• Jun 20, 2011
The Price of Gas – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Center for Investigative Reporting has put together an interesting video explaining the true cost of gasoline to the American public. While gas may have dropped to below $4 a gallon in recent weeks, the video explains that we are really paying closer to $15 a gallon! How's that you ask? Well, there are many hidden costs such as:
  • Health effects due to gasoline related pollution. In 2008, CSU Fullerton's Institute for Economic and Environmental Studies released a report showing that the cost of air pollution for the greater Los Angeles area adds up to more than $1,250 per person per year, and is more than $1,600 per person in California's Central Valley. In addition to all the medical costs of asthma, and other respiratory illnesses, there are lost workdays, and missing school days that factor in.

  • Reduced crop yields due to air pollution. The U.S. Global Change Research Program released a report in 2009 that showed greenhouse gases can reduce crop yields for "soybeans, wheat, oats, green beans, peppers and some types of cotton."

  • Cleaning up oil spills and leaking gasoline storage tanks. While this one is harder to quantify, some estimates on the Gulf spill cleanup are upwards of $20 billion, although we would hope BP is footing the bill for that one. But besides the large oil spills there are thousands of leaking gasoline storage tanks that the EPA cleans up (they've already cleaned up over 400,000 in the last 30 years).
It's interesting to note there is no mention of military spending in the video, so depending upon how related you feel our military presence in the Middle East is to foreign oil security, you may have to tack on a few dollars to the $15 tag. The five-minute video is available after the jump.

[Source: California Watch]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ron Paul recognizes the wars as Oil Wars, but, as he'd be a disaster for most Americans with his war on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, he can't be taken as a serious candidate. The rich have Absolutely No Concept how the bottom 99% live.
        EJ
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ford Future
        "The rich have Absolutely No Concept how the bottom 99% live" They know exactly how they live. That's how they knew how to convince them that driving SUVs is their God given right, and the only proper way to express their freedom as a true American. It's how they convinced them that it's their right as an American to make a lifestyle choice that has them treating their type II with pharmaceuticals from age 22 till death. The rich know exactly how the bottom lives, and they can't can't believe how easy it is to keep them distracted. Now excuse me while I go to my Americans for Prosperity rally...
          Dave D
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EJ
          SirVix, No, you clearly can't blame it all on rich people because everyone is responsible for their own actions in the end. But you also can't deny that people like the Koch brothers spend crazy amounts of money for ads and misinformation that play on the fears and prejudices of less educated people. It is not even debated that people tend to believe things they hear often enough and start to believe they are "facts". The super rich, both individuals and corporations, are able to do this on a crazy scale. But I also don't believe that liberal groups such as unions do the same thing the other way. When are we going to realize that the only way to take these people and this insanity out of the equation? Elections should only last about 12 weeks and should only be allowed to have a fixed budget. There is nothing other than brain-washing to be accomplished by a political war chest that allows someone to repeat the same crap during every TV commercial for months and months and months leading up to an election. There is NOTHING to be accomplished by allowing corporations (or unions, as well) to act like "individuals" and spend tens or hundreds of millions on an election. Boy, did the Supreme Court screw the pooch on that one.
          Dave D
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EJ
          I meant to say: " But I also don't believe that liberal groups such as unions should do the same thing the other way. " damn it, we have to put up with this shitty commenting system and we STILL don't have an edit feature???
          super390
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EJ
          Yes, sirvixisvexed, it's called "Advertising". Have you priced a 30-second spot on prime-time TV lately? Well, millions of those spots have been paying for television for 60 years. The rich are not doing it for fun, they're doing it to get richer. And they have, while for the last 30 years the rest of us on average have had to work longer hours just to avoid getting poorer. So we buy more and more stuff so that we can convince ourselves that our lives are still getting better, then we get home equity loans to buy more stuff, then we run out of money and lose our homes.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EJ
          I can't tell if you're serious. Do you really think people make bad choices because someone "rich" convinced them to?
