We Have Plenty of Gas . . .

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Says John Stossel:

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2013/05/29/gas-myths-n1607745/page/full

Plan to drive more this summer? Annoyed by the price of gas? Complaining that oil companies rip you off?

I say, shut up. Even if gas costs $4 per gallon, we should thank Big Oil. Think what they have to do to bring us gas.

Oil must be sucked out of the ground, sometimes from war zones or deep beneath oceans. The drills now bend and dig sideways through as much as 7 miles of earth. What they discover must be pumped through billion-dollar pipelines and often put in monstrously expensive tankers to ship across the ocean.

Then it’s refined into several types of gasoline, transported in trucks that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, your local gas station must spend a fortune on safety devices to make sure we don’t blow ourselves up while filling the tank.

And it still costs less per ounce than the bottled water sold at gas stations. If government sold gas, it would cost $40 per gallon. And there would be shortages!

Another myth: Big Oil makes “excess” profit. Nonsense. The oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple’s profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald’s makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that.

Per gallon, ExxonMobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That’s the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it’s government.

President Obama says, “Gas costs too much.” So he announced: “We’ve put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history. Over the life of a new car, the average family will save more than $8,000 at the pump.”

Sounds good. But the magic of fuel economy standards is another myth.

Susan Dudley, who runs the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, points out that many car buyers care more about safety, style, power, etc. than mileage.

“The problem with the government’s rule is that they ignore all those other preferences … assuming that the only thing we value is fuel economy.”

Fuel economy sounds appealing when it’s presented as something created at no cost. But car dealers say it will make cars cost $3,000 more.

Also, as James Taylor, an energy expert at the Heartland Institute, pointed out to me, fuel-economy regulations kill.

“In order to make cars more fuel-efficient, auto manufacturers make them smaller — using lighter materials, they’re less crash-worthy … We’re seeing thousands of people dying on the roads that shouldn’t be.”

You’d think automakers would strongly oppose these regulations — but if so, why, when President Obama unveiled the regulations, did the heads of 13 car companies shake Obama’s hand and smile?

“Even if it is a $60 billion cost to them,” says Dudley, “if everyone has to do it, they can pass it on to consumers.”

In other words, normally companies compete to do things more efficiently than rivals, in order to charge lower prices and get the lion’s share of customers. But there’s no need to worry about jacking up your prices when your rivals must do so, too. Regulation makes companies lazier, not more efficient.

Republicans at least talk about deregulation. But the “regulation-killing Republican” is another myth. Despite being labeled a deregulator, George W. Bush hired 90,000 new regulators. Dudley, who was their overseer, now says, “The pressure to regulate is intense.”

Almost no one seems to speak up for a true free market in energy, with competition, innovation and unfettered consumer choice. People say regulation is needed to counter industry “greed.”

But if anyone’s greedy here, it’s government — and unlike oil companies, government doesn’t have to work hard and compete to give you good service at the lowest possible price. Government just sits there, telling companies to charge less, telling car companies to make smaller and more dangerous cars, mandating and subsidizing alternative fuels like ethanol — and then telling us that we benefit from the politicians’ efforts.

The truth: We rarely benefit.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Colonizing other worlds is not nearly as difficult as NASA pretends. Mars is probably the least useful and most difficult location to try. It makes one think the space program is really just a ruse to militarize space with orbiting surveillance cameras and weaponry.

    The first place to go would be the atmosphere of Venus. From there we could use the 2 million asteroids over 1k in diameter as transport shuttles and raw material sources to go to high value locations like Titan.

    Albuquerque, NM, Feb. 6 2003. Colonization of Venus.
    Geoffrey A. Landis.

    Although the surface of Venus is an extremely hostile environment, at about 50 kilometers above the surface the atmosphere of Venus is the most earthlike environment (other than Earth itself) in the solar
    system. It is proposed here that in the near term, human exploration of Venus could take place from
    aerostat vehicles in the atmosphere, and that in the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the
    form of cities designed to float at about fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus.

