The Daily Ping

P is for Ping. That's good enough for me.

February 18th, 2000

Gas Prices Stink!

I’ve only been driving for about six years, but I can remember a time when a gallon of 87 octane gasoline cost less than $1.00 – .99 to be exact. But today, that’s not happening – not by a longshot.

I filled up yesterday at Citgo for $1.45/gal, and when stopping there today for coffee noted that the price jumped to $1.58/gal in just one day! It’s insane. The highest price I’ve seen for 87 outside of the city is a whopping $1.64/gal, and that’s not very far from what I would’ve paid at Citgo.

Gas prices are going up everywhere, to be sure, but county, state, and municipal taxes really do tack on a lot. On a recent vacation to Florida, I noted that the cheapest price I saw was still over $1.30, whereas when I went to Florida the previous year, we found gas for as low as .79.

What’s causing it is OPEC – as always. They really do call the shots when it comes to gas, and I don’t like it.

But one potentially positive result of climbing gas prices may be this: SUV owners may finally see the light. When they understand that 4000+ pound vehicles get well under 20 miles per gallon, and gas costs ridiculously high amounts, they might opt for a car again. The Honda Insight, with its 70 mpg claim, seems a lot more appealing.

I’m hoping that’ll be the case. -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday February 18, 2000 -- 2:09:15PM
I saw a report on the news last night that here in DC, the one month jump of 9 cents per gallon is the fastest jump in history.

Back in November of 1998, prices here were routinely in the mid 80-cent range. Even funnier, in Fredericksburg two gas stations were competing for business and were down to 50-cents a gallon. Seriously.

The lowest price I've seen here in the last couple of days is $1.31, but this is about 15 miles outside of DC.

The prices best drop soon, because it's not just affecting gasoline for cars -- heating oil, obviously is also more expensive. But even things like flying or shipping packages are more expensive...

... Ryan

FROM: Aaron
DATE: Friday February 18, 2000 -- 5:03:13PM
When I came out to San Francisco to interview for jobs back in April
1999, I was pretty shocked to find 87 octane to be $1.79/gal and
premium at $1.99/gal.

I heard there was a fire at a refinery in California and the oil
company used that as an excuse to raise their price. Of course, the
other companies raised their prices as well, although they were not

There is a great poster advertisement here in San Francisco for a
bicycle store. It reads:

Super $1.99
Plus $1.89
Regular $1.79

Need a bike?

The top part is a photograph of a gas station sign with these prices
on it, and underneath is the tag line.

I've been very fortunate to live in a place where I don't have to
drive my car very often. In fact, I've only filled my gas tank once
since last Thanksgiving!


FROM: Matt
DATE: Saturday February 19, 2000 -- 2:16:47AM
Just would like to say that I love the idea of this site. THis is what you were telling me to start Ryan.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday February 19, 2000 -- 9:57:40AM
I'd ride a bike, but the Chicagoland area (IMHO) doesn't really encourage that. If you live in some parts of the city, sure, biking makes sense. But if you're in any suburb, you really can't.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday February 23, 2000 -- 12:12:02AM
Courtesy of today's ONION:

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday February 23, 2000 -- 6:35:29PM
God, I love the Onion.

FROM: Franko
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 12:31:12AM
Looks like will be offering a "Name Your Own Price For Gasoline" service.

Think of the stereotype reinforcement opportunities for marketing this service - shrewd Arab oil moguls madly bargaining with you over the Net. You could enlist the Disney animation artists to do this in between Sinbad made-for-video sequels.

I also wonder if people are willing to burn extra gas and time to save a few nickels per gallon. Certainly those dailyping members who espouse the virtues of obsessive behavior might find merit in driving hours to buy the cheapest gas in Virginia ;) (I told Ryan I want to start a slashdot-esque flame war. This might get things kick-started. If not, I'll resort to the old Linux vs Windows standby.)

FROM: Franko
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 1:34:13PM
Oops, my goof. I meant Aladdin not Sinbad. Who can remember anyone else's name in that movie when it's got that dime piece Princess Jasmine, anyways?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 1:36:48PM
As much as all of this truly sucks, I have seen gas prices go the opposite direction recently. Last Spring at Racetrack in Fredericksburg, VA (where I almost always get my gas) I saw the price got from about $0.76/gallon for 87 octane one day, to $0.68 the next day, and down all the way to $0.54; partically the result of a price war with a new competitor. Though I still feel free to complain about the new upward trend, I still can't help but feel that this is what I have to pay for last year's gloriously low prices.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 2:14:33PM
To Frank the shit-starter:
Oh, it's on now! My response to you: you're wrong because you're stupid.


Seriously, yeah, while I may drive an awful lot and complain about gas prices, I don't go out of my way to find the cheapest gas -- generally I'll scout out who has the cheapest on the way to work and then stop there on the way home.

