Gas Price Outrage!

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Postby GreatCarouser » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:00 pm

I've been to Turkey Point, analog. They say the isolation and the time on one's hands can get to some folks...... :crazy: :rolleyes:

I think the argument may be based on an idea like 'once something is full, it doesn't matter how much (or little) more you attempt to tax the system with. If the system is full any additional load will over tax it'. Anyway, assuming your calculations are correct, an excellent illustration of the forces involved.
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Postby analog » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:09 pm

GreatCarouser wrote:I've been to Turkey Point, analog. They say the isolation and the time on one's hands can get to some folks...... :crazy: :rolleyes:


Thanks, GC!

Like everywhere else, day shift is frenetic, er make that was - i retired 2002. Night shift was the creative time.

I hope we treated you well on your visit!

Yes, Mother Nature's 'button' is so far presumed to be our CO2 blocking that nightime infrared radiant heatlamp cooling. A small effect controlling a big power that overcomes a huge inertia - like the engineer's gentle throttle hand on a locomotive.

a.
Last edited by analog on Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:43 pm

They are in the crust of the earth like coal and oil, so for earth's short term energy equilibrium they are like coal and oil. They are large heavy atoms that originate when smaller atoms get squashed together so hard they stick.


Well, to some extent anyway. Uranium 235 is the only fissionable isotope found in significant quantities in nature. Even so, naturally occuring Uranium contains such a small ratio of u-235 to U238 that it is necessary to enrich the Uranium to create the fissionable material to create a usable core.

Plutonium-239, another common fuel, is found in such minute quantities in nature as to be worthless. Instead, fuel cores that use Pu-239 are created from U-238, the most abundant isotope of Uranium found in nature.

Uranium cores, even after enrichment, contain more U-238 than U-235 (I believe commercial reactors use about 20% U-235, Naval reactors about twice that level). Some of the U-238 absorbs Neutrons during the reactors life, to form Pu-239. This is one of the primary recyclables that can be obtained from expended reactor cores.

Theoretically, it is possible to create a reactor than can produce more fuel, in the form of Pu-239, than it uses in the form of U-235. However, attempts to build a commercially viable breeder reactor have thus far failed. We do have 'breeder' reactors operating in the world, but so far their efficiency has fallen below theoretical capacity.

V/R

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Postby analog » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:45 pm

To Ms Boo's question to origin of heavy atoms: a better answer than mine

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

Nuclear Synthesis

Elements above iron in the periodic table cannot be formed in the normal nuclear fusion processes in stars. Up to iron, fusion yields energy and thus can proceed. But since the "iron group" is at the peak of the binding energy curve, fusion of elements above iron dramatically absorbs energy. (The nuclide 62Ni is the most tightly bound nuclide, but it is not nearly so abundant as 56Fe in the stellar cores, so astrophysical discussion generally centers on the iron.) So to produce heavier elements, enormous amounts of energy are needed. Current opinion is that they must be formed in the cataclysmic explosions known as supernovae. In the supernova explosion, a large flux of energetic neutrons is produced and nuclei bombarded by these neutrons build up mass one unit at a time to produce the heavy nuclei.




With large neutron excesses, these nuclei would simply disintegrate into smaller nuclei again were it not for the large flux of neutrinos which make possible the conversion of neutrons to protons via the weak interaction in the nuclei. At left is the Feynman diagram for the neutrino interaction with a neutron that causes a transmutation to a proton and an electron.

The layers containing the heavy elements may be blown off be the supernova explosion, and provide the raw material of heavy elements in the distant hydrogen clouds which condense to form new stars.
emphasis mine - a.

at left:

Image


Isaac Asimov describes it beautifully in "The Neutrino".

And yes, thanks Shap, uranium is all that's left of them here. My oversight.
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:13 am

Hi analog, you can expound on that stuff till the cows come home, as far as I'm concerned. I admire your broader perspective than any of us Navy nucs.

BTW, have you much familiaruty with Hubbert's(I think that's his name) "Peak Oil" theory? I've just heard it was only a small part of a larger piece of research that was actually focused on the future of nuclear power, which he also predicted wrong.

Any truth to this?
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Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:18 am

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:42 am

$2.19 in Plano this morning.

I heard on the radio that somewhere south of Dallas is in the middle of a price war and some stations were selling gas for $1.89
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Postby elefie » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:45 am

$2.43 on average here in phoenix...
not bad, considering the over $3 it has been this summer!
and i read an article yesterday that says gas could go back down to $1.15 in a few years...weather/foreign relations permitting of course...
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:48 pm

Mid-term election ploy, and we're falling for it.

:rotfl:
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Postby Nicole Marie » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:54 pm

Hear Hear OT!

Energy folks say the price will shoot back up after the elections and continue to rise untill January.
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:17 pm

Oh yeah, if we fall for it face-first like there's a good chance I fear we may, it'll be the biggest case of BOHICA we've seen yet.

I HIGHLY recommend reading Armed Madhouse before voting.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:49 pm

Election year ploy? Never mind that the price of fuel historically falls after the end of Summer. The article I posted listed several reasons for the price drop - an election year ploy isn't one of them.

