Today I put twenty gallons of unleaded regular in my 1994 Ford pickup (small block V-6, 2wd, stick, no air)-- at the Kwik Trip on Grandview Blvd. in Waukesha, just off I-94.
The New York Times
Dollar Hits a New Low, Oil Hits a New High...
FRANKFURT, Oct. 18 — The dollar sank to a new low against the Euro Thursday as fresh evidence of losses in the mortgage industry stoked fears of a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown in the United States and crude oil rose to another record.
In late afternoon trading in New York, the euro traded at $1.4294, up from $1.4186 on Wednesday. Crude oil for November delivery rose $2.07, or 2.4 percent, to $89.47 a barrel. In after-hours electronic trading, the price rose slightly above $90.
$2.78 a gallon.
I might get this price a few more times, but by the time the oil--purchased at $90/bbl today--goes through a refinery in late November and appears on the market in Dec., I think the price will be up, WAY UP.
The paired trajectories of fuel prices (up) and the value of the USD (in free fall) are indisputable. Crunch time is upon us. A significant piece of the recent dip in gasoline prices is attributed to a one-time event: Third world countries that had been able to buy fuel when oil was $30/bbl to $60/bbl are simply dropping out of the market. What they do not buy appears as a temporary augmentation of supply.
The world's poor--those whose recent food source has been the energy-intensive Green Revolution--know that the intense energy inputs (fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation water pumped from ever-deeper wells) will be there no more. Here, we may feel the pinch--and, for some, more than just a pinch. In other parts of the world, people will starve.
Having this truck is pure fortuitous luck. I bought it for what a 12 year old truck would cost a few years ago. I keep it in good, safe condition--brakes, shocks, belts, leaf springs, oil, tune-up and tires (dents and rust matter little). I earn retiree-money by doing tree work, which makes the truck indispensible; but it is my everyday transportation, with a cost-per-mile that is way low.
For someone with a newish car or truck, with big payments and big insurance premiums, the coming uptick (should we call it a leap?) in gas prices is going to pinch.
But, if you are a mother in Honduras or Congo or Bangladesh, prepare to mourn your children.