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



  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "We are NOT going to turn this into a political forum...."

    Well, that's gonna take the wind out of a few sails...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    There are plenty of places online where going on a political rant is OK. This really isn't one of them.
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    ....making a good point and being ignored.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    If anyone wants to discuss how these boards are moderatered, feel free to click on my user name and contact me in email where I'll be more than glad to discuss it. The moderation of the boards is not open for discussion on the boards.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    Given the premise that gas will be $5/gallon here in the US in 2010, I'll make a few predictions of my own (fortunately, this is 5 years away so it is unlikely anyone will hold MY feet to the fire):

    Use of mass transportation will be slightly more widespread.

    Use of hybrids (and here I'll include fuel cell cars which convert fossil fuels directly to hydrogen on-board) will be much more widespread. But still be a small minority of the vehicles in service.

    There will still be much talk about 'renewable' energy but the installation/construction of such facilities (wind/solar/geothermal) will not even keep up with increased demand for power.

    A substantially larger portion of goods will be shipped via rail rather than OTR.

    Large scale facilities for the extraction of oil from shale and sand deposits will be either under construction or operational.

    We will still not have any more nuclear facilities in operation than today (although I'll hedge a bit here and say that 1 new facility will be under construction).

    Sales of large SUV's/trucks will be severly curtailed. GM will be in (even more) trouble or under Chapter 11 (although they'll look to increased sales of busses coverted from Hummers to pull them out). Strangely enough, Toyota will introduce their 9 different SUV model and open a new production facility outside of Flint, Michigan.

    Well, don't hold me to those last couple....8^)
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    I think from a cost standpoint, and otherwise yes - I would keep my 2001 Firebird V-8.

    I usually baby it and get 25mpg, and I drive about 300 miles / week. That's 12 gal. of gas. Say premium is $5.50/gal. That = $66/week or about $275/month. Its paid for, the registration and insurance is low (don't need collision), its done depreciating.
    The option of say buying a $25K hybrid, means my payment is $450/month + $40/month tax+ $30/month insurance and say I only need 33% of the gas (75 mpg) for a cost of $90.

    $275/month to keep my current vs. $610 to buy a fuel-efficient hybrid. Looks like gas will have to go a lot higher, before it makes sense.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Part of the problem is that refineries are running pretty much at capacity and couldn't produce much more gasoline even if they wanted to. you would think that the economic need for more capacity is going to start to chip away at the "not in my backyard" arguement.

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  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "I personally don't see any way our economy could withstand sustained prices at $3 or more without going at least into some kind of rescession. I think the powers to be are smart enough to realize they need our economy to stay strong so it can keep pumping money into their pockets."

    Agree with the first part of your statement. Not sure how to address your 'powers to be' statement unless I understand who you're talking about: OPEC and other oil exporting entities or the federal government? If you're referring to OPEC, and if they are already pumping at close to capacity (just keeping up with demand), then 'they' may not have the ability to keep prices from spiraling up.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    you would think that the economic need for more capacity is going to start to chip away at the "not in my back yard" argument.

    The CA legislature has blocked every attempt to build a new refinery in CA since the early 1970s. At that time CA sold their excess gas to other states. Now we are in a position of getting refineries in other locations to refine our designer gas to meet our much stricter emission laws. That is the main reason CA gas is the most expensive in the USA. California and the rest of the USA need to build additional capacity. Even with Hybrid cars becoming more plentiful. We are driving more and using more gas.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    do you think your 2001 Firebird has depreciated to the point that it's worth dropping full coverage? I've thought about dropping the full coverage on my Intrepid now that it's paid off, but to have it only costs me about $200 extra per year.

    According to KBB, my car's currently worth about $7,000 retail (which I don't believe for a moment!) and when your car gets totaled, retail, not trade-in/wholesale, is usually what the insurance company gives you.

    Now if it were costing me $500 per month to have full coverage on a car that's only worth $2000, I'd definitely drop it, but in my case, I just like the extra peace of mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 215,925
    Well.. I never claimed to "be green".

