Tag Archives: gas prices

‘New normal’ for fuel prices: still weird

We all were kids once and many of us of a certain age remember when it was “normal” to pay, oh, 25 cents for a gallon of motor fuel.

No more, gang. We now are in the midst of the “new normal” that allows us to rejoice — if only just a bit — when the price of go-juice dips below $3 per gallon.

I just filled up my pickup in Princeton, Texas, where gasoline is now being peddled for $2.52 per gallon at the service station near my home. The truck was practically empty — not “running on fumes” empty, but still pretty low. The pump stopped at less than $40. The truck was full.

I am acutely aware that the new normal means something different for our fellow Americans in California, or Hawaii, or New York. I hear about it all the time; I have family members out west who pay a whole lot more per gallon for gas than we do in Texas.

Still, it makes me chuckle when I applaud the notion of paying $2.52 per gallon for gasoline … when I recall how it used to be.

To be sure, it’s a whole lot more tolerable to shell out dough for gasoline when it’s two whole dollars per gallon less expensive now than it was just a little while ago.


Gasoline sticker shock!

LUDLOW, Calif. — My nose nearly started bleeding when I saw the price of gasoline I was about to pump into my Ford Ranger truck.

It stood at $7.49 per gallon. And that was for the cheapest octane level of go-juice!

If you know where Ludlow is, you’ll understand that it sits in the middle of nowhere, man along Interstate 40 not too far from the California-Arizona border. The owners of the two gasoline service stations at this intersection apparently are free to charge whatever the dickens they want.

I didn’t like having to pay that much for the gas, which is the same stuff I purchase at home in Princeton, Texas — only for a whole lot less.

I refuse to get into the why and how come gas prices are so great in some parts of the country. Seven bucks-plus for gasoline is obscene.

My sticker shock has abated. It is replaced with sincere sympathy for those who live in an area where they have to shell out so much dough for a commodity that should cost a fraction of they’re paying.


Oh, these costs …

Not long ago I posted a blog item that recalled the good old days when Dad would ask the gas station attendant to pump “a buck’s worth of regular” gasoline into his car.

At 25 cents per gallon, that bought Dad about four gallons of fuel. He could run on that for, say, a weekend.

Well, today I pulled into a Shell station in Farmersville, Texas and pumped 4.546 gallons of diesel fuel into Big Jake the Pickup.

The cost of a little more than four gallons of fuel today … roughly the same amount of fuel for which Dad paid a buck?

Twenty-five dollars!

This makes me so mad … I could just spit!


That was then

Ahhh, yes. We remember those days, don’t we. They’re gone forever. As Don Henley once sang, “Don’t look back; you can never look back.”

But this picture does remind me of a more innocent time in the life of our great nation.

I am 72 years of age, which makes me old enough to remember how simple life used to be for all Americans. I remember a time when gasoline sold actually for about half the price shown in the picture attached to this post.

I grew up in Portland, Ore. Dad had this way of talking to gas station attendants — yes, they’re still on the job in Oregon to this day. We would ride in a car he was driving; he would pull up to the gas pump at the station.

The attendant would approach the car and Dad would say, “I’ll take a buck’s worth of regular.” Yep. One dollar’s worth of gasoline in the car.

Let’s do a bit of simple math. Gasoline sold for about 25 cents per gallon in those days. A “buck’s worth” bought Dad about four gallons of gas. If the vehicle he was driving was somewhat fuel-efficient — bear in mind that “fuel efficiency” was hardly on our minds in those days — he could drive, oh, about 60 to 75 miles on just those four gallons of gas.

I am left to simply sigh wistfully.

Those days won’t return. I find myself at this very moment wishing for “less expensive” motor fuel to drop to less than $4 per gallon.

Today we are grumbling at everyone. The president needs to “do something” to stop the skyrocketing price of motor fuel. In truth, the president is virtually powerless to control these prices. We bitch at the oil companies for price gouging. I am inclined to join that crowd, but I certainly understand there is little we can do to fight against what we believe is occurring in oil-company board rooms.

If they’re all doing it, how do we boycott the oil companies?

We are left to wish for worldwide conditions to change and for the worldwide supply to make it a bit more economical just to pump fuel for our motor vehicles.

If only we could turn back the clock.

— johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Gas-price skid causes nervousness

So-called “experts” on energy prices and policies keep telling us the same thing.

The downward spiral in oil and gasoline prices is going to continue perhaps well into the new year.

But watching the price ticking down — often more than once daily — continues to make me nervous.

The price of unleaded gas has now dipped to less than $2 per gallon in Amarillo. I work part time across the street from a leading gas dealer here and I’ve seen the sign tick down as many as three times during a single day.

How low will it go?

The experts aren’t saying yet how cheap they think gas will get.

Supply is up. Demand is down. American drillers keep producing oil like there’s no tomorrow. But everyone knows how free-market economics works: If the supply keeps outstripping demand, eventually the suppliers will scale back their production to even out the inventory of oil and gasoline on the market. The result inevitably increases the price of gas a the pump.

As we’ve all seen for the past several years, gasoline increases in price at a far quicker pace than it decreases.

Hey, I’m not predicting gloom and doom at the pump.

I’m merely suggesting that I’m getting quite used to paying the same amount for gas that I was paying five years ago or longer.

The “new normal” in gas prices had produced a certain form of numbness to the prices we were paying. Now that new normal has been shaken — but in a positive sort of way.

It still makes me nervous about what could be coming down the road.