It’s a bird. A plane. It’s…Super Spike!

Goldman Sachs analysts now say they can foresee another $80 tacked onto the new $122 a barrel oil record. It’s an extension of their “super spike” theory, the one that once predicted (SHOCKING!) oil at $105 a barrel.

Assume for argument’s sake that that everyone keeps getting, proportionately, the same piece of oil’s financial action that they’re getting now. That would put gas at about $5.72 a gallon or more when oil hits the magic $200 mark.

We’re talking $100 for a typical 17 gallon tank that was costing you just $34 as recently as the last time the White House was up for grabs.

At some point you might as well just get out and push. (That’s actually why I quit driving the nitro-fueled funny car to work. I do miss the 93-second commute, but then again, it was hard to park.)

camaro.jpgBut is $5.72-per-gallon gas the straw that’s going to break the Camaro’s back?

Probably not.

If you’re driving 40 miles each way every workday, $200-a-barrel gas is going to cost you maybe an additional $100 a month from what you’re paying now.

That’s a lot, but what’s the alternative? Selling your house and moving closer to work? You’d have to move halfway closer to the job and pay a bargain-basement $200,000 mortgage for five years to recoup just the bank fees with your gas savings.

And that’s saying nothing of the bath you took on the real estate, the stuff you broke during the move or what you’re actually saving when gas drops back to a relatively reasonable $5 per gallon.

How about selling your car and getting something more reasonable? If you’re getting 20 miles a gallon now, you’d have to trade in for a 32 mpg model to match today’s per-mile fuel cost.

You know what vehicle gets 32 mpg, according to Car and Driver magazine?

The Smart Car.

Yeah, that little French two-seat number that looks like the egg that Robin Williams popped out of in the opening credits of Mork and Mindy. But with wheels.

The Smart Car is four feet shorter than a Volkswagen Beetle. AND it requires high buck 91-octane gas, to boot. You aren’t trading the Corolla in for that thing, let alone the Volvo XC70 or the Ford F150 XLT.

Here’s what the News Cut Strategic Global Petroleum Index Assessment™ says: Whatever Goldman Sachs says oil is going to cost, you’re gonna pay it.


  • Tim, I have heard from a (usually) reliable source that Twin Cities gas prices will go up today, perhaps hitting a new local record. Fill that tank ASAP, folks…

    Got flex fuel? Try E85 instead (click on my name to find where to buy it)

  • Andy

    When can I get a government subsidy to pay for corn gas? Ethanol producers get huge subsidies to produce it – it only seems fair to me. Ethanol is not the answer. Using food for fuel is a dead end.

  • eatmorebeansamericaneedsgas

    ok so using food for fuel is a dead end-but in the mean time-how do you know if your car can even take E85? Is there a website that tells makes and models and gas requirements.

    also I have heard that E85 is hard on your engine-is that true. I have also heard that once you start using E85 on your car you have to use it all the time-how true is that one? anyone?

  • bsimon

    eatbeans- you are somewhat misinformed.

    Your owner’s manual will tell you if your car is a flex-fuel vehicle (i.e. will safely run on e85).

    You might also try a google search for more information.

    E85 is not ‘hard’ on engines designed to use it. Using it in engines not designed for e85 is usually not a problem with the ‘engine’ per se, but with the fuel delivery mechanisms – mostly the materials used in hoses and fittings that might suffer accelerated deterioration when exposed to high concentrations of alcohol.

    Lastly, no, it is not true. You do not have to use e85 all the time once you make the switch. I usually fill up with e85 (in a ford ranger), but when I’m running low & am not near a station that carries alcohol, I’ll fill up with gasoline. no biggie.

    *caveat* there are people doing conversions on cars not designed to run e85 to enable them to run e85. If you do such a thing to your car, it may require you to fill up on e85 all the time. That’s not a very practical solution, given that e85 is not universally available.

