A streetcar named Oakland?

How much fuel does our city government burn through every day of the week? Oil and gas can only be burned once you know! And fossil fuel is super duper useful. One gallon of gas pushes a Crown Victoria 15 city miles, unless it’s hot rodding through poorer areas. (i wouldn’t blame the driver. driving is much less pleasant IMO than walking or biking a beat)

How many city employees, Telegraph hipsters, downtown office plankton, restaurant day laborers or slaves would you need to push this squad car 15 miles? How much would you pay any of these heathens hourly, vs the mere $2.97 (or $4.22) for four quarts of 87-octane gas? (*facetious answers at bottom)

Once oil is fed to our cars and burnt out our tailpipes–poof. No more “go” until the next tanker truck shows up. In an earthquake, economic collapse, or other situation it might be a while. So when is our Safeway bread and juice reload scheduled for then? How many days of fuel does City of Oakland keep on hand?

I contacted my city councilwoman, the illustrious Ms. Nadel, to ask how much fuel the city has on hand in case of any type of emergency. How many days can the city operate? We already have to ground the OPD “ghetto bird” helicopter (actually it’s a MD 500E that gets 1-2 miles per gallon; 64 gallon capacity; 150mph top speed; 34 gallons per hour*; 1.5 hour range) due to lack of fuel (money… fuel and money, same thing)…

Here’s the response I received from OFD:

The City has a fuel supply of about 12-14 days on hand. [more than most residents. is this normal supply or emergency overdrive high-burn-rate supply?]

Additionally, the City has several agreements with fuel suppliers during emergencies. [who? at what rate?]

I believe that our supply will be adequate as during a major disaster we will begin to receive State and Federal assistance for resources with 7 days. [from schwarzenegger and the kinder, friendlier bush? are you kidding?]

I hope you will find this information useful. [i’m quite grateful; details would be lovely]

Best Regards,


What’s this mean to you? To our city? Will the State of California or FEMA come to Oakland’s aid in a major emergency?

Water is way more important than fuel, but fuel is vital to the movement of food and water into cities…in many, many ways.

* * *

FACETIOUS ANSWER to hypothetical question:

Let’s see here. 5 city employees…that’s at least $250/hr for the lot. Pushing the car 15 miles would take them collectively oh, maybe 15 days, so 8hrsx15daysx$250= $30,000. A bundle of cashmoney.

Let’s pay the hipsters with one year subs to adBusters, a pack of marlboro reds, a starbucks and pizza each day, plus clothes from a clothes swap or from behind Clausen Haus… need at least 10 of these folks. Probably takes 20 days with encouragement and various ‘olympic’ distractions – narcissistic photo shoots, twittering, etc. (yes cheap shot, that is very 2007-2008 but old habits die hard.) Total cost per hipster per day =1 pack cigs + 1 banana + 1 grande doubleshot Americano + 1 large Lanesplitter… 6hrsx20daysx (28.89) = Z per day plus adBusters for gravy = $3,866.80. So far, the sheeeepest option.

Office plankton from Wells Fargo or Wachovia or a law office… well this is gonna involve One HELL of a lot of dry cleaning and shoe shining. And at least 17 of them with delegation and highly compensated senior lunch-eating inclusive. Make it a flat $1,00 per diem for smarts x 17 individuals x 5 days. How do they do it in five? (See answer below.) Total cost = $85,000. That’s only slightly less than Prince “everyone cut your CO2 emissions” Charles’es overseas expenses for one night.

Next choice: Mexicans from the back of each restaurant in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Sprinkle a few day laborers from 4th Street in sister city Berkeley. Okay, this is going to make the bidding more competitive. Seven guys x $80 per day x 10 days = $5,600. Faster than hero hipsters and dinosaur unionized, cheaper than The Office bloom. Check please!

And for you easily offended PC types we have (drumroll)… SLAVES. Availability? Natives and Africans between 1492 and 1865 overtly, any ethnicity 1866-present as indentured debt serfs tacitly. (aka the car-driving “middle class.”)

Your unique brand of ruthlessness of social control and slave productivity depends on which class of plantation you were born into. Ideally “somewhere in the middle.” Not having grown up in or visited the deep south (yet) I can’t really imagine what this would be like. Let’s just estimate the cost somewhere below our fair one percenter financial titans of the free “no corruption here” market. 40 slaves x 4 days x 3 MREs daily per capita. Basically free, except for the overseers, whips, guns, white bedsheets, MREs.

post script that anyone could have thought up. How did those “FIRE” paper pushers and bean counters push our Ford behemoth so fast? Called their buddy ‘Odumbo’ at 1600 Pennsylvania and had the military do it for “free” of course.


One response to “A streetcar named Oakland?

  1. Pingback: Tweeting Oakland911; city emergency prep info « Rebuilding Oaktown

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