My Blog

Today I’m a mechanic, and thoughts on oil profiteering….

Yesterday, I retrieved my Explorer  from the transmission shop.  The transmission is great now.  Unfortunately, I had a “check engine” light to deal with – likely caused by long periods of inactivity.  I’ve been driving the Focus and my bike most of the time.  I have an interface and software that allows me to talk to the Ford’s engine computer with my laptop.  It helps with diagnosing these kinds of problems.  I ended up having to replace a couple of oxygen sensors.  Being an economical sort, I tried replacing one at a time ($50 each!), testing the car in-between, but I needed to do both of them to get the job done correctly.  Between the testing, the work and two trips to AutoZone, it took most of the day.  Everything’s okay now.  I don’t drive this car very much, but that will likely change in July, when my Brazilian fiancee comes to the US.

The USA is a pretty cool place, just ask the bunny…

I am kicking myself for not buying this $5 shirt today.  It was in the women’s section (juniors, I think) of WalMart.  I drove there this afternoon in order to test my repairs to the Explorer (and we needed some stuff, anyway).  It caught my eye as I was walking through the store.   The shirt says it all….

Oil Doom and Gloom

When I’m working around the house, I often have the radio on.  Today I listened to it most of the day.  Unfortunately, I heard a lot of unhappy news programming.  Much moaning and crying about the price of oil (and its likely impact on the price of gasoline).  This problem will go away by itself – what’s all of the crying about?  When gas gets more expensive, we’ll all drive less.  When that happens, the price will come down.  It’s already beginning to happen.  I’m driving less – I’m trying to be more intelligent about planning trips.  Today, some oil executives were called to testify in Washington before Congress.  What a bunch of silly stuff!  The oil companies don’t control the price of crude oil OR the price of gasoline.  Both prices are set by the marketplace.  I think that the market right now could be skewed a bit by futures trading, but that’s likely a temporary thing.

For some information on oil company profits (in California), check this link .  This State of California website shows that there are 67 cents in taxes on a gallon of gasoline.  Total profit on that gallon (including the service station) is 25 cents.  The cost of the crude was $3.03.  So if we could convince the oil companies to give up all of their profits, we could drop the price of a gallon of gasoline back to $3.75. If we could get the government to give up their taxes, the price would drop to $3.33.  Which has more impact on the price we pay?  This is why I have no respect for politicians.  They’re showing us this silly parade of oil company executives for no reason except to point fingers.   The oil companies can have their 25 cents.  It’s a bargain for what we get.  If we’re serious about lowering oil prices, let’s go develop some of our own known  resources.  We could pass the appropriate legislation and get things going, but our politicians are busy with this idiocy.  They should be ashamed.

More later,







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