        NV775
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ford Future
        Sorry to get political on Autoblog, but fordinsight needs some insight. Ron Paul would not rage a war against Social Security! He would give Americans the opportunity to manage their own retirement! The current political establishment has waged a war on Social Security by using the SS fund as part of the general fund, which is the reason why SS will bankrupt much sooner than it should. Ron Paul calls it like it is, and he does not tell you everything you want to hear (lies and no follow through once elected) like a certain politician currently in the white house... Anyways, if the Constitution is important to you then vote Ron Paul 2012!
          Chris M
          • 1 Day Ago
          @NV775
          Sorry but we already have the opportunity to manage our own retirement funds, we have Individual Retirement Accounts and 401Ks and Keogh and SIMPLE accounts that we can fiddle with and risk in the stock market or other investments, however we please. Ron Paul's plan to "privatize" Social Security basically turns it into just another IRA that would be devastated in an economic crash, not the reliable retirement foundation we need. The borrowing from the SS funds is indeed a problem, but it was going on long before the current administration - raiding SS funds was a favorite tactic of "borrow and spend" conservatives who liked to cut taxes but never cut spending to match, resulting in huge deficits during the Reagan and Bush years. Over half the national debt was acquired under 3 conservative Republican Presidents. Now the "Conservatives" want to end or "privatize" Social Security so they won't have to raise taxes to pay back the funds they "borrowed". Ron Paul doesn't always "call it like it is". When Congress spends money in someone else's district, he rails against those "earmarks" and complains loudly. When Congress spends money in his district, well, he applauds that as "returning taxpayer money to the taxpayers". Paul apparently believes his district is the only one with taxpayers - but in reality, it is one of many "red state" districts that gets more money from Washington than it pays in taxes.
          GoodCheer
          • 1 Day Ago
          @NV775
          "He would give Americans the opportunity to manage their own retirement!" You already have that opportunity. Saving money is hard are requires a great deal of discipline. Most Americans are not even able to save enough to deal with being laid off for a year, but he expects them to be able to save enough to retire sensibly? Fat chance. And before you say we can't save because of all the taxes we pay: No. For any amount you take home after taxes, there are (a few) people making that much or less who are saving. So it can be done. So blaming lack of savings on somebody else ("The Government") is BS. The reason we as a country don't have savings is because we don't have the discipline.
          super390
          • 1 Day Ago
          @NV775
          Yeah, because before Social Security the stock market NEVER crashed and wiped out millions of old people's savings. The rich are pumping and dumping that asset called America with these "free market" "entrepreneurial" financial bubbles, and if you want to know what the final pump and dumps will be, just look at the Right's agenda: a bubble from privatizing every damn public good in America back to the 19th century which obviously the citizens of that time hated, and a bubble from all that Social Security money being diverted into Wall Street. Two more bubbles and crashes, and then they all flee to their private islands while America is taken over by redneck theocrats.
          Neevers1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @NV775
          Sorry Ron Paul is a idiot. That's all I have to say. I'm not going to waste anymore time on that guy.
          • 1 Day Ago
          @NV775
          Libertarians are just Republicans who want to buy drugs and women without legal penalty. They are not your friends unless you have lots and lots of money.
      sirvixisvexed
      • 1 Day Ago
      Makes electric car skepticism seem pretty ridiculous! Though oil tankers will be on the ocean regardless if every car was electric. No oil is much more complicated than just using oil-less cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is so incredibly ill informed I don't even know where to begin.... Clearly the people who made these video's would have us living in tents fighting off starvation and the occasional wild beast with nothing but sticks.....
      kitharris1
      • 1 Day Ago
      after an extensive study, i have calculated the true cost of green energy. it's the equivalent of $45 dollars a gallon of gas. it will further kill our economy and jobs and would be the equivalent of billions and billions of cocker spaniels! if this is the stuff these kids learn in college, they need to get a real job before they go to a school of higher learning! as i've always said garbage in equals garbage out, but the presentation looks pretty, if you don't have a brain. haha. as obama said "just air up your tires, now let me get on to something important like raising health care prices for the working man"!
