A Hundred Bucks To Fill The Tank?!?!?!

When I was a kid, you could buy a whole used car for that amount

I’m revisiting a topic I’ve written about before, but it seems especially timely given that the price of gas at the pump has risen to over four bucks a gallon – a new record for this time of year – and there’s no end in sight.

Also, in this election year, there’s no doubt that this can – and should – be an election year topic. After all, when Obama took office the price of gas was somewhere around $1.75/gallon. That’s right! Remember that?

Our economy is driven by its fuel. The price of fuel affects literally everything, not just your personal cost to operate your vehicle. It affects our costs to manufacture and transport goods, too, including our agricultural products. It keeps this country mobile, which has been one of the – if not the – key elements in making us the economic powerhouse we are.

What have we heard from Obama and his minions, and the “environmental” lobby, about how to address the problem? Endless blather about “alternative fuels and energy”. Put another way, speculative science fiction.

What I’m doing here is reprinting an email dialogue on this topic that took place today thanks to my web-buddy Buck, who initiated the emails on the topic. It started with a fellow talking about the fallacy of the economies of the Chevy Volt. I’ll start with my response.

ME:  Here are some facts:

The energy-to-weight nature of petroleum-based fuels far surpasses that of any battery ever made. What that means is that petroleum isn’t going to be replaced as the power source for most transportation. At best, you’ll see “hybrid” technology utilized.

Battery powered cars are great, until you reach their maximum range of 200 or 300 miles. Then you have hours of recharging time in front of you, and there’s no way to shorten that to the time frame involved in filling up your gas tank.

Aircraft aren’t going to be powered by solar panels or batteries. Ships, unless they’re nuclear powered, will not be powered by anything other than petroleum-based fuels. You’re not going to see battery-powered big rigs.

We have the largest known deposits of crude in the world in shale, enough to make us energy-independent well into at least the next century, and a net-exporter if we so choose. The Athabasca oil sands development has proven the extraction to be cost-effective, and Shell’s new in situ extraction process has proven to be very “environmentally friendly”.

Unless the Starship Enterprise shows up to share their di-lithium crystal technology with us, our need for petroleum isn’t going away in the foreseeable future. That’s just a fact.

Let’s look at some further facts.

The Tesla Roadster is the first — and so far only — electric-only car in production. (True at the time I wrote the original essay on my blog) It has a range of 244 miles on a single charge. It recharges at a rate of 56 miles/hour, so a full recharge takes 4 hours.

By the way, electricity isn’t free; it’s actually pretty expensive, and getting more so.

ANYway… the battery has an estimated life of about 100,000 miles, at which point it has to be replaced at a cost of about $36,000… the price of a new gas-powered SUV.

According to Tesla’s own white paper:

(http://www.teslamotors.com/display_data/TeslaRoadsterBatterySystem.pdf)  “the Li-ion batteries in the Tesla Roadster only store the energy equivalent of about 8 liters of gasoline; a very small amount of energy for a typical vehicle.”

The battery weighs about 750 pounds. That’s the equivalent weight of about 130 gallons of gasoline. Assuming your car gets 20MPG, you’d drive 2600 miles on that 130 gallons of gas. If your car has a 20 gallon tank, you’d have refueled 7 times. At an average refuel time of 10 minutes, that would have taken about an hour altogether.

Your Tesla would have been “refueled” 10 times. With an average refuel time of 3.5 hours, you’d have spent 35 hours charging your car. There’s no way to speed up the recharge process; you can’t “slam” a charge into a battery. It’s an electro-chemical process. If you try to do it too fast, the battery simply explodes, just like a nuclear reaction goes critical if it’s allowed to proceed too quickly, resulting in a meltdown or nuclear explosion.

More wonky numbers. According to Tesla’s site:

(http://www.teslamotors.com/electric/charging.php) It takes about 68 kWh to charge the car. Here in the SCV that’s somewhere around $9/charge. That works out to about $0.04/mile. Gasoline in your theoretical car, at 20 MPG and $3/gal works out to about $0.15/mile.

At the 100,000 mile mark, you have to replace the battery in the Tesla at about $36,000, plus you’ve spent $4000 on electricity. Total of $40,000.

