Who has control over gas prices?

View Poll Results: Who has control over gas prices?

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  • we (the consumers) have control

    16 17.20%
  • the largest oil company(s) have control

    71 76.34%
  • the smaller oil companies have control

    0 0%
  • nature has control

    6 6.45%
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Thread: Who has control over gas prices?

  1. #1
    Choose freely. Array F4eyes's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Twilight zone

    Who has control over gas prices?

    Hey everyone. I'm just wondering since gas prices are rumored to increase in these coming months, who ultimately has control over gas prices.

    I myself believe the consumer has control since we're the ones who choose to buy or not; or rather, who to buy from since we typically NEED gas for our vehicles. However the oil companies choose the price based on sales figures. And you all know we do have choices as to who we buy from. Only issue is we're typically driven by prices and buy from wherever its cheapest.

    Lets see what you think.
    What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say.

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  3. #2
    V Lister Array BLADERUNNER 954's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    your girlfriend
    between the oil companies and the gov , we are fucked. think about it , we need gas for many things, its a necessity for many of us. and they know it. no matter how high fuel gets , we will pay .

  4. #3
    Fuelled by rice Array racerboy88's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    lower mainland
    OPEC controls everything when it comes to how much they want to pump out. Our frickin government is the one that charges huge tax which makes the price higher. Realistically the price should only be aroun 40-45 cents a litre, the rest is tax.
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  5. #4
    The good days... Array Deputy's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    A ---> B
    Here's my brother's response to that stupid "don't buy gas at Shell and Petro Can" email that's been going around. I don't know what my cousin thought when he replied, but it made me chuckle:

    As to the gas situation the fact of the matter is that Shell, Exxon, BMP, Petro Canada and all the other "oil" companies, don't have as much say in the oil prices as people like to think. There are tons of factors that go into oil pricing and then even more that go into the price of gas. Here are a few of the considerations:

    1) Plenty of studies indicate that the Middle Eastern oil fields are being depleted, most of the region has been heavily explored and calculations of reserves are probably fairly accurate. Though there are untapped sources, they are known sources with reserves that can be estimated. These studies have created a bit of a run on oil and shot prices higher, as much as 15% in only a very short time. When will the supply no longer fuel demand? Some studies say as early as 2015, but it's a little guess work, the rise in oil prices due to this factor has only just started...there will be a trend towards rapidly increasing oil prices going forward. If you think oil is an endless resource, you might as well stop reading now, the rest of this won't make much sense to you.

    2) The downfall of the US dollar is costing people around the globe money, simple fact. Oil is priced in US dollars, as those dollars fall in value the oil production consortiums are forced to raise the price of oil to keep up with the fall of the currency, because, you see, very little oil is actually produced in the US, the only place where the downward turn of the currency and the costs of production would parallel each other. The Arabs, Russians, and even Canadian production fields, pay their workers, taxes and all their other production and refinement costs in their home currency, or some equivalent thereof. This means the source of their income is losing value, but their costs are staying the same, you can see where that leads. On top of that, investors and owners don't want their profits to fall. They need to increase the cost per barrel to offset this currency devaluation. To give you an idea of what has happened in this area, 3 years ago 0.86 USD bought 1 Euro, now it takes 1.24 USD to buy 1 Euro. Similar rises against the US dollar have been experienced in most of the oil producing countries. That's a huge rise, and thus a huge rise in oil prices.

    3) Increased demand, plain and simple. Couple the foreseeable deficit in oil production that will come at some unknown point in time with increased demand, and you get the basic law of the market, increased demand, stable or decreasing supply, means higher prices. Oil companies are in business and like it or not, they sell to the highest bidder...in this case, China. China and India are entering an urbanization and technological advancement stage in their societal development, and yes, they are starting to drive cars, require rubber goods and starting to use all the other things that require oil in the process, just like the western societies have been doing for years. This process is not happening slowly. China is building the equivalent of a mid sized US city (I don't know, think of Cleveland or something) every year, to house the population which is becoming increasingly urban oriented. India is expected to have 300 million people of the middle class by 2010. That's up from about 25 million only 5 years ago. We are talking about a massive rise in both of those countries in the number of people demanding products that require oil at some stage of their production or use. The fact that they are the two most populated countries on the planet, combined making up for a quarter of the world population...well, you can start to get the picture.

