West Seattle Gas Price Watch returns

September 25, 2007 at 3:33 pm | In Gas prices, Transportation | 25 Comments

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Time to get back on the horse and resume galloping around WS checking on gas prices, now that the price of regular unleaded is perched on the precipice of 3 bucks once again, after bottoming out in the $2.60s just six weeks ago. Two 76/Conoco Phillips stations in WS share the honors of highest per-gallon price for that grade as of late this morning, Fauntleroy/Alaska (left) and Lincoln Park. At the low end of the scale is Arco on Delridge, by Home Depot, $2.85/gallon for regular unleaded as of late morning. We’ve seen prices past $3 in other parts of town; the latest national coverage suggests prices won’t be dropping again any time soon.

25 Comments

  1. If you’re in Burien, Fred Meyer was 20 cents cheaper than Safeway on Roxbury, on Sunday.

    Comment by Fiona — 4:55 pm September 25, 2007 #

  2. Next time you’re sitting in traffic take note of 1. How many people are in their cars alone and 2. How many people are driving SUVs, trucks, or mini vans.

    We once had beautiful cities and towns with train lines and street cars. Now we have road rage and soul-crushing sprawl everywhere. We drive 3,000 pound cars to the grocery store for a loaf of bread.

    Gas prices need to be much higher.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 9:52 pm September 25, 2007 #

  3. Yes, CB, and we once had cities filled with horse poo and raw sewage running down the streets. Trains routinely went flying off the tracks, or struck pedestrians. No central heat or a/c. No refrigeration; warm milk, sour cheese, rancid meat. Yup, dems was the good old days, when men were men and people died from things like polio and the flu. By all means, let’s have those days back again. Woo-hoo!

    And let’s make the government MORE intrusive into our lives by regulating gas prices in a free market economy! Yeah! To quote Columbia University president yesterday “astonishingly uneducated…”

    Comment by OP — 11:15 pm September 25, 2007 #

  4. OP..you’re just an unhappy contentious person, aren’t you?

    Comment by Jan — 11:28 pm September 25, 2007 #

  5. > No, OP is just realistic and has perspective on history and progress. Try it sometime.

    The Market is the BEST requlator of gas prices which WILL be going higher until well past when all of us are pushing up daisies. Do we really need gubbmindt to tinker with gasoline?

    Those of you walking to the store for your loaf of bread will find that I’ll ALWAYS stop my SUV to allow you to cross even if your light is red or you are crossing mid block at your convenience. BTW, that Rustic Potato at Metro is my current favorite loaf ;) save one for me.

    Comment by PP — 6:32 am September 26, 2007 #

  6. OP’s logic is fallacious. We are quite capable of designing better transportation systems and a more consciously designed built-environment without having to endure unrelated problems of the past.

    In the wake of World War II, auto/steel/oil and rubber companies organized politically to minimize railroads and tear out streetcars to spur private car ownership. We now live with the consequences of that legacy. We love cars and yet they have ruined the American landscape.

    While traveling in Denmark, Sweden and Finland this summer I consistently saw gas prices in the $8-$10 range. Curiously I saw little car traffic anywhere. And yet we whinge over prices a fraction of that and sit in endless traffic.

    PS: Jan: You rock.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 7:50 am September 26, 2007 #

  7. If you are in the area, I’ve found that the Albertson’s and Fred Meyer have a uniformly lower price than Safeway.
    But no free air as Safeway provides.

    No debit card penalty as with Arco.
    It’s easy for me to make multiple stops and get my gas on one shopping tour.

    Comment by old timer — 10:10 am September 26, 2007 #

  8. Jan: Contentious? Yes, especially when it comes to something so patently insipid as dreaming that the world our grandparents and great grandparents inhabited was some environmental utopia before cars came around and allegedly “destroyed” it all. What hyperbolic, uneducated nonsense. Moreover, I feel the need (yes, need) to combat statements like CB’s because people like CB are, for lack of a better term, progress bashers who want LESS freedom, FEWER choices and MORE restrictions placed upon all of us. It’s government by attrition—a slow bleed of freedom. And that is abhorrent, bereft of thought and, most of all, un-American.
    Finally, just because I speak up and say “No, that’s completely wrong” and fight back against conventional wisdom (or, in CB’s case, conventional ignorance), does not in the least mean I am personally unhappy—in fact, far, far from it!

