oiled up

October 24, 2012

Overcast and rainy this morning along California’s northern coast — and it’s been a keen-edge cold, too, giving rise to the winter a-coming just around the corner.
Our wetness is just part the season’s first major storm, which has dumped near two-feet of snow on the northern Sierra Nevada’s and spawned a record-tying five tornadoes across the region — not really that rare here, but not like the US south and mid-west, and our twisters a more mild (California style).

And speaking of storms, no, not the presidential debate on Monday, that’s been re-classified as just a useless political shit-storm, no, the recent one at the gas pump — the burst of sparks that’s near-magically gone away.

(Illustration found here).

And with the state’s dropping gas digits, there’s also a sweet November surprise — prices are expected to drop even further:

Prices may fall an additional 10 to 15 cents a gallon a week through Thanksgiving to about $4 a gallon, and they could drop to $3.75 a gallon or lower before the end of the year.

The statewide average on Tuesday was $4.40 a gallon, down from the single-day record of $4.67 a gallon set Oct. 9.
On that day, the California price even topped the average in Hawaii, which almost always has the most expensive gas in the United States.
It’s now back down below Hawaii — by 2 cents a gallon.

Analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com said California prices will drop to $4 a gallon “or even less” by Thanksgiving.
Energy watcher Bob van der Valk said independent gas stations will decrease their prices even more quickly, perhaps drifting down to $3.60 by Thanksgiving.

Can we hear, Yeah!
On Monday, I put another $20 worth of gas in the old Jeep at my local Union 76, now at $4.39 a gallon for regular, down 30 cents in a week (the Jeep is back on the road, but my mechanic couldn’t find a dang thing wrong with the truck’s starter — to his great credit, he didn’t charge me a dime, despite having the vehicle for three days).

Nationally, the same story: The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2 cents overnight to $3.65. The price has fallen 17 cents in the past 12 days (via Bloomberg).
Motorists are a happy bunch as the holiday season approaches, but the nub here is the weird, fluctuating crude oil prices, which have also dropped: Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December fell 23 cents to $109.21 a barrel in London midday deals. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for December, slipped 30 cents to $88.35 a barrel.
And the picture will only get more strange.

The way-big loser, however, is the environment, and our children.
From Climate Progress:

U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.
Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day.
This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951….
The increase in production hasn’t translated to cheaper gasoline at the pump, and prices are expected to stay relatively high for the next few years because of growing demand for oil in developing nations and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa.

And a little funny for all that black gold: See, when your farmland turns into the Sahara thanks to unrestricted emissions from burning coal, oil, and gas, you’ll have a bunch of cool oil derricks to show for it.

So when you visit your local gas station, smile, you can drive for cheap, but it’ll cost you the planet.

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