    On top of all of this, westerners, especially in the US are requiring more and more fuel every year, there is no diminishment in the growth of demand in the older industrialized countries.

    So, all told you have a questionable supply over the long term, coupled with a nearly 40% drop in the value of the resource as compared to cost of production, and a massive, and I do mean massive, almost exponential growth in demand...well, I think $2/litre gas is right around the corner, just can't blame Esso, Shell, Chevron or any of the other gas distributors around town. Further, government taxes exist, which are not entirely fixed costs, over which the oil companies have no control and are none to happy about themselves. These taxes are major source of revenue for the government, and are not going away any time soon.

    The review of the situation offered in the first e-mail is simplistic and not examining the macro economic realities. Yes supply has technically grown, but demand has simultaneously grown at a staggering rate, so supply has not increased in proportion to demand, it has greatly decreased. It would threaten the cogency of any argument to base a conclusion on only one part of an equation especially one that is technically true, but logically false.

    If people want gas prices to come down, they must simply develop alternate fuel sources, it really is that simple, nothing else is going to do it, not boycotting Esso, even if you do it all year, all you would technically be doing then is actually decreasing the demand filled by one of the major oil companies, which would mean a strain put on the other companies to fill the gap, but they are already running at maxed out capacity, so they will have increased costs to fill that void, such as buying new ships and trucks to move the oil around.

    Please note I am not a proponent of big business, and I do drive a car that I really would prefer not get more expensive to use, but I don't fault the oil companies. How about getting American friends to write their Senators and Congressmen and asking them to increase the value of their currency, or fix their economy? That would have a major impact on oil prices, in the direction we would prefer them to go, rather than the below noted action which will, if not slightly increase local gas prices, would have no effect at all. Shell doesn't care if North Americans buy their oil as much as you might think they do, there is gold mine in Eastern Asia they have turned their attention to.

    Take heart, steel, for an example of another commodity which is heavily used worldwide, has seen a nearly 400% increase in price in only 5 years, at least that hasn't yet happened at the pumps.

    With 300 million middle classers in India alone by 2010, probably 200 million or so in China, every one of them driving and buying Rubbermaid products, the situation is not looking good for the environment or gasoline prices. Try to focus on putting pressure on the government to start weaning us westerners off of gas powered automobiles, that would be the best start, Esso has less to do with this than you would think.
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  6. #5
    01000110 01010101 Array orbit's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
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    jesus... give me the coles notes version. I'll have to bookmark that one for a later read.

  7. #6
    Registered User Array
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    Apr 2004
    North Vancouver Canada
    O, i work at a gas station.

    Now the government does not really decide the price of the gas. They set a tax level for the gas. The oil compinies dont really control it either. It is almost a hole suply and demand deal.

    When there is a gas price change all that happens is we get a call from the Chevron head office and they tell us to change the price.

    I hate it. We had the price change 3 times in 5 hours. LOL. Went down tho, that is a good thing.

  8. #7
    the saudi oil companys it like opec or something

  9. #8
    Registered User Array Tengu's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    The Wack
    Ultimately consumers have control over the price. *But* since we depend on it for every day life(for the most part) its all up to the companies/OPEC

    . . . . until we get nuclear powered bikes
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  10. #9
    Medium Pimpin' Array ORYX's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    White Rock
    A red one
    I have control... Muwhahahaah!
    Originally posted by adamantium
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  11. #10
    _____________ Array iceneweb's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    South Surrey
    1975 Snortin' Norton Commando, 19somethin` Old . . . .
    greed controls the price of gas

  12. #11
    Beer League Racer/Asshole Array SnoDragon's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    New West
    Deputy, you did not address the fact that although OPEC seems to control the amount they pump out and sell, they do not have the most oil reserves. In Canada here, we could be the controllers of oil like OPEC. Most of the province of Alberta is based on tar sands, which when processed properly, is crude oil. There is so much in fact, that a few studies have shown that Alberta contains up to 75% of land based oil deposits. I say land based, because they still suspect that off-shore drilling will yield huge results.

    Now all we need to do is find a way to cheaply extract that oil from the sands and we are all must better off.