    The concept of a human colony that is not located on the surface of a planet has been a major topic of discussion in the space community. There are many possible economic justifications for such a space colony, including use as living quarters for a factory producing industrial products (such as solar power satellites) in space, and as a staging point for asteroid mining. However, while the concept has focused on the idea of colonies in free space, there are several disadvantages in colonizing empty space. Space is short on most of the raw materials needed to sustain human life, and most particularly in the elements oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. Oxygen could be imported from a rocky source, such as the lunar surface, but the volatile materials hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen form primarily volatile materials that are not present in abundance on the lunar surface.

    Furthermore, for optimum performance, human beings require gravity– it requires major engineering structures to simulate (via rotation) the presence of gravity in a free-space colony.

    Even for colonizing the asteroids, it is not clear that a free space base is the optimum location: any given asteroid is, on the average, rather distant from all the other ones, both in actual distance and in terms of the propulsion delta-V required to get there.

    An alternate possibility is to locate a colony on the surface of another planet. Most recently, the case for colonizing the surface of Mars has been argued for. However, at least compared to the benign environment of Earth, the surface of Mars has several disadvantages. It has a low atmospheric pressure, low temperatures, and high exposure to cosmic radiation, and, while it is not a zero-gravity environment, it is not yet known whether the roughly one-third Earth-normal gravity of Mars is sufficient to avoid the bone decalcification and muscle tone loss experienced by astronauts in microgravity.

    So let’s colonize Venus. This is a preprint or reprint of a paper intended for presentation at a conference. Because changes may be made before formal
    publication, this is made available with the understanding that it will not be cited or reproduced without the permission of the author.

    In many ways Venus is the hell planet. Results of spacecraft investigation of the surface and Surface temperature 850F: lead, tin, and zinc melt at surface.

    Atmospheric pressure 96 Bar (1300 PSI); similar to pressure at a depth of a kilometer under the
    ocean. The surface is cloud covered; little or no solar energy. Poisonous atmosphere of primarily carbon dioxide, with nitrogen and clouds of sulfuric acid
    droplets.

    However, viewed in a different way, the problem with Venus is merely that the ground level is too far below the one atmosphere level. At cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet. At an altitude slightly above fifty km above the surface, the atmospheric pressure is equal to the Earth surface atmospheric pressure of 1 Bar. At this level, the environment of Venus is benign. Above the clouds, there is abundant solar energy temperature is in the habitable “liquid water” range of 32-120F
    atmosphere contains the primary volatiles required for life (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Sulfur)
    Gravity is 90% of the gravity at the surface of Earth.

    While the atmosphere contains droplets of sulfuric acid, technology to avoid acid corrosion are well known, and have been used by chemists for centuries. In short, the atmosphere of Venus is most earthlike environment in the solar system. Although humans cannot breathe the atmosphere, pressure vessels are not required to maintain one atmosphere of habitat pressure, and pressure suits are not required for humans outside the habitat.

    It is proposed here. that in the near term, human exploration of Venus could take place from aerostat
    vehicles in the atmosphere, and that in the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the form of
    cities designed to float at about fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus.

    Is Floating Difficult? No. On Venus, breathable air (i.e., oxygednitrogen mixture at roughly 21:78 mixture ratio) is a lifting gas. The lifting power of breathable air in the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus is about half kg per cubic meter. Since air is a lifting gas on Venus: the entire lifting envelope of an aerostat can be breathable gas, allowing the full volume of the aerostat to be habitable volume. For comparison, on Earth, helium lifts
    about one kg per cubic meter, so a given volume of air on Venus will lift about half as much as the same
    volume of helium will lift on Earth.)

    Venus, the “greenhouse planet”, is a scientifically fascinating place. In many ways it can be considered “Earth’s evil twin.” A huge number of important scientific questions need to be answered.

    At a temperature of 450 Celsius, and with 90 atmospheres of pressure of carbon-dioxide atmosphere,
    the surface of Venus is far too hostile to land humans upon, but we can put humans in the atmosphere to
    explore the surface via rugged telerobot.