    Comment by OP — 10:24 am September 26, 2007 #

  9. While traveling in Denmark, Sweden and Finland this summer I consistently saw gas prices in the $8-$10 range.
    Please tell me you thought of the exorbitant taxes placed on gas and personal incomes by the individual governments and the EU to pay for those transportation systems. That, more than anything, explains the lack of car traffic. Here’s a fun fact (yes, those pesky things) to back up my argument:

    In Britain, the government takes 75 percent, and raises taxes by 5 percent above inflation every year (though it has forgone this year’s rise in view of rocketing oil prices, and the French government has promised tax rebates this year to taxi drivers, truckers, fishermen, and others who depend heavily on gasoline.) On August 8, for example, the price of gas in the US, without taxes, would be $2.17, instead of $2.56; in Britain, it would be $1.97, instead of $6.06.

    Source: Christian Science Monitor

    $1.97 WITHOUT taxes. And 60% of the price of gas, on average, is from taxes. Do you honestly think people CHOOSE to be taxed like that? Like I said, government by attrition, but certainly not FOR the people.

    In the wake of World War II, auto/steel/oil and rubber companies organized politically to minimize railroads and tear out streetcars to spur private car ownership. We now live with the consequences of that legacy. We love cars and yet they have ruined the American landscape. Disagree. First, it’s called capitalism and simple economics. People demanded more cars and fewer trolleys, trains, etc. Why? Convenience and more freedom, something trolleys, trains, etc. lack in droves. Therefore, companies, like good, successful companies do, listened to what people wanted and gave it to them. And while I think we need curb our enthusiasm for urban sprawl (build up, not out), more cars and more roads offered developers a chance to develop more affordable housing on the outskirts (the burbs) where land was cheaper. At no time in history, and in no country in history, have more people been able to own their own home.

    I would also contend that while you believe cars have “ruined the American landscape” I would counter that we get to see more of our great country, more of its natural wonders and beauty; we see more of our families, not less; and we know more about each other and our culture, not less. And it’s all thanks to the car.

    Do we need to encourage companies to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles and cleaner burning energy? Absolutely! And how do we do that? One way is to offer tax breaks and incentives (gasp!) to car and oil companies who develop fuel-efficient vehicles and cleaner burning fuels. Why? Companies do not develop these things out of the goodness of their hearts; that’s bad business. So, step up the incentives and help move the market along. But don’t let government force people out of their cars by charging them ridiculous tax rates—that is socialism run amok, bordering on communism.

    Comment by OP — 11:12 am September 26, 2007 #

  10. The WS Blog watches gas prices quite a bit. It also covers development and transportation issues a lot as these are especially relevant to West Seattle now. We’re all better served by considering how these issues are inter-related.

    I’m not especially interested in responding to the vitrol of strangers, especially those who seem to be projecting a lot of their own issues and jumping to a lot of incorrect conclusions and falsely labeling those with whom they disagree.

    What is conveniently absent from the above tirades is the tremendous cost to our economy, productivity, resources and environment because of our over-reliance on cars. Consider not only lost time and energy that goes to waste while sitting in traffic, but ripple effect of the loss of more than 40,000 to automotive deaths every year. You cannot express economic gains without mitigating them with the losses. One could make convincing arguments about how we are in fact more free without the significant burden of maintaining and paying for cars. Northern Europeans have higher life expectancies than Americans which are attributed to their walking and biking more.

    It is possible to be for free markets, pro-development, against excessive taxes, and anti-socialist and yet still recognize how our overuse of cars and poor zoning laws have contributed to the horrible American homogenized sprawl. Americans are among the best innovators in the world. Surely we can figure out a better way. We can pretend our current system is working but for only so long.

