You are here: home   Blogs   The GOAT Blog   One way to look at $4 gas
The GOAT Blog

One way to look at $4 gas

Document Actions
Tip Jar Donation

Your donation supports independent non-profit journalism from High Country News.

Ed Quillen | Jul 14, 2008 12:05 PM

I just endured the most expensive tank of gas I've ever bought in my life, and the next one certainly won't be any cheaper. Like most Americans, I'm not fond of paying $4 a gallon for gasoline.

But while I was watching the pump numbers climb at astonishing rate, and remembering the days of my youth when I'd drive 10 miles to get gas at 25.9 cents per gallon in LaSalle, Colo., instead of 28.9 in Greeley, I also thought about this:

This $65 tank of gas originated as crude oil that may have been under a desert 8,000 miles away, or beneath the Gulf of Mexico, or under the Alaskan tundra, or below some farmland in Colorado.

Somebody had to find it there, and then drill the wells, and pump it to the surface, and remove water and sulfur from the crude oil, then transport it to a refinery, distill and extract the gasoline, formulate and blend various additives, and deliver it to the gas station.

Of course they do not do all this out of altruism or philanthropy; they do it to make money. But it is a long and complex process that puts gasoline in my pickup's tank, and when I think about it that way, $4 a gallon doesn't seem like such a bad deal. At least until the credit-card statement arrives, anyway.

Filed under:

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  5. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone