What If - Gasoline is $5 a gallon in 2010?



  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Part of the steep came back in the 90's when we had a HEAVY winter and, if I recall correctly, a "temporary" bump of 10 cents was added to help cover the additional cost of snow removal. Funny how that never seemed to find a way to expire :confuse:
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    I'd rather more of that dollar amount be in taxes (where it could be spent to improve roads, relieve conjestion, thereby saving fuel/reducing pollution AND/OR used to help finance mass transit).

    me: sometimes there is very little correlation between spending tax dollars and improvements. Read up on how $15B was poured into 10-15 miles of bridge and tunnel in Boston's Big Dig and has helped traffic flow very little.
    I'm not in favor of having construction workers make between $100K and $300K year as was common on this project.
  • bigeauxbigeaux Member Posts: 46
    US gas taxes do not come anywhere near the amount necessary to pay for road construction, maintenance, etc. It helps, but sure does not cover it.

    Duh, no kidding.

    I never claimed they did! I didn't even mention gas taxes.

    The word I used is "subsidized". I.e., the property taxes and sales taxes I pay, along with other taxes and fees I pay, help pay for roads.

    Does anyone mind trying to answer my actual questions?
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Look at the subject line, please. The new set-up puts the e-mailer's name you respond to in parens. My e-mail is a response to electrictoy.
  • bigeauxbigeaux Member Posts: 46
    Sorry. It said Re: bigeaux, and I thought you talking to me.

    I should really just turn the computer off now.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "sometimes there is very little correlation between spending tax dollars and improvements."

    Very true.

    However, I know that 100% of the retail price paid for gas which is NOT taxes does NOT go to road construction. The problems you mentioned are present whether the taxes collected are 10 cents a gallon or 50 cents a gallon.

    Example: IF gas is $5/gal (the topic herein) and $1 of that price is taxes, more money is likely to go to construction/maintenance than if only $0.50 of that price is in taxes.

    Long and short of it: IF I have to spend $5/gallon for gas, I'd rather have more of it go to taxes where it could (theoretically) be used for road construction/mass transit RATHER THAN off-shore to build high-rise hotels in Dubai.
  • tsx24tsx24 Member Posts: 85
    I just filled up on my lunch break at the Costco gas station today. Premium costs me $2.74 (91 octaine) - the regular (87 oct) was running $2.54. and the lines were HUGE. For those of you who are not familiar with Costco, they provide some of the cheapest gas around here....San Diego - CA
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    The interstate highway system has been funded by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel since it was established by federal law in 1956.

    In recent years, 1/3 of the revenues from the gas tax have been used to fund mass transit and other non-road related projects.

    At the federal level, if any form of transportation is receiving a subsidy from non-users, it is mass transit, not roads.

    Road construction and maintenance projects are paid for with a combination of state and federal funds. States, to receive federal highway funds for a project, must put up a certain percentage of the funds themselves. How the states raise the money is up to them.

    In Pennsylvania, there is a tax on gas and diesel fuel, along with an annual, flat registration fee for all vehicles (except those vehicles with classic or antique license plates). Drivers also pay to have their license renewed (every four years).

    Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, those revenues MUST be used for road and bridge construction and maintenance projects.

    (The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a different animal. It uses tolls to finance road maintenance and reconstruction projects.)

    These revenues, combined with federal highway funds, are entirely sufficient to fund road and bridge projects. So drivers in Pennsylvania, at least, are paying their own way.

    Pennsylvania's mass transit systems rely on fares and subsidies from the state and federal governments. With the two biggest transit systems in the state (SEPTA in the Philadelphia region and the Pittsburgh Port Authority) facing budget problems, the legislature has debated dedicating a portion of the state sales tax to mass transit, or raising the realty transfer tax, and sending the increase to mass transit systems.

    Since these taxes are collected throughout the state, Pennsylvanians who never use mass transit - or even set foot in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh - will be subsidizing mass transit systems.

    Of course, since all mass systems already receive money from the state's general fund, all Pennsylvanians are subsidizing those systems.

    If I recall correctly, on the average, American drivers pay about 99 percent of the costs of road construction and maintenance through gasoline taxes and other user fees. Mass transit users pay no more than 50 percent of the cost of operating the system through their fares.