In your theoretical car, your engine’s still good for maybe another 100,000 miles, and you’ve spent $15,000 on gas. Even if you have to replace the engine, you’re only looking at about $4000. Total cost including engine replacement: $19,000.

Gas-powered car at 100,000 miles: $19,000.

Tesla at 100,000 miles: $40,000.

This is what I mean about the practicality of the technology, or lack thereof for this application.

RJ:  Well Joe and Brian, It looks like gasoline is here to stay. Why about hydrogen. Anyone ever put any serious efforts into this. It is the fuel used by our space craft so why not auto engines. I realize it is highly explosive and something would have to be done about that but it should be easily solved by our chemist and engineers. Also, with the price of gas from the Muslims soaring every day, why do we not use our own gasoline supplies supplies. It is my understanding that we have enough of our own to last for over 400 years if it were not for the green people. We need to be spending the gasoline cost in our own country and not giving the Muslims whatever they demand for it and all they want is to see us all destroyed.

ME:  Richard and Peter, yeah, that’s the problem with hydrogen, as we saw with the Challenger. Its explosive nature. There are extremely few substances with a higher stored potential energy than petroleum distillates (gasoline, kerosene, etc.), and those are basically explosives.

As to our own domestic capabilities: we’re among the most oil-rich nations on earth. We’re also the only country with oil resources that doesn’t maximize its development of those resources. In oil shale alone in the Green River formation we have enough unrecovered product, conservatively estimated at over 800 BILLION barrels, to meet all of our country’s oil needs for over 100 years at current consumption rates (http://ostseis.anl.gov/guide/oilshale/index.cfm). Then throw in all the other deposits, both known and so-far unknown, free oil and shale, oil sands, fracking recovery techniques, new recovery technologies that make formerly abandoned deposits now economically feasible again, and we could easily be a net-exporter country instead of an importer; we could actually be THE determinative factor in oil prices, rather than the Middle East. This would not only go a very long way toward reversing our economic problems, but would at the same time free us from our “dependence on foreign oil” and the restrictions it places on our foreign policy.

But no. NOOOOOoooooooooooooo… Can’t have that! MUCH better to depend on “alternative energy” sources that no one can name, that don’t exist anywhere near the horizon yet, but that are for sure going to magically appear just in the nick of time, like the cavalry in an old Western movie.

Maybe the Vulcans will show up and share their dilithium crystal technology with us. That makes more sense than what I hear from the Left on the issue, anyway.

Beam me up, Scotty.

RJ:  Well Brian, I agree with you 100% if we would ever get a government with enough guts to do all the things about gasoline. But don’t you not think that the explosive nature of almost free Hydrogen could be solved by our chemist and engineers? After all since the Challenger I don’t believe we have had any other problems with our space craft. Just an idea I have had for many years and wanted to see what others thought about it. I like the idea of being the worlds biggest exporter of crude oil if we could ever make this come about. We need something to try to balance our horrible trade deficit.

ME:  Richard, I think it’s probably scientifically achievable. But I don’t think it’s a near-term solution. Here’s why.

Frankly, I don’t think such a thing as a “near-term” alternative solution is at all possible regardless of the political aspects. And I’ll quickly interject that I agree that politics are the ONLY reason we’re not energy-independent using our own oil. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, a breakthrough occurs and a viable and economic alternative magically appears on the scene. That doesn’t in any way address the fact that there are many hundreds of millions of gasoline-powered vehicles on the road, the seas, and in the air both here and all around the world. And those vehicles are going to be around for decades, at least.

We can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away, or be magically converted to the new energy source. Also, the energy dispersal infrastructure – the means of refueling the vehicles – consists of tens of thousands (at least) of gas stations. So, no matter what, there’s going to be a transition period that’s going to take a loooooong time to complete. All those vehicles are going to have to be replaced, and the gas stations are ALSO going to have to be replaced, with the new technology. We’re talking about God knows how much time, and many many trillions of dollars at all levels. Our technological world developed around combustion as the primary energy source, and primarily combustion of hydrocarbons. Even a hydrogen-based technology is going to take a very long and expensive conversion period.

Then add to that the fact that there’s no universally-applicable mode of energy production. Aircraft can never be powered by solar, for example. They’re always going to be combustion-based. Some ships can and do use nuke power; some use oil; some use diesel; some still use coal. Examples abound that illustrate the problem. New technologies can’t simply be imposed by fiat; they have to find their way in a complex system that has to adapt.


