Contest! Guess the day that gas will hit $4 $2 $1 per gallon in Northfield

suv-econ-gas-pump.jpg.w300h294 The AP has this story posted this aft: Gasoline prices hit national average of $4 for the first time, expected to go higher.

Rather than a straw poll, let’s have a contest for guessing the day that a gallon of regular gas hits $4 right here in river city.

Attach a comment with the date of your guess. Use the format of month/day, eg: June 8.

Contest closes at 6:15 am on Tuesday, June. 10, which is about the time that I boot up my computer at a local coffeeshop. Only one entry per person, please. You may guess the same day as someone else.

Winner(s) will have their name and photo blogged on LG and mentioned on our podcast.  If you’re cute a nice person, I might invite you to coffee.

Update Oct. 26: New contest since the price today is $2.38 and continuing to fall.

Update Nov. 23: New contest since the price today is $1.68 and continuing to fall.


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    “Fool me once (1973-74), shame on you. Fool me twice (1979-80), well shame on you again because this is America, dammit. Fool me three times (2006-2008), well whatthe$#&*?!? You mean I can’t keep partying like it’s 1999? Fool me four times (2009?)…”

    sounds like the lyrics of a hit song Bruce.

    just keep pedaling.

    November 7, 2008
  2. john george said:

    Patrick & Jerold- That Chevy looks like a real winner. Just wondering how the battery does in Minnesotam in January at 20 below. To run out of juice on 35 down in northern Iowa would be revolting to say the least. This is a car that you probably never cease charging, like some people with their credit cards. Ok. I’ll stop now, but just for a little while.

    November 7, 2008
  3. Peter Millin said:


    I read the link you provided and while there seems to be more action on cold fusion it still is not a viable solution at this point.

    It took Edison 2000 tries to invent the light bulb, so there is still hope.

    November 7, 2008
  4. John S. Thomas said:

    $1.99 gas at Kwik Trip and Super America when I drove by at about 9 PM this evening.

    November 7, 2008
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, John. Here’s proof of $1.99/gal gas at Kwik Trip:


    November 8, 2008
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Will it keep going doing as the recession deepens? Or will it soon start to rise as OPEC cuts production?

    November 8, 2008
  7. John S. Thomas said:

    I want to think it will continue to fall in the short term.

    Supposedly, there is supposed to be a 6 week lag built into the system between the market price of a barrel of oil, and the refined retail gasoline price. (this is supposedly the time it takes to get a barrel to the ground, moved, and refined)

    Estimates showed that the price passthrough from the spot to the retail market is complete within two-and-one-half months, with about 50 percent of the change occurring within 2 weeks and 80 percent within 4 weeks.


    I do know that a barrel of crude oil will produce about 42 gallons of gasoline. If prices moved in lock step, a $1 increase or decrease in the price of crude would result in a 2.4 cents move (1/42 of a dollar) in the price of gasoline. At the price of $147 per barrel, this summer’s peak for crude, would translate into $3.50 per gallon for unrefined gasoline, before state and federal taxes, and retailer markup is added.

    If that holds true, the current price of oil is $61.04 this morning (

    $61.04 * 0.024 = $1.46496 per gallon

    Again, this is before state and federal taxes, and dealer markup. (I believe that the current MN Gas tax is around 25.5 cents per gallon.)

    This would make the base price around $1.72 this morning, before markup. I do not think that the allowable markup is $0.27 per gallon though. (I think it is around 3 cents per gallon?)

    So, based on that, I would say yes, gasoline will continue to drop in the short term.

    I hope that helps!

    November 8, 2008
  8. Patrick Enders said:

    You ask an interesting question. As far as the battery in winter, the premise of the Volt is that the wheels are turned entirely by electrical power, but there is also a gas-fueled generator on board to burn gas to recharge the batteries as needed.

