Gasoline Prices

Big Red Car here (with a full tank of regular, y’all) telling you what’s going to happen with the price of gasoline in Texas and the rest of the country.

[Note: The country is actually divided between Texas and the “rest of the country.” Sorry. Deal with it. If y’all had better barbecue and wider acceptance of breakfast tacos, this wouldn’t be happening, but, no, you don’t. Do you? Whose fault is that?]

This is what’s going on in Texas. The people are fighting back. The Texas National Guard is there. The Colorado National Guard is there. Help is pouring in faster than the rain. This is after all, Texas. Just for the record: No KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, BLM, ACLU, SPLC, or Antifa. Texans, National Guard, serious people doing serious work. God, this makes me proud of our Nation, my State, and our people. This is who we are.

Hurricane H [we are not longer saying THAT name, son-of-a-bitch] has knocked out all of the Gulf Coast refineries. This has dampened supplies of gasoline and other products.

Talk to me, Big Red Car, gasoline, talk gasoline

Let’s catalog the issues:

 1. Local delivery out of commission.

 2. Gas stations going dry, long lines reminiscent of Katrina (2005) and the 1970s OPEC induced shortages, and higher prices. Gas jumped in Texas $0.10 in a single day. Every $0.01 is $4MM more cost to consumers a day.

 3. Refinery production out of commission. One third of the Nation’s gas supply comes out of Houston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, and Port Arthur. All in the dead zone and flooded.

 4. Distribution pipelines unable to access supply. See #3 above. All of y’all in NYC, you smugnesses, your Texas to NYC pipeline is also down for the same reason — no supply.

The NY pipeline pushes 100,000,000 gallons of product a year. More than half of its connected refineries are down.

Point of order — this pipeline business is very complicated. Companies like Williams Company are sending natural gas directly from the Gulf Coast to NYC as well as fueling the big new LNG plant in Sabine Pass (first huge LNG plant for export of LNG to Eastern Europe, cutting off Putin’s stranglehold on Europe via natural gas).

 5. Texas ports are closed to fuel barges. This would, normally, be a huge shock absorber, but it is not going to happen for a while.

 6. Offshore rigs in the Gulf are down by 20%. They are connected to pipelines which bring the crude oil ashore, so they were not impacted as much.

 7. Shale oil production (3% of all oil production) is under attack as they cannot get diesel to run their operations. This is a short term problem, but the extraction of shale oil is dependent upon pumps and pumps live on diesel.

Solutions, Big Red Car?

There are solutions and the Trump admin has been quick to initiate them:

 1. The Trump admin’s Energy Department authorized an immediate release of 500,000 barrels (55 gallons per barrel) from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

First such action taken since 2012. [The 2012 release was in support of the Iranian oil export sanctions which was designed to draw the Iranians to the bargaining table. All this stuff is connected.]\

Short term problem: the SPR is located … wait for it … along the Gulf Coast, but enough of it is safe in Louisiana to be effective.

The SPR has a total of 727,000,000 barrels and is the largest such emergency supply in the world. That is a very deep pocket.

Good news — lots of capacity. Bad news — takes about two weeks for the impact to be felt at the pump, but it can be transferred at the rate of 4,400,000 barrels per day.

 2. Northeastern consumers are already benefiting from stealing supply from Florida.

 3. More refined product (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel) supply will be moved from the Midwest via rail tanker (more dangerous conveyance than pipelines), supply from other American refineries, and imports from the Middle East and Europe into the Port of NY.

[This is why projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Pipeline are so important. They were focused on supplying Gulf Coast refineries, but since they are connected to multiple pipelines, they could divert supply to refineries which are not located on the Gulf Coast.]

Bottom line it, Big Red Car — gasoline prices

Dear reader, gasoline prices are going UP. You knew that, right? Supply down, demand constant = prices up. You knew that.

Already up $0.10/gallon in sweet little old ATX. Up $0.05/gallon in the rest of the country.

South Carolina prices are up $0.20/gallon.

The K Bitch Hurricane drove prices up $0.40/gallon and sustained that rise for forty days.

Bottom line? It’s going to be fine, but it’s going to cost more to drive your car and there will be gas lines for a few weeks, maybe.

