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How will your life change without oil products, gasoline, heating oil, lubricant, or jet fuel?

The Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia may shut down this summer as a result of limited ability to produce a profit. The unique aspect is that the refinery is the supply point for the pipeline that provides wholesale petroleum products to Pennsylvania and western New York. If the refinery closes, there is no easy way for a new source to be connected to the supply point. Initially, the new oil supply may be from trucks from Ohio, but that infra structure may take some time to set up. Turning off the supply of oil products to a region as large as PA and western NY may have significant adverse impact on people in those states, and on people that depend on rail and trucking crossing that region.

It is possible that some aspects of the current problem will be mitigated in a timely manner, but there appears increased risk that there will be other occurrences of oil shortages either due to economic or supply challenges. So, while this summer may not be the initial evaluation of "living without oil", the reality may not be far off in the future. And, quite possibly, given the current higher costs of gasoline, higher unemployment, and reduced wage increases, a number of people are already experiencing life with reduced access to oil.

How do you think "life without easy access to low cost oil products" will effect your life; your community; your employment; and your ability to purchase things like food,clothing, or heat? And, what steps can you take to be prepared for living without oil? And, what do you think the people in PA and NY should do?

Information on the closing

EIA Article, Potential Impacts of Reductions in Refinery Activity on Northeast Petroleum Product Markets

Map showing Reading/Pittsburg and Reading/Buffalo pipelines


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    Mar 7 2012: In the UK we don't have access to low cost fuel - it's all very expensive! Currently, one litre of petrol costs £1.36 with one litre of diesel costing £1.39. 60% of this cost is a government green tax, plus 20% VAT! It's a huge government take which impacts costs across the board as transport for all goods have doubles over the past 10 years. Recently, I came across an old fuel receipt for the year 2002, one litre was 68p!

    I used to fill my car every week - now I fill it once a month. My average daily car use is now down to approx 7 miles. I walk locally, car share more and I think twice about making longer distance journeys by car. I think before using my car and do multiple tasks in one round trip instead of multiple trips.
    • Mar 8 2012: Heather,
      I started riding a van pool about 10 years ago, for my 20 mi commute to work. I regret days that I have to drive and spend the five dollars on gas. So, I know what you mean when you are trying to cut back on driving. Also, it is amazing how much gas has gone up recently. I don't understand the price of oil / gas going up due to concerns about Iran. How long can this go on, and when will the prices come back down?


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