That was our dialogue, and I think it nicely sums up the state of the issue, both politically and scientifically. Hopefully, if you managed to wade through the whole thing, you’ll have some ammo you can use if you enter into a dialogue on the issue with someone.

And hopefully it’ll influence your thinking as we move forward, both in this election year and as a nation addressing a very major issue in the long term.

(My thanks to all who participated in that email conversation. I hope you don’t mind my quoting you guys. It was great!)


© Brian Baker 2012

80 comments on “A Hundred Bucks To Fill The Tank?!?!?!

  1. Hardnox says:

    Great essay. None of it is important anymore since bat-ears has announced today that algae, that’s right algae, will be the new environmentally friendly way to produce our energy needs. We don’t need no stinking oil.

    Sarcasm off.

    As you well know, ethanol can be derived from a variety of plant substances, including algae. The problem with all of it is that it requires more energy (coal fired power plants) to produce the ethanol than the energy that you receive from the ethanol. Producing ethanol from algae has been proven to be the LEAST efficient but that shouldn’t hinder bat-ears one bit. There goes that sarcasm again.

    Bat-ears is the gift that just keeps on giving. Who writes his shit? I just wish the lamestream would simply report the news instead of covering for that stupid ass.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Hardnox, and can you imagine how BIG those algae ponds would have to be? And won’t that require a lot of… oh, I don’t know… water? And isn’t water one of the things the enviro-Nazis are always bleating about?

      Liberalism requires brain-death, I’m firmly convinced.

  2. thedrpete says:

    Nice going, guys. good stuff.

    I would suggest that Americans’ demand for energy is near-insatiable. The more supply we have at “reasonable” price, the more uses for it we invent. And that’s good. And it’s also true that it makes no sense for American companies to produce textile products in America. Americans can do other things with greater possible productivity and trade with others who are best at making boxers and briefs. Thus, America — even if the long shot that we survive 2013 actually happens — will never ever be “energy independent”.

    There is no-nil-nada-zero-zip-zilch justification for our national government being involved a nanowit in energy research and development. The free market is genius. The right decisions and trade-offs will happen within.

    The idea that we are destroying the earth is the height of arrogance. Greenies are displaced Soviet lovers looking for a new home to screw with all of our lives.

  3. captbogus@yahoo.com says:

    Charles Krauthamer was on O’Reilly tonight. He said something that got me to thinking.
    Oil exploration on pirvate lands is one thing. I think most of the drilling here in Oklahoma is on private lands.
    Oil on public lands belongs to the people. The oil companies sign a lease to drill and then pay “us” a royalty for all the oil they extract.
    Open up more public lands to oil exploration. Then but an agreement in the lease contract that oil taken from public lands will be refined and marketed in the USA.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, it is simple, Buck. But that’s where the political shenanigans come into play. Many of the big deposits — like the Green River formation — are on public lands, and those are the ones locked away by public policy commandeered by the eco-Nazis and Bat Ears.

  4. Gunny G says:


    Great essay and the facts are plain for all to see, except liberals and Dumbo. There is enough oil, nat gas, and coal in Alaska alone to supply the Lower 48 (or 56 depending on if you’re an American or a Kenyan Usurper) for many many years to come.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Guns. Yes, exactly. We’re absolutely awash in oil… if we’d only be allowed to get it out of the ground.

  5. Hardnox says:

    Here’s a video promoting the Chevy Volt, it’s hilarious. It was sent to me by Mrs AL.

    • BrianR says:

      Gaaawd… that’s hilarious!

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Thanx, Hardnox. I can’t post this kind of thing at my place because first, I think you need a You-tube account (which I don’t have) and for the life of me I can’t figure out what a “widget” is. It sure isn’t the same kind of “widget” I grew up with.

    • Saltwater says:

      Thankfully, I read the previous comments and took them to be warnings to set my coffee down before watching. I especially related to the mention of how traffic responds to a car on fire.
      I once owned a 1970 Nova, Arizona orange from oxidized paint, hanging shreds of headliner, and dings, dents, scrapes on every piece of sheet metal (remember when cars were made of that?).
      A co-worker commented he would be embarrassed to drive a vehicle looking like mine did, and chided that I should fix it up. I explained that was the beauty of the vehicle.
      When winding through rush hour – others would take one look and move as far out of my way as possible thinking, “Good grief! Look at the car! That fool doesn’t care! I’ll just let him get past before he takes a chunk out of my pretty new ride.”
      Fear can be a wonderful ally.