      kitharris1
      • 1 Day Ago
      i humbly retract my last statement. my bad!
      kitharris1
      • 1 Day Ago
      the green scenescreens anything that is an arguement againt it! hahahahahahahahahahaha
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 1 Day Ago
      they forget the occasional wars. those aren't cheap. even if we assign no value to the million iraqis that were killed based on lies. you might also include the losses in the economy from crashes caused by the peak oil crunch. like it happened in 2008. and influences from global warming like maybe katrina and various drouts and much much more in the future.
      super390
      • 1 Day Ago
      And note how the right-winger has completely ducked the issue of whether gasoline really has hidden costs of $11 a gallon, which implies that American capitalism is not transparent and that businessmen are passing massive harmful externalities onto us?
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      I knew that this website is a promoting gasoline outlet subsidised by the oil cartel. They always say that gasoline is cheap by the left ear and that we must pay more for an alternative like battery car that nobody want and nobody want to sale.
        Ford Future
        • 1 Day Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Gorr, How do you determine the Optimal Transportation Strategy? By finding all costs, including the "negative externalities" that companies Absolutely Don't Want you to Calculate. We could run on gas forever and saddle our economy with Last Place Performance. Going Electric means we Select the Best Strategy with Jobs in the US, with power produced in the US and with a Cleaner environment, with our children having higher IQ's. Plus, US jobs means the Economic Multiplier of Jobs, affects This Country. There's nothing stopping the Oil Industry from converting in the Electric Industry! I'd buy an EV from Exxon, if they partner with Ford and build an advanced battery plant and spend some real money to make American Number One Again. If the oil industry is filled with incompetent CEO's who can't bring themselves to Invest in Solutions America Needs, then what are we supposed to do? Accept LAST PLACE? This is Economic and Environmental War.
      letstakeawalk
      • 1 Day Ago
      It doesn't take a war to power my bicycle.
        sirvixisvexed
        • 1 Day Ago
        @letstakeawalk
        Such a tired argument that is, and although i fully agree that oil is dirty and the world would be a better place if we all focused on alternatives, jihaders hate the west regardless of our trade with them. They hate western culture, they'd almost like to forget that we give them billions for their oil, because they want more reasons to hate. The "oil war" thing is also very indirect which makes it a weak argument. US troops don't "muscle their way into countries and take over oil fields and man them themselves" like so many on the left have literally dreamed up, they remove poisonous regimes and as a result free trade can happen again, which as a result allows said country to trade their oil again. (not even just their oil to the US, their oil to all countries)
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          sirvix, wow that is a spectacularly naive view. US foreign policy goes out of its way to **** up. you can start by looking up salvador allende.
          skierpage
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          The one consistent overarching demand of Jihadis is US troops out of Muslim lands. So why are US troops in Muslim lands? I'm not arguing with your points, but they're tangential to that core issue.
          GoodCheer
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          "US troops (....) remove poisonous regimes and as a result free trade can happen" Surely you see what an optimistic and charitable interpretation this is. We've had far wider ranging impacts than simply insuring free trade.
          EJ
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          "and man them themselves" Of course not, silly, that's what Haliburton is for...
          sirvixisvexed
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          GC, that's what they do, whether they SHOULD or not, is an entirely separate issue. Vietnam was a horrible choice, iraq 2004 was unnecessary, and on the other hand world war 2 totally was appropriate, and so was Afghanistan. Skierpage, they want americans out of muslim lands because they see westernization like wearing jeans and having women treated as equals as evil and horrific. Then, after we get out of their lands, their next wish would be to have their lands expand, and their next wish, for their lands to take over ours and islam-ify the whole world. It's a first-things-first kind of wish. Do they only suicide bomb the US? No! They suicide bomb lots of nations in western europe. They suicide bomb non-muslim countries all over the world. And it's not because they want that country to get off of their land.