    I have no problem with subsidizing mass transit. (I do, however, have a problem with how many of the large urban systems in Pennsylvania are run, but that is another story.) It is a necessity in urban areas, and it gives people options beyond private vehicles. If people don't want to drive, or just don't like it, I don't want them on the highway. But it is not accurate to make the blanket statement that roads receive more subsidies from society than mass transit. And if there is an imbalance, it needs to be corrected at the STATE level.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    In recent years, 1/3 of the revenues from the gas tax have been used to fund mass transit and other non-road related projects.

    It seems the Sacramento newspaper agrees with us. http://www.sacunion.com/frameset_offsite.php?offsite=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.insidebayarea.com%2F- oaklandtribune%2Fci_2562734%0A

    I hear what people are saying that they want good roads, and are willing to pay for them. But if you keep up on news articles you will see instance after instance where a tax collected for 1 purpose gets put into a general account, because of some fiscal crisis.

    Point 2: the only way to reduce corruption and waste is to decrease the funds available for it. Sorry but I don't agree that we should give governement another $100 to do $50 worth of work, when the first $100 would have sufficed.

    If anything it is subsidized items like Amtrak that should be cutoff. Amtrak should set their prices based on their costs, and if people aren't willing to pay $200 ea. way to go Boston to NY, then it doesn't deserve to live.
    And whatever it costs to run buses and subways, that's what the fares should be set at.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Personally, I think that whoever USES a service, be it supplied by private industry or the government, should PAY for the service

    That is the way it should be. I know here in San Diego it is subsidized by more than 50% of the cost. All shoved onto the taxpayers most of whom never use the MTS.

    In FY 2000, the MTS carried nearly 84.5 million riders on 87 routes over 31 million service miles throughout its 570square mile service area, at an average subsidy of 74¢ per passenger. tsfact_operator.pdf+san+diego+trolley+subsidy&hl=en
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I'm not in favor of having construction workers make between $100K and $300K year as was common on this project.

    My nephew is an engineer for Bechtel. He said that was the bulk of the cost over-runs on the Big Dig, high labor costs. It seems some people did not want the project to ever end. How much more would it have cost if fuel was $5 per gallon?
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Costco, they provide some of the cheapest gas around here....San Diego - CA

    I saw that at the Santee Costco today. I'm holding off till the price heads down. I still have a third of a tank. I filled my Suburban in February and will probably not fill it again until late in May. Little over a 1000 miles since my oil change in November. I only drive it when I need to haul something or make a trip to the desert.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    whatever it costs to run buses and subways, that's what the fares should be set at.

    And again I agree. If the cost of fossil fuel doubles in a year the price of a ticket to ride the bus should go up accordingly. I don't see how subsidizing the subway in NYC will benefit the guy in Rochester driving his Corolla to work everyday. That is why many people moved to the suburbs to get away from the high cost of living in the cities. Why should the suburbs pay for the mass transit in the cities? The last 3 expansions on the San Diego Trolley system were to relieve the parking at the baseball stadium, football stadium and the college. It will benefit me ZERO. You want to play you should have to pay. Not get in my pocket to subsidize the Coliseums. It is not for the greater good. It is for the wealthy to get wealthier.
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,232
    Still wouldn't see much change in what is happening now. Now $10 a gallon is when things would get interesting.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    David O'Reilly, has taken in paying about $16.4 billion for rival Unocal and its oil resources.

    I think he is trying to get out of fourth place. Paying that much for a company that has total assets of just 8 billion dollars has nothing to do with the current price of oil. It is empire building. We shall see how cool his head is, when the stock holders cut it off.

    But the White House had budgeted just $1.7 billion for research into hydrogen technology over the next few years, compared with the nearly $6 billion being spent every month in Iraq (which just so happens to have the world's second-largest oil supply).

    Hydrogen is still not close to practical. Better to spend the money on a known source of energy than a red herring. How much of that 6 billion would be spent on the military if it was sitting at home? They still fly those planes and have to eat. They are in the air here in San Diego all day long. What does it cost to fly an F18 24 hours a day? More than my Suburban.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Look brucej, whether naturally occurring oil peaks this year or 30 years from now, and runs out whenever after that, it will be a gradual process. Along the way down other fossil-fuel sources will be tapped at certain price-points.
    To keep contemplating oil prices in the uneducated vacuum that these people are doing doesn't make sense. Declining oil supplies and price increases will simply start the UPWARD movement on the curve of tapping other fossil fuel, renewable and possibly nuclear sources - which we have already covered here.