      • BrianR says:

        Day-am! I had a 1970 Nova, too, only mine was that British Racing Green color (supposedly)!

        Good to see you, Salty. Yep… fear CAN work some wonders.

  6. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

    In 1973 I graduated from Mississippi State University (with a BS in electrical engineering). I accepted a job with the General Electric Co. as an Application Engineer trainee. At this time the United States had the largest nuclear power plant construction program in the world. There were over 200 nuclear plants in various stages of construction through out the US. GE’s application engineers were basically a consulting engineering group who helped these electric utilities solve electrical and mechanical engineering problems of all kinds associated with this nuclear construction program. Naturally the application engineers were also supposed to help “sell” the use of GE manufactured equipment.

    One of the planned results of this nuclear construction program would have been the gradual shift from the use of gasoline and diesel fuel for commuting to a short-range electric car. The cost of electricity was estimated to drop to as low as $0.001 per kWh due to the number of nuclear power plants. That’s a tenth of a cent per kWh. The “vision” was that each family would have a minimum of two cars, one gasoline or diesel powered for long-range trips and one electric for short range commuting. GE, Westinghouse, and the Detroit-based automobile companies were already testing various types of batteries and doing R&D work on the development of a short-range electric car. It was estimated that the late 1980’s would see the development of a truly viable electric car.

    However, in 1976 (after I had gotten by MS in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York), Jack Welch spoke to every application engineer trainee in Schenectady. (At this time Jack Welch was not the CEO of GE, but he was part of upper management.) We were told that GE was dissolving the Application Engineering program. Jack also spoke about the end of the nuclear power plant construction program in the US. All of us would be transferred to other groups and departments in Schenectady. The application engineers already in the field would remain in place and be gradually dissolved due to normal attrition. Not wanting to stay in Schenectady, I left GE. Of the over 200 nuclear plants on the “drawing boards” in the middle 1970’s, only a few (less than 10) were constructed.

    I wrote the above to give my background. I believe that what is happening right now with the almost “forcing” of an electric car on the American populace is part of a “mutated” political policy that was envisioned back in the 1970’s by the large corporations and the US government. Perhaps this mutation now includes payoffs to the Greenies. Perhaps this mutation is now a means to “control” the US populace. I am not sure. But I do know that the “Average Joe” in the US has been and is being screwed big time.

    We have enough oil in the US to fuel our economy for over 100 years. Plus if some of the geologists are correct, some of our older oil fields are refilling (like the Black Warrior formation in Northern Mississippi). If we can bio-engineer an algae that manufactures gasoline or diesel fuel, why can’t God already have a process in place for doing the same?

    • BrianR says:

      Gray, that’s one of the best, most thorough comments I’ve ever read. Thanks, my friend.

      • Grey Neely says:

        This morning I spoke to an old friend in the USGS, he confirmed what I said about the Black Warrior formation “refilling”. He said that they are also seeing a refilling occuring with the old Pennsylvania fields that were pumped dry almost a century ago. No one in the USGS is saying much about this. However, I got the idea from the way he spoke about it that the feds are instructing everyone to be quiet about it. Whether the reason behind this “quiet” is PC or Greenie, I don’t know and my friend would not say anything concerning it.

      • BrianR says:

        PC or Greenie? There’s a difference?

        I’m hearing about this kind of “regeneration” more and more. If this becomes widely known, the political legs will be cut right out from under the “alternative energy” fanatics.

    • home8200@gmail.com says:

      Gray…it is amazing, isn’t it. My cousin receives the subsidies for ethanol as a farmer…and it’s only because the law gives it to him. He makes vodka! 🙂 Way to get around the bullshit and profit…

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Just to show my ignorance here, Grey does this means these are oil fields that have started pumping again due to “refilling” or are they still idle?

      • BrianR says:

        I’ll jump in here.

