Burning Liquid Gold

At the half-way mark, I took a break last night from report writing to have a pre-Father Day’s dinner at our favourite Chinese buffet in Gloucester. It’s a bit of a drive, but even with petrol prices what they are, we love it. It costs a bit more in the evening, but that’s when they bring out the good stuff.

And speaking of petrol prices, we needed a bit of fuel to get back home, so we pulled into a relatively reasonably priced BP garage. £20 bought 16.82 litres of petrol. To translate that for Stateside readers who are paying nearly $4.00 a gallon, we bought 4.44 gallons for a mere $42.60 (at yesterday’s tourist rate for buying sterling). Yes, your calculator is working correctly: that’s $9.59 a gallon. I’m just glad we were buying unleaded gasoline rather than diesel.  The same amount would have cost $49.04 or $11.05 a gallon.

$3 or $4 a Gallon? It Could Be Worse

I came across an article on the CNN website, “Who gets rich off $3 gas – who doesn’t“. At first I thought to myself, “$3 gas – wouldn’t that be nice!” Then I looked at the break down.

The crude oil costs $2.07, which is 69% of the overall $3 price. Tax is just 40¢ or just over 13% of what goes into the register. Well, there’s no wonder gas is only $3 a gallon! Most of what you are paying for is gas.

I filled up yesterday at a cost of $8.37 per gallon.  It cost me over $85. Since the crude costs are roughly the same worldwide for these multi-national corporations, as are refining and the tiny percentage made by the retailer, there is about 70% left for the taxman.

My math may be off somehow. As I was typing this I was watching the CBS Evening News, which we get hear on SkyNews after midnight. They reported on gas prices from the UK and quoted prices at $9.50 gallon. But I suppose when you figure what most American tourist will pay for a pound sterling as opposed to the market price, it’s possible. It is very possible that $2.03 translates to $2.20 or more. I haven’t checked the walk-up rates on the high street recently.

More Family Unfriendly Policies

The Government has decided that it’s not doing enough to damage and disadvantage the family.

In a time of record oil prices, the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to raise the cost of petrol by another 2p per litre in taxes. That’s about 15¢ a gallon, for those of you keeping score Stateside. I already pay $8.22 a gallon.

On top of this, he will increase the price of family cars by £2,000. He will tack on a “showroom tax” on larger cars. It is an eco-tax to get people to drive smaller, less gas guzzling vehicles like Smart cars. Have you ever tried to fit a family in a Smart Car?

Of course this is on top of the road tax. I have mentioned this before in a previous blog incarnation, but in the Texas county where I was born and raised, it costs $66.80 per year.  Here it can be as much as $570.00 a year.

They just keep sticking to the family.