    When oil hits and stays at or above a certain price, which we're close to, the other sources will start being developed. If gasoline made from the oil shale or coal or biodiesel is produced at $2.25/gal and sells for $3/gal, that means gasoline will sell for $3/gal whatever its source or processing. Its the same thing that fresh caught salmon prices can't be increased independently of the price of fish-farm produced salmon. If naturally occurring salmon are cheaper but are getting scarce, and thus demand drives up price, then the fish-farms have incentive to start producing or producing more. The price is based on the TOTAL SUPPLY of salmon. The higher the demand the greater the supply will be expanded. And as we stated there is plenty of supply of coal and oil shale for the next 100 years or so.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I would not trust BP judgment on anything. Having worked with and for them the last 25 years they are erratic at best. The price goes up a few bucks and they are balls to the wall on drilling new wells. It drops a few cents and they pull the plug and stack out all the rigs. When they bought out ARCO it was a well run oil production company. Now the employees are disgruntled and all trying to get early retirement.

    On another note I see the price of unleaded is just about even with diesel in Toledo. Unleaded lowest price is $2.14 per gallon Diesel is $2.19 per gallon. Why is Toledo so much less than the rest of the country?

    Someone in Maryland posted they are buying B100 biodiesel for $1.70 per gallon after tax breaks. Can anyone confirm that?
  • yifflover_69yifflover_69 Member Posts: 10
    $1.70 for BioDesiel in MD? Where the hell does that person live? :confuse: Diesel (regular) in my part of md is around $2.20ish-$2.37ish Depending on location. We have 2 citgo stations near me, one selling straight for about $2.24 and one selling for $2.35. The only BioDiesel station I am aware of within 20 miles is in Frederick (I live in Thurmont) at Freestate, and I think Freestate is about $2.25 or $2.35 (I am not perfectly sure, haven't checked in about 3 or 4 days). And I would bet that their BioDiesel is around B5-B15 if that. For B100, I am not aware of any stations that sell it in my area
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    This won't happen, not that high. I can see $4 maybe, maybe $5 a gallon by 2010. However, car manufacturers will respond with Hybrids to Hydrogen vehicles. Consumers will demand it. For those car companies wanting to survive they will produce it. I believe by 2010 SUV's will go wayside along with Large Trucks. At least 25% of population will have a Hybrid in their garage. Car makers will offer a huge amount of choices in fuel effecient vehicles.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    For B100, I am not aware of any stations that sell it in my area

    I think this is what he was refering to. It is a 50% rebate up to a $1000 for purchasing B100 for Maryland residents only. Here is a list of B100 dealers and the form that has to be filled out. Good luck!


  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I'm only going to answer this one post and from here on I will only post occasional articles that I feel will be educational to this forum.

    When a well peaks (Hubberts peak) from that point on it decreases (on average) at 3% per year. At the end of the 1st year after peak I'm at 97% of whats left in my well. By my fourth year I'm down to about 90% of my peak year of production.

    Oddly enough, economists have been predicting 3% increases in the use of oil for the next several years. So, my wells are being depleted 3% per year while the world wants 3% more every year. That means that some form of energy, other than oil will have to make up a difference of 6% of current oil use.

    Current use of world oil is about 28 million barrels a day x 365 = 10 billion, 220 million barrels per year. 6% of that is six hundred thirteen million, two hundred thousand barrels. You are saying that oil will dip at a gradual process and that's true but in the very first year, six hundred plus million barrels of "oil energy" must be found from other energy sources.

    This is the danger. Everybody keeps saying there are other forms of energy to pick up the slack. Yet these other forms have not been perfected and in many instances are not even on the drawing board. They take time. They take huge amounts of capital. Some of the capital that possibly could have gone towards their development is currently being spent on higher oil prices.

    For the life of me I do not understand why it is so hard for someone to see that there is a possibility that our timing might be a little off. And if we aren't far enough down the road in developing some alternative sources of energy we could find ourselves facing some very serious shortages.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    I think to understand why other people are not as worried you need to try and put together all the pieces and understand how supply and demand really works.

    Not sure where you came up with 28 MBD, but current world oil production is actually 83.36 million barrels per day. (Jan 2005 -- worldoil.com)

    We do have other forms of energy to pick up some of the slack (ethanol and biodiesel). People are also talking about plug-in hybrids. I live in North Dakota where we have 800 years supply of lignite coal, so fuel to create electricity should not be an issue for a few years at least.