        Old wells are enjoying new life due to their “refilling”. Also, new extraction technologies have made old wells that were considered as being depleted now viable again. In the past, about 30% of the oil in a well was considered “unrecoverable”. New technologies have now made only 15% unrecoverable, meaning that a lot of old wells can now be brought back on line. Those percentages may be off a tad, as I’m relying on memory, but that’s the general idea.

  7. Mrs. AL says:

    Thanx for posting this exchange, BrianR. Indeed, more ammo for me when I get into a discussion. And the comments are also educational.

    I don’t have an engineering background, a science background or any other background that would permit me to add to what has already been said. So I will simply say this – given the number of old fossils occupying the U.S. Capitol and given the amount of gas that is emitted on a daily basis, I could power a fleet of 1000 vehicle for a thousand years at no cost.

  8. Nee says:

    OOps, Brian…got it wrong with the email and name…sorry. It’s me, Nee. Yeah, Gray…spot on. And it’s costing me 65 to fill up. First time ever, according to my daughter that Michigan’s prices are lower than NC…VA still has pretty affordable fuel, but my Mutti pays upwards of 4 bucks….It’s astounding isn’t it?

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, it really is.

      Y’know, to change subjects: I tried to get onto my TH blog to post this essay there, and I can’t get to my Dashboard. I think when they revamped the system a couple of weeks ago they screwed something up. Can you get to your blog?

      • Nee says:

        Nope. Can’t get there. The funny thing is, the “community” thing is gone and the only way I was able to get to my blog was to click my name…now, as you said, can’t even get there. TH has gone to the birds…I did find Davecatbone over on RedState….

      • BrianR says:


        Yeah, they’ve jumped the shark big time.

      • Saltwater says:

        Locked out here also. Now in process of “copy/paste” older TH posts over so I can correct/update expired links I referenced. Major pain below the waist.

      • BrianR says:

        Yeah, pain is right. I’m not going to bother transferring, mainly because a lot of the stuff is so dated now. I’m just going to print hard copies to keep in a binder for my progeny.

      • Saltwater says:

        I’m not moving everything for the same reason, just those which still seem relevant – in an “I told you” kind of way. I’ll let you know when I post something fresh.

      • BrianR says:

        Great. Please do. I linked you on my blogroll.

  9. AfterShock says:

    Well Brian, unlike the leftists and illegals that infest us, I can only vote once. Wouldn’t 100 percent participation from Republicans for Republican and TEA party candidates this November be incredible? I wonder how many really understand that this is it, that unless they — independents, middle of the road-ers, center right, conservatives and TEA partiers of all kind — do this minimal duty to remain free and have liberty, it will be lost forever. Some believe it’s already too late, the game is already rigged and the destruction thus far is too overwhelming for a comeback.

    Personally, I really began to believe in the ability to come back from insurmountable odds by loving football. I saw one of the most inexplicable comebacks in NFL history, December 14, 1980 Vikings v. Browns; Trailing the Browns 23-9 in the 4th quarter the Vikings rallied scoring 19 points in the final 10+ minutes to beat Cleveland 28-23 on the game’s final play. After a Vikings interception with 2:12 remaining on the clock the Vikes scored a quick TD. The ensuing Browns possession saw the clock run down to 24 seconds at which point the Browns punted back to the Vikings. From there the following took place: Two plays into the Vikings final possession with just five seconds remaining on the clock, down by 1 at the Browns 46 the Vikes were out of field goal range, Tommy Kramer took the snap, dropped back with no hesitation and launched a hail Mary about 60 yards in the air that was tipped batted and bobbled right into the hands of Ahmad Rashad, Game over Vikings were NFC Central champs. The Vikings as a team never believed they were out of it, and Rashad said later that he never took his eyes off the ball as it was being batted and bobbled about. Just sheer luck? Or was it the sheer desire to win, refusing to be denied. I believe the latter was true then and is as true for us today.

    Just a thought.

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  11. AfterShock says:

    (excuse my missed punctuation — periods and commas, me ‘ol eyes ain’t as good as they used to be)

    • BrianR says:


      Never forget: I’m the Typo King. Though it’s pretty cool moderating my own blog, so I can go back and edit all the goofs out later.

      As to the election: I agree, what you outlined would be really great. But once again, that ball’s in the GOP’s court. They completely dropped it last time by nominating McAmnesty. I have to say, if this time they were to nominate Gingrich (for example) I think they’ll lose again.