    We already know that after the hydrogen hiway is created for 2010, there will start to be hydrogen price wars as well

  13. #12
    Deer magnet Array Prez's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    sold - borrowing my wife's CBR
    Thanks Deputy, good read.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is, you can't "make" oil, you can only extract it, and that makes it a non-renewable resource. As with everything that has has a finite amount, eventually there won't be any more. Those electric/hybrid cars are starting to look better every day now. I'm glad I don't own a big SUV.
    Every day I break my previous record of consecutive days still alive.

  14. #13
    DPT Downtown Poser Team Array Bluepill's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    beater piece of shit
    you forgot to add up one thing........

    the "GOVERMENT"

  15. #14
    Devil's Advocate Array RoadBlur's Avatar
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  16. #15
    pronounced as-wee-pay Array effenay's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Slaves to Our Freedom
    by Bill Maher

    EVOLUTION IS ABOUT SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, adapting to adversity, immunizing one's self from that which poses a threat. And as we begin to recognize our oil dependence as an Achilles heel, well, then I would say it was time for us to do a little evolving.

    After World War II, Americans started treating gasoline as if it were a necessary element for sustaining life, like air and water and television. We preach about capitalism and the beauty of unfettered market forces determining price -- but not when it comes to gas. When it comes to gas, we need it cheap, and the president had better get it for us, or else, and we don't care how. If it takes a hundred thousand dead Iraqi "soldiers" to keep gas below two bucks a gallon -- when the rest of the world pays five and up -- then that's what it takes! That's the "price" of gasoline. Just look what happens when gasoline prices go up by even a few cents. Americans throw an embarrassingly juvenile tantrum, outraged that they have to think twice before taking the couch-mobile to Wal-Mart for a bucket of Rocky Road and a lawn bag full of potato chips.

    It's a funny thing about Americans, we love to bitch about paying too much for things we really need and are really a bargain, like gas and postage stamps, but we willingly shell out outrageous amounts for unnecessary crap like gourmet coffee and soap to make your crotch smell good. Two dollars a gallon to go ten miles is too much, but five to the parking valet to go ten feet is okay.

    We should stop worrying so much about the price of gasoline and start considering its cost. You really want to be patriotic? Don't change your car by putting a flag on it, change the car. Improving our overall fuel efficiency by just 2.7 miles per gallon would completely eliminate our need for oil from the Persian Gulf -- you know, where the troublemakers come from.

    And until we can wean ourselves off the good, imported stuff altogether -- and we'll have to someday -- conservation is our only sound recourse. Oh sure, there's our domestic supply, that private bottle we keep in a desk drawer, but even if we drilled in every wildlife refuge and put oilrigs on all our coasts, we'd still only be tapping about 2% of the world's reserves, barely enough to continue producing Astroglide.

    And for what? For big, garish wagons that we want to make us powerful, but of course cannot. Stop calling SUVs SUVs, because it stands for "sport utility," and soccer moms and football dads are not using these leviathans for sports or utilities. Unlike in the commercials, few people use them to cross the Rockies (because, you know, wherever Lewis and Clark went ditto the Navigator). In the commercials, every model is "a totally new driving experience." Please -- a totally new driving experience would be a car with wings. Does this car fly? Otherwise, everything is still basically a Chevy.

    So let's cut the crap: we're driving school bus-sized urban assault vehicles around town -- and that's just the women. The men want to be rebels. Oh, yeah, you're a sexy, off-road radical because you're in a Pontiac. You're not one of the masses! Hey, wouldn't it be great to go to a PTA meeting in a tank?! Wouldn't that be the coolest? That's not something everybody could do! Perish the thought of something available to everyone -- members only, baby.

    And by the way, Selfish Utility drivers: I personally don't want other motorists sitting high enough to see what's going on in my lap.

    The irony is what we love most about our cars -- the feeling of freedom they provide -- has made us slaves. Slaves to cheap oil which has corrupted our politics, threatened our environment, funded our enemies and had us doing the dirty work for a lot of royalist dirt bags in the Middle East for a long time. It's time we took a good, hard look at our driving, and this is something we have to do for ourselves, because our leaders aren't going to help. They're like the lush on the next barstool who drinks more than you do. Faced with our addiction to oil, what does our leadership say? Get more of it!

    Strange when you consider their answer to drug dependence is to cut off the supply.

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