questionswhy doesn't anyone do something about the gas…

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Because the only people who can do something about gas prices are making lots and lots of money off of the prices.

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For MPG efficiancies car manufactures just use less powerful engines. The internal combustion engine has only about a 33% efficiancy it hasn't ever gotten any better. (That is to say 66% of the heat energy created by your engine goes out the tailpipe or the radiator.) They get similar performance numbers by making the cars lighter. A lighter car can use a smaller engine and give the illusion of more power. So no they can't make your 1,000,000 mpg car unless they make a super lightweight car with an itty bitty engine.

As for the cost of a gallon of gas. A barrel of crude costs today $98 and contains 42 US gallons of crude oil. if 100% of this was turned into gas (which it cant be due the refining process) with none of the refining costs, or transportation costs, or storage costs, or paying the gas station guy, that is still $2.33/ per gallon. Then you have state and federal taxes, DOT, and EPA "fees".( I don't have an exact number anymore but it is around $.75/gal in taxes)

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Here's something easy you can do... GasBuddy.com

@ruger9mm: Here's your tax info. Or the Map of Taxes

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I am a lot more worried about the price of fresh food than I am about the price of gas. Although it does distress me to see diesel selling for more than unleaded, which is a straight-up rip-off and drives up the price of fresh food. It has always been strange to me that Americans see the price of a gallon of gas as an index for our economy rather than the price of a gallon of milk.

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@moondrake: You can thank all of the now developing countries for the price of diesel.

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@falcondeal: Been on Gasbuddy.com since 2004.

It's my other website...

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@mtm2: Please tell me you know how to correctly post prices on gasbuddy! I hate when people post the cash prices, when credit is clearly visible, then on top of it they don't leave any comments.

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@falcondeal: I don't have a problem with developing countries charging whatever the market will bear for their product. That's how capitalism works, especially for anything that is in high demand and limited supply.

My note regarding diesel fuel is based on my understanding (perhaps incorrect) that diesel is just gas that has been processed less than unleaded gas. Therefore it should be cheaper. But because much of our goods travel on trucks and ships using diesel fuel, fuel manufacturers can gouge them for more money by artificially inflating the price of diesel. Again, this isn't my area of knowledge, so I could be wrong, but this is what I have heard.

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@moondrake: I will correct you. Diesel is a by-product from the production of gas (along with other substances). Here's what a barrel of oil actually produces.

So bacally what ever from the above list is in high demand will drive that price up, along with the price of a barrel, then to some point (relatively) lower the other prices.

Here's another link to info of why diesel is priced higher.

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To the OP - worldwide demand is much higher today than it was 10-20 years ago. Take an intro economics class, and you'll understand the rules of supply and demand. Even if supply is unchanged, demand is higher, which leads to higher prices. Yes, the oil companies (and their executives) are getting rich. Yes, we should eliminate certain tax breaks that oil companies (and all companies) receive. But it's not like Congress or the President can wave a magic wand and make prices drop to a dollar, or even two.

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We also have to remember that while the dollar amounts of profits seem astronomical, the profit percentage oil companies make has remained relatively consistent for several years.
Think of it like this: I make & sell wool socks for 30 cents a pop. After paying my supply & labor costs, I make 5 cents. I only sell 200 pairs a month.
A cold snap comes through and the demand for socks goes up ten times what it was. They still cost me the same amount to make and my profit margin remains the same. And because I can sell ten times the socks as before, my 5 cents profit is really adding up. I'm now the king of socks.
Then some wise acres on Wall Street start speculating on wool...and guess what happens?

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gas prices are actually not higher when inflation is taken into account.
Oil companies make far less per gallon of gas than the typical state earns in sales tax on that same gallon. That's not even counting all the state, local, and federal gas taxes on that gallon.

People who 'expect the government to do something about it' are just ignorant of how things really work.

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Cars are quite a bit more efficient than they used to be. Most of that efficiency has gone towards increases in power rather than fuel economy, though.

For example, a show called The Car Show pitted a modern V6 Camry against the Ferrari driven by Magnum PI in a 1/4 mile race, and the Camry won. The Ferrari was a super-sport car at the time (probably 10 miles per gallon or something) and the Camry has a much smaller, not-speed-oriented engine (and it probably gets 25ish miles per gallon). That's inarguable engine efficiency increases.

For heaven's sake, 2-ton SUVs run 0-60 in 6 seconds nowadays. Are people expecting internal combustion engine efficiency to increase at the same rate as computer technology has or something?