    Alberta tar sand production is increasing to meet demand. "Oil sands production is set to increase to 3 million barrels a day from 1 million over the next 15 years, with the United States likely the primary buyer." (petroleumworld.com)

    As prices rise people will change their driving habits and take fewer trips by auto. Or, they may take the car that gets the best mileage. Who knows, people might actually check the air pressure in their tires.

    Speed limits may be reduced if prices rise too high. Gas guzzler taxes may be implemented. Rationing is also possible.

    China has increased their oil imports a lot in only a few years. This probably took some people by surprise. Production will catch up. People in China do not make that much money. They will also feel the pain if prices rise above $3 per gallon.

    Yes, there will be some problems as prices rise, but then again we survived the gas lines of the 70s. Still remember sitting in line every Sunday morning waiting for the station to open up. There was an enterprising kid who ran up and down the line selling the paper. Smart kid.

    The evidence suggests that $5/gallon is unlikely by 2010. If gas price were to go to $5/gallon at a fairly even rate we should see; $3 by 2006, $3.50 in 2007, $4 in 2008, $4.50 in 2009 and finally $5 in 2010. A lot of other things will change as the price rises that will reduce demand before we reach the magic number 5.

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Full Article here:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/7203633?pageid=rs.NewsArchive&pageregion=mainR- egion&rnd=1111685363695&has-player=unknown

    "No combination of alternative fuels will allow us to run American life the way we have been used to running it, or even a substantial fraction of it. The wonders of steady technological progress achieved through the reign of cheap oil have lulled us into a kind of Jiminy Cricket syndrome, leading many Americans to believe that anything we wish for hard enough will come true. These days, even people who ought to know better are wishing ardently for a seamless transition from fossil fuels to their putative replacements.

    The widely touted "hydrogen economy" is a particularly cruel hoax. We are not going to replace the U.S. automobile and truck fleet with vehicles run on fuel cells. For one thing, the current generation of fuel cells is largely designed to run on hydrogen obtained from natural gas. The other way to get hydrogen in the quantities wished for would be electrolysis of water using power from hundreds of nuclear plants. Apart from the dim prospect of our building that many nuclear plants soon enough, there are also numerous severe problems with hydrogen's nature as an element that present forbidding obstacles to its use as a replacement for oil and gas, especially in storage and transport." (Continued...)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    These days, even people who ought to know better are wishing ardently for a seamless transition from fossil fuels to their putative replacements.

    Some are wringing their hands over what to do, others are doing what needs to be done. They are buying diesel cars & trucks that will run on Biodiesel, with No dependence on OPEC or Canada or Mexico. Current available Hybrids are not the answer. They still require OIL for gas. Even if they get twice as many miles to the gallon, it is still not solving our dependence on other countries. I am going to own at least one vehicle that will run on whatever is available. Even if I have to get buckets of cooking oil from McDonald's, it is better than being held hostage by OPEC or paying $5 per gallon for gas.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    you: Everybody keeps saying there are other forms of energy to pick up the slack. Yet these other forms have not been perfected and in many instances are not even on the drawing board.

    me: I hear YOU saying this, but otherwise I read articles like this saying these plants are being built as I write: http://english.people.com.cn/english/200103/02/eng20010302_63840.html

    The plants will be built quickly when there is sufficient assurance that the price of oil will not decline, and companies can see substantial profit in it. As you can from that article with the cheaper costs in China, such that those plants can produce oil @ $20/barrel they have the head-start. Here in the U.S., Japan, and Europe the cost is substantially higher and that is why the conversion plants are not prevalent.

    But please stop spreading the misinformation that the technology doesn't exist, and that economics of oil has not already motivated countries in low-cost areas of the world to start converting coal to oil. And LOL that you're quoting from Rolling Stone concerning energy issues!
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    The plants will be built quickly when there is sufficient assurance that the price of oil will not decline

    That is exactly right. When the oil companies went into produce the Shale oil in Colorado the price on the world oil market dropped and they lost a lot of money. It will have to be more than media hype to get them to jump again onto alternatives. That is a good article on China's Coal to Oil production. That should take some pressure off the market. I think some group was trying to build a plant in Kentucky and ran into financial problems. Getting anything done in the USA is a real chore with all the different environmental lobbies throwing roadblocks at every turn. The Prudhoe oil field is faced with different entities all with their own agenda. Every truck in Prudhoe is equipped with a diaper to prevent any oil leaking onto the ground. Now this is the same ground that they found crude oil in big pools when the Navy explored it way back when. You have to incinerate the snow run-off from your trucks in the shop as that water may have contaminants. And the one I like best is the Causeway to Endicott Island has culverts. BP was forced by an environmental group to install lights in the culverts so the fish could see where they were going. The list goes on and on. It is no wonder crude oil is expensive.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    The Rollingstone article was riddled with enough doomsday rhetoric to make even the most diehard pessimist happy. Lets take a look at some of the so called facts:

    The article talked about Shell downgrading their reserves. Why did they leave out that Canada increased their reserves to 180 billion barrels of oil? Maybe because that would show people that there still is a lot of oil out there to be had. Some estimates show that Canada actually has more oil than Saudi Arabia

    “. . . wind turbines face not only the enormous problem of scale but the fact that the components require substantial amounts of energy to manufacture and the probability that they can't be manufactured at all without the underlying support platform of a fossil-fuel economy.”

    How does the author explain Denmark. They are getting 10% of their energy from wind. They are planning to go to 25%. I live in a state (ND) that has one of the greatest wind potentials of any state. Currently they are testing 3M transmission lines that will allow us to export 2 to 3 times more energy to MN using current towers. ND has enough wind energy to supply the midwest at whatever percent you want. (www.awea.org) And as I said before, we have 800 years worth of lignite. And no, surface mining does not ruin the land like some people would have you believe. I drive by recovered lands often. Farmers just go back to farming like they did before the coal was removed.

    Ethanol is a fuel. It should not be vilified or glorified. It is just a fuel. The amount of energy needed to create it varies. “What really matters is that the production of ethanol can achieve a net gain in a more desirable form of energy . . . Corn ethanol is energy efficient, as indicated by an energy ratio of 1.34; that is, for every Btu dedicated to producing ethanol there is a 34- percent energy gain.” (The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update. By Hosein Shapouri, James A. Duffield, and Michael Wang. U.S. Department of Agriculture)

    “Though gasoline prices are high because of soaring crude oil, wholesale ethanol prices are low -- about $1.30 a gallon. That's because ethanol production is exploding and supply is now greater than demand. “ (Joy Powell, Star Tribune April 2, 2005)

    I should point out that the amount of energy needed to create ethanol is irrelevant. Cost of production is what counts.

    “In a unique collaboration, a Minnesota electric cooperative will supply the thermal energy requirements for an ethanol plant proposed in North Dakota. The ethanol plant to be sited next to the power plant will have lower construction costs by eliminating the need for a boiler and the existing power plant will become more efficient by utilizing thermal energy that would have otherwise have been wasted.”

    After drafting this response I headed to the local gas station for a fill. Last week I asked the attendant if they could get ethanol. She said the local refinery did not sell it. Today when I pulled up next to the pump I was surprised to see a sticker that said 10% ethanol for the 89 gas. More surprising was the price, it was a nickel cheaper than the 87 gas. Seems as though they got some in a few days ago. When I went to get the Sunday paper, the title was “Fueled by ethanol”. It was on the new plant they are building at Richardton, ND.

    “Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, famously remarked that "people cannot stand too much reality." I would agree. Despite using the quote Rollingstone failed to look at the reality of the situation. We will manage.

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    We will manage

    Good information. Americans have overcome greater obstacles. The British Monarchy for one and did not use much crude oil doing it. Give us a challenge and we respond.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    In 2004, approximately 3.57 billion gallons of ethanol were used as a gas additive in the United States, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). During the February State of the Union address, President George Bush urged Congress to pass an energy bill that would pump up the amount to 5 billion gallons by 2012. UC Berkeley geoengineering professor Tad W. Patzek thinks that's a very bad idea.

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    Full article here:

    For two years, Patzek has analyzed the environmental ramifications of ethanol, a renewable fuel that many believe could significantly reduce our dependence on petroleum-based fossil fuels. According to Patzek though, ethanol may do more harm than good.

    "In terms of renewable fuels, ethanol is the worst solution," Patzek says. "It has the highest energy cost with the least benefit.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    As interesting as the article you refer us to are bruce, we'd REALLY like some input from YOU now and then, not just have links to articles and quotes tossed our way. It's hard to have a discussion with an article.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    your 1st paragraph: In 2004, approximately 3.57 billion gallons of ethanol were used as a gas additive in the United States, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

    From the sciencedaily article "All told, he believes that the cumulative energy consumed in corn farming and ethanol production is six times greater than what the end product provides your car engine in terms of power."

    me: OK, if you believe your 1st paragraph which should be easy to verify, and I tend to believe the number is close, help me with how that quote from the sciencedaily article logically can be true.