That is pretty amazing about priceline offering gas... my mom's tried out their kind of strange grocery service before... pretty cool, really... I'd be willing to try their gasoline service.

Sinbad. Sheesh. Can you imagine HIM in Aladdin with all his dumb-ass comedy? :)

Rob -- I agree... just goes to show that anything too good to be true probably is.

... Ryan

FROM: Franko
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 2:39:46PM
Sinbad in Aladdin...actually I can imagine this pretty easily, his shtick ain't all that far removed from the Genie.

Way OT, but to Sinbad's defense, I did sit through that movie where he was the house guest (something tells me that the name of this movie was also "The House Guest") and it didn't suck.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday February 25, 2000 -- 4:05:44PM
Yeah, I put that Priceline info in my pita today. Something else, isn't it?

The way I buy gas is as such: there is a Citgo/7-11 near my house (4 blocks away) and that's really the only place I go to, since the price is generally the lowest and my Neon uses 87 octane, anyway. If I'm out and about, I will shop by price - although I won't go to Clark or Speedway, really.

In this area, Shell and Mobil are far and away the most expensive: saw $1.87 for 93 the other day, which is the same as it is in the city!

I'd bargain for a price with a cartoon character if, and ONLY if, he would obliterate Microsoft's old paperclip agent as a side deal.


FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday March 6, 2000 -- 11:14:11PM
Gas prices continue to rise -- I actually saw a gas station go up 2 cents/gallon in a matter of 30 minutes (in the middle of the day on Saturday, no less). The cheapest 87 around the DC-Metro area I've seen is $1.45... how is it elsewhere at this point?

I tell you, I'm itching for May 20th to try out the new gas card. From what it says, you can swipe it like a regular credit card (no need to go inside, as I thought it originally said you'd have to do).

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday March 7, 2000 -- 10:09:30AM
I'm sure you all heard the news that gas prices will go up about 20c/gal before summer.

I paid $1.63 for 87 yesterday, and that's the third cheapest in the area ($1.55 was the lowest.) That means I'll be paying about $1.83 for the lowest octane gas you can get!

Time to get a new bike.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Thursday March 9, 2000 -- 12:39:43AM
It's really hard to tell if all of this is a corporate jihad aimed at American economists, or if we're in a situation that the gas prices bloatedness is a direct proportion to the drying up of fossil fuels (after all, gas prices in Europe are closer to $2-3 a gallon or more... sometimes up to $5-6 depending on where you're at). I mean, it's hard to imagine that being the case (fossil fuels drying up this quick)... but then again, with the Federal Government requiring automakers to produce enormously fuel-efficient vehicles (especially in California, the American automobile's biggest market)... could the jihad be the answer?

Think about it... Honda releases the Insight (CRX-sized, 70 mpg's) in behalf of California, Toyota is working hard to bring a variant of the Prius (4 seat hybrid the size of a Corolla) to America. Both are 60-80mpg vehicles.

Now, fast-forward to the coalition the federal government instituted that is requiring the "Big 3" U.S. Makers to build some form of high mileage, ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle). The results can be seen in many of the currently portrayed automotive magazines. The Ford Prodigy and GM Precept are but two of the concepts... both of which are 70-80 mpg.

Now, I gave this a lot of thought... could it be... we're being toyed with? Give Americans enough incentive to jump to a long range, more costly car (Hybrids will be more expensive, as it's combining gas and electric technologies)?

I personally think the government, the big 3, and the oil companies are behind all of this. I think they've figured out a way so that the government gets their cut, the automakers make it out so they're the one's being forced to do something they don't want to (albeit, they're gonna' make more fuel efficient, less polluting vehicles), and the gas companies will use excuses of shortages, and refinery spills/fires/etc. etc. to plead their case.

Ultimately, I think it's all a crock of $h!

Just my 2...

Marcus Mackey

FROM: Ellen
DATE: Thursday March 9, 2000 -- 6:22:51PM
Does anyone remember the summer of '72? Nixon...oil embargo? Family vacation, Oklahoma City, $1.62/gallon of REGULAR! I also remember $.50 a gallon when I had my first car (a bug) in '77. What a change, eh? What I really find amusing is when my spouse goes 3 miles out of the way to save .02 a gallon. Doing the math...hummm, 10 gallons, 20 cents. I'm still not giving up my 5.0 Mustang!

FROM: Laura
DATE: Thursday March 9, 2000 -- 8:10:51PM
I live in Fl and the cheapest you can find gas right now here is $1.55 and you have to wait in line. Most gas stations are $1.59 for regular. I can only imagine what they are charging up north. I moved down from Boston, MA about 4 yrs ago and it was about $1.29 for regular and in Fl it was about .99 per gallon of regular. They say it will go to $2.00 per gallon. I heard about a gas out thru the internet. Don't buy gas on April 7, 8, or 9 of this year. It may not help but it couldn't hurt!!