    Was early Venus temperate? Did Venus once have an ocean? What causes the geological resurfacing of the planet? What is the nature of the atmospheric superrotation? What is the “snow” on Venus mountaintops? Can we learn about Earth’s climate from Venus?

    In the telerobotic exploration scenario, the humans remain in a habitat, and use teleoperation to rove across the surface of Venus and explore. This requires a high-fidelity, high-bandwidth connection to give the humans a fully-detailed virtual presence in the robotic body.

    Humans participate in the exploration both by direct operation of the telerobots across a high-fidelity
    virtual-presence link, and also by analyzing samples collected by the teleoperated robots in a fully-
    equipped on-site laboratory. Because of the high wind velocity in the middle atmosphere of Venus, an
    atmospheric aerostat habitat would not stay over the same surface location, but would constantly move.
    Although this would have some disadvantages, such as requiring a relay station if long exploration of a
    single spot is required, it would also have some advantages in constantly moving over new ground.
    A robot to explore the surface of Venus will require new technologies; specifically, it will require
    electronics, scientific instruments, power supplies, and mechanical linkages designed to operate at a
    temperature above 450C, hot enough to melt soldier on a standard electronic circuit board. This will require devices made from advanced semiconductor materials, such as silicon carbide, or even new approaches, such as micro-vacuum tube electronics. Such materials are now being developed in the laboratory. In addition, for a fully immersive virtual-reality, high-bandwidth virtual-presence technologies will have to be developed, as well as highly capable exploratory robotics.

    While the human explorers could live in a habitat laboratory in orbit around Venus, a better location
    for exploration is an aerostat habitat. Teleoperation from the atmosphere allows near “real time” operation
    with minimum time delay, giving a virtual presence on the surface. An atmospheric habitat has an
    advantage over an orbital habitat of advantages of gravity (90% of Earth surface gravity) and atmospheric
    protection against cosmic radiation (same equivalent mass as Earth’s atmosphere), and the presence of
    useful atmospheric gasses, including carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Breathing oxygen for life support can be
    easily provided by separation of oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide, either by zirconia electrolysis or
    by Sabatier processes.

    So it should be possible to explore the surface of Venus remotely from an aerostat habitat. An
    atmospheric location for the habitat has the addition advantage that it will be easy to bring samples up from
    the surface to be analyzed in the habitat. The atmospheric pressure is high enough that both airplanes or balloons could lift samples (assuming, of course, that the vehicles are adapted for high-
    temperature and pressure operation).

    SETTLING VENUS
    In the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the form of cities designed to float at about
    fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus.
    The thick atmosphere provides about one kilogram per square centimeter of mass shielding from
    galactic cosmic radiation and from solar particle event radiation, eliminating a key difficulty in many other
    proposed space settlement locations. The gravity, slightly under one Earth gravity, is likely to be sufficient
    to prevent the adverse affects of microgravity. At roughly one atmosphere of pressure, a habitat in the
    atmosphere will not require a high-strength pressure vessel.

    Humans would still require provision of oxygen, which is mostly absent from the Venusian atmosphere, but in other respects the environment is perfect for humans (although on the habitat exterior humans would still require sufficient clothing to avoid direct skin exposure to aerosol droplets).

    Since breathable air is a lifting gas, the entire lifting envelope of an aerostat can be breathable gas,
    allowing the full volume of the aerostat to be habitable volume. For objects the size of cities, this
    represents an enormous amount of lifting power. A one-kilometer diameter spherical envelope will lift
    700,000 tons (two Empire state buildings). A two-kilometer diameter envelope would lift 6 million tons.
    So, if the settlement is contained in an envelope containing oxygen and nitrogen the size of a modest city,
    the amount of mass which can be lifted will be, in fact, large enough that it could also hold the mass of a
    modest city. The result would be an environment as spacious as a typical city.

