Ongoing protests and government upheaval in the Middle East may be great for freedom, but the phenomenon is costly for anyone who needs to buy gas. Oil shot up past $100 a barrel Wednesday, its highest point in more than two years. [More]
With the economy kinda sorta picking up, and consumers in China, India and Brazil buying cars in droves, gas prices are expected to keep going up, and may hit $4 a gallon by early spring, when Americans finish scraping the ice off of their windshields and begin planning road trips. And unlike 2008, when gas last broke the $4 barrier, only to later drop to lower prices, $4 may be a new baseline, followed by $5 gas as early as next year. [More]
One easy way to save on gas is to park in the shade. The cooler your car is, the less the gas in your tank will evaporate. A quality windshield shade helps, too. After all, you wouldn’t want your hard-earned dollars to waft away into the sky, now would you? [More]
Energy companies were supposed to compensate rural Virginians for the billions of dollars worth of gas they sucked from their land, but a local newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation found that the money has instead been diverted into escrow accounts for over 20 years. If the landowner even knows the money is there, it’s nigh impossible to get it out, and in any event, the companies have only been putting in a fraction of what they’re supposed to. A rubber-stamping regulatory board that hadn’t done an audit for a decade only compounded the problem. I drink your milkshake, indeed. [More]
A gaggle of costumed sea creatures plan to occupy the SoHo BP station in NYC tonight at 6pm to protest the company’s response to the oil spill. However, while the threat of makeshift sea turtles descending on Houston and Lafeyette is wonderful to contemplate, because BP stations are independently-owned, only the local business owner will be harmed by the disruption in commerce. Media points against BP will be harder to score. This particular station is a mecca for taxi cab drivers in the area, who will most likely find any difficulties in getting gas on a busy holiday weekend night to be less than hilarious. UPDATE: Local news coverage: [More]
First BP told us 1,000, then 5,000, and now a joint federal and independent research task force estimates that 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil were spewing into the Gulf since the crisis began, NYT reports. If the numbers are right, then we’re talking about as much as 30 million gallons. That would be more than 3x the amount from the Valdez disaster. [More]
BP has started operation “Top Kill,” and we’ve embedded here the live videostream of their latest attempt to plug the well. The maneuver involves pumping heavy drilling mud and cement into the well. While routine on surface wells, it’s never been attempted at 5,000 ft underwater. And if it goes south and the blowout preventer cracks under the pressure, it could make matters worse. Bust out the popcorn! I just saw a robot arm! [More]
A fake BP PR twitter account, BPGlobalPR, has started posted satirical tweets about the company’s response and attitude to the oil spill, and it has more followers than of the real BP Twitter accounts combined. And why not? Would you rather read, “BP Pledges $500 Million for Independent Research into Impact of Spill on Marine Environment” or “Doing our best to turn oil into oilinade. So far the stuff tastes TERRIBLE.” [More]
By attaching a mile-long pipe to its leaking well, BP is now able to slurp off 1,000 barrels of oil daily. The Gulf of Mexico spill currently emits about 5,000 barrels of oil per day, according to BP/Coast Guard/NOAA estimates, which have been challenged by independent scientists who put the figure more at 70,000 barrels per day, and criticized BP for using methodology specifically not recommended for measuring large oil spills. BP’s response: we’re here to stop the oil, not measure it. Scientists are also concerned that the oil could reach a major stream that would ferry it into the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. Looks like we’re gonna need a bigger milkshake straw. [More]
BP failed in its efforts this weekend to stop the worst of the Gulf of Mexico oil leaks with a 98-ton concrete and steel cap. The company said the dome’s aperture became clogged by gas hydrates, and the hydrates also nearly built up to a level that would have lifted and dislodged the the stopper. “I wouldn’t say it has failed yet,” said Doug Suttles, a BP officer, at a news conference Saturday. “What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn’t work.” BP said later this week they will try to plug the hole with rubber. [More]
is in the middle of constructing has built a 100-ton concrete and steel funnel that will be placed over the Gulf of Mexico oil leak to contain it and allow the oil to be pumped onshore. The placement, which I imagine is something like an incredibly stressful large-scale version of The Claw Game, is scheduled for noon eastern today. Will it do the trick? [More]
Is your state the gassiest? This graph over at Infrastructurist compares how much each gas each state uses per person. Green is low use, blue is moderate, and red is high. What’s interesting is when you look at each state’s fuel use per capita, “High-use states like New York actually have low per-capita usage, while states like Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and North Dakota — all states with smaller populations and large distances required for drivers — have higher than average consumption.” [More]
Several states are reporting this morning that average gas prices have crept up slightly, despite the fact that oil consumption has dropped and refiners are operating below capacity. The Miami Herald blames the price creep on Wall Street speculators who are optimistic that the economy is getting better, which in turn will lead to increased gas consumption. [More]
Gas prices have spiked in the last two weeks, reaching levels last seen during the peak of the summer driving season, says the AP. The increase in gas prices has retailers worried that consumers who are putting more money in their gas tanks will buy fewer gifts during the upcoming holiday season.
Without warning, Citi decided to close a swath of gas-station co-branded Mastercard accounts nationwide. The trouble seems to have started October 15. Quan was one of the affected customers and the credit card company was pretty disingenuous about it when called.