    I’ve had little trouble with regular car batteries in cold weather (and I haven’t required a plug-in heating block since my 1977 Accord), but it’s gotta help a typical car battery to be sitting near that large, heat generating engine.

    The other part I wonder about is the power steering and the brakes and such in a Volt. My current car drives like a brick when I first start it up on a cold morning. Without the heat of the engine to warm them up, how well will the non-battery parts of the Volt operate in sub-zero weather?

    My general thought is that most Minnesotans should not buy a first generation Volt. Let other people test drive the thing first, and wait for the new-and-improved models that follow.

    November 8, 2008
  9. John S. Thomas said:


    I would have to agree with you. The volt has been in development for a while, and has suddenly sprung on the stage.

    However, our government just gave $25 billion to the big three car companies to re-tool to make more energy efficient vehicles, and all they can come up with is hybrid Escalades. I believe that the Big Three just do not get it yet. We need safe, all weather vehicles that get 40+ MPG.

    What frustrates me is that everyone is flocking to the smart car, and I think it is a great product. However, with the pollution restrictions put on by the EPA, it only averages 36 MPG. This is great, but my 2004 Dodge Neon averages 32, and I can move 4 people.

    It is a start… but I think that the automakers can do better.

    Personally, I am looking forward to the CityZENN coming out, which will use ultracapacitors, and have a range of 250 miles on a charge, and be able to do up to 80 mph. (

    I would like to see us go to NO OIL instead of LESS OIL. I really want to see alternatives.

    November 8, 2008
  10. john george said:

    Patrick- As far as the accessories on that car, (power steering, brakes, etc) I’m assuming they would be electronically controled. Most power steering is hydrolic and the engine runs a pump for the oil. That is why in the winter, when the oil is cold, it ia a little stiff. Also, when the engine stops, you must force oil back through the pump to steer. This adds a lot of effort. Electric assist would eliminate these problems. Also, the power brakes are vacuum operated, and without an internal combustion engine sucking air through the intake manifold, there is no vacuum. I’m assuming they are electrically boosted.

    On the batteries, I thought they were distributed throughout the frame under the passenger compartment for better weight distribution. Those things are really heavy. That would put them away from any heat generated by the motor. I haven’t seen a cut-away of the latest configuration, though.

    November 8, 2008
  11. Jerry Bilek said:

    just read this:
    “The price of gas, which was running $11/gallon in Italy in September, even with a favorable Euro vs. dollar exchange rate, has produced a heightened interest in bicycle commuting.

    At the show’s opening ceremony, the mayor of Milan described the recent focus of the city on building bike paths. This is not a simple task in a city founded nearly a thousand years ago, with a chaotic street plan based on the positions of the defensive walls surrounding the city at ever-increasing radius from the center over the centuries.”

    full story:—a-visit-to-the-milan-bike

    November 8, 2008
  12. Jerry Friedman said:

    First, I’m officially switching to my nickname “Jerry” — I used my formal name, Jerold, only for the election.

    More importantly…

    John T: The ZENN car looks hot! I also like Honda’s options including zero-emission vehicles. The Honda Insight is being overhauled for a 2010 release.

    November 9, 2008
  13. I saw gas at $1.99 last night at Super America (I think that was the station).

    I suppose the other stations will follow through today.

    November 9, 2008
  14. David Henson said:

    US wholesale petrol prices fell below $1 a gallon this week for the first time since the current Nymex contract specification came into existence in 2006. Nymex December RBOB unleaded gasoline touched a low of $0.9870 a gallon on Friday before recovering to trade 0.03 cents higher at $1.0354, down 16.4 per cent this week.

    November 22, 2008
  15. Griff Wigley said:

    Price is down to $1.68 locally. I’ve changed the headline again. Could we get to $1/gallon?

    November 23, 2008
  16. Jerry Friedman said:

    A barrel of oil for $2.00? In high school, I recall hearing that gas is cheap for Middle East consumers, but water is expensive. I’d rather have cheap water.

    December 19, 2008

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