    Americans used to be much better at urban planning than we are now. Places can be consciously planned to emphasize walking and minimize the need for a car. Buildings can be built with human scale in mind. Greater density and better public transportation are more sensible than millions of SUVs parked outside of cookie-cutter suburban houses, surrounded by chemically fertilized lawns. We need to think more about the built environment. And cars and an obsession with cheap gas is part of what is distracting us from doing that.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 12:08 pm September 26, 2007 #

  11. OP: You’re operating under the assumption that a train system must be modeled after those from the past…which I assume you realize is crap. You do seem to love the straw man arguments. Trains and trollies do not equate to polio and sour milk. Portland, OR is a great example of a city with a modern train and trolley system that works quite well…without the annoying rancid cheese and dysentery you seem to fear.

    Comment by coffee geek — 1:12 pm September 26, 2007 #

  12. ’m not especially interested in responding to the vitrol of strangers…

    Who isn’t a stranger on a blog.

    Vitriol and projecting “my issues”? Refuting an argument is vitriol and means I have “issues”? Oh wait, I forgot, I’m a worthless, capitalist pig NeoCon so any thing or any point of yours that I refute with facts is definitely “vitriol” and means I have “issues”.

    …incorrect conclusions and falsely labeling those with whom they disagree.

    One of the tenets of solid meaningful debate/discussion is refuting the opposition’s arguments/points with facts. I did so, unfailingly. You attempt to equate that high gas prices lead to a more environmentally clean society. I did NOT refute that. What I do refute is that these government-imposed and induced restrictions via taxes do NOT make society better as a whole. In fact, they make it worse. They lead to a restriction of freedom and a reduction in choices. And is that honestly what you want the government to impose on people? In short, how get there is where I find your logic and reasoning tragically flawed and deeply troubling.

    The fact of the matter is our system that, while not perfect by any means, works wonderfully and is far, far superior to that of ANY European nation.

    All of your ideas are well and good, and I agree with some of your points about urban sprawl. But you really, really need to consider HOW you’re getting there and in specific terms what it is your ultimately asking people to sacrifice. In this case, personal choice and freedom. Or, widely known as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

    One could make convincing arguments about how we are in fact more free without the significant burden of maintaining and paying for cars.

    Why do you bother writing or thinking this? Yes, hypothetically, it would be wonderful! But it ain’t gonna happen, slick. Not tomorrow, not next year, not ever. Not unless the government steps in and takes it away. Come up with real-world, reality based solutions and cut with the utopian la-la claptrap.

    reater density and better public transportation are more sensible than millions of SUVs parked outside of cookie-cutter suburban houses, surrounded by chemically fertilized lawns.

    Are you somehow a better person because you live in apartment? Or a house in the city? Or an apartment in the city? So you’re a better, more superior person than someone in a SUV, in a cookie-cutter house with their chemically fertilized lawn. Oh, and you forgot the 2.4 kids and the lab. You elitist, condescending snob.

    Comment by OP — 2:08 pm September 26, 2007 #

  13. I was being facetious, coffee geek.

    Comment by OP — 4:09 pm September 26, 2007 #

  14. Damn, I thought Seattle (especially West Seattle) was full of feel-good leftists bent on destroying corporate America!

    Keep up the good work, OP.

    We need to be “loud and proud” just like the other side!

    Comment by Joe — 4:09 pm September 26, 2007 #

  15. OP: I am neither a “leftist” nor anti-corporate. I also seem to have less to prove than some others here. We don’t agree. That’s clear. I think you’re quite wrong on several points and aiming a lot of your personal politics at the wrong target. Much of your argument seems self-serving, for example your emphasis on freedom without any mention of responsibility. I am acutely aware of where America excels. And as I’m fortunate enough to travel abroad frequently I think I also appreciate the many areas where we could learn much from the best innovations that happen outside of our borders (little of which has to do with Socialism). Another way in which we differ is that I don’t hate and disparage those who have different opinions than mine, wrong as they might be. To spew venom by labeling and name calling only weakens your argument and leaves people wondering how you manage to type whilst wearing a straitjacket. To go any further with this would be a waste of time for both of us and an abuse of the WS Blog comments.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 6:40 pm September 26, 2007 #