    The lifting envelope does not need to hold a significant pressure differential. Since at the altitudes of
    interest the external pressure is nearly one bar, atmospheric pressure inside the envelope would be the same as the pressure outside. The envelope material itself would be a rip-stop material, with high-strength
    tension elements to carry the load. With zero pressure differential between interior and exterior, even a
    rather large tear in the envelope would take thousands of hours to leak significant amounts of gas, allowing
    ample time for repair. (For safety, the envelope would also consist of several individual units).

    Solar power is abundant in the atmosphere of Venus, and, in fact, solar arrays can produce nearly as
    much power pointing downward (toward the reflective clouds) as they produce pointing toward the sun.
    The Venus solar day, 116.8 terrestrial days, is extremely long; however, the atmospheric winds circle the
    planet much more rapidly, rotating around the planet in four days. Thus, on the habitat, the effective solar
    “night” would be roughly fifty hours, and the solar “day” the same. This is longer than an Earth day, but is
    still comfortable compared to, for example, the six-month night experienced in terrestrial near-polar
    locations. If the habitat is located at high latitudes, the day and night duration could be shortened toward a
    24-hour cycle.

    A permanent settlement will need access to the resources required for human life and for greenhouses
    to provide food and oxygen, and the atmosphere of Venus has these in abundance. Atmospheric carbon
    dioxide and nitrogen are a plentiful resource. Along with hydrogen reaped from condensing atmospheric
    sulfuric acid droplets, the basic elements needed for human survival can be found in the atmosphere.
    A settlement will require structural and industrial materials as well. These materials, such as silicon, iron, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium etc. can be mined from the surface material, which is apparently primarily a basaltic silicate. Access to the surface is relatively simple from an aerostat, since the thick atmosphere allows flight by airplanes or balloons (already demonstrated on Venus during the Russian VEGA mission.

    In an alternative scenario, a cable in the form of a high-temperature fullerine tether could be used to directly lift ore from the surface to the habitat. Since the habitat will be stationary with respect to the middle-atmosphere wind, the lifting will be done with the habitat in motion with respect to the surface. It may simplify the process if the habitat temporarily lowers its altitude to take it out of the high altitude wind levels; while this will move it
    toward the higher temperature region of the atmosphere, a habitat of the size considered would have an
    enormous heat capacity, and would likely have little difficulty with a temporary dwell at higher
    temperature levels.

    Finally, with surface area 3.1 times the land area of Earth, Venus has plenty of room. A billion
    habitats, each one with a population of hundreds of thousands of humans, could be placed float in the
    Venus atmosphere.

    Accessibility of Asteroids from Venus
    One possible economic objective for space colonization is to serve as habitats from which humans can
    prospect and mine asteroidal resources. It would be intuitive to think that a base to mine asteroids should
    be close to the asteroid belt, and hence further from the sun than the Earth, but detailed consideration of
    astrodynamics brings this conclusion into some question. In terms of flight time, Venus is closer to the
    asteroid belt than either,the Earth or Mars. This is shown in figure 3. For example, the minimum-energy
    trajectory to the largest main-belt asteroid, Ceres, takes 0.95 years from Venus, and 1.05 years from Earth.
    In terms of flight time, the closer you are to the sun, the more accessable the asteroids are.

    The asteroids are not actually close to each other, and hence if a habitat is to support prospecting and
    mining more than one asteroid, the asteroid belt is in some ways the worst location for it. An asteroid is as
    likely as not to be on the opposite side of the sun, and although the Earth is further from the sun, that does
    not put it closer, on the average, to any given asteroid. The higher orbital velocity of Venus actually makes
    transfer orbits somewhat faster, as well as increasing the number of transfer opportunities (that is,
    decreasing the synodic period).

    CONCLUSION
    In the long term, permanent settlements could be made in the form of cities designed to float at about fifty kilometer altitude in the atmosphere of Venus. The advantages of the Venus atmosphere over other
    proposed space settlement locations includes an abundance of atmospheric volatiles, sufficient for life
    support, benign temperature and pressure, shielding from cosmic and solar-flare radiation, plentiful solar
    energy, and nearby access to the rocky (silicate) surface materials.

