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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Gas Prices Near You (Page 12)

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Author Topic: Gas Prices Near You
maui babe
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When I came into work this morning, it was $4.13. When I came out of work at 4:30, it was down to $3.999. First time it's been below $4 since about March or so.
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Kwea
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$2.56
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Noemon
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$2.44!
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Lyrhawn
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$2.63.

Damn Noemon, that was a fast drop there.

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Noemon
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It really was!
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Elmer's Glue
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$3.19
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Sterling
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$2.69 at Costco here. I was beginning to think I'd never see gas for less than $3/gallon again in my lifetime...
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rollainm
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$2.39!
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Goody Scrivener
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Wow....

ChicagoGasPrices.com is showing a region-low of 2.79 and a region high of 3.91. I cannot remember the last time that the HIGHEST price here was under the $4 mark.

Most of the stations near me are hovering at $3.05. It's too bad the 2.79 and 2.81's are all way out of my way when I need to fill up.

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Sterling
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It's weird, really. Most of the gas stations I pass have at least their "regular" below $2.99 a gallon, but occasionally I see one that remains steadfastly in the three-twenty something range that was the rule a few weeks ago. I can't help but wonder- do they think people aren't going to notice? I mean, the lower-priced stations are only about a mile away, sometimes even for the same brand!
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Lyrhawn
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$2.49 here.

On the news last night they featured a gas war between two stations downriver that had prices down to $2.10 for cash at one point.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
It's weird, really. Most of the gas stations I pass have at least their "regular" below $2.99 a gallon, but occasionally I see one that remains steadfastly in the three-twenty something range that was the rule a few weeks ago. I can't help but wonder- do they think people aren't going to notice? I mean, the lower-priced stations are only about a mile away, sometimes even for the same brand!

I noticed the same thing today -- several stations at $2.99, and then quite a few at $3.11 and up. Including one at $3.19 -- the "cheap" one across the street was $3.13.
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Fusiachi
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$2.26 in Carlisle, Penna, but there are rumors of 2.20 gas somewhere in town. I rarely fill up anyway, so it doesn't much matter to me.
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aiua
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$2.49 in St. Louis, but there have been rumors of $2.25 out of town.
I did see a sneaky one, though, that had super for $2.49 and regular for $2.64, so people saw the sign for super, and thinking it was regular, stopped, then paid the higher price if they took regular. I'm not sure how well that worked out for the station. I mean, if I was able to figure it out...

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Kwea
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$2.36 today.
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Goody Scrivener
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My regular station - the one I've been using for this thread since the beginning - is down to 2.82 tonight.
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Xavier
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It's 2.15 here in Omaha. I think some of that is subsidized for the ethanol in it though, so I guess my tax dollars aren't included.
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Lyrhawn
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Down to $2.37 in the Detroit burbs.

Frankly, I hope it doesn't drop and further.

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pooka
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Last time I looked, which was the weekend, 2.77 was a good price around here. It annoys me that it varies so much. Is it a red/blue state thing? Maybe they are molly coddling the swing states.
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Uprooted
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$2.29 tonight, down from $2.36 this morning.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Last time I looked, which was the weekend, 2.77 was a good price around here. It annoys me that it varies so much. Is it a red/blue state thing? Maybe they are molly coddling the swing states.

You have to take into account state level gas taxes for one, and your proximity to gas refineries, as the further it has to travel the more expensive it's going to be. There's a huge refinery in Detroit, where we get most of our gas, so gas is usually 10 cents cheaper in east Michigan than west Michigan (even though the huge BP refinery is right there in Chicago). But for awhile Michigan was paying the second or third highest gas prices in America, which made no sense to me, and now we're near the bottom. I don't get it either. But I'm not complaining much.
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rivka
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Local real estate prices and other cost-of-living expenses make a difference too. Some states also have legally mandated fuel additives.

Ah, California. Where the milk and the gasoline are both fortified. And thus more expensive.

