we have less of a commodity, it becomes more precious, and the price goes up. So, how does this relate to gas prices?
How much gas supply do we have during the summer months? Well, it turns out, the way we find this out is that we let the various oil companies tell us! They do not need to show any proof. There is no audit! They simply say how much they have on-hand, and based on this, the prices go up (or down, haha). Really? Why would the state let this work this way? Because it is in the states own best interests. Higher prices mean more tax dollars in the state coffers. So, why would the state care to change the system?
Pretty disgusting, isn’t it? Just my opinion. Let me know your thoughts.
For tips on how to drive using less gas, see the article we posted in January when prices increased.
Tags: outrageous gas prices, gas price, save on gas, car repair in murrieta, american auto care, affordable and honest, ac repair, brakes repair