    In terms of flight time, Venus is closer to the asteroid belt than either the Earth or Mars.

    • Oh hell yeah. Colonize Venus. That’d be simple as hell, all they have to do is get there. Consider the obvious fact that the space program was a fraud to begin with, and was probably just a cover for funding black ops, then think a little on whether there was ever a moon landing……….

  2. Well written and to the point. Alas, hopeless (90,000 regulators under Bush!). Like screaming in space. Tough, maybe some will be able to listen, someday.

      • Eight, remember when little ol’ Natalie of the Dixie Chicks said she was ashamed that Bush was from Texas? I said, What? That pissant ain’t from Texas, he’s from New England, born in Connecticutt and schooled in Baaahsten. Spent most of his childhood in Maine.

        I was embarassed for her, since she didn’t know any better than that.. I used to like her cover of that Patti Griffin song, “Let Him Fly”.

        • Ed, I have to take up for Nat. She knows where Bush is from but the media wouldn’t even allow anything to be said or printed that alluded to the Shrub’s history. He made it and now we have to eat it, simple. I know a lot of Lubbock musicians, lived right down the block from Joe Ely, knew the Geezenslaw Bros. as well as others and they’re all died in the wool Texans that can’t stand GB not that they have any love lost for the other side. He was officially enrolled in school in Midland, a Lee Rebel if you will. Of course the entire family fabricated reasons they couldn’t loan him their car every time he went back home and that says a lot for all the “blueblood” there. How in the hell their blood got so blue from the Nazi loving “pater familias” is a stretch for anybody. The only reason her statement got in print was to have an “enemy” identified, right there in shit kicking Lubbock, a commie in the crowd. Funny you should mention that. I was just about to fire up the old Zen and listen to country, Let It Fly being one of them. Then again, I guess I had to take up for Nat….didn’t I? Yep, there’s a reason all those warehouses have Bush on the front…and to think they’ve made the most part of their money off you and me and everybody else not on the dole. When I spoke of “rougher ones” I was just thinking of newly elected and not actually anybody who had worked for a living. I love when those pols put on a pair of glove, always expect them to be backward but that’s why they have aides eh? or is it aids?

          • I know it, Eight. Politicians always talk about “working for this” or “fighting for that”. None of them have ever worked or fought in their lives.

        • Shit I seen them dick see chicks, they looked like New York broads to me. Natalie went to a music school in Baaahsten. Yankee harlot.

          Landslide – Dixie Chicks/Fleetwood Mac Cover

          Earl Had To Die

          On Topic:

          The world has 46 years worth of oil ready to go. Oil is replenished by an abiotic process and is not merely a “fossil fuel”. It has even been found in meteorites.

          Oil is the second most abundant liquid on earth, trailing only water.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenic_petroleum_origin

          • Oh well, some times a Texas girl has to fuck up. I’m sure she learned everything not to do there. She do have a bit of a wild hare in her. Doncha know we have to scrape and gouge fer every bit of earl there is? Hell, boy, I done spent me my time in the oil field, know what hard times them owners go through, sometimes not even money to buy both of ’em a new Merc every year although the old lady ALWAYS gets hers. Besides, it looks better if he drives a pickup. And that’s just the supply bidness.

          • “I done spent me my time in the oil field,”

            You’re sposed to say “Oil Patch”, unless you want people to think you’re a fake Texan like W. ahaha

          • ” Oil is replenished by an abiotic process and is not merely a “fossil fuel””

            As far back as the ’80s, the old oilmen in East Texas were saying that the Caddo Reserve had been replenishing over the years of low extraction from the mid ’70s to then. In ’84 or so one old fellow was telling that levels were back up to where they had been right after WWII. i think the Peak Oilers are as full of shit as the Green Weenies.

            Off Topic again:

            That dick see chick in the first video frame looks Japanese.