    Here's the question to check the logic. If it takes 6X the amount of energy to create ethanol than you yield, how can anyone stay in business making ethanol? If the company has to buy energy in any form - whether fuel for tractors, harvesting, processing, whatever, it all costs money. Could (or would) some business stay in business buying 6 barrels of oil to produce 1 barrel of ethanol? or the equivalent in coal, natural gas, or electricity? The ethanol must be cheaper than gasoline, as someone mentioned that alcohol-gasoline blend is cheaper. This would be detected by any sort of financial analysis of the ethanol company(s).

    Even the government isn't stupid enough to sponsor a 6 input : 1 output enterprise.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    at best! What you HAVE, ARE and WILL be seeing in many articles espousing the "impending doom" is "partial truths", "beliefs", "predictions", and experiments and analyses that are setup with assumptions to make their view look correct.

    They are the modern day missionaries looking to make a name for themselves with some sensational headline.

    Or they are people who take "green" to an extreme - meaning they look to manufacture problems for every solution, wanting only the perfect energy solution. Sorry there is no such thing; all activities and objects have positives and negatives. These people are hoping oil is coming to an end, and do not want any further use of fossil fuels. The last thing they want is for us to continue with our current lifestyle for the next 100+ years. These are the people who will fight oil/gas/coal/wood/nuclear development EVERYWHERE. They don't want CO2, they don't want digging, drilling, burning, and nuclear fuel.
    Wherever someone suggests these activities or facilities, as we can see in the remotest parts of the Arctic someone comes up with a species that is endangered or the "pristine land" argument. Look at the travesty of trying to get a windfarm in the Nantucket Sound. It supposedly affects fish (what do they run into the concrete pillars?) and a few hundred of the stupidest birds will get hit with the blades every year (Darwinism I say, and a little extra food for the fish). ;-)

    Well, I have news for these green people. People have money and energy is near the top of the priority list for many people. We will continue to use as much energy as we can find and tap. Until we come up with nuclear fusion, the world will use whatever fuel we can and do find. People will not voluntarily give up using energy. All fossil fuels will have to be depleted before that happens.

    You have 2 options: Do nothing and keep whining; or pay the price, and make more money so that you and not the Chinese or someone else gets the energy.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Even the government isn't stupid enough to sponsor a 6 input : 1 output enterprise.

    I can think of a few Senators & Congressmen that are that dumb. I think that was based on some studies done over 20 years ago at MIT. It is subsidized but only to a small degree, not anything close to a 6 to 1 ratio. It has to be close to a break even operation. The last I saw was 4.3 cents per gallon subsidy. That would do nothing to cover a $6.50 per gallon loss if those articles were accurate. The real point is that ethanol is not a great fuel. E85 vehicles get very poor mileage compared to gasoline used in the same engine. Ethanol is a good example of corporate welfare. It is just not as big of a loss as some would make it out to be. I think using the excess corn we grow fro ethanol has merit. It is a subsidy that benefits us more than the tobacco subsidy for sure.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    These people are hoping oil is coming to an end, and do not want any further use of fossil fuels.

    As a matter of fact the fellow that ran for President 5 years ago said essentially that in his book. We may have had to face the tail end of a horse had he gotten elected. The "Green" religion has had a fruitful run at blocking any progress. Hopefully the American public will wake up and vote that mentality out of office both at the Federal and State levels. Being environmentally aware and conserving is a good thing. Trying to block progress and growth is not. I am a fan of geothermal energy. What could be more environment friendly than using the heat from under the ground to make steam and generate electricity. There are those that oppose that resource also. California has enough geothermal areas to supply the power needs of the state. Many of the areas are off limits. In Hawaii that has about the highest electric charges in the USA has unlimited geothermal resources. It has not been exploited for political reasons.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    I read an article saying that Saudi Arabia had found a lot more oil underground (some Saudi newspaper online; I wouldn't take it as gospel). The fact that it COULD be true makes me realize how volatile gas prices and the amount of petroleum we have left is. But what doesn't change is that it'll get more expensive to extract as we use up the easy reserves. What also won't change much is that most of the petroleum we extract goes towards plastic products which can no longer live without. And if they get expensive, we're screwed more than if gas gets expensive.

