Print Story Putting on my tinfoil hat
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By webwench (Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:01:23 AM EST) (all tags)
I noticed something odd about the Atlanta-area gas outage.


I would think that gas station owners would be up in arms about the fact that they can't get gas while the rest of the country is flush, indeed awash, in good clean 89+ octane gas. Yet, not a word of protest from these folks, who surely are losing an enormous about of money every day their stations' pumps are closed.

What do you think? Is there some factor I'm not taking into consideration?

...now removing the tinfoil hat, as they're frowned upon in the office.
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Putting on my tinfoil hat | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
It made sense in North Carolina by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:09:54 AM EST
keep all those Obama voters housebound so it stays safe for McCain.

How many independent stations are there, I imagine corporate franchisees don't wont to upset their masters.

Maybe Chavez will offer to bring some.


Chavez is so generous by webwench (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:20:17 AM EST
and selfless, we wouldn't even dream of asking him for more. :P

I don't know much about how the gas station franchises work, so there may be something there I'm not understanding. I have to think it's been a huge financial impact to someone, though.



Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
There's not much money in gas by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:23:33 AM EST
Most are barely making it. There's only something like a 3¢ markup on gas for an independent retailer. Add, or subtract, from that a 3% to 4% credit card charge and they're making little, if anything. They make their money on cigarettes and cheetos.

--
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
no one stops at a gasless gas station by webwench (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:41:11 AM EST
to get ciggies and cheetos, though, that's the heck of it. Why aren't these gas stations toppling like dominos?

Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
Guess I'll add to this thread by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:47:16 AM EST
In the various articles about franchisees and the prices being "set" -- many threaten to send the company jingle-mail, and Exxon/BP/whomever is (sometimes) happy to take corporate ownership back of the station.

Which seems odd, because in the same articles  they also talk about how fewer gas stations there are now, and how many of the big oil companies DON'T want to run a station -- but that contradiction was never settled, so I dunno.. Maybe they'll take the jingle-mail and re-sell the franchise (?).


[ Parent ]
Corporate owned stations by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #13 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:56:52 AM EST
are unwanted because they're capital assets and show up on the wrong part of the balance sheet. Franchises are pure profit with no risk (other than a vague damage to reputation from a poorly run station).

--
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Sure they do by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:54:08 AM EST
That and scratch tickets.

It's the easiest in-and-out store there is. At least in Florida, they're on every corner. The grocery store is a long way away and has lines. And the beer is the same price in both.

--
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
How much is bought up by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 01:18:27 PM EST
during a >1 hour gas line?  That stuff is expensive, and if you just walk out and grab some...

I just got off the phone with my parents who live in Ashville, NC (No peTrol).  They said the idiot box was claiming that it was a pipeline problem that went all the way to DC.  Haven'[I want my apostrophes damnmit!]t heard of any problems north of the VA line.

Wumpus



[ Parent ]
You got that backwards by kwsNI (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:14:27 PM EST
Obama supporters know how to use public transport, it's the McCain supporters that have no gas for their SUVs.   

[ Parent ]
Public transport? by webwench (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 03:41:34 AM EST
In North Carolina?

ROFL


Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
Actually maybe not by theboz (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:15:20 AM EST
First of all, the EPA rules about "good clean 89+ octane" gasoline has been suspended.  Unfortunately here, it means Houston is looking like Mexico City lately, but I imagine the rest of the country is going to look pretty bad too.  There is indeed a shortage as a result of refineries shutting down as a result of the two recent hurricanes.  There has been significant, albeit underreported, damage to the infrastructure.  I don't yet know why your area is being hit harder than anywhere else, but I assume that there must be other refineries that service the rest of the nation that were not affected by the hurricanes.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
not to minimize what people have gone through by webwench (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:18:12 AM EST
this time around, but shortages like these did not occur outside of the directly affected areas after Katrina. I think something else is at work here. I will tell you that we drive down from Maine to Atlanta this past Friday and Saturday, and the only time we saw any stations out of gas was in GA and SC. No one else had any problems.

Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
I recall the Katrina panic by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:27:03 AM EST
so much that I considered driving home from Richmond, but luckily my flight wasn't canceled.


[ Parent ]
Currently there are spot shortages in DC by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 09:36:02 AM EST
Higher prices, nearing $4/gal in some spots, are the primary result.

Post story.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Here's the reason why by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 10:29:26 AM EST

There's are two gas/oil pipelines that run gas from the gulf to the mid Atlantic states. One is at 80% of capacity right now and the other one, called the Colonial pipeline, is carrying much lower amounts of gas due to the Gustav/Ike refinery shutdowns, this pipeline goes basically from Lousiana to northern Delaware (yeah who knew).

It's the places in the middle of the pipeline that are getting screwed because there are no nearby refineries.

On the other hand, the cheapest gas in the nation is in South Jersey. They have oil refineries nearby in South Jersey and Philly which are supplied by ship, not by that pipeline so much.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
On our whalewatch our of Cape May by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 12:03:47 PM EST
about as south Jersey as you can get, we saw a barge of gasoline being towed to New York/New England.