      But I think that by focusing exclusively on the presidency, people miss the larger picture and misdirect the strategy. The battle of the presidency can be won while at the same time losing the war of public policy. The real power is in Congress. Control of Congress.

      If Obama wins a second term but is faced with solid GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress — assuming they actually ACT like conservatives, which is a pretty big assumption — he’s simply screwed. His policies are DOA. Look what happened to Clinton in 1994. There went all his big dreams for control of healthcare, gun control, etc. All out the window. Congress even forced him to act somewhat conervative, with welfare reform (which he later claims all the credit for), among others.

      By the same token, even if a solid conservative GOPer won the election — and there aren’t any REAL solid ones running this time, though Santorum comes close IMO — but lost control of Congress, nothing will change, no matter how hard he tries. The best we can do in that case is hope that nothing gets worse.

      • AfterShock says:

        I agree Brian an all out effort to elect house and senate candidates is essential regardless who the Repub nominee is. What I hope people understand is that the nominee CAN win if we get out the vote and this time around voting even if one considers it to be inconvenient should be an action every Republican, independent, moderate, libertarian, conservative finds as necessary to continued life, liberty and happiness as breathing, staying warm in the winter, filling the tank with gas, driving to work, buying the groceries, paying the mortgage. It’s a few minutes to a half hour to save the country, our livelihoods, liberty and the right to prosper for our kids and grand-kids. It should be universally automatic it is everyone’s civic duty.

      • BrianR says:

        No, I’m afraid this is where we part ways. As I made very clear a couple of essays ago, there’s no way I’m ever going to vote for Ginrich (or Paul, for that matter).

        I consider both of them to be crazier than loons, and I have an especially deep and abiding contempt and disgust for Gingrich. I can’t stand that fat, sanctimonious SOB. He’s McAmnesty in spades.

  12. clyde says:

    An excellent essay,Brian. Some great comments as well. Let me fill in some of the story on hydrogen powered vehicles and the Dolt. Ford and GM have had alternate fuel vehicle programs since WAY back. When I was hauling test vehicles,one of my main jobs in the winter was to move various test fleets to cold weather test sites ranging from Michigan to the Northwest Territories. The hydrogen cars would NOT start below 15f. We ended up hauling them in a HEATED trailer to the test sites,so at least they would start to get the damn things off the trucks.When I retired in 2007 they STILL hadn’t resolved that issue. Since the “exhaust” of a hydrogen car is water vapor,you can imagine the issues trying to get them to start,and to stay running at idle in temperatures below freezing,let alone -50. The hybrid units weren’t too bad,at least if the GAS engine started. The electrics,if we were in transit too long,we’d end up pushing them off due to dead and frozen batteries in the colder areas.While they certainly should be exploring alternatives,the technology to have these cars as dependable as they are today with fossil fuel engines is STILL a long way off. Not to mention the rest of the issues of distributing the alternate fuels. One misconception about the Volt I’d like to try to clear up. A LOT of people have this belief that the Volt was strictly a product developed AFTER Obama bailed GM. Not true. GM has NEVER been in a hurry to develop ANYTHING. Work on that platform started in 2004 or 5. I remember seeing them at GM’s big R&D facility outside Detroit. It WAS rushed,however,by the administration after the bailout. This car,according to people I know who worked on the thing,was STILL 3 years away from being “done” when it was introduced.

    • BrianR says:

      Clyde, that was an info-rich comment, truly excellent. Thanks a lot, man.

      That adds a helluva lot to the essay.

    • Nee says:

      Clyde…when in college, a UNC chem professor I had was alluding to what you discuss. We were talking about combustible engines one day and he asked that very question. What would happen if hydogen was the power behind the vehicle. None of us could answer the question, but he gave a great explanation such as yours. Never followed the industry like I do now…but WHY weren’t people talking about that inefficiency??? And why are people soooo ignorant that they would believe these things work?

  13. slowcowboy says:

    I’ve started telling people that time is crucial. You alluded to it in your post– that technology is not there and we will need to adjust. But during this adjustment period, the economics of the nation will be destroyed. Its not worth that cost, I think, to simply allow our gas prices to move up.