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scholarette
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$2.18 at the more expensive (but extrememly convenient) place. I haven't seen how much it is over at walmart.
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Farmgirl
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$2.05! Which means, with my local "shopper" card that gives me 10 cents off per gallon, I got it for less than $2.00 a gallon for the first time in.. what.. 3 years? more?


I think this just proves the point that it wasn't all supply and demand. Much of the price was driven up by market speculators.

(It was 10 cents cheaper in Missouri when I was there last week, than it is here in Kansas. I think they have lower state taxes on it. So I imagine it's under $2.00 a gallon there)

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lobo
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In some parts of the country it was below $2 in early 2007.

I paid $1.99 this morning in Houston.

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aspectre
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"But for awhile Michigan was paying the second or third highest gas prices in America, which made no sense to me, and now we're near the bottom."

The same shutdown&repair of the LOOP and various platforms and pipelines by hurricanes Gustav and Ike (which caused the gasoline shortage and price spike in the South) constricted oil supplies heading toward Chicago and its periphery.

During that Southern gasoline panic, wholesellers were able to force locked-in prices&amounts and delivery dates upon independent stations throughout the nation. Which along with a precipitous decline in gasoline sales to the consumer caused station owners to have too much gasoline on-order for the amount of space left in their pump tanks.

Since independent stations make most of their profit from sales of drinks/snacks/ cigarettes/oil/filters/etc, the owners were left with a choice of (effectively) paying a penalty for accepting less gasoline than they ordered, or selling gasoline at no-profit-to-a-slight-loss in order to lower the amount in their pump tanks to avoid that penalty.
ie Would they rather reduce gasoline prices to bring in more customers in hopes of increasing sales of snacks/etc products with higher profit margins? or just give their money to wholesellers?

[ October 29, 2008, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Lyrhawn
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$2.18 where I usually fill up.

It's $2.09 in some places for cash only.

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Elmer's Glue
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Down to $2.89 although rumor has it it's $2.70 somewhere else in town.
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Noemon
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$1.27! Most places around here it's about $1.47, but there's one station that's 20 cents cheaper. I'm trying to remember when I last saw gas for $1.27. It's been ages.
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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Farmgirl:
$2.05! Which means, with my local "shopper" card that gives me 10 cents off per gallon, I got it for less than $2.00 a gallon for the first time in.. what.. 3 years? more?


I think this just proves the point that it wasn't all supply and demand. Much of the price was driven up by market speculators.

While I think it would be silly to argue that none of the price increases were driven by market speculation, I don't think it's easy to conclude that "much of the price" was driven by speculators. Energy demand is down all over, due to the world-wide decline in economic growth (or in some cases, recession). China alone is on course to have energy demand this year to be four percent lower than last year, which is pretty massive. Coal prices and natural gas prices in the U.S. are also down considerably, both spot prices and futures. That's particularly significant when you realize that the US/Canadian coal & natural gas markets are largely self-contained, and mostly driven by companies purchasing the commodities, not investors.
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Lyrhawn
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$1.77 where I usually fill up, but it's as low as $1.50 in some places for cash, and I saw a place uptown for $1.65.

Now comes the test really. Are we going to change our driving habits back to where they were to adapt to the newly supercheap gas? When the credit crunch disappears, if gas prices stay the same will we go back to buying SUVs?

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maui babe
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I saw it as low as $3.29 yesterday. My daughter, who lives near Kansas City, MO called me to tell me she's paying $1.59.

Yep, we're paying more than double that here. [Grumble]

I expect to pay more for everything here, considering how remote we are, but double seems just wrong.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Now comes the test really. Are we going to change our driving habits back to where they were to adapt to the newly supercheap gas? When the credit crunch disappears, if gas prices stay the same will we go back to buying SUVs?

I've got coworkers talking about how maybe they were wrong, and can afford that SUV after all. Others are crowing about the fact that they hadn't been able to sell theirs. ::head in hands::
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Lyrhawn
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I think now is precisely when Congress needs to start slowly introducing a much higher gas tax. You don't put it in place when the price is high, you put it in place when the price is low. With gas at a national average of below $2 now I think, slowly having it go up 10 cents every few months would at this point just look like a normal shift. We're used to it popping up and down 10 cents here and there all the time. It really makes no difference if that 10 cents goes to the US Government or the oil companies from our perspective as consumers, but as citizens it makes a big difference.