The adults show up in their khakis, boots, caps, sneakers ready to lead, inspire, fix. The Trump admin gets high marks for their turning FEMA loose and offering the National Guard before the first rain drop fell. For you pinheads, you can go back to debating stilettos v sneaks, now.

Pray for Houston. Pray for Texas. But, don’t worry. Hell, it’s Texas. Hold our beer while we clean this mess up. God bless Texas!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car with a full tank.

  • SFG

    No noticeable price increases here in Nutville. I paid 2.69 yesterday. Normally, at the 1st whiff of any sort of bad news, price is immediately gunned higher — white privilege or not.

  • I filled my trusty Prius last week. Usually I only fill it every three or four weeks, but next week I have meetings all over the state of Connecticut (most are in places without easy access to public transit) so I guess I will have to pay a bit more than usual to fill the Prius again after that. Currently it’s a little less than $20 to fill my tank. I mostly walk, cycle or take public transit so, personally, I’m not that concerned.

    • JLM

      .
      I like a Prius. Prius envy. Congratulations for being way ahead of the curve.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • I have the original Prius. It’s 15 years old and still going strong 🙂

        • sigmaalgebra

          Since this blog is not AVC, I can compliment you on being a “smarter than average bear,” uh, female!

    • SFG

      I bought my sister’s Prius almost a year ago and have enjoyed driving it for the most part. I filled up for about 22 bucks and that took me over 350 miles. It must be close to the most popular car in CA as once you have one, you notice them EVERYWHERE!

      • I want to drive mine until it’s 20 years old and then get antique plates!

        • SFG

          I bought my pickup truck new an astonishing 24 years go. She still looks pretty good but not sure if I can go there with the antique plates! I feel too old already!

          • I don’t care how old I seem. 24 years is nice on that truck! What kind of truck is it?

          • SFG

            Awe, thank you for asking : ) It’s a 96 GMC Sierra 1500 with 4WD. It still runs good, and every time that I am on the verge of selling it, another project comes up where I’m thankful to have it. My truck’s paint is not as good as the one in this picture, but other than that, it’s exactly like my truck. It is WEIRD having a vehicle for this long. So many memories of projects with other people spanning two decades! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/01ed64f6e96c0347c804c1da2bd0244f24256856443164d1e365c8ed99042d3c.jpg

          • JLM

            .
            My wife drives a 2002 Lexus SUV which I cannot part with because of all the road trips we’ve taken in it. It’s filled with memories.

            BRC
            http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

          • Wow! That’s in great condition!

            My Prius has 5 dents in it — all from people hitting my car while it was parked in a parking lot. The dents didn’t happen until the last few years and it just seems like a waste of money to fix them on such an old car.

            The last time someone hit me in a parking lot was about two months ago. I was actually sitting in the car with my son talking. It was this little old Italian guy with a heavy accent. He was so sweet. He was worried that we were hurt (we weren’t). I looked at the dent, checked to make sure the door he hit would open and close then said to him, “How about this? You go get ten young people to register to vote and we’ll call it even.” He looked at me and said, “What party?” I laughed and said, “It doesn’t matter, as long as you can get some young people involved in their civic duty.” The guy shook my hand and the deal was done. We exchanged business cards and now the guy calls me whenever he convinces someone to register to vote.

          • JLM

            .
            Noble. Inspiring. Well played.

            BRC
            http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

          • ModernDiogenes

            My tee shirt reads, “Born In America! (a long, long, time ago)”, so I feel ya.

  • sigmaalgebra

    No KKK, white supremacists, Nazis, BLM, ACLU, SPLC, or Antifa.

    Gee, BRC, without those, and Melania’s shoes, the MSM wouldn’t find much of anything to scream about! And if the MSM weren’t screaming, then the people in those organizations, KKK, …, Antifa, wouldn’t have any reason to gather in the streets, burn American flags, attack police, smash windows, start fires, incite riots, swing clubs, etc.

    Naw, not a chance: The MSM won’t write about health care, tax reform, economic growth, balance of trade, national security, illegal drugs from Mexico, education, training, drug overdoses, US infrastructure, 94 million US citizens out of the labor force, things like those!