    I also know that not one person is directly responsible for rising gas prices, but Obama has done two things that are problematic: he has limited where we can drill, and he has stated publically we should have higher gas prices. Its also true drilling alone will not get prices down. But it wouldn’t hurt…

    • BrianR says:

      Slowcowboy, welcome. Thanks for that comment.

      The interesting thing about drilling and gas prices: market prices for crude are volatile, and little things can have a big effect. When Iran threatened to block the Hormuz Strait a couple of weeks ago, and now is theatening to withhold sales to France, in both cases we saw an immediate spike in crude prices, and we see the effect at the pump, with gas prices climbing to new record heights in just a couple of weeks.

      Imagine the effect if we announced that all restrictions on domestic production were being lifted, and we were going to bring a TRILLION barrels of oil to the market ASAP.

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Hey, Virginia Daddy … opps, I mean slowcowboy. Good to see you commenting! Miss your posts but don’t go to TH any longer. If you put up a blog somewhere else, let us know!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Nee,to answer your question,MOST people do NOT uderstand how a LOT of the things we use in everyday life work. Nor have the desire to learn. Ask inner-city kids where milk comes from. They’ll tell you the grocery store. Ask most adults HOW we get gas into our cars,they’ll tell you,from the gas pump. I have NO clue about getting a college degree,never had the opportunity to go,but made it my quest to learn a little about a lot,as opposed to a lot about a little. Just seems to make sense,I think.

  15. clyde says:

    Hmmm…. forgot to leave my name on that last post. Beat me,whip me,make me write bad checks.

    • BrianR says:

      I THOUGHT that might have been you.

      BTW, if you’re writing any GOOD checks, I can give you my mailing address….

      Just sayin’…

  16. AfterShock says:

    Well Brian I didn’t see that post, but you can’t seriously believe a vote not cast for Gingrich, thus helping to re-elect Obama, is preferable. Can you? That’s the thinking that got us Obama in the first place. You said it, the power will rest with the house and senate, but that presupposes a Republican Prez. Obama has already proven that he will over-ride the house and senate defying the Supremes as well by executive order. Don’t cut off y/our nose to spite y/our face here Brian. Without meaning to Brian, you’re being a bit pharisaical yourself and it would do you well to consider that there are a lot of people who will suffer immensely if Obama wins. I would think Gingrich if proven to be sooo bad, would be a one term’r and would leave graciously. Obama has no such grace, he is Stalin in sheep’s clothing..

    • BrianR says:

      This is the same discussion we all went through four years ago, and nothing’s changed as far as I’m concerned. I consider Gingrich as much an idiot as Bat Ears, and I don’t vote for idiots, from any party. Period.

      The power that rests with Congress doesn’t in any way “presuppose a Republican Prez”. Where do you get that idea? Just look at what the House alone has been able to do to block Bat Ears when they’ve worked up some actual nerve and acted like real conservatives.

      Further, what in the world gives you the idea that Gingrich would leave office after one term, graciously or otherwise? That guy’s the very definition of an arrogant blowhard who thinks he walks on water, is a legend in his own mind, and is firmly convinced that anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot. That INCLUDED Reagan, BTW, when Reagan was in office. Read the info that’s out there, including his own writings of the time.

      Gingrich is no better than Bat Ears, and in some ways is even worse. I’ll never vote for him. Ever.

      • AfterShock says:

        My point, Brian, is that the time-bom that is Obama-care is set to go off unless it can be repealed and then, if it can’t due to prezBO veto it truly is “game-over”. My comments or posts thereto related are case-specific. I do not like Newt, I haven’t since I learned of his relationship to Alvin and Heidi Toffler back in the 90’s. Nonetheless I do not believe Newt would veto repeal nor over-ride by exec order. We disagree, I still like ya so… what evah, I’d share an Island’s view with you any day BrianR and feel very safe.


      • BrianR says:


        Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to have a meeting on the minds on this one. But Newt himself said he’d do what you claim he wouldn’t: if he disagreed with a Justice he’d try to have him arrested and hauled in front of Congress. Sounds pretty Obamaish to me. In fact, even worse.

        Bro, you’re welcome on my island any day.