          • There is more than enough and more being found as I type. It’s abiotic. Heck!… Out here in the “patch” right now and it’s busy as hell and getting busier. I just got “signed off” for driving after doing a job down near Sonorra and taking a tour through Odessa and outlying towns. It’s a hoot.

        • Ed, just cranked up a Patti….Loveless, plenty good enough. This is a country only playlist and the Stones just cranked up, don’t know how that happened. Dirty Licks even. Now Patti’s back. Damn, I just narrowly avoided a Bush rant, caught myself just in time. Shit!! I must be trippin’. Ok, just one thing, it’s the 3 guys on my private forum that would have give him a hummer if they’d had a chance and now two of them are avowed Libertarians but they still jump on anybody who cusses him. He’s gone, he’s not there, has nothing to do with anything. What sort of perverted “logic” is that? Goddammit, just can’t give the guy anything but what he deserves, guilty me. Oh, and I feel REAL bad over it, real bad he still breathes.

          • Oh, Yeah, Patty Loveless’s Mountain Soul album is one of my all time favorites. My daughter took my CD and kept it until it was just plum tore up. I bought me another copy and hid it from her, but now she has it on her Ipod. That “Out of Control Ragin Fire” with her and Travis Tritt is my favorite track on there.

            Bush is the only president who just disappeared after he got fired. It’s too bad the little jug-eared queer didn’t disappear in 1980. Did you ever see the pics of him as a fuckin’ chjeerleader? I laughed so hard I almost died poking fun at his worshippers on the internet.

            You know the Amazing Rhythm Aces piano player James Lee Hooker (IMO the greatest country piano player in history) was such a total Bush worshipper that he did a website with tribute songs to W and every other kind of batshit crazy malarkey. I bout shit when I stumbled across it. You know, when somebody’s music is good, you kind of expect them not to be retarded or perverted like that. ahaha

        • Emmy Lou, Dolly and Linda doing Do I Ever Cross Your Mind, some mighty good fiddlin, dobro, six string and bass fiddle. I hope you still like Nat’s Let Him Fly. We all have a brain fart now and then. the shrub just brought it out in people.

        • Natalie has a beautiful voice, and I commend her for having the balls to say anti-Chimp things at the height of The Chimp’s popularity. It cost her a great deal.

          • eric, you accurately summed it up. Everybody, except me, was ready to give the shrub a hummer mornin, noon and night and criticizing him brought you lots of grief. Well, he’s better than the damned democrats they’d say. Hey, let’s throw the ball to the dems the second time around and just see. I had faith in none of them so I couldn’t be very disappointed. I do know a lie when I hear one though and that’s all that came out of the white house for 8 years.

  3. Oil companies have to deal with a lot when it comes to the final product, being it fuel, plastics or LPG etc. The endless amounts of gubberment, not to mention EPA, Health and Safety red tape and the endless barrage of crap from the green/left, who don’t think twice when filling their SUV to go to another “save the tree/planet” rally.

    Most people don’t think of these difficulties when they fill the tank. They whinge when the price goes up 10c or so, then it comes down again. It tends to be a predictable cycle. My main problem with price is that every time some idiot in the Middle East chucks a rock or a stick, the price of fuel balloons, largely for no reason as there’s often absolutely no connection between some Islamic argument and the price of oil. That’s driven primarily by the stock market and speculators.

    Gubberment would rather have the price of fuel rise, despite their lying faces regarding fuel economy and such. They tax a percentage, not a fixed number.

    Just about everything surrounding us is driven by oil companies. Think of all the things we wouldn’t have without them, from CD’s to the international space station. Our lives are far more comfortable now since oil began to be used in industry and transportation. Fossil heating oil saved the whale, the motor car saved the horse and the streets are much cleaner to boot. We no longer live in wooden huts riddled with disease. Alaskan tar sands are being cleaned up, much to the chagrin of the green movement, who for some reason fight to leave it there, but woe betide any oil company that would spill some in the same spot.

    Entire industries globally would grind to a halt without something as simple as engine/lubricating oil or grease.