    I was responding to a statement that: "SUVs are not the problem". And that the solution was to walk everywhere we could.. I posit that just changing vehicles would save more fuel than that. I wasn't purporting to have a solution to all of the world's ills...

    And, I think your "choices" are disingenuous... You want to disregard affordability, schools, etc, etc... but, those are real issues... And your "choices" may be viable for the few, but they really aren't realistic for the many..

    If your only goal in life is to "be green", then more power to you... but others have different wishes and agendas..

    If we were only put here to preserve the Earth... then the Earth would be better off without us. I have bigger fish to fry...


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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    seriously, the best thing the human race could probably do for this planet is for all of us to just die in our sleep one night. Just as long everyone remembers to turn off the lights! :-)
  • etoilebetoileb Member Posts: 34
    We are NOT going to turn this into a political forum and I've removed posts that are headed in that direction.

    Hey, and I was just going to add some petrol to the fire.....then I realised it was US$5 a gallon
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    all the major oil company stocks are currently rated as a strong "Buy", according to Microsoft Money's StockScouter. Maybe we should all start investing in oil/gas companies, and at least profit off this some?

    Heck, maybe I'll dip into my 2005 Charger fund and buy some Shell or Exxon stock!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Would that be the silver lining of the cloud hanging over the heads of the "we're doomed" crowd? The free market at work. Get everyone in a panic over gasoline prices, then invest in the oil companies. (let's not go here, but... I can hear the conspiracy folks reasearching who was buying oil company stock over the last year now...LOL)

    Gas prices have been a topic of conversation at most of our chats recently. We kind of take a look at how they vary across the county. Stop in tonight and we'll talk!

    PF Flyer
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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    I'm gonna buy some Shell stock. So panic people, PANIC!!! THE END IS UPON US!! :-)
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    You misinterpreted my post.

    My listing of choices cannot be disingnuous.

    I am merely say there are green choices and there are choices based on other criterium. To base all your lifestyle choices on other criterium and then claim you are green because you buy a slightly less fuel thirsty vehicle is disingenuous.

    Multi-story dwellings can be affordable - Most G8 nations have significant numbers of their middle classes living in multi-story and attached dwellings. School districts can be fixed rather than built from the ground up.

    Fine, if you have bigger fish to fry. But this post is where we are frying the fish of what to do when gas grows to $5.00 per a gallon.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    I've noticed subtle references to OPEC as the culprit of much of our demize. WRONG!! Many times the price of oil has dropped significantly at the hands of OPEC all the while OUR oil companies decided to raise gas prices just as Thanksgiving came along last yr. I too thought that OPEC was the blame when all the while it was the homeland guys putting the screws to us.

    Know one thing for sure...Our rate of increase on a daily basis alone is nearing 2 million barrels a day if memory serves me right. THAT should scare the bean gas out of everyone. If you understand this as I do ....It's like a snowball getting bigger & bigger as it "barrels" down the world consumption hill @ an alarming speed.

    Today the news was especially bad....Predictions that put oil @ as much as 100.00 a barrel by fall and gas @ 3.00 + by the same period. This is on the business news on national networks. Anyone here think that the possibilty of a recession is out of the realm of happening?
    Railroadjames(adapt or become extinct)
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    but in my neighborhood, if you're going to live in a multi-family dwelling neighborhood, well I hope you like the smell of crack, and pray you don't have a nice stereo in your car! And try to get a unit on the top floor, so you don't have to worry about people stomping around over your head.

    If nothing else though, at least townhouses aren't considered only for the poor, anymore!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 215,925
    Okay.. again.. I never claimed to "be green". My primary motivation in conserving fuel is to save money for other pursuits...

    And, when you get one of those school districts fixed, give me a call..

    In the meantime, I'll educate my children at the best schools that I can afford.. I owe them no less than that. You only get one chance to educate your own children.. Schools that improve over 5-10 years will do them no good at all.