Plus, it's all full service in NJ.


[ Parent ]
Yankeehack is right by theboz (2.00 / 0) #32 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 05:15:17 AM EST
Basically, a lot of the refineries are in this area, and a lot of pipelines originate from here.  As a result, Gustav put a pinch on the flow of gas out in Louisiana, and Ike finished the job by screwing up Texas.  A lot of infrastructure was either damaged or simply without electricity.  For natural gas, we have a compressor station for one of our pipelines in town and they use electric motors to push the gas.  Fortunately, we have the old diesel engines that are less efficient still there as a backup, but not everyone is set up that way.

- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
WIPO: Just keep stirring the sauce. by miker2 (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:17:07 AM EST



Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
There has been by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:23:25 AM EST
a lot of coverage over the past year or two about how stations make money. If lucky, they break even on the $/gal price -- the corporate office either sets the price (for corporate owned stations), or tells the franchisee "I'm selling gas to you at $X/gal" (implying they must sell it for $Y/gal where Y >= X).

So the stations make the money on selling cigs, beer, soda, or repair work, not on gas. Making 2-3 cents a gallon profit doesn't pay the bills.


as I replied to ad-hoc, by webwench (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:44:07 AM EST
no one stops at an empty gas station to buy cigarettes, cheetos, and lottery tickets, they go on to the next station to get their tank filled and buy their snacks there. So they're surely losing money just because they're losing goodie sales.

Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
People buy cigs by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #14 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 05:59:45 AM EST
a lot more often than they fill their tank. And they tend to go to stores they normally frequent.

Back when I lived in Florida and still had a car, I'd visit the store a couple times a day: cigs, big gulp, newspaper, milk, whatever. I fill up maybe once a week.

--
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
I think the problem is local by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 06:57:49 AM EST
Shuler told WHKP News that the shortage occurred because there are six pipelines that are out right now, and they supply the gasoline to Spartanburg before it is sent up the mountain.

I think the shortage is basically restricted to the western bits of the Carolinas and surrounding areas. Once they get trains and trucks on the road from other places, the shortage will easae.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
89+ Octane? by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 08:32:45 AM EST
What, really? Baseline standard at the pumps here is 95. Bizarre.



87 is baseline here by webwench (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 09:01:01 AM EST
A few stations have only 87 in the pump, and are out of 89 and 91 or 93 (whatever their high-octane is). Most stations are out of everything except diesel.

Getting more attention than you since 1998. Ya ya!

[ Parent ]
If your outside USia by barooo (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 11:04:29 AM EST
you use a different definition of "octane".

There are two ways to measure it, research and motor, can't remember which is higher and which is lower.  Over here in USia we use the average of the two as "octane".  So your 95 is probably about like 91 or 92, maybe 93.  I used to have a celica that said it needed 95, but that was using the japanese standard and 93 was good enough. 

man, i need a beefy taco now.
-gzt
[ Parent ]
o i c by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #33 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 06:25:00 AM EST
That makes sense then. The stupid-high stuff you can get here is 102, but I think you need a Nissan Skyline to actually take any advantage from it.



[ Parent ]
the gas blend that is legal in the area by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 09:27:15 AM EST
is in short supply. You can't bring in gas that was formulated in the midwest or northeast, for example.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

that's weird by garlic (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 11:07:51 AM EST
state based laws, or federal? you hardly hear about any states rights type laws like this unless you're talking about CA, and they're just crazy.


[ Parent ]
state, mostly by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 12:27:24 PM EST
although I looked at it a bit more, and that isn't the problem here. It looks like the southeast is heavily dependent on refineries in Texas and Louisiana delivered through <A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_Pipeline">this pipeline</A>. I'm having trouble finding more info, but it looks like there are not enough (if any) alternative refineries and pipelines to cover the shortfall. Also <A HREF="http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4565">skim this</A> if you're interested.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
fucking god damn it by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 12:28:27 PM EST
seriously hulver, this new editor is slower than typing html by hand.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

[ Parent ]
turn it off by lm (2.00 / 0) #31 Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 05:11:17 AM EST
I think it's under user preferences, but it may be under display preferences. It's a pretty little check box that says Use Fancy Editor.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I love Texas... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 09:31:32 AM EST
WE will always have gas.  And not just of the bean variety...

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

gas station owners by duxup (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
I was told by a gas station owner that he never appears on TV when asked by the local news stations because.

1. Many of his customers think he is controlling prices when he is not, but it doesn't matter how often he says it because there is always some vocal jerk who wants to piss on him and his employees.

2. He is totally dependent on the people who provide fuel and saying anything that knocks them is just biting the hand that could kill you.

____
WIPO: Sherman's reconnaissance flights by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 01:21:29 PM EST
open fire!

Wumpus



Putting on my tinfoil hat | 34 comments (34 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback