[OT] Gas companies report record profits (old energy thread)

Tyler Strickland tyler at tylers.org
Mon Jan 30 11:56:03 MST 2006

On Mon, January 30, 2006 11:31 am, Michael L Torrie wrote:
> I think the market "approves" the prices, but doesn't really set them.
> The prices are set by the seller who sees if the market is willing to
> absorb the price.  So while the consumer may not be happy about the
> price, their willingness to still buy the good at a higher price
> validates this higher prices.  If the prices are too low, then obviously
> demand will outstrip supply.  Too high and there is an oil surplus.
> However we've never seen an oil surplus.  Further the people who feel
> like they are most affected by high oil prices (the car owners) are only
> a small percentage of oil consuming entities in the country.
> ...more stuff here...

Well, I'm not so sure I agree with you on that point.  For me, gas is
almost a fixed purchase - I drive to SLC daily and can't do much about
that (yes, I could take the bus, but that would add 2-4 hours to my round
trip).  I also drive an SUV, though at about 21 mpg on the highway it's
not typical in terms of SUV gas usage.  Why do I drive an SUV?  Because a
year ago when I was trading in my sedan I wanted something with (1) decent
passenger capacity and (2) decent utility value (moving stuff, towing,
etc).  Not many vehicles do both (1) and (2) and still get decent gas
mileage.  I'd consider my 21 mpg near the top of the pack, in fact.

When gas companies raise gas prices, I don't have much say in the matter. 
I still have to drive my 90 miles every day.  I can't trade in my truck
for something with better gas mileage, both for utility and financial
reasons.  For me, and I suspect for many other people and companies, there
is no choice.  I pay for gas, or I don't get to work without losing an
extra 2-4 hours of my day riding the bus.  I wish I could cut down my
gasoline usage.  I don't like paying $9 every day just to get to work and

I'm just glad it'll be over in a couple of months when I head to Navy boot
camp.  I don't think I could take much more of this commute.


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