Pop Quiz: which is more expensive to produce?
1. One hundred units each of 17 different types of MP3 players
2. Seventeen hundred of 1 type of MP3 player
Answer: Generally speaking, option #2....just 1 type of MP3 player.
Pretty easy question, huh? If it's that easy, why doesn't our country figure that out in regards to gas production? According to Exxon/Mobil, our country has legislated 17 different formulations of unleaded gasoline as the state and county level.
Take a look above, 17 different formulations with the specialty mixes dominating the most populated areas. There is even a little slice of west Texas with its own type of gas that one one else in the country uses. My home state of Oregon requires 3 different types, and the hardly populated state of Nevada requires 4.
Any wonder why gas prices are so high? The limited (and old) refineries in our country have to produce 17 different types of gas. When one goes offline, another has to retool to make a different type of gas than they usually do. When there may be excess crude on the market or crude at lower prices, not just any refinery can buy it and produce gas for the geography they serve.
Instead of wasting time with Congressional hearings and oil executive questioning, when is someone in government going to stand up and standardize US gas requirements? Does anyone doubt that we could get by with 1, 2 or even up to 4 formulations?
Does the presidential candidate you support plan on changing this if they are elected? If you don't know, you might want to ask.
-Jeff the Great