          super390
          • 1 Day Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          1. Google "Project for A New American Century", which Cheney founded on the principle that the US must dominate the world forever by any means necessary, most easily by conquering Iraq and Iran and installing US-friendly regimes that would give the US control over world oil markets. That's what Cheney's fellow PNAC "scholars" wrote in the '90s, and in 2001 they were rewarded with jobs in the White House, where they planned the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Too bad the people of Iraq fought back and our oil companies were too cowardly to move in. 2. Do you know the damn slightest thing about Middle Eastern history except what Israel taught you? There were no "jihaders" in 1973, when the Saudis embargoed oil to the US for its support for Israel (just as the US embargoed Japan in 1941, triggering the Pearl Harbor attack). So Henry Kissinger wrote a magazine article under an assumed name describing exactly which US military units he'd use to invade Saudi Arabia. The Sauds got the message, and ever since have been the voices of moderation in OPEC (it was actually the old Shah of Iran who was the price gouger), and have even gotten OPEC to denominate all oil purchases in US dollars, which is probably the single biggest thing that has saved America from financial collapse for the last 40 years. The Saudi people had no say in this. Then the US paid Sadat and Mubarak to betray the wishes of the Egyptian people (until last March). How do you think General Mubarak obtained a personal fortune estimated at $30,000,000,000? The brutal, pro-US governments there tortured and murdered all critics, forcing the survivors to flee and turn to revolution. And that's where your "jihaders" came from. Oh, except for the ones Reagan trained in Afghanistan, who then spread abroad with the help of our allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Whoops. As for the idea that cultural and corporate imperialism by the US is okay and Moslems have no right to fight our whoring and corruption via aforementioned dictators, have you ever heard of the Opium Wars? A British multinational corporation, the East India Co, prospered by enslaving India and using it to grow opium to flood China, deepening its internal crisis. When China banned opium, Britain declared war on it on the grounds that it violated your blessed "free trade", setting China on the road to collapse and revival under a regime that refuses to let our corporations write the laws. When the East India Co.'s greed and cruelty caused a great Indian rebellion, the Queen gave it the ultimate government bailout; she sent every damn soldier she had to conquer India and secure the opium racket. Where did all those profits go? Consider that Britain was the number one foreign investor in the US before World War I reversed the flow of gold.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @letstakeawalk
        Actually, modern agriculture uses a crapton of oil in processing, the production of fertilizers, transportation, etc. The only way for a bicycle to not be powered by oil is to eat all locally grown organic food.
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Electric tractors work rather well, and whilst I am sceptical about the use of biofuels for general transport, for agriculture where they can be produced in situ they make a great deal of sense. Most fertiliser is produced from natural gas.
          Ryan
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I have a garden in my backyard, pick berries along the bike trail, and ride to the farmer's market (and buy from the Amish). It's not always easy, but it's possible. But, we aren't looking to get down to 0 oil necessarily. Just about 1/10th of what gets used today.
      Dave D
      • 1 Day Ago
      I'm really torn on this one. I agree with everything they say, but I think this is useless because it is the text book definition of preaching to the choir. Anybody who believes in climate change already knows/believes everything this video says. It may put a number against the cost, but that's the only new information. The people we have to reach if we really want to change anything are conservatives who believe like Michelle Bachmann that the EPA, and anyone who thinks like them, are "job killers". The moment you start talk about GHG or GW, they roll their eyes and find something else to do. You simply can't "convert them". You can find common ground: Money going out of our economy to buy foreign oil is the lowest hanging fruit. Next is the cost of the military and the wars. People want us out of Afghanistan with large majorities polling that way for the first time since we went in there 10 years ago! Making more videos and slogans about climate change is fun for all of us tree hugger types, but it's a giant exercise in mutual masturbation. It may feel good, but it doesn't produce anything.
      • 1 Day Ago
      This is one of the best explanations I've seen about externalities. woof! This is the reason I love renewable energy tied to hydrogen fuel production. Thanks for making this paradigm shifting video. Sincerely, Andrew Heath
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