Monday, March 24, 2008

Oddfellows Tank 151 - 24 March

Refueled this morning at the Fredericksburg Costco pump #1, with 11.713
gallons. After going 424.0 miles on this tank, made for mileage of
36.20 miles per gallon, which is pretty good but not as great as other
recent tanks.

I suspect the fuel economy suffered because two days last week took me
much longer than normal to get home, so I idled in traffic for much
longer than usual.

There are more frequent news stories about gasoline and how it's
affecting people's driving habits. Truckers across the country are
slowing down from 75 to 65 and less, in efforts to conserve diesel fuel.
This action no doubt will have some affect upon car travelers,
particularly on two-lane Interstates where smaller faster cars might
pile up behind the big rigs as they await their turns to pass.

Likewise, reports of gas demand going down up to 1% might be because
people in general are driving slower to achieve better fuel economy. I
believe this is because gas prices are still pretty high. I believe
that public demand will say "well gas demand is going down, so gas
prices should go down, too!" So gas prices will dip a bit, relatively
speaking, and most people will go right back to their old habits of
zooming around, peeling out, and weaving through traffic just to slam on
the brakes later on. And gas prices will go up again.

It seems to be like last time (early post 9/11), people got used to gas
at $2.00 a gallon and reverted to driving like loonies, except now
people are accepting gas at $3.00 a gallon and still driving like
loonies.

So I wonder at what price people will stop accepting it and permanently
modify their driving habits. $4.00 a gallon? $5.00? $6.50?

I hope that this spring, people will look at their driving habits and
take note of travel times driving their normal way vs. a more sane way,
and note that driving in a fuel-aware manner gives you mugh grater fuel
economy, less stress, and adds but seconds, perhaps a minute or two, to
the ultimate trip time.

If we all look at such things and work together in politeness, we can
get better mileage and get to our destinations in a quick, friendly
manner.

1 comment:

  1. Kenny my friend.

    (1) I believe consumption is going down because people are driving less, not because they're slowing down. Though I have no hard data to support this assertion, but I believe most people associate fuel economy with their hardware (the vehicle) and not the software (the driving habits). Though its basic physics... the faster you drive your car, the harder your car must work to keep you going that speed, and therefore the more gas you burn... how many typical U.S. citizens really paid attention in Physics? I just drove across the great State of Ohio with my cruise set at 66 and even the little old ladies were passing me. [Though my trusty Civic scored a fuel economy of 37 mpg for the trip... I think I need to pump up those tires; I once got 41 mpg on the same trip].

    (2) Economists are puzzling over the paradox of this gasoline market. Though consumption dropped considerably, there hasn't been a responsive drop in price. The culprit appears to be hedgefund speculators on the futures markets. They believe some bad stuff is going to happen to keep supply lines crimped, meanwhile estimated Asian demand is going nowhere but up.

    That's the problem with human agency... it doesn't always fit the linear models that economists say it should.

    Thanks for letting me be groovy.

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