  • The guy you hate being stuck behind on your commute home

    Here’s an easy fix: DON’T DRIVE FAST

    You don’t need a smartcar, or an E85 car.

    I get 40 mpg (yes, that’s 4-0 miles per gallon) with my 5-speed 2004 Honda Civic. No fancy hybrid, no expensive lithum battery. I just follow three simple rules: easy, coast, calm.

    Easy – When the light turns green, this isn’t NASCAR, go easy on the gas, accelerate slowly.

    coast – If you see brake lights ahead of you, don’t keep speeding away and then jam on the brakes 2 feet away from the other car. Just take your foot OFF the gas and coast.

    calm – Just calm down people, if you get home 10 minutes later, is your life REALLY ruined? Would you rather have more money in your pocket, or more time at home to stuff your fat face with Doritos?

    …and by the way, the corn used to make ethanol is NOT used for food. Sweet corn is grown for food, and FIELD corn is used for ethanol and livestock feed. In case you’re thinking “but that will make livestock prices higher”, you’d be wrong. The corn used in making ethanol doesn’t disappear, the leftover mash is called “wet-milled grain” (look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Wet-milled grain is an incredibly nutrious form of animal-feed. Don’t give in to corporate and media propaganda, think for yourself.

  • Tanya

    Maybe with rising fuel costs we can get our neighborhood schools back. As a parent in Mpls we have a 3 schools with walking distant for the kids.

    remember exercise ? As for city bus service, when will we see those prices rise ? and can we get more service for those in the burbs ? All those people can’t move to the city at once.

  • Andy

    “don’t drive fast” guy

    What you’re doing is called hyper-miling and it’s a great way to get as much distance out of each gallon of gas possible. I do the same techniques with my Mazda3 with a 5-speed manual and I’m getting close to 40 mpg.

    As far as your thoughts on ethanol, I still can’t agree with you. First, the cattle we eat are being fed corn because it is very cheap compared to being fed grass. Corn however is very bad for cows to eat, it just fattens them up quicker so they can be slaughtered and eaten quicker. I’m not a vegetarian or anything, these are just the facts. I’ll stop believing the media when you stop believing what the government tells you.

    There is a very good documentary called ‘King Corn’ that does a great job of explaining where our food comes from.


  • eatmorebeansamericaneedsgas

    DEAR :The guy you hate being stuck behind on your commute home

    and Andy

    I love you both. You both have good ideas.

    I will drive home slow, and stay calm (I got the coastin thing down pretty good, my life is coastin’) when I get home I will continue to eat beans and I will watch Corn King Documentary.

    I will never trust the media or the government.

  • bsimon

    If you prefer reading to watching television, Michael Pollan writes extensively about corn’s place in the foodchain in “Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

  • eatmorebeansamericaneedsgas

    and I also love bsimon-

    I did look on google already and will check my manual when I get home before I I watch the Documentaries Corn King and Omnivore’s Dilemma.

  • GregS

    I am not sure why you brought up the SmartCar, Bob. It really does not get that good of mileage. It was marketed in Europe for its ability to park in half the space, not save on gas.

    It’s mileage is comparable to a Honda Civic

  • Doug

    I’ve been slowing down…and using cruise a lot more lately. Amazing. Why didn’t I try this sooner?

    I’m now realizing how crazy it is to see so many cars and TRUCKS flying by…

  • I am not sure why you brought up the SmartCar, Bob. It really does not get that good of mileage. It was marketed in Europe for its ability to park in half the space, not save on gas.

    It’s mileage is comparable to a Honda Civic.

    The Civic hybrid maybe, not the gasoline powered Civic.

    Using the newly formulated 2008 mpg ratings:

    Smartcar – 33 city/ 41 hwy

    Honda Civic (5 spd Manual) – 26 city / 34 hwy

  • jacob

    Encourage elected state officials to put improving a reliable mass transit system on the top of the to-do list?

    Nah…that’s silly. Let’s just pay $100 a week on gas.