I think if we all woke up tomorrow and saw gas fly back up to $2.50, most of us wouldn't be that shocked, or after paying above $3 for so long, we probably wouldn't be that outraged either.

My suggestion: $50 floor on the price of a barrel of oil, and anything under $50 is taxed back up to $50. Increase the gas tax by $.25 over the next several months. Do it five cents at a time over the next five months. Then evaluate and see where we're at, maybe raising it by another 25 cents in the next year depending on the economy and driving habits. We'd need to collect data I'd think before raising it anymore. But that would provide full funding for the money that Obama wants to spend on the new green economy, while producing tons of other tangible benefits as well. Plus the increased price would actually probably help keep the overall price down by keeping driving habits at a lower constant, and would also encourage more buying of fuel efficient cars, which has longer term impacts.

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lobo
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If you are going to tax the gas, then just tax it and explain why. I don't like your sneaky plan.
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TomDavidson
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Excellent idea, Lyrhawn.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Now comes the test really. Are we going to change our driving habits back to where they were to adapt to the newly supercheap gas? When the credit crunch disappears, if gas prices stay the same will we go back to buying SUVs?

I've got coworkers talking about how maybe they were wrong, and can afford that SUV after all. Others are crowing about the fact that they hadn't been able to sell theirs. ::head in hands::
I've been hearing the same sorts of things. *sigh*
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Sterling
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Costco is at $1.99, which is the first time I've seen gas under $2.00 a gallon since I lived in Portland, three years or so ago.

Maybe we haven't reached peak oil after all! (Ha ha ha. Groan.)

The problem with any tax right now is that we have a movement that sees any form of raising taxes as inherently evil. Many of the same people will complain without any awareness of irony when their local libraries close or their roads have huge potholes, of course.

I'd support your gas tax, Lyrhawn, but I'd suggest a small amendment: can we word it in such a way as to keep the trucks that ship goods out of it? I'm all for encouraging people to drive less and make more fuel-efficient choices, but I don't think we need to increase the prices of food and consumer goods at the same time (any more than is likely to happen eventually anyway, at least.)

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
If you are going to tax the gas, then just tax it and explain why. I don't like your sneaky plan.

Oh, making it incremental isn't meant to slip it in under the radar without people knowing about it. Raise it and explain why, but don't just randomly hit people with a big jump in the price of gas. Making it incremental is there to ease people into it so it's not sudden and destructive, it has nothing to do with secrecy.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
Costco is at $1.99, which is the first time I've seen gas under $2.00 a gallon since I lived in Portland, three years or so ago.

Maybe we haven't reached peak oil after all! (Ha ha ha. Groan.)

The problem with any tax right now is that we have a movement that sees any form of raising taxes as inherently evil. Many of the same people will complain without any awareness of irony when their local libraries close or their roads have huge potholes, of course.

I'd support your gas tax, Lyrhawn, but I'd suggest a small amendment: can we word it in such a way as to keep the trucks that ship goods out of it? I'm all for encouraging people to drive less and make more fuel-efficient choices, but I don't think we need to increase the prices of food and consumer goods at the same time (any more than is likely to happen eventually anyway, at least.)

I would think that would work in two ways, but I'd have to check to see. 1. Is there a difference between the gas tax and a diesel tax? No big rig that I know of runs on gas, they all run on diesel. If they are currently taxed differently, then you don't have an issue at all. Other than that, to abate the floor for oil you'd have to have some sort of tax rebate for what they pay. But I think we should be pushing for advances in trucking fuel efficiency as well, or working on switching the diesel fleet over to natural gas (something I'm not necessarily in favor of, but I do think it demands more study).

