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Phoenix Gasoline Shortage

bestnightmare

Cyburbian
Messages
61
Points
4
i am probably murdering this quotation - something like "every man is just six meals away from revolution." well, judging from the situation in the Valley of the Sun (the local euphemism for the greater Phoenix-Mesa area), it would seem, as a reader of the Arizona Republic noted in a letter to the editor this week, that "every man is just one tank of gasoline away from revolution."

this episode shows how utterly dependent most u.s. metropolitan areas are upon the automobile for transporting people from place to place. and while it is important to better secure supplies of gasoline, it's also important to think about using less of it. unfortunately, Phoenix is typical of American cities in that, outside of driving a more fuel-efficient car, there is no viable alternative - a bus that stops every 3 blocks just isn't convenient for a 15 mile suburb-to-suburb commute. and, even a Toyota Prius needs gasoline.
 
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jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I flew through Pheonix once (had a connection there). The place looked like total shit. There were expressways everywhere, even one through the airport! There was a massive grid of mile streets (like the half-mile supergrid in Chicago), but inside of each cell was just a square mile of sprawl. Nearly every one of the mile streets appeared to be a divided, limited access expressway.

I'm sure Wendell Cox loves that place.

By the way, has Cox made any comment about the gas shortage there? He seems to be loving the fact that the power outage shut down the NY Subway. I guess those "supremely resilient" cars do have their weaknesses. ;)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I've put myself on a no news diet over the past few days so maybe I'm just out of the loop. Is there a gasoline shortage in Pheonix?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I agree with jordanb. Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa is a mess. Not just the freeways, but the architecture and landscape too.

It drives me insane to fly over and see neighborhoods interspersed with desert landscape and imported sod. You friggin snowbirds just cant let go of the green, can you!?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Its a great place for Californians who are unhappy they can only afford a 1300 square foot house for their family of three.

In Phoenix they can get 3,000 square feet on an "exclusive" golf course.

People have different priorities, I guess.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
BKM said:
Its a great place for Californians who are unhappy they can only afford a 1300 square foot house for their family of three.

In Phoenix they can get 3,000 square feet on an "exclusive" golf course.
This is one thing I love about the suburban/urban debate, especially people claiming that urban housing is too expensive (usually by comparing housing of equal square-footage in the city and suburbs).

So my question is, what does the additional 1,700 square feet of housing get them, exactly? Storage space? More places to clean? Housing sizes continue to increase even as household sizes fall. What's the advantage to a bigger house?
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
Stinkin Desert!

Ditto on Jordan & Chet's observations here. I lived in the place for 22 years and left before I fried out what little brain cells I had left.

The natural climate of the desert does not reconcile with the asphalt swath now present there and I think the break in the gasoline supply (albeit temporary) speaks volumes to the long term unsustainability of the place. Wait till we have more years of weak Colorado River runoff; you can get by for a while without gas, but try getting by without water.

I imagine that 2,000 sq.ft. ranch with a pool for $100K doesn't look so good.

If you want to read somebody who forsaw all of this, read Edward Abbey's "The Blob That Ate Phoenix."
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
jordanb said:

So my question is, what does the additional 1,700 square feet of housing get them, exactly? Storage space? More places to clean? Housing sizes continue to increase even as household sizes fall. What's the advantage to a bigger house?
Part of it is status - some people assume they need it and think it equals "success." Parents are also less likely to have their kids share bedrooms.

Another part of it is that for better or worse people have more stuff today than in decades past. My house was built in the 30's. The original owners probably didn't have a dishwasher (me neither), lots of small appliances, exercise equipment, "hobby" equipment, an entertainment center, a computer, a swingset or pool (outside of course), or a 21st century amount of clothes. More and more people shop at wholesale clubs and have to store giant packages of toilet paper somewhere. This makes sense as fewer people can get convenience items conveniently.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Okay, as someone who is living out here now I can tell you a few things:

