The True Cost of Gas

Although this video isn’t about utility cycling per say, it’s a good deconstruction of the price we pay for gas at the pump versus the “true” (or broader) cost of gas. I like how it contextualizes the act of pumping gasoline into your car and puts that act into the bigger picture to show that even small acts can have a big impact. So that being said, riding your bike now and again, whether it be to run errands, a daily commute, or even for socializing with friends or family, can also have a bigger impact than perhaps we might think.Via Bike Blog NYC & Huffington Post.


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5 thoughts on “The True Cost of Gas”

  1. Chrehn says:

    I like the video showing the less than obvious costs of gasoline. On ChrisMartenson.com he shows the true cost of gas by putting one gallon of gas in a car, driving it until it runs out of gas, and then asking how much you would pay a human to push that car back to the starting point.

  2. Matt says:

    Thank you. I’m sure most of your audience knows that the true cost of cost is far greater than what we pay at the pump but this video spells it out in a way that leaves no doubt. Anybody that drives needs to see this.If we’re ever going to start using less fuel every one of us needs to make a commitment to do something however small to start using less. As the video makes clear even a savings of 1 gallon of gas per tank full times every driver in the US would make a substantial difference. I can do that. Can you?

  3. Ted Johnson says:

    $6 per gallon?

    $8 per gallon?

    I think these are still low-ball estimates, but the full cost probably isn’t as easy to portray in a short and accessible cartoon.

    Portraying our societal investments in creating and sustaining a car-centric national culture would make for a video that only an economist would love (to argue about).

    How much do I pay annually in taxes in subsidies for car makers and oil companies, for that portion of military budget that goes to oil security, for all the concrete and asphalt needed by gas-powered vehicles? What would be the annual cost of negating the environmental cost of all the above?

    If you could add all of that up and divide it by how many gallons of gas we consume in America per year (138.6 billion, according to the IEA you’d have a good idea of the surcharge I think we should be paying at the pump, instead of paying it to the IRS once a year.

    I’m pretty sure it would make gas more than $8 per gallon.

  4. Here’s a good movie, although perhaps a bit apocalyptic for my taste, that does a good job of digging a little deeper in all of the costs associated with oil: http://www.endofsuburbia.com/

    It should also be noted, we don’t just use oil in our car tanks. Our lives are completely inundated with petroleum products, from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the homes we live in. There are few products not touched by petroleum products available today. Oh yea. Even bicycles.

    How do you measure that?

    I don’t think we can or should. The point of this video, as I see it, is that maybe we should sweat the small stuff. Like a short car trip. Go sweat it out on your bike instead and save some gas…even though you are going to have to eat more after you are done riding because you are hungry from exerting that energy, but don’t forget, your food came all the way to your kitchen from Chile or Australia or California or wherever using petroleum all along the way…

  5. jef says:

    yup, my cost estimates tell me that I save 50 cents for every mile I ride rather than drive. So, while this may be small potatoes as far as my wallet is concerned, my body is repaired & rejuvenated each time I get in the saddle. I mean, I always need the exercise. Since the time I save by driving goes to other pursuits: computer time, TV, reading- any old sedentary pursuit- I’m well served by time in the saddle. Besides, nothing beats passing a line of idling cars at the traffic light of a busy intersection. Or not having to find or pay for parking. I hope this inspires others to ride rather than drive. It does me.

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