  17. Great goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff previous to and you’re simply too great. I actually like what you have obtained here, really like what you’re saying and the best way in which you assert it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

  18. URL says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: theviewfromtheisland.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/a-hundred-bucks-to-fill-the-tank/ […]…

  19. david5300 says:

    A SANE person would not jump into deep water then only look for a life jacket. Our president choses to restrict supplies, ie 10 year moritorum on drilling in the gulf for American companies yet subsidizes forgine companies to drill in our water.
    Our president puts a additional 9.5 billion dollars in new regulations on business to absorb.
    Our presidents EPA has had 3 years to study the keystone pipeline, they do nothing and after 3 years we get the excuse that keystone is rejected … just was not enough time to study it. REALLY?
    Of course the government will not give us the truth,they are the problem there is too much of it, it costs more than we can pay if we could.
    Why would the government make deep water investments with our money with out doing due dilligence.

    • BrianR says:

      Very good questions, David.

      Thanks for joining into the discussion. Welcome!

    • Hardnox says:

      I used to believe that bat-ears et al were just stupid. Now I believe that they are doing it purposefully to diminish America. That’s sad isn’t it? 52% of our fellow voters got this asswipe into office without vetting him and look at the mess that we’re in.

      He promised to “fundamentally change America”. He wasn’t kidding.

      If we could collect a dollar for every time someone yells WTF with regards to this administration I think that we could wipe out the deficit. I’m good for $10K already.

      • BrianR says:

        Y’know, it’s interesting. I don’t think he views it as “diminishing” America. He’s a radical socialist, and I think HE views it as “improving” America.

        Also, let’s remember that less than 52% of our fellow voters went for him. A lot of people sat it out, I’m sure, as is the case in every election, so he actually got fewer than 50% of ELIGIBLE voters.

        You’re only good for $10K? You are very self-controlled. My kudos to you!

      • Hardnox says:

        Thanks. That was just for March.

      • BrianR says:


      • Mrs. AL says:

        Hardnox, I agree with BrianR here. If you overlay his actions on top of the socialistic/communistic/whatever you want to call it game plan, I think when you hold the two up to the light you will see the blueprints pretty much line up. That’s why I don’t consider the Resident an actual liar most of the time. I line up his words and actions with the s/c/w and they match.

      • BrianR says:

        I agree. He never really “lied”. He plainly said what he was setting oput to do: redefine America.

      • Hardnox says:

        Mrs AL & Brian,
        No argument from me. He told America what he was going to do. The ones that voted for him never asked “what” and “how” and they accepted “hope & change” as a positive message. Sadly, it will take decades to fix the mess. In the meantime, the lefties will continue the onslaught against America as they have for the last 100 years. Our side will not know any rest.

        On the plus side, I have yet to meet anyone that voted for zero that will do so again.

      • BrianR says:

        The Edsel of American politics.

  20. Gunny G says:

    Under this regime, EVERYTHING has gone up. Inflation at 10% and climbing.

    Great essay Brian.

  21. jevica says:

    Read an article about “Could a bricked Tesla battery cost you $40,000?”
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/119799-could-a-bricked-tesla-battery-cost-you-40000 if you let the battery fully discharge tooo bad. You will have to replace it. Do a search on “Tesla bricking” and check the results.

    BTW I agree with this post, at this point in time these vehicles are not practical, and I don’t know if they will ever be. Until we can get some “free” electricity that can do what gas can do forget it.

    I remember when my dad used to pay something like ten cents a gallon.

    • BrianR says:

      Very interesting link, Jev. Yeah, that battery costs more than most conventional cars.

      I remember those days of gas prices, too. I used to pay about a quarter a gallon when I was in college. Nobody even cared about mileage; all we wanted was power. A lot of zoom.

  22. CW says:

    Good post, Brian. When it comes to energy (or anything else) the free market never lies, which is why the Left is so damned determined to mess with it.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, CW.

      Well said! I agree. The ONLY way the socialists can ever get their idiotic ideas in play is to try to force them on everybody. If the “alternative energy solution” was at all viable, someone in the free market would be cashing in on it, big time.

  23. […] I’ve said before (here, here and here) we’re sitting on an ocean of oil we’re just letting sit in the ground purely for political […]

  24. Thanks for finally talking about >A Hundred Bucks To Fill The Tank?!?!?!
    The View from the Island <Liked it!

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