1. We encourage "green" when they are able to use the abundance of effluent from the plant.
2. Yes, it is stupid to import grass if you're not using effluent to water it.
3. We shouldn't have open air tanks or canals for holding/tansportiong water, what about evaporation?
4. We should treat water like it's gold. It's an arid climate, they should've built like it.
2. It's not a GD gas crisis. The pipeline that supplies 30% to the valley broke. Not every friggin' gas station should be out of gas- and the reason they're running out of gas is because everyone and their dog ran out and filled up the GD SUV when it was at 3/4.
3. The state as a whole is so backwards. They did this big thing that you got half off any car if you put in a natural gas tank and ran it on natural gas half time. Yeah, that never happened and people are riding around with the tags with the little blue clouds on them (they paid a one time registration of $25 or so). Natural gas sales never increased and the state isn't going back to these people that bought SUVs half-off to ask for their money back. Instead government workers are having to put more into their AZ retirement fund because the state can't afford to match us anymore. They lost hundred of millions on this "amazing plan".
4. We have no mass transit system.
5. Other than everything mentioned, the city I work for is great. Granted, it's not for any of the three listed, and we've learned/are learning from their mistakes.
 
Messages
20
Points
2
Wow, you are all beating up on my adopted homeland.

On the surface I agree with your assessment that the overall Valley of the Sun looks like sh%#. (I usually refer to it as a sewer) However, this is a very complex issue. The housing industry is the state’s “engine of growth”. Just about everyone is involved in the housing industry whether it be real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or home improvement. Large real estate firms and entitlement lawyers run the state. Our legislators are ineffective. There is no strong state government. Communities fight with one another to gain stadiums, retail stores and any thing that might increase their own tax base. On top of it, Maricopa County acts as its own fiefdom by allowing huge master planned communities to be planned and built outside of city limits. Of course, the county standards are nowhere near the same as the cities nearby and this form of development creates an inefficient infrastructure. Nevertheless, this goes on and on even though the state has a smart growth statute. Oh, did I forget to add that no one wants to pay any more in taxes. Many of the retirees live in communities that do not have to contribute to the K-12 school taxes. These same retirees who are not interested in spending a dime control the funding mechanism for many of infrastructure improvements.

However, when you compare Phoenix to other desert cities I think it is one of the better-looking desert communities. There are design guidelines in place that work to create some fairly good housing (albeit dominated by single-family) Many of the problems are temporary and will cease when communities are able to better up with the torrid pace of development.

As far as the gas crisis, it was panic driven. Big trucks and SUVs that need lots of gas dominate the Phoenix auto inventory. People also travel great distances to get to work everyday. There is little conservation in this state. (On a side note when I moved here from Wisconsin, I was shocked to find out that there were few recycling or conservation programs in place) Gas is looked at as a right. Even our governor is quoted as saying “Arizona drivers deserve to get gas when they go to gas stations," Napolitano said Tuesday. "That's not an unreasonable expectation."

So throughout this crisis, people’s patience was certainly tested. There were numerous accidents b/c traffic was backed up trying to get into stations that had gas. On one of my attempts to get gas, I was behind an idiot woman who waited in line only to try using a credit card that wouldn’t work. Instead of pulling away from the pump she got on her cell phone and spent at least five minutes screaming to whoever was on the other end. When she finally pulled away, I moved next to the pump and the station attendant came over and said they were just about out of gas and had to use what remained for the post office vehicles. (It was one of those days) I left, went home and didn’t venture out into the madness for the rest of the day. On the up side, the gas crisis has given us something to do with out time other than complaining about the terrible monsoon heat.

Today things are starting to return to normal.
PHP:
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Now I have found out that one of the reasons for our sudden 20 c per gallon price jump is because you Sun Vampires are sucking all OUR gas. This is War!, Phoenixfudlians, War!

AND, we are getting your darn monsoonal weather system, too!
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Did I hear on the news correctly that their prices "soared" to $1.49 per gallon... that is still $0.20 cheaper than I pay for the lowest grade.....
 
Messages
20
Points
2
Prices soared to around $2.00 a gallon for the low grade (87 octane) although there were some stations that charged as much as $3.99 a gallon.

AZ has no price gouging laws.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
This morning I got gas on the way to work....funny thing, where I got gas it was $1.57 for 87, across the street, the guy was trying to feed off the "gas scare" I guess and was charging $1.79. Needless to say, there was nobody at his pumps.

I hat to say it, but I wouldn't totally be bummed about a gas shortage. I'd have an excuse to ride my bike towork everyday and then stink all day, and less cars on the road to honk at me when I'm blocking traffic.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Because of the blackout gas prices here jumped 10 cents a litre. Don't ask me why prices on the east coast jumped, especially when we have our own refinery.

The price right now is 83.9 cents/litre or $3.32 CDN for a US gallon. Convert that to US and it is about $2.30USD / US Gallon
 
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