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GasBuddy News Article

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Bureaucratic Gas

Weekly Standard -- Quick: How many kinds of gasoline do we use in America? Most people would say three or six: regular unleaded, mid-grade, and premium, along with the ethanol blends of the same that have become nearly universal. The actual number is somewhere above 45, though hard to pin down exactly, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). It might even be closer to 70. Thirty-four states use specially blended gasoline, usually during the summer, which is one reason gasoline prices always rise during the “driving season.”

Is this a conspiracy of the evil oil companies to fatten their margins? Mostly no: It’s the product of EPA bureaucrats and the Clean Air Act, stubbornly maintained even though boutique fuels now deliver only marginal reductions in air pollution from cars, if any at all.


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Submitted Mar 25, 2012 By: bar1035
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Ken2OD
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:25:32 PM

I thought that I smelled a bunch of gas in Washington D.C.
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RitaVespa
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:24:28 PM

wow
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CorvairHaven
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:24:05 PM

"It’s the product of EPA bureaucrats and the Clean Air Act"...

Yep.
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BlackSbr
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:23:12 PM

Bureaucratic As_
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theschmuck
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:11:45 PM

The whole thing will just put more money in the pockets of big oil and the politicians they deal with, and the little guy gets it in the shorts again.
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Amanstrom
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:07:02 PM

Interesting
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packards42
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:04:48 PM

EPA is our friend, and sometime our worst enemy, during hard times kike now.
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DirtDauber
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:04:26 PM

Bureaucrats are a waste of time.
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gass12
Champion Author Omaha

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:03:59 PM

Natural Gas is cleaner and is the answer.
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armey
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:02:57 PM

OK!
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icer06
Champion Author Huntsville

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:01:51 PM

hmmmm
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Gnusman53
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 6:01:50 PM

Once again.. lots of clueless comments...and posters loving to consume poisons....and they never read this opinion piece...from AEI
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Ayeghoti
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:58:11 PM

govt gas is all methane
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zonkthegreat
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:56:04 PM

We've watched oil prices and gas prices every since OPEC's embargo 40 years ago, and here you'll discover the iron law that connects the gas price to the oil price. Hardly anyone knows this simple rule, because it's not in Big Oil's interest, and because some very big names are in on this deception.

Big Oil sells American oil at the world oil price — even when it sells it to Americans. The more they pump, the more they profit, but that doesn't save us money at the pump. The Iron Law of Gas Prices will make that more than clear. Then, we'll look into the secrets of oil prices.

zFact: Price of Gas = (World Price of Oil) + $1.00/gal

The price of gasoline (in 2012 dollars) has been $1.00 more per gallon than the price of oil for the last 25 years. There were some small deviations, but nothing systematic. There's nothing we can do about this unless we change the world oil price — or we subsidize gasoline like Iran and Venezuela.

Big Oil's Deception

Big Oil (and the Republicans) want us to believe that pumping more US oil will bring down the price of gas. How's that going? In December 2008, the gas price was $2.09. By Dec. 2011 it was up 69% to $3.53. So that was because we were pumping 6.7 Mb/day in Dec. '08 and now we're down to 8.2 Mb/day in Dec. '11. Oh wait, that's up 23%, not down. That's the biggest three-year increase since 1970. In fact every year was down from 1985 until the trend reversed in 2009.

So under Obama, we've had the only annually increases in oil production in 25 years and some of the biggest increases ever. And the Republicans are saying two things:
1. More production makes gas prices go down.
2. Obama made gas prices go up (with a huge increase in oil production).

I guess their theory is Democratic oil production makes the price go up and Republican production makes it go down. I'm skeptical.

So Who's Lying?
Politician's can have a slip of the tongue, or bad fact checking on a small point. But Newt Gingrich has made $2.50 gas a centerpiece of his campaign, and developed a 6 point plan. The first four points increase production to reduce the world price of oil. So it's no slip when he claims that he control gas prices by increasing oil production.

So what did Newt actually say? He told FoxNews, "I have a $2.50 goal as a maximum price. I think -- and if people go to Newt.org ... where we outline step by step how to do it. I think it is doable." Doable?! $2.50 for gas means $1.50 for oil (the Iron Rule). And $1.50 times 42 gallons/barrel = $63/barrel -- a little over half what it costs now. And Newt will make that the maximum price of oil for the world from now on. Sure thing. The US still produces less than 10% of the world's oil and our dramatic increase in production under Obama had so little effect that the price of oil went from $40/barrel (Dec. '08) to $108/bbl (Dec. '11). He knows he cap the price of oil at $62/barrel, and probably not even at $120.

Why Does It Matter?