    Car interiors made of real (but cheap) wood and natural rubber...
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    Ethanol does not need 6 units of energy to produce 1 unit of ethanol. I thought the USDA study did a good job of showing that the number is positive if you know what you are doing. They looked at about a dozen other studies that had similar results.

    You should be careful reading the Sciencedaily site. I have been going there 2 to 3 times a week for over a year. People announce a lot of things on the site. A typical headline will read - "Researcher solves mysteries of the brain." When you actually read the article you find that the researcher had 25 drunk college students look at ink blots or they sent 200 fruit flies down a maze.

    Brazil has been using Ethanol in a big way for 30 years. If it was so bad twenty percent of their cars would not be running on 100% alcohol.

  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    You can try the links below to get a bit more info on the oil business and "The fuss about the Saudi reserves."



    I did a search for "plastics from corn" on google. Got 388 hits. Lots of info out there if you are willing to look. Hope that helps.

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Saudi Arabia had found a lot more oil underground

    It will be interesting to see if it affects the oil market Monday morning. I wonder if we went to building cars of steel instead of plastic. It may revive the steel industry. I don't think there is a shortage of iron. Plastic fenders, doors and bumpers is a big part of my buying trucks instead of cars. I hate all that plastic. It looks hideous after 4 or 5 years in the sun.

    I can tell you the $2.55 per gallon of gas has not slowed people down at all. I just did a 140 mile round trip up interstate 15. The traffic was heavy and you were run over traveling under 80 mph. Even those in the right hand lane were going 75 most of the trip. Cruising along at 80 in the 3rd lane people going around most going 85-90 mph. Never saw a cop the whole distance. I got passed by an Insight doing at least 85 mph.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    Well... steel's horribly expensive right now. I'm not sure what you mean about plastic fenders, doors, and bumpers though... I don't see many vehicles with plastic fenders and doors, and plastic seems like a good idea for bumpers. I wasn't really talking about plastic in automotive uses though; plastic's simply a large enough part of modern life to use up a huge chunk of the world's petroleum.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    steel's horribly expensive right now

    You are probably right. It looks as if our days of consumerism may be reaching it's peak. I visit our grand children. You cannot walk through the house for all the plastic toys. I know I didn't buy them. I give savings bonds for Christmas and B'days. Plastic must be what is behind the oil imports to China. Had not thought of that. It is our grand children that will be impacted the most I would say.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Complete article here:
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/Business/Were-running-out-of-oil-says-Costello/2005/04/08/11- 12815725885.html?oneclick=true

    Treasurer Peter Costello has delivered a blunt warning that Australia is running out of oil as existing fields near the end of their productive lives.

    In a speech to the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, Mr Costello said it was little known that Australian exports of fuel had been falling for years despite soaring prices.

    "The reason why Australia's crude oil exports have fallen over recent years - while world demand and prices have increased to record levels and LNG exports are booming - is that some of our oilfields are approaching the end of their productive lives," he said. (Cont.)
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Complete article here:


    Broadly speaking, our situation is this: our society demands energy inputs on a scale, absolute and per capita, that can't possibly be maintained for more than a little while longer. Sustainable energy sources can only provide a small fraction of the energy we're used to getting from fossil fuels. As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, in other words, everybody will have to get used to living on a small fraction of the energy we've been using as a matter of course.

    Of course this is an unpopular thing to say. Quite a few people nowadays are insisting that it's not true, that we can continue our present lavish, energy-wasting lifestyle indefinitely by switching from oil to some other energy source: hydrogen, biodiesel, abiotic oil, fusion power, "free energy" technology, and so on down the list of technological snake oil. Crippling issues of scale, and the massive technical problems involved in switching an oil-based civilization to some other fuel in time to make a difference, stand in the path of such projects, but those get little air time; if we want endless supplies of energy badly enough, the logic seems to be, the universe will give it to us. The problem is that the universe did give it to us - in the form of immense deposits of fossil fuels stored up over hundreds of millions of years of photosynthesis - and we wasted it. Now we're in the position of a lottery winner who's spent millions of dollars in a few short years and is running out of money. The odds of hitting another million-dollar jackpot are minute, and no amount of wishful thinking will enable us to keep up our current lifestyle by getting a job at the local hamburger joint.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,392
    is that it might be more disposeable than steel, and as a result have to be replaced more often. I don't think there are very many cars that use plastic fenders anymore. The Dodge Intrepid/Chrysler Concorde did, around 1993-1995, but they were replaced mid-cycle with steel fenders, because the plastic ones would melt and warp over time. Some of GM's big FWD cars in the 90's, like the Olds 88/98, Pontiac Bonneville, and possibly the Buick LeSabre/Park Ave used them, too. I don't think the more recent versions of those cars do, though.