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday March 15, 2000 -- 5:06:03PM
On the Jack and Burt morning show here in DC, apparently they got local gas stations to bid and see who could offer gas for under $1.00. So, Friday (I think) from 6am-10am, the Amoco across from Tyson's Corner is supposedly offering regular gas for 93 cents a gallon. Can you imagine the line? I'll try to drive by on my way to work and snap a picture.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 17, 2000 -- 9:31:46AM
As mentioned earlier, today was the price drop for gas at the Amoco in Tyson's Corner. I drove past it and sure enough, the price was there in red on the sign: 93 cents. The line actually wasn't that long so it wasn't worth stopping to take a picture and I decided against stopping for gas since it was on the other side of the road during morning rush hour. I wouldn't mind seeing price wars like this happen every Friday morning! :)

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday March 17, 2000 -- 10:38:06AM
Ryan, a radio swtation here did a similar thing - making gas at one location in the city $1.019 for 87. It was swamped. City gas is currently going for $1.71/81/91, and the average in the suburbs is $1.68/78/88.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 17, 2000 -- 11:20:12AM
Word is that the one here today had 600 cars come through in three hours. Not bad (though I swear it didn't look that bad this morning). Here is the show's web page for the 92-cent event.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday March 21, 2000 -- 10:33:47AM
Looks like a similar promotion was attempted in Detroit.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday May 12, 2000 -- 4:23:01PM
Well, it's finally happened: gas prices have hit $2 in the Chicago suburbs. My sister filled up today for $1.85 for 87 octane.

Yesterday I drive by a Clark - yes, Clark - that was selling gas for 1.83/1.89/1.99. Right next door, Amoco was still down in the 1.65 range... I can't believe anyone would buy Clark gas when Amoco is cheaper. ;)

Anyway, the days of cheap gas seem to be numbered. Everyplace in the area has caught up to Clark and is charging just under $2/gallon.

For the record, here is what it'll cost to fill up some vehicles at $1.99/gallon:

Honda Insight (hybrid): $21.09
Dodge Neon: $24.88
Chrysler PT Cruiser: $29.85
Honda Accord LX V6: $34.03
Chevy Tracker: $34.63
Dodge Viper RT/10 (heehee): $37.81
Honda Odyssey LX: $39.80
BMW X5 4.4l: $48.36
Chevy Suburban 2500: $76.62

and take out a loan...

Ford Excursion: $87.56


FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday May 12, 2000 -- 7:00:21PM
Good news is that the Priceline Gas cards ship next week (the 20th is the official start, I believe) which should be able to get you about 15-20 cents per gallon off.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday April 17, 2001 -- 11:31:41PM
So tell me -- have gas prices risen sharply everywhere as of late?

Here, in the last 10 days, gas prices here have risen 20 cents per gallon!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday April 18, 2001 -- 1:24:42AM
In the past few weeks, gas prices have risen 20-40 cents depending on where you go. My favorite station was selling 87 octane at 1.37 last month. Quickly became 1.51, and everywhere else, it's 1.79 to 1.99. It's still going up.

DATE: Tuesday April 24, 2001 -- 1:52:33PM
I would just like to say that the price of gas is really ridiculous. Why are they jerking us around!!!!!! Can't they just keep it at a conciterable rate!!!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 10:22:45 am
Man, this Ping is dated: I filled up yesterday at Citgo for $1.45/gal...

Now I'd pretty much give my left arm (not really) for $1.45/gallon gas. Yesterday I saw gas for $2.86/gallon for regular.

I'm sure that in six more years, we'll be remembering that cheap $3/gallon gas. I'm figuring it'll flirt with $4/gallon this summer for sure. And amazingly, Hummers will look like an even worse idea.

FROM: Lisa
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 12:52:54 pm
I was reading that too, 1.45 a gallon... Those were great memories!! I have to fill up today and here in the Houston area the gas is sitting at 2.67 a gallon!! Yuck!! Someone needs to put a cap on the prices or we are going to keep getting raped....

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 12:54:10 pm
And amazingly, Hummers will look like an even worse idea.

...and amazingly, more idiots will continue to buy Hummers and Escalades. Bling Bling!

FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 4:52:05 pm
Ahh, I yearn for $1.45 gas....

Today on I saw that a nearby station had the low stuff for $2.53 yet I could not figure out exactly which station it was so I called a friend who lives closer. Turns out it's a scary body-shop that always has yard sale junk out front. I didn't even know they sold gas, and I went to Wawa and paid $2.73 for the middle grade.

My new ugly Jetta is getting pretty decent mileage, and once I start working in a different town, most of my miles will be highway miles so I look forward to averaging 30 mpg. (I'm at about 27.6 right now. How I hate traffic lights!)

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings

Last Week's Most Popular Pings

Let's be nice.

© 2000-2011 The Daily Ping, all rights reserved. Tilted sidebar note idea 'adapted' from Panic. Powered by the mighty WordPress.