    Coal is another matter but has the same result. It’s cheap and plentiful, clean burn tech ensures it’s safe to use in vast quantities to make electricity, without which many industries wouldn’t exist. However, the green/left being what it is, would rather cut down swathes of forests to burn and leave coal in the ground, because they’ve been scared by the CO2-is-death gubberment funding gravy train, where every grant-whore that can loosely try and call himself a “climate scientist”, fudges figures and puts out fake reports ensuring gubberment gets its proof that CO2 is a bad guy (right now a piddling 0.0398% of the atmosphere) so we can all be taxed further and make lots of subsidies for the great green machine.

    These are all things energy companies have to deal with. I’m grateful I pay $1.40 a litre in Australia. It’s still cheap when you look at the alternatives.

    • Right on, Rev!

      My issue is not with the price of gas. It’s with the debasement of the currency we’re forced to use to buy the gas. In real terms, gas is extremely low-cost. But it feels expensive because our currency is systematically rendered worthless.

      Also, taxes: If I didn’t have to hand over 40-plus percent of everything I earn to the government, even $4 a gallon at fiat currency prices would be as nothing to me. But it isn’t as nothing – because the government has stolen so much of my money already that I only have so much left over with which to buy things, which makes them seem more expensive than they really are.

      • Exactly Eric. We have the same problem here. Every chance gubberment gets it creates a new tax, which those parasites are able to avoid because the way THEY’VE written the rules. They then vote themselves a pay rise, offsetting any loss they might have been liable to receive.

        I worked out long ago that every dollar you give away, is actually worth double. You had to go out and work for it in the first place, then paid tax on it.

        Business constantly has to raise prices because gubberment taxes, mandates, EPA and OHS regs. These costs are always passed on to the consumer. People in the UK are freezing to death because of high energy costs, thanks to extra “green” regulations and subsidies they eventually have to pay for.

        Time to abandon all the green/left at their precious supposedly melting Arctic complete with swim togs and sandcastle bucket and let them freeze to death.

      • eric, I been sitting on this one all afternoon and finally have to post it. I had never heard of the bunch of Nazi’s in N Tex and their “no left lane” bs and wish I still hadn’t. This is some sad dick, just a sample of what big city leftists in the LSS feel the need to do. Nanny fuckin State, pitiful: http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe5a1c7076620d747516&ls=fe0017707d61047c75137775&m=fef211737c6301&l=fe9015767c66007475&s=fe33177571670478711771&jb=ffcf14&t=

        I can remember when Tx was the unequivocal winner in best state to truck in. Well, guess we can toss that in the woods or better yet, in a damned bureaucrats “history” book. Shit.

        • “Nazi’s in N Tex”

          It ought to be a hanging offense for a yankee to stay in Texas for longer than 3 days. Yankees have fucked Texas up to where you can’t tell North Dallas from Northfield. Minnesota.

        • It’s a typical Cloverite “solution” – pass a law that punishes everyone because of the actions of a few. Isn’t it always thus?

          Some asshole shoots up a school – time to restrict everyone else’s right to own a gun.

          A trucker squats in the left lane and won’t yield/move right when he can’t maintain speed on a grade? Make it illegal for all truckers to use the left lane – ever.

          America is a land controlled by and for the benefit of Clovers.

  4. I wonder if the auto manufacturers simply see this sort of thing as merely the cost of doing business, coupled with the veiled threat that if they don’t comply, they may lose some of the regulations that help stifle any up-and-coming competition.

    Considering that it’s Dear Leader taking the stage as promoting these new fuel efficiency standards, I wonder what similar directives are being laid upon the likes of Northrup-Grumman and Lockheed-Martin for improving the fuel efficiency of the tools of empire-building. Not much of anything, I’ll wager. Obviously, that’s why Dear Leader has courageously vowed to use lighter, more fuel-efficient drones to execute strangers and American citizens abroad, instead of the inefficient bombers of a bygone era. Think of the Predator and Reaper drones as the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf of aerial death-delivery.

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