Gasoline $1.70, Diesel $2.80 : why?


May God help if they get pulled over and the officer feels the need to look at the diesel for the dyed off-road stuff. I’ve heard penalties are really severe.


I grew up in a house that built for coal heat, and the furnace was converted over to gas. The coal shoot was closed off. Almost every home in my area built around that time was originally Coal.


Where I grew up in Buffalo, NY, many of the houses in my neighborhood were built around 1900, including the house I grew up in. On these houses, all of the basement windows except one had bars. That window was the “coal shoot” where the coal was delivered.

Of course when we lived there in the 1970s and 1980s, the heat and water heater operated on CNG.


I remember the coal chute door well and watching the dump truck back up to that door, open the door, attach a chute to the lower part of the dump bed and raise the bed so that the coal would slide down the chute and into the coal bin in the basement.
The coal furnace had been “modernized” with a blower to circulate the air instead of depending on the warmed air rising and there was a thermostat that controlled a damper to increase or decrease the amount of air entering the firebox. The heat wasn’t really very even.
My parents were debating whether it would be better to switch to oil heating or get a stoker to load the coal into the furnace. A stoker would require a different type of coal in small lumps as opposed to big chunks. Fortunately, the utility had a lottery on issuing gas heating permits and my parents’ application was successful, so we switched to gas heat.
The buildings on the university campus where I taught were heated from a coal fired heating plant. When I first went to work there in 1965, I lived in an apartment building by the railroad tracks. There was a siding behind the building. In the middle of the night, a couple of coal cars would be switched off to the siding and the coal dumped into a pit with a grating over the pit. Then a dump truck from the university would then be driven down and an auger would load the coal from the pit into the truck bed and the coal would then be hauled to the heating plant. This was all done in the middle of the night and the whole apartment building shook when the auger that loaded the trucks was operated.
Later in my career the heating plant was upgraded so that either gas or coal or oil could be used. There were times in really cold weather that gas usage by big commercial users would be curtailed. Before I retired in 2011, a geothermal system was installed. Neither coal, nor gas nor oil is used for heating the campus. It’s been fascinating to me how changes have occurred in heating.


I’m with Whitey. As I understand it, along the path of refining crude oil to obtain gasoline, you actually get diesel fairly early in the process. Back in the old days, that would be a factor in in diesel being less expensive than gasoline (lower refining costs). Now, however, there has been much higher attention being paid to making diesel low(er) polluting (especially particulate matter), so there are now added refining costs for diesel.