Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?



This angle actually could have some validity. Back during the gasoline crisis of the 70's, related to the Arab oil embargo, I heard it claimed that one of the factors that caused the shortage was public hysteria. Instead of the average car running around with a half a tank of gas, people suddenly tried to keep their tanks near full. This caused a surge in demand, which made the shortage far worse.
I can see where someone speculating in gasoline futures would like to encourage people to increase the amount of gas they are buying in the short run to keep the demand up long enough so that they can get out with a big fat profit. However, if you are following this strategy, you need to get out before people revert to old habits...
Ed
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On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 09:14:43 -0400, C. E. White wrote:

I had a friend who would run his tank near empty all the time. He would stop and put in $2 every so often just to keep the car running.
I always kept my tank near full all the time (still do). I stop and put in (now, $6) every so often.
What's the difference?
(HINT: What happens when either one of us runs out of money?)
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If you're stopping daily to get a couple of gallons vs. once a week to fill up, then I bet that you are using more fuel (and money) stopping/ starting the engine and putting wear on the motor than you using by carrying around an extra half-tank of gas (40 lb.) on average.
Since the first of year, I am driving <600 miles a month, it feels great to go three weeks in the tC without a fill-up :-)

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On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 08:45:34 -0700, Mark wrote:

I made it up to 31 MPG with the tC...
Driving like an old man with a hat...
WTF fun is that?!?!
So, to make up for it I took a 95 MPH rip on the highway Saturday...
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On Mon, 2 Jun 2008 09:14:43 -0400, "C. E. White"

Think about what you just said Ed. Why would burning 5 gallons of fuel out of a full tank increase demand over burning 5 gallons out of an empty tank? 5 gallons is 5 gallons.

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You are missing the point. While it is true that people didn't use any more fuel because they were keeping their tanks three quarters full instead of half full, it is also true that the sudden increase in the amount of gas being "stored" in the tanks of millions of car created a temporary supply problem. Suppose tomorrow everyone in America decided they needed to fill-up (all on the same day). Don't you suppose that might create a temporary shortage? This is supposedly one of the factor that lead to long gas lines during the fuel crisis of the 70's. When the oil embargo was announced, some people who might have normally waited a few days until they purchased gas ran down and purchased gas immediately. This sudden surge caused some stations to run out. Other noticed that stations were running short, so they too decided they needed to go buy gas immediately, resulting in more station running short. This was only a temporary problem but the up tick in demand was enough to upset the normal fuel supply system. It took day and alternate fueling rules to get the daily demand back into line with the ability of the system to meet the daily demand. Of course eventually demand dropped back to the normal and as people dropped back to their old habit of running closer to half a tank on average, there was actually a dip in demand.
Ed

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On Mon, 2 Jun 2008 14:29:15 -0400, "C. E. White"

I suppose it might. About the same as if everyone decided to buy a dozen eggs from the grocery store. That wouldn't reflect anything except a spike in gasoline or egg demand. Once people had filled their tanks or gotten their eggs, demand would return to normal.

No, the fuel shortage was caused by Nixon's price controls. Nothing else. Once the price controls were removed supply came back to normal but the prices were higher.
The oil embargo was imposed by the middle east cartel. We only got about 25% of our oil from them at the time so the embargo hurt and put a crimp in supplies for a while but we could have lived through it. The oil companies wanted to let the laws of supply and demand work to balance it out. But the congress insisted that "We Have To Do Something" so Nixon put price controls on almost everything made from crude. If you can't make a profit supplying something, then were is the incentive to supply it?
The funny thing was that oil tankers were laying at anchor just off Houston waiting for the price of crude to go up, I saw pictures. There was no shortage of crude because most of the middle east countries ignored the embargo and what short fall we had was made up by other suppliers.
Jack
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Nice theory, but the wage and price controls had been in effect for several years before the arab oil embargo tirggered the first wave of gas shortages with the long lines. I had no problems buying gas in 1971, 1972, and most of 1973. I am only claiming that the sudden (but temporary) up tick in demand related to people trying to keep their tanks full made the problem worse. It was not the root cause, but a factor that contributed to the long gas lines that appeared quickly after the Arab oil emargo started.

We did live throught it, but not without the pain of long lines at the stations. Suppose someone cut off 25% of our oil today? How long would the lines be tomorrow?

Again, a fine theory, but the price controls were in effect for a couple of years before the long lines appeared. I do agree that the price controls had an effect. However, the controls did not apply to imported oil. They did discourage US exploration and production, so they increased our dependence on foreign oil, which made the effects of the Arab oil embargo worse. BTW, oil prices were not actually frozen under the Nixon policy - "Nixon's cost of living council creates a price ceiling that allows stored oil to be sold at 35 cents above the current prices and that newly produced oil could be sold at uncontrolled prices. " Price controls on domestic crude oil actually were actually more restrictive after the 1973 oil crisis had passed. I suppose you could blame the 1979 shortages on these controls, but I can't seee ow you can blame the 1973 crisis on the wage and price controls since they didn't actually control oil prices.

Well now you are saying there was no shortage....please explain. I've heard the story of tankers sitting off the coast from others (one ex-Coast Guard guy in particular), so I assume it is true. But isn't that how an emargo works? When the Arabs imposed their embargo, some of their oil was in tankers under contract to them, so they stopped deliveries until their demands were met, or when they needed the money (which is what actually ended the embargo).
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

After an initial surge in demand to top off, assuming no changes in driving behaviour, demand would quickly return to normal. Sustained increased demand would have had to be caused by hoarding OUTSIDE of what you can fit in your tank.
Simple math.

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