Saturday, April 25, 2015

Back To Burning Oil

Earth Day was celebrated this week with a lot of hoopla and fanfare.  The real data show the USA is using much more liquid petroleum this year than last.  The US DOE energy information agency publishes a weekly petroleum report.

Through March 17, 2015 an average of 19,439,000 barrels a day were supplied to market.  This is 4.3% higher than the average of 18,647,000 barrels a day that were supplied last year for the same period.  So Much for Dr. Moniz and his claims we are on a pathway to lowering CO2 emissions.  These data simply prove that when gasoline and fuel is cheaper people use more. 

In 2012 the year before Dr. Moniz became secretary of entropy the US used on average 18,490,000 barrels a day of petroleum.  This increased to 18,961,000 barrels a day in 2013, and 19,035,000 in 2014.   Summer usage will increase and we are likely to use approximately 19,600,000 barrels a day for the full year 2015.

Of course the fact that Saudi Arabia manipulated the oil market with low oil prices over the last eight months is not Dr. Moniz’s fault but his batting average in lowering CO2 emissions for all three years of him leading the department of entropy is a flat ZERO.  I do hope that the next president appoints a talented person to run the DOE and DR. Moniz is simply not cutting it.

I had the oil changed on my car this week.  I had gone almost 13,000 miles since the last oil change.  The car uses fully synthetic oil and I actually think the oil is good for 15,000 miles given that I do not live in a location with extreme weather.  The San Francisco Bay Area does not challenge engines with cold or hot weather.  The oil at Jiffy Lube is Pennzoil and they had a sign that their synthetic oil is made from Natural Gas.  Yes there is a chemical process to turn natural gas into hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas) and then turn the syngas into lubrication oil.  I therefore cannot be blamed for the increase in liquid petroleum use when the 8.5 quarts in my old Mercedes were sourced from natural gas.  I checked the last time I had an oil change it was 27 months ago and it was performed at the Mercedes dealership.  I decided to use Jiffy Lube for convenience and price. 

It turned out not to be that convenient, as half an hour after returning home the manager at Jiffy Lube called to inform me they forgot to install the rubber gasket on the oil filter.  I was worried that all the new oil would be all over the ground and the engine.  It turns out the C280 engine I have, has the oil filter on the top of the engine and no oil leaked even with the missing gasket.  Jiffy Lube reinstalled the gasket and gave me a 50% off coupon for the next oil change.  It does not look like my old car will be seeing an oil change at the Mercedes dealership for at least another five years.  The Green Machine suggests that all motorists not change their oil every 3,000 miles.  It is simply not necessary but do make sure to ask the grease monkey that they did use a gasket on the oil filter.


  1. Fun post. A few years ago when you went in for an oil change, a sticker was put on your windshield to get a new oil change in 90 days. This was a terrible waste of oil. The new regular oils are good for 5000 miles. This is far better than oil changes back in 1954 of 1000 miles between changes when I got my first car. Oils are far better today than 60 or more years ago due to research by chemical engineers at the oil companies.

    James H. Rust, Professor

  2. Prof Rust the average car only travels 11,000 miles a year, even crude based oil can be used for six months. The synthetics for sure for a year. .

  3. I would guess that the frequent oil change requests is how the Jiffy Lubes and Castrols of the world make their money. For my current car I was told I should change at 7,000 miles, which is about now. Since this will be my first oil change I'm not sure what type of oil is best but I figure 7,000 isn't unreasonable. I did a check last weekend and it's already a little dirty.