Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Futures Gas Card

Prepaid gas cards to lock in current pricing
  [vote for,

Even with the announced Opec supply cut, oil is at a historic low.

While commodity traders can take advantage of such price moves by trading on futures markets, the average person, who can sure benefit from lower gas, can't quite create a strategic petroleum reserve in their own back yard, so he can only look at the price per gallon and know with certainty that the price will be much higher when he actually needs to go anywhere.

this prepaid card buys the right to fill up the tank at current prices.

It helps the energy companies by allocating capacity they don't need.

It helps the consumer when the consumer finally wants to drive.

theircompetitor, Apr 13 2020

Something the good ol' boys in Alabama designed and built. https://en.wikipedi...GPN-2000-000630.jpg
"Hey y'all, watch this!" [doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020]

There Is A Happy Land ... https://genius.com/...far-far-away-lyrics
"Why will you doubting stand, why still delay?" [8th of 7, Apr 25 2020]


       I have a prepaid card for gas. As soon as the price went down I put a lot of credit on it. There's no tank, its town gas, but the meter registers in m^3 rather than £ so you can to an extent do gas price futures trading with it.
pocmloc, Apr 13 2020

theircompetitor, Apr 13 2020

       Is there, perhaps, some confusion here between US "gas" = "gasoline" = a petroleum-based liquid fuel, and UK "gas" = fuel supplied and burned as a gas, not a liquid (e.g., "natural gas", "town gas", methane)?
pertinax, Apr 13 2020

       Yes, there is. The Americans have been getting it wrong for generations...   

       There's a clear lack of discrimination between methane ("natural gas"), propane and butane, as opposed to gasoline ("petroleum spirit") and "gas oil" (a heavy oil usable by diesel engines).   

       It's likely that "gas" is used because it's a short, single-syllable word and has the merit of simplicity.
8th of 7, Apr 13 2020

       You say that like it's a bad thing. <munches crayon contentedly>
Voice, Apr 15 2020

       That's because it is a bad thing, unless you're too ignorant to grasp the implications.   

       <Stares suspiciously at [Voice]/>   

       Where did you get that crayon ? Is that one of our crayons ? If you are chewing Montgomery, we will be Most Displeased.
8th of 7, Apr 15 2020

       That would help rich people who don't gas their own cars but occasionally say things like, "We haven't had 85¢ gas since the 1950s." They can just say, "I paid the market rate, but with a black card."   

       Those people really cheer up when you mention 'forever stamps'.
reensure, Apr 16 2020

       //If you are chewing Montgomery [...]//   

       ... and how would you characterize your likely affective response if it turns out that [Voice] is *sucking* Montgomery?
pertinax, Apr 17 2020

       To get an idea, make a sphere of Plutonium, and then squeeze it really rapidly with an explosive lens array.
8th of 7, Apr 17 2020

       Lens arrays are obsolete.
Voice, Apr 18 2020

       Yes, pusher plate designs are now the way to go, but the classic spherical implosion is simpler to engineer.
8th of 7, Apr 18 2020

       aw, I was hoping you would leak a nuclear secret.
Voice, Apr 18 2020


       We don't leak. However, you obviously have. Again. Recently.
8th of 7, Apr 18 2020

       $14 a barrel. Unbelievable. You'd think they finally solved cold fusion.
theircompetitor, Apr 20 2020

       Amazing what you achieve if you shut down the economy. Of course, lots of people will suffer, and there will be unemployment and riots and revolutions, but on the whole, that's good, right ?
8th of 7, Apr 20 2020

       //Yes, there is. The Americans have been getting it wrong for generations...   

       There's a clear lack of discrimination between methane ("natural gas"), propane and butane, as opposed to gasoline ("petroleum spirit") and "gas oil" (a heavy oil usable by diesel engines).//   

       Having invented oil drilling and refining we're pretty tuned in to using context to determine which type of fuel we're talking about. We don't need to specify "Don't put crude oil in your butane barbecue grill."
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020

       Does that apply to citizens of Alabama ? We have visited Alabama and have grave doubts that such subtle discrimination exists.   

       The phrase "Hey y'all, watch this ! " is a signifier that something interesting and entertaining (but potentially dangerous to onlookers) is about to happen.   

       Pennsylvanians, Texans, Marylanders, yes, they understand the differences. Elsewhere... maybe not so much.
8th of 7, Apr 20 2020

       See link for something designed and built in Alabama.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020

       ... by German Nazis.   

       So, "Nazis are always welcome in Alabama". This is hardly News.   

       And your point is ... ?
8th of 7, Apr 20 2020

       ...that the Nazi, who had merely expanded on the design of American Robert Goddard, had planned on a direct ascent vehicle approach to land on the Moon, basically using the design from Buck Rogers comic books. American John Houbolt pointed out that the nazi's plan wouldn't work and eventually, after great push-back, convinced the program directors, (including the nazi) that they should probably put away the comic books and use a little science and math to get the job done.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020

       That must have been a struggle ...   

       // the design of American Robert Goddard //   

       ... working from the theory of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky ...   

       Yet now, Werner von B.'s concept of SSTO has resurfaced.   

       How many of the engineers who designed the Saturn V were actually from Alabama, rather than just working there ?
8th of 7, Apr 20 2020

       //Yet now, Werner von B.'s concept of SSTO has resurfaced.//   

       Like my concept of using "some method" of turning humans into statues?   

