Reader Rant: On the Cost of Octane!

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Here’s the latest reader rant, along with my reply!

Steve writes: I have interesting insight I thought you might enjoy.  I am in the oil & gas exploration business in Oklahoma. At one point our company supplied natural gas to a local refinery. I got to know some of their engineers and asked them: “What does it cost the refinery to increase octane from the standard 87 octane to 91 octane?” The answer surprised me. The engineer told me that it costs the refinery roughly 1/2 of a cent per gallon to increase the octane. So, what you see at the pump is marketing. It might also surprise you to know that in Oklahoma we can get ethanol-free gasoline (For God’s sake do not tell the EPA!). Gotta love that MBTE.

I always read your work and have supported your efforts in the past and will continue to do so!

My reply: Thanks for the kind words, Steve! And in re the rest… .

There are two things which make gasoline probably 50 percent more expensive than it would otherwise be, leaving aside the cost of octane enhancement. The first is motor fuels taxes, which account for about 50 cents on average of the cost of every gallon of fuel. It is higher – much higher – in states like CA, which apply extortionate taxation to gasoline.

The second is the cost of regulatory compliance, including the ethanol (“renewable fuels”) mandate as well as those which make the refining and distribution process more costly than it would otherwise be.

If gas taxes were cut by half – to make them less “regressive” (interesting that liberals never complain about the “regressivity” of motor fuels taxes, which pinch the working class especially hard; of course, liberals no longer even pretend to care about the working class. They care about transgenderism and postmodernism and diversity shysterism) and regulatory costs were reigned in and the “renewable fuels” mandate eliminated, a gallon of regular unleaded would probably cost about $1.25.

But, you see, the whole point is to squeeze people – especially working and middle class people. To make them live paycheck to paycheck, as such people are much less likely to raise a fuss about anything as they are too  busy trying to make enough money to survive and too scared about living in a tent under a bridge if they do raise a fuss.

All of this – the endless taxation at every level – is designed to economically neuter the average person, to make it almost impossible for him to ever accumulate capital, which would give him freedom.

Freedom, you see, is only for the elites. They are free to own guns – or at least, to be protected by them. They are free to live in gated compounds, safe from the masses they loathe. They are at liberty to do more or less as they like – because they have means to do so.

We, on the other hand… .

. . .

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  1. Colorado’s gas taxes are very low, and the Californians don’t like it. Starting to see stories like the one linked below, about how ski traffic is getting out of hand, so “we” need to do something about it.

    Meanwhile out here on the western slope, we watch as our fuel taxes go to the rat colony and we get minimal “skim coat” resurfacing. But at least we aren’t stuck in an eternal traffic jam.


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