What I'd probably suggest for diesel, if they are currently taxed separately, would be to plan an increase in the diesel tax as well, but put it off for a few years, and at the same time offer some assitance to the makers of those trucks, like Volvo and Ford (and whoever else makes big rigs) for researching new more fuel efficient technologies. Batteries are going to move a sixteen wheeler, you need too much power, so they'll have to engineer something else, or come up with an alternate fuel source like LNG or B100 Algae or some other biofuel source. But push the tax increase off. It's a classic carrot and stick measure to get them to change to something more efficient through prodding (with the impending tax increase) and pulling (with offering a tax break of some sort for R&D). If they see it as an investment rather than a tax increase, it'll grease the skids a lot.

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Danlo the Wild
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In Denton, Texas it is $1.66.
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Goody Scrivener
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My regular station is clocking in at 1.99 - 27 cents LESS than when this thread started 3.5 years ago. In the suburb where my parents live (in Cook County, which is historically higher because of county taxes), it's 1.84.
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Kwea
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$1.889 is the cheapest I have seen it so far in FL. At least recently...
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TomDavidson
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$1.79 here in Madison.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
$1.77 where I usually fill up, but it's as low as $1.50 in some places for cash, and I saw a place uptown for $1.65.

Now comes the test really. Are we going to change our driving habits back to where they were to adapt to the newly supercheap gas? When the credit crunch disappears, if gas prices stay the same will we go back to buying SUVs?

My god. The last few months of me living in California, I was so poor and hungry I would put 5 gallons in my car at a time (at 5 dollars a gallon) until I finally just sold the car in disgust at what I had become. Now I could fill that car for 30 dollars, when at one point in the sierras it cost me 100 dollars to fill it.

Since I started driving, gas has never, ever been this cheap. When I first started driving, it was over 2.00 in the Bay Area. It kind of makes me angry- mostly about oil speculation, but also about ALL THAT MONEY I spent in the 7 years I drove consistently.

Edit to add: and this was coinciding with a few months where friends' parents were working for the California government at minimum wage (due to the budget impasse) and attempting to find some way to stop their homes from being foreclosed on.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

Batteries aren't going to move a sixteen wheeler, you need too much power, so they'll have to engineer something else, or come up with an alternate fuel source like LNG or B100 Algae or some other biofuel source. But push the tax increase off. It's a classic carrot and stick measure to get them to change to something more efficient through prodding (with the impending tax increase) and pulling (with offering a tax break of some sort for R&D). If they see it as an investment rather than a tax increase, it'll grease the skids a lot.

According to my (admittedly amateur) research, this assumption about batteries, which is a common one, is not really supported by the evidence. In fact, large vehicles such as 16-wheelers may, at least in the future, benefit more from battery technology than smaller calls will.

The trick is to create a system based on plug-in hybrid technology, serviced by way-stations where trucks can recharge, or simply exchange batteries. The larger the car, the higher the energy needs, but with a big-rig, you can put a HUGE battery where the engine chassis is. When you consider the space in which these trucks store fuel, that's even more space not being utilized by anything else. You supplement the battery with highly efficient gas generators, and the result is a truck that uses gas 5 or 10 times as efficiently as modern trucks. When you consider also that this design would include no moving engine parts, no exhaust system, no gears, and a much more responsive handling with much higher torque, a hybrid truck would be safer and more reliable than a modern truck.

I remain convinced that the only reason this hasn't happened yet is lack of vision and ambition. I think once it starts happening, the change will be so abrupt, nearly everyone will be startled and shocked at how easy it really is.

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Lyrhawn
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Saw the other thread and thought it might be fun to bring this one back from the dead. Anyone want to look back a couple years into the past and cry a little bit at how cheap gas was even three years ago? I actually don't at all remember gas being this cheap in 2008, but here's the joy of having a record of it, I suppose.

Gas right now in suburban Detroit is around $3.99. In the northern burbs where I live, it's $4.15. Thank God I just bought a new, much more efficient car, a couple weeks ago.

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BlackBlade
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Whenever I watch movies from the past and the characters are talking with a gas station somewhere in the background, the prices always get me riled up.
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Jake
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Hey, Lyrhawn, is the email address in your profile correct?
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Lyrhawn
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Yep. I didn't miss an email from you did I?
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