Newt's second point is "End the ban on oil shale development in the American West." That's the dirty expensive oil Jimmy Carter was after. And yes there's a lot of it. But at $2.50/gallon of gas it's not profitable. The reason Big Oil is after shale oil is because they know the world price of oil is likely to average over $100/barrel. So the real plan is this:
• Cook the oil out of Western shale.
• Sell it at World Market prices.
• Huge profits for Big Oil.

America takes the environmental hit. Big Oil takes the profits, the whole world gets slightly gas prices, and a bigger risk of climate change. (Yes this will drive the price of oil down a bit, compared to what -- $120?) So the question we're facing is, will the voters fall for yet another energy scheme from the politicians?
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BazooQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:54:19 PM

And how do they create so many blends with so few refineries?
Our gas delivery trucks don't even identify themselves with a brand anymore.
And we only have one distant refinery servicing a whole province.
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ccrb
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:53:41 PM

I'd just be happy to find ethanol free gasoline.
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kc58veteran
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:51:15 PM

milespergallon said: According to the Government Accountability Office! What an oxymoron that is, putting government anywhere close to accountability is, in fact, an oxymoron!
AGREE!!!!
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HA4CNN
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:50:15 PM

This is absolute madness.
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eye-spy
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:48:47 PM

In other words....a bureaucratic mess!!

God bless our politicians!!
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gws2980
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:47:34 PM

these are the people we elected?
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toadNY
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:47:08 PM

The Big Problem is the Government!
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Teamy
Sophomore Author Miami

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:45:02 PM

I learned a few new things. Thanks.
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LaVonneK
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:44:43 PM

Oh.
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Papa_Gallo
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:43:15 PM

All you need to know is that the richest counties in the country now surround Washington D.C.
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balljars
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:42:00 PM

Washington is full of it.
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IUVidiot
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:41:57 PM

here we go
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mplato
Champion Author Columbia

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:39:12 PM

all bureaucratics have gas... nad hot air
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zonkthegreat
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:38:17 PM

More right wing crap!
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Digger5
All-Star Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:37:31 PM

Have one national boutique blend, and do away with speculation, and then the price of gas will go down.
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iamforiu
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:34:23 PM

ok
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kriketgirl
Veteran Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:31:16 PM

ride a bike
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BobbyVA
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:31:05 PM

EPA bureaucratic nightmare that was fostered by Obama.
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dynamouse
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:28:59 PM

remember obama came in gas was at $1.74 now $4 he wants gas at $5-6 a gallon he trying to force American into his little green cars with our tax dollars wasted on green technology and green jobs he has to go we need the USA 1 again not a I'm sorry for everything country I LOVE America i hate what obama is doing to it
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k2kipp
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:28:08 PM

Crazyness...
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DancingDee
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:26:28 PM

I'd DEFINITELY DO AWAY WITH THAT 'SUMMER-BLENDED GAS!!!!!!
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richnc
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:26:23 PM

another example of agency empire building.
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Bonanza
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:22:14 PM

Get rid of the bureaucrats!
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bullseye100
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:22:11 PM

The EPA sucks and they don't protect anything except for their own jobs
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regasaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:21:11 PM

Eliminate the EPA and sell only pure gasoline and diesel. Scrap the special ethanol blends and move on.
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methaneman
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:21:01 PM

Can anyone make an engine that runs on Bureaucratic Gas? Holy mollie Rocky, can you even imagine the range and performance you could get off that! Them Arabs would be back to racing camels and farming dates.
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hibsaw
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:19:52 PM

No wonder gas prices are so high.
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TRAIN RIDER
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:14:46 PM

We need to get the government out of everything and the costs will go down.
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bigrigAZ
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:14:46 PM

I say it again - do away with the EPA. Everything they have done because of the EPA has cost us untold amount of dollars and done nothing except make them think of more ways to stick it to the american people. California used to say what California does the rest of the states will follow- not true anymore. California and the EPA are losers., but we are paying forn it.
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rxman1
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:13:10 PM

Then let's add one more 100% gasoline and let the consumer decide.
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rippertoo
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:10:57 PM

Whatever.
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DarthDadJr
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:10:54 PM

This is definitely something that can be fixed...we don't need all of these blends.
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unicornpmb
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:10:37 PM

You wonder why the cost of gas is high
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Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:10:18 PM

Oh Gee... there should only be 24... Six for every region of the US.. Lol!
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bluetatanka
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:09:48 PM

Bureaucratic Gas? Lots of hot air from all the politicians in Washington, DC!
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Barfood
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:09:37 PM

Why can't the country get by on 5 'boutigue' blends? That should be plenty!
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crusty1
All-Star Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2012 5:09:15 PM

Best written article I've ever read here.
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