Curtis Dahlgren
A Tale of Two Trips; some fantastic gasoline facts!
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 16, 2012

"It was so cold in Europe this winter that one environmentalist was seen with his hands in his own pockets." — anon.

"To save gas, plan your next trip in kilometers; kilometers are shorter than miles." — UP magazine

THE WORST JOB IN THE WORLD: WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY. For every WH 'joinder' these days there are ten conservative rejoinders. Jimmie Carter all over again. Our leaders wanted to make our Interstate highway signs "look more like Europe" so they had them converted to kilometers, and bank thermometers changed to Centigrade (zero degrees C. sounds better to the global warming crowd than 32 degrees, I guess). Energy Secretary Chu is willing to let us keep measuring our gasoline in gallons as long as we pay as much as Europeans pay. Oh, and you have to buy a $43,000 electric car.

In the U.P. of Michigan, our answer to climate change is "throw another log on the fire and kwitcherbellyachin. Stop the whining and start the mining. Drill, Barry, drill." And stop calling us "folks." We are not "folks"; that is an F-word. The only people who say "folks" are clowns — as in "seriously, folks."

SO — seriously — I want to tell you a true tale of a trip I made in 1963 from Wisconsin to Jekyll Island, Georgia. I got over 40 mpg in my Renault 4CV, so with gas around 25 cents a gallon, I could go 160 miles on a buck's worth of gas, or 1,600 miles on ten dollars' worth. I made that round trip for $14 worth of gas and one quart of oil. Another buck's worth of gas would have taken me well into Florida and back.

[These days you can't to drive to town and have a Friday night fish fry for $15.]

The cost of gasoline — per mile — on that 1963 trip was about ONE-HALF OF ONE PENNY ($14 divided by about 2300 miles). It currently costs me about 20 cents per mile for gasoline alone, and that's 40 times as much per mile! I do drive a 4X4 now, but that's not a luxury up here where I live. Even if I were getting over 40 mpg now, the cost-per-mile would still be more than twenty times the 1963 cost!

[I don't take any "trips" anymore, but recently got to share the cost of one. We got to Mt. Vernon and Monticello in Virginia, with a side-trip to North Carolina, and I think we burned about $250 worth of gas while getting 40 miles per gallon!]

You might say, "But half a penny per mile was 'big money' in the sixties, wasn't it?" WHOA, man; I'm not that old! And the bottom line is that the money we have left now after a trip is almost worthless compared to the 1963 dollars, given the rising prices of food, fuel, and electricity (as promised by Sen. Oboma in 2008).

Besides, you don't have to go back to the "olden days" to recall gas for $1.50, or even less than a buck (about 10 years). During the Reagan WH years, I made a trip to Florida and it cost me $20 to drive from Wisconsin to St. Petersburg in a pickup truck (a VW Rabbit diesel). And it was in the 1970s that I paid the lowest price ever for gas — 18.9 cents — shortly before the oil embargo — and state and federal taxes alone now are almost 3 times that! And we have a self-imposed "embargo" on oil.

Sadly, the price of gas and diesel has more than doubled since our President "assumed power" so to speak. He has done everything he can think of to "retard" the oil and gas industry, but that industry is still our best job producer (from private sector investment). It produces 20 percent of the good-paying new jobs!

[if their IQ ever reaches 50, they should SELL].

P.S. Just before the election, October 31, 2008 THE USA TODAY said, "Refiners enjoy fatter margins with crude prices sinking [they have to buy crude too, you know]. And Exxon . . is likely to be profitable even if oil prices sink below $50 a barrel . . . It says it's sticking with plans to spend at least $125 billion the next five years on oil projects."

In 2011, David Limbaugh wrote — -

"During Bush's term, gas prices went down 9 percent, adjusted for inflation. Yet, preposterously, he was excoriated for allegedly colluding with 'big oil' to drive up prices."

We've all read the following quotation, but let's read it again:

"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." — our highly paid Secretary of Energy, Chu (he not only gets free transportation around DC, but he gets levels of benefits Europe would even envy — at our expense also)

[Oh, and now let's observe a moment of silence for the two American eagles that the Arapaho tribe wants to shoot.]

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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