    Gee, BRC, if the MSM didn’t write about their favorite screamer nonsense issues, then they wouldn’t find anything to write about and would go out of business, and what a shame that would be????? The MSM out of business? Gee, we’d have a terrible shortage of total BS! A severe, nation wide, total BS shortage!

    To heck with the MSM and back to reality: When Houston rebuilds, looks like they need to pay close attention to USGS contour maps of their area, that is, what areas are only 5 feet above sea level versus those 50 feet above sea level.

    Wild guess: If people want to rebuild, commercial or residential, on land close to sea level, then build structures at least several stories high and have the first level just a parking garage, out of reinforced concrete, with a good waterproof coating. Then, for the next such storm, as the storm threatens, just drive the cars to high ground and park them and otherwise stay indoors, let the water rise, and wait for the water to drain away.

    So, over Houston, there was about 50″ of rain in about 4 days. Okay, I did some crude, back of the envelope, first-cut arithmetic on how much water that would be and how much in storm drains would be needed to carry the water away as fast as the rain fell.

    The arithmetic was not very promising; it turns out, 50″ of water in just 4 days is one heck of a high water flow rate. It’s like a really big scoop taking the top 50″ of water from a big patch of the Gulf of Mexico and dumping it on Houston; actually, it’s really a lot just like that. Uh, it’s called a hurricane, and it’s one heck of a powerful heat engine.

    E.g., IIRC, take a square patch of Houston land 2 miles on a side, that is, a patch of 4 square miles. Serve that patch with a storm drain with a pipe 15 feet in diameter. Then, first cut, would need a flow rate of about 5 MPH in the pipe. With a safety factor and for lack of uniformity, e.g., cases of 2″ of rain in just one hour, which supposedly did happen, might want the capability of 10 MPH. I didn’t look into what pumps with that flow rate would be, cost, etc, but my guess would be big pumps with high cost. And no sense in running the 15 foot diameter pipes back to the Gulf of Mexico by the shortest path because that would be trying to send the water to the storm surge where the water level was higher than the patch of land. Uh, water insists on running downhill; so, would have to run the 15 foot diameter pipe maybe 50 miles north or south and then to the Gulf to avoid the storm surge. And that would be for each 4 square miles of land area of Houston. That’d be a LOT of 15 foot diameter pipe! First-cut, that sounds way too expensive to me. Even the crazy idea of having all buildings on low land start with a first floor parking garage sounds better.

    Generally it sounds like a lot of the low lands of Houston might better be turned into parks of some varieties — baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, golf driving ranges, bicycle trails, 1/4 mile running track ovals, walking/jogging trails, dog parks, fish ponds with ducks, geese, foxes, and deer, bird habitat, flower gardens, places to lie on the grass and watch the clouds (on nice days) or a solar/lunar eclipse, wildlife refuges, etc. Then for the next “500 year flood”, move out the foxes and deer, and let the waters rise.

    Another broad idea is to dredge the place to make the existing waterways wider and deeper and pile the resulting dirt on the low lands and raise their level to something safe, say, 15, maybe 20 feet above sea level?

    • JLM

      .
      The antidote for floods is drainage.

      Drainage is held hostage to elevation. Water flows downhill.

      The other end of the drainage structure has to have capacity which is also a function of elevation.

      Drains can be made to move water faster by reducing “roughness” or “friction” — concrete drains v dirt, vegetated drainage structures.

      The cross section of drains — wetted cross sectional area — can be increased, also improving drainage rates.

      The problem with Houston is elevation — too low — and slope coupled with nowhere for the water to go.

      Any time you get 50″ of rain, you are screwed.

      Never wear stilettos to a flood.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

    • SFG

      Your post really made me laugh! Just MSNBC generates enough BS to cover half of Texas. I actually watched Maddow a couple of weeks ago for about 10 minutes. The koolaid coming out of her mouth is pretty sick in nature. One of the most deranged racists on the planet. Also, she’s been going nuts about Russia for the last couple of days once again. One really has to be lost in utter bias for the ‘ol bull shit meter not to go off and initiate a change of stations.