Monday, April 4, 2011

Gasoline is cheap

There has been a great deal of argle-bargle recently on the price of gasoline.  According to the news, it seems we are headed for $5 per gallon gasoline, and the Apocalypse is not far behind that.

Get real, people, gasoline is a bargain at $5 per gallon.

No other source of energy comes close to the energy density of gasoline.  It packs more punch per pound than any other usable energy source we have invented.  We use a lot of gasoline because it works really well.

The average car goes about 20 miles per gallon of gas.  Think about that. When is the last time you walked 20 miles?  Heck, when is the last time you walked 1 mile?

Try this experiment:  take all the stuff you use or need during a typical day; briefcase, laptop, phone, backpack, sports gear, workout bag, golf clubs, whatever.  Put it on your back.  Walk 20 miles.   When you get there, I will offer you a ride home for $5.  A bargain, right?

Think about it this way: a 20oz latte runs $5 at Starbucks, or about $15 per gallon.  A dollar for a water bottle comes out to $16 gallon. 

Coffee is a luxury item.  Really, you can make it through the day without $5 worth of caffeine.  Water is FREE and widely available, yet you will pay $16 per gallon for it.  Yet you complain about $3-4 for gas?

And gasoline does not just magically appear.

Oil companies explore remote, barren, and inhospitable places searching for oil.  They drill down thousands of feet into the earth to tap oil reservoirs.  They built elaborate pumping stations and pipelines to get the oil out of the ground.  They load the oil on super massive ships and transport it across vast oceans. They unload the oil at a complex and expensive refinery, where it is broken down into its component parts.  The gasoline is then sent through pipelines, barges and trucks to the corner of just about every street in the nation, where it sits in underground storage tanks for you to buy whenever you want.

For a few bucks. 

Think about that for a moment.  Billions of dollars of capital deployed to bring you a commodity that you have no hope of ever finding or making for yourself, and then they only charge you a few dollars for a gallon.

And that gallon will perform more work per pound than any other energy source yet devised.

Yup, gasoline is cheap.

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