       William R. Lucas, the director of the Marshall Space Flight Center from 74 to 86 was born next door in Tennessee, moved to Alabama in the 50s.   

       Although admittedly, he did "retire" in disgrace after the Challenger disaster which was largely blamed on his management style. Still, got a lot of space shuttles up and back successfully.   

       That being said, the space shuttle was a horrible design. Mission drift that got out of control, so keeping these time bombs from blowing up as long as he did has to be commended.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020

       oil closed negative. Wow.
theircompetitor, Apr 20 2020

       My teenager has requested that I don't talk about the stock market so much.   

       I tried telling her that in sequential-pay market segments, always diversify non-defaulted CDOs while in low-yield markets, plan to cover exchange-traded reference entities and always diversify from Low-IRR capital structures in credit-linked market segments and she barely looked up from her iPhone.   

       Kids nowadays, they just don't listen.
doctorremulac3, Apr 20 2020

       Oh, sorry, did you say something ?
8th of 7, Apr 20 2020

       //oil closed negative. Wow.//   

       Where I live, sure, we still drill for oil and gas off the north-west coast, but we also mine for lithium.   

       Lithium is winning.
pertinax, Apr 21 2020

       Lithium is one of the most abundant elements in the planetary crust. The trick is finding a source that requires the least energy to extact it. Since it is an alkali metal and highly reactive, the energy cost to produce it in a useful form is high.
8th of 7, Apr 21 2020

       So it's a good thing we have plentiful solar energy around here. Nowadays, a typical new mine site in this state has a micro-grid using a lot of PV cells where, twenty years ago, it would all have been fossil-fueled.
pertinax, Apr 21 2020


       Photovoltaics are fabricated from silicon. Lithium mostly goes into secondary cells.   

       Lithium cells aren't commonly used with PV arrays because of their high self-discharge rate, and cost. Their niche is portable energy where low mass and high energy density are a premium.   

       For static installations where there's no weight penalty, older technologies like lead-acid are still much more cost-effective.
8th of 7, Apr 22 2020

       True, but I'm not sure what your point is.
pertinax, Apr 22 2020

       The current gas price is low because of lack of storage (no where to put it). Storage has costs, so the gas price can go negative if a business can’t afford long term storage and will actually save money by paying someone to take the gas now. Unfortunately an IOU / prepaid gas card doesn’t help them with the current storage crisis (the reason prices are low, which you of course want to take advantage of).   

       In a normal economy, most companies make margin (% markup on the price they pay for something). When fuel is lowing freely, they can kind of ignore the fuel sitting in their petrol stations and just charge %markup on market rate + cost of transport +\- local competitive factor.   

       Anyway, point is there’s not much risk for them in the current model Providing a future IOU would introduce risk (cost), and potentially storage costs (if lots of people took it up they would have to underwrite it with lots of storage, in case there was a run on fuel).   

       Soooo... on reflection not saying it’s a bad idea, just that you’d have to be willing to pay above market rate (to cover risk and storage costs), and accept the risk that the fuel may not be available to you if there is a run on fuel...
Casso, Apr 25 2020

       // because of lack of storage (no where to put it). //   

       For crude oil, the option is to leave it in the ground. The lack of storage applies to refined products.   

       The refineries are a problem too. They're tuned to produce a narrow volume of output from a narrow blend of feedstock, and they can't be put into "tick-over"; they either run "on the step", or badly or not at all. The physical size of the equipment determines a minimum throughput.   

       An idle refinery is a hugely costly thing, with prolonged shutdown and restart times.   

       Oil producers/exporters have geared their whole economies to particular levels of production and therefore revenue. When demand drops, they cut prices to maintain income before the riots start. Law of Supply and Demand....
8th of 7, Apr 25 2020

       Oil in the negative is just referring to oil futures. The oil has worth, it's just that the futures people purchased have no value. It's a contract that's worthless, nobody will take it. It's like if somebody bought this idea for $10 a gallon locked in and the price dropped to $5. The card's worthless.   

       In other words, nobody is paying you to take the oil off their hands or even giving it away. Speculators just lost money.   

       Which breaks my heart.
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2020

       Bless you, dear gentle child, for showing such compassion for the sufferings of greedy, wealthy, manipulative parasites. Truly, thou shalt be richly rewarded in Heaven...
8th of 7, Apr 25 2020

       Cool, as long as I don't have to wear white pajamas and learn to play the harp.
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2020

       You can do anything you want, that's why it's Heaven. The harp and the white nightshirt are entirely optional.   

       Would you like to set off there now ?
8th of 7, Apr 25 2020

       I'd need a guarantee that's where I'm going.   

       And a much later travel date.
doctorremulac3, Apr 25 2020

       // I'd need a guarantee //   

       We will fully guarantee it, unhesitatingly. We give you our word of honour <Violent coughing/>. If it doesn't work out, we'll refund the full cost of your trip, and pay compensation to your next of kin. Can't say fairer than that, eh ?   

       // later travel date //   

       Why not go early, and avoid the rush ? <link>   

       There's even a carpool option.   


       "You'll wonder why you ever hesitated ...   

8th of 7, Apr 25 2020


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