V/R
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Postby elefie » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:26 pm

i would rather be hopeful for a price drop then worry about election ploys. they're all playing us anyway...might as well hope for the best...or wait for a revolution...ha ha.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:40 pm

OT,
"Mid-term election ploy, and we're falling for it. "


do you really think the govt has anything to do with gas prices??
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby piqaboo » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:42 pm

I'd like to maintain enough perspective that a "6 month low" at the end of the "summer driving season" doesnt make me think prices have dropped.
Can we compare to 05, 04, 03 etc pls?
Gas prices are up and staying up. Disposable income is therefore down.
This maketh me to be unhappy.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:45 pm

Disposable income is therefore down


Most of my income usually goes down the disposal. :D

V/R
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Postby piqaboo » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:48 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:OT,
"Mid-term election ploy, and we're falling for it. "


do you really think the govt has anything to do with gas prices??


I think the oil companies, as does my own employer, prefer to have Republicans in office. So they do what they can to influence results to obtain what they find favorable.

My company used to invite candidates to speak, but only the Republicans, until someone made a bit of a fuss. They used to also send out an email suggesting how we should vote, couched as a description of why the GP upper management thought a certain candidate would be better for the company. Those emails stopped which is a shame as they provided some information I found useful in evaluating both candidates (I'm real fond of propaganda because I enjoy reading whats missing, between the lines, etc.)

Haggis, Im so sorry my dad clammed up at Fat Ivor's. You and he have SOOOOOOO much in common, OT and I originally feared we
a) wouldnt get a word in edgewise
b) would get tarred and feathered by the pair of you.
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:15 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:OT,
"Mid-term election ploy, and we're falling for it. "


do you really think the govt has anything to do with gas prices??


Do you really think they don't?

I actually think it's the other way around from the way you put it.

What is the single biggest economic entity on the planet, and why wouldn't government be beholden to it?
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Postby analog » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:31 pm

OT -

thanks for the kind words.

No, I don't know of Hubbert & peak oil,,, will do some looking tonight.

Thanks!!

a. :D
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:46 pm

Gasoline is a commodity and like all commodities the prices are dictated by supply and demand. The FTC has monitored the gas market for more than 30 years.

FTC Releases Report on “Gasoline Price Changes: the Dynamic of Supply, Demand, and Competition”

·
” Worldwide supply, demand, and competition for crude oil are the most important factors in the national average price of gasoline in the United States. Over the past 20 years, changes in crude oil prices have explained 85 percent of the changes in the prices of gasoline nationwide. Since 1973, according to the Report, production decisions by OPEC have been a significant factor in the prices that refiners pay for crude oil. The demand for crude oil has grown significantly over the past two decades, as well, leading to higher prices at the pump
.
· Gasoline supply, demand, and competition produced relatively low and stable average real U.S. gasoline prices from 1984 until 2004, despite substantial increases in U.S. gasoline consumption. The Report indicates that U.S. consumer demand for gasoline has risen substantially, especially since 1990. Since 1984, increased gasoline supplies from U.S. refineries and imports helped meet increasing demand and kept gasoline prices relatively steady. For most of the past 20 years, real average retail gasoline prices in the United States, including taxes, have been at their lowest levels since 1919, with U.S. refiners adopting more efficient technologies and business strategies that have allowed them to produce more refined product for each barrel of crude they process. And despite a somewhat different trend in the last few years – with the average U.S. retail price for a gallon of gasoline increasing from $1.56 in 2003 to $2.04 in the first five months of 2005 – it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict whether this sharper rate of increase represents the beginning of a longer-term trend.

· Regional differences in access to gasoline supplies and environmental requirements for gasoline affect average retail prices and the variability of regional prices. Different regions of the country differ in their access to gasoline supplies, and these differences affect gasoline prices. Gasoline prices on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in the Rocky Mountain states are significantly more variable than Gulf Coast gasoline prices, due to the availability of excess refining capacity along the Gulf Coast. In addition, regional environmental requirements for “boutique” fuels, such as CARB gasoline requirements in California, can limit substitute gasoline supplies and can thus lead to cost increases during supply shortages.

Other Findings
The Report also examines state and local factors that can affect retail gasoline prices. It notes that, all other things being equal, retail prices are likely to be lower when consumers can choose among a greater number of gas stations and switch purchases among these stations. The study also discusses how the format of retail gas stations has changed over the past 30 years from primarily service bays to convenience stores and high-volume gas stations. The growth of high-volume “hypermarkets,” the Commission says, has led to lower gasoline prices for consumers.
The Report discusses how state and local taxes can be significant factors in the retail price of gasoline. The average state sales tax in the U.S. is 22.5 cents per gallon, with New York State having the highest tax at 33.4 cents per gallon. Other state laws, such as bans on self-service stations and laws prohibiting below-cost sales or requiring minimum mark-ups, also affect gasoline prices.

Background
Over the past 30 years, the FTC has investigated nearly all petroleum-related antitrust matters and has held public hearings, undertaken empirical economic studies, and prepared extensive reports on relevant issues. Since 2002, the staff of the FTC has monitored weekly average retail gasoline and diesel prices in 360 cities nationwide to search for pricing anomalies that might indicate anticompetitive conduct and to take action where appropriate. This is the only industry in which the FTC maintains such a price monitoring project. Moreover, in 2004, the FTC staff published a study reviewing the petroleum industry’s mergers and structural changes as well as the antitrust enforcement actions the agency has taken.”
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