  16. “Oh wait, I forgot, I’m a worthless, capitalist pig NeoCon so any thing or any point of yours that I refute with facts is definitely “vitriol” and means I have “issues.” I didn’t see where anyone called you that…

    my problem with your arguments are…you name call – anyone who doesn’t agree with you totally is some sort of lesser person to you, at least in your mind….which weakens your arguments…and…who made you the expert on everything? the only person who might be right in these arguments? Give us some credentials..

    and , yes, I agree with Christopher…we shouldn’t be abusing the wonderful WSB any longer..it’s simply not appropriate. Christopher has graciously linked his name to his site, as have I. Perhaps a meaningful discussion further could be sent there…as long as it’s in the right spirit…

    Comment by Jan — 7:07 pm September 26, 2007 #

  17. I am neither a “leftist” nor anti-corporate.

    Then why spew:

    the tremendous cost to our economy, productivity, resources and environment because of our over-reliance on cars.

    And…

    We can pretend our current system is working but for only so long.

    And…

    Places can be consciously planned to emphasize walking and minimize the need for a car.

    And…

    Greater density and better public transportation are more sensible…

    Every last one of those statements, dear Christopher, contains socialist values and of practices done in the socialized countries you mentioned previously. They are not values or things said by conservatives or even middle of the road leftists. Furthermore, your degrading and condescending statement about those who CHOOSE to live in the ‘burbs made you most deserving in being disparaged.

    Much of your argument seems self-serving, for example your emphasis on freedom without any mention of responsibility.

    With freedom comes personal responsibility for one’s choices, why this needs to be said, I don’t know, but apparently it does. And for far too many people. My argument is only self-serving in that it’s based on the individual rights and freedoms granted to us by our Founding Fathers. People SHOULD have a sense of duty and responsibility to ward society (and the environment, in this case) , but some do not. But it is not the government’s job or duty to say what is good choice and what is a bad choice. (Example: California recently passed a law outlawing the use of incandescent light bulbs because, well, they use up more energy than energy-efficient bulbs. Granted, energy-saving bulbs are the more responsible and economic choice to make. BUT where does the state of California get off in denying me the right to choose between the two? What if I hate (and I do) the light given off by energy-saving bulbs? I now don’t have a choice between bulbs. That is, in a very small way, stripping me of a fundamental right under the Constitution. But making a right or wrong choice is not up to the government to decide when it comes to what I drive, where I live, how I live and even, yes, what light bulbs I choose to use.

    Comment by OP — 7:25 pm September 26, 2007 #

  18. Jan,

    Point out EXACTLY where I name call when it wasn’t warranted.

    anyone who doesn’t agree with you totally is some sort of lesser person to you, at least in your mind

    No, no, and no. Where do I say or even imply this (other than when warranted)? He is simply wrong. Period. His condescending and snobbish attitude towards those who live in the ‘burbs, etc. definitely makes him the lesser person, BY FAR.

    When I laid wood to his basic premises and conventional wisdom with facts (yes, facts), he resorted to cheap argumentative tactics, calling what I said vitriol and, laughably, saying I’m projecting my issues upon the argument when it was he who, whether directly or by obvious implication, brought them up in the first place.

    Credentials? Regarding what? Basic economics that any person with a BA or BS should know? Do I need a doctorate to post? This makes zero sense.