    Using plastic compared to steel in a car fender really doesn't save much weight. I had one of the fenders off of my Dart, and also had one off of my '69 Bonneville once. Even on the Bonneville, I doubt that fender weighed much more than 35-40 lb. And cars today, steel or not, don't have fenders that are nearly that big.

    Bumpers are kind of a mixed bag, too. They have plastic covers, but still have steel underneath, and many of them have styrofoam, some kind of plastic honeycomb webbing, or something else in there. The whole setup might weigh less than those old bulky 5mph bumpers that cars used to have, but they definitely use more materials, are probably more expensive to make in the first place, and are definitely more expensive when you get into an accident. And often, these types of bumpers inflict the damage on themselves!

    My buddy's '04 Crown Vic recently got hit in the parking lot. Minor bumper scrape. Well, the plastic fascia got pushed in, and actually TORE itself on the edge of the steel beam underneath! My Intrepid has had this little hole in the rear fascia for a few years now, that almost looks like someone shot at it with a gun, from the inside-out. When my buddy's car got hit and I could see how the beam tore through the fascia, I decided to look under mine. Sure enough, that little hole lined up with the edge of the beam behind my Trep's fascia.
  • john500john500 Member Posts: 409
    Avalon's comment about wind energy is good and practical. However, there are many political ramifications to doing anything in the US due to what is essentially corruption. For example, there is currently a push to set up a large number of windmills off the coast of NJ and Mass. to take advantage of the plentiful wind. Unfortunately, the wealthy landowners don't like the appearance of the windmills (yes the same landowners with private beaches that somehow suck money out of the community tax for erosion prevention). This of course funds an environmentalist to calculate the number of dead birds that would results from X # of windmills installed. Ultimately, the practical solution is delayed indefinitely due to political gridlock (i.e. self interests over community interests).
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    How does the author explain Denmark. They are getting 10% of their energy from wind. They are planning to go to 25%.

    It's a nice idea, but have you ever been near even one of those wind towers (never mind a whole field). Loud doesn't capture it - your whole body vibrates. Anyway, in Massachusetts, there's a pretty good evironmental contingent and they were very pro-wind power. So a proposal was made to build a wind field in Nantucket Sound off of Cape Code - an excellent location because of the near-constant breeze. Well, hue an cry over this proposal was enormous, including many of the supposed "environmental" people. Yeah, wind power is great, but not in my backyard seems to be the sentiment.

    So don't sell those oil futures just yet.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Full article here:

    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=businessNews&storyID=2005-04-11T152402- Z_01_N11719917_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESS-AUTOS-FORD-STOCKS-DC.XML

    Ford, including its subsidiaries, had about $175 billion of debt outstanding as of Dec. 31, making it the second biggest issuer in the investment-grade corporate bond market.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Full story here:


    While his aides concede there is little they can do to shift prices quickly, Bush has been grappling with the issue in recent internal discussions, including his cabinet meeting last week. Now White House officials tell NEWSWEEK that Bush will become increasingly vocal in public about fuel costs, seizing on the public concern to push ahead with his long-stalled energy bill, as well as delivering speeches on energy issues, including new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and cleaner coal.(cont.)
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Fascinating article in Forbes

    "General Motors is betting that hydrogen-powered vehicles will one day make you forget about those billion-dollar losses it's racking up."(Cont.)

    Full article here:
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    The United States has long regarded Central and South America as part of its backyard; and Canada as an extension of its front porch.

    But recent forays by China into the Western Hemisphere are challenging US influence. They are part of Beijing's frenetic global search for large supplies of oil-based energy.(Cont.)

    Full story here:
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    "The energy-literate scoff at perpetual motion, free energy, and cold fusion, but what about the hydrogen economy? Before we invest trillions of dollars, let's take a hydrogen car out for a spin. You will discover that hydrogen is the least likely of all the alternative energies to solve our transportation problems" (Cont.)

    Complete article here:

This discussion has been closed.