    And what’s the “right spirit”, Jan? One where I agree with you or CB? I’m sure no. I’m entitled to put my foot down and say, NO! that’s wrong. And when I back it up with facts and truths, only to have them not addressed or completely ignored then, yeah, my right spirit gets right out of joint. Finally, there’s a lot of us NeoCons (a term of disparity widely used by liberals and leftists that I use tongue-in-cheek) who are flat out FED UP with the nonsensical conventional wisdom dispensed by Democrats, leftists, liberals and moonbats these days. And guess what? We’re fighting back…

    Comment by OP — 12:07 am September 27, 2007 #

  19. the right spirit…well…it has nothing to do with agreeing with us…it has to do with simply being a nicer person than you are. People can disagree…you don’t have to feel the way I do about the state of things, and I don’t have to agree with you…your facts are your facts…and while you deny it, you come across as the “world’s foremost authority” on everything. Fell free to fight back if you disagree…but, geez, could you at leastbe a nice human being while you’re doing it? Does being a “neocon” mean having to be nasty about everything you say? I don’t think so…I really do feel that you’re probably a nicer guy than that. But if you want to disagree with me on that, feel free…

    Life is simply too short to be mean, angry, divisive…and besides, how boring would life be if we were all identical to you…

    Comment by Jan — 1:19 am September 27, 2007 #

  20. Jan: It is just not worth it. This guy needs to always be right and he’s going to keep twisting your arguments to suit his agenda. It is just a waste of everyone’s time and just another example of how the anonymity of the Net can really appeal to some folks in perhaps not such healthy ways. It is not necessary to prove your point to him in order to be right.

    To recap my original points: High gas prices: good. Over-use of cars: bad. Thoughtful architecture and conscious urban planning: good. Mindless random sprawl and waste of resources: bad.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 7:58 am September 27, 2007 #

  21. What the heck is a “Moonbat?” It sounds awesome–I wanna be a Moonbat!

    Comment by Moonbat-to-be — 8:07 am September 27, 2007 #

  22. Moonbat-2-be: It’s a term used derisively on conservative talk shows and in conservative online discussions, to refer to liberals. Wikipedia entry here. Always makes me think of California politician Jerry Brown, described as “Governor Moonbeam” during his first heyday.

    Comment by WSB — 9:11 am September 27, 2007 #

  23. Wow, I was already a Moonbat and didn’t even know it! That would be a great license plate.

    Comment by Moonbat — 11:06 am September 27, 2007 #

  24. From Jerry Brown to “I’ll be back” Arnie….definitely an interesting state… :)

    Christopher…I totally agree :)

    Comment by Jan — 11:22 am September 27, 2007 #

  25. Does being a “neocon” mean having to be nasty about everything you say?

    Again, other than when warranted, how exactly was I being nasty. By reciting facts? Well-known history? You keep saying that I’m being “nasty”, but you’ve yet to point out (other than, again, when warranted) where I’m being as such. Heck, maybe it’s the complete sentences sans ellipses, or my short, crisp sentences that are what’s throwing you, I don’t know. Whatever it is, try and point it out vs. throwing out accusations.

    As for being the “foremost authority on everything”, to use coffee geek’s words, that’s a straw man statement if I ever heard one. But I will tell you this: I’m not in the least the foremost authority on everything, or even on many subjects. Yet on what CB stated? I know a LOT more about economics, history, the Constitution, taxes, and being tolerant of suburbanites with chemically treated lawns than he’ll ever be.

    And while CB may not have directly stated or called for government-inflicted gas taxes (aka: taxation without representation—or, at least, none where we as citizens get to vote on), what he asks for (artificially higher gas prices) are only achieved through government-inflicted taxes. He completely fails to see that AND the consequences and ramifications of his desires.

    In the end, this much is clear: Neither of you has attempted to refute or debate any of the counter-arguments I’ve brought up or made. Both of you have dismissed or completely and utterly ignored them with flippant remarks and are more in favor of disparaging me as some “unhealthy” kook on the Net. I don’t know why. Maybe you know your arguments are defenseless or you lack the knowledge to defend them. Or that you’re too blind to see the consequences of your visions. If none any of those, thrill us with your acumen; and do so with facts, not revisionist spins on history, misplaced utopian dreams of yore or the dismissing of real-world things like taxes. Otherwise, it’s YOU two that are the ones with the real “issues”.

    Comment by OP — 2:00 am September 29, 2007 #

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