    And, to answer the last point.. I'll buy a car that gets better mileage, if we go to $5/gallon.. I don't think I'll move "off the grid".

    Of course, if we change this topic to $20/gallon, then I might reconsider.. ;-)


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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd move back to my old county, pronto! I wouldn't want to put the Children of the Damned in the public schools around here, much less any offspring of my own!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 215,925
    Uh, Andre?

    You want your kids to go to school where you did?


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  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    "I personally don't see any way our economy could withstand sustained prices at $3 or more without going at least into some kind of rescession. I think the powers to be are smart enough to realize they need our economy to stay strong so it can keep pumping money into their pockets.

    I'm not sure who these powers to be are? If gas costs x it is because someone is willing to step up and pay x. If the guy pumping gas for x realizes he is selling all he can get his hands on and people are still lined up around the block he starts charging x + for his gas. If people accept the increase than thats the new price.

    Recently China surpassed Japan in terms of how much oil they import. India is close behind. You know all those items you can get pretty goods prices for that you purchase at WalMart or wherever? Well check the labels. The stuff is manufactured in China. They manufacture it cheaply and in all fairness with pretty good quality. Merchants here are only too happy to carry it in their stores because they can mark it up and still make a decent profit while the buyers are happy because they perceive a good value.

    All of this cash that has gone China's way has enabled them to prosper and hence expand. To expand they need energy. Before China came into its own the rest of the world was willing to pay x for their energy. China with its pockets full of cash has walked up to the counter and said they are willing to pay x + for gas.

    If gas were plentiful like it used to be China wouldn't be willing to pay x + It ain't the powers that be that determine the price of goods its whoever is willing to pay the man that determines the price.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "Our rate of increase on a daily basis alone is nearing 2 million barrels a day if memory serves me right."


    Are you stating that our consumption INCREASES by 2 million barrels a day? As in, day 1 consume 2 million barrels, day 2 consume 4 million barrels, day 3 consume 6 million barrels.......?

    At a 2 million bbl/day rate of increase, we would be consuming over 700 million barrels, PER DAY, more after 1 year than we consumed at the beginning of the year. Does this even make sense to you?

    BTW - the real numbers are that we consumed an average of 20.4 million bbl/day over the first 10 months of 2004. This was an increase over 20.0 million bbl/day consumed on average in 2003. (2% increase over 10 months or 2.4% increase over 1 year).

    Of the 20.4 million bbl/day consumed, 9.0 million (44%) bbl/day is from motor vehicle gas consumption.

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Clip from artticle today is below. Complete article can be read at:


    Oil Rises, Gasoline Surges to a Record as Fuel Supplies Decline

    March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose and gasoline and heating-oil surged to records on signs that U.S. refineries lack capacity to make enough fuel and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts predicted that oil could touch $105 a barrel.

    Record prices have failed to curtail surging fuel consumption, the Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research note. The firm's upper limit was $80 previously. U.S. supplies of gasoline and distillate fuels, such as diesel and heating oil, fell last week, according to an Energy Department report yesterday.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "In any event, the original myth was premised on GM undercutting street cars so it could sell buses to mass transit companies, not cars to consumers.

    As I argue above, even if the myth were true - it is not - modern technology has buses as probably a better option than 60 to 100 year old trolley systems would be were they still around."

    Well, not exactly an urban myth, but I should have known better than to trust PBS and "Viewers like you", for accuracy. The article makes some good points.

    But the trolly systems at this point would be a very clean alternative in terms of air pollution. (assuming one can produce the electricity cleanly).
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    you: do you think your 2001 Firebird has depreciated to the point that it's worth dropping full coverage?

    me: I was talking about 2010,with gas at $5.00/gal as the topic suggested. I actually made the price of premium $5.50. When the cars worth less than $5K I'll drop it, which it should be in 2010.
    Higher gas prices may mean that people who don't want to spend a lot of money for one reason or another will simply drive older vehicles. They'll put the money into fuel rather than depreciation. I take good care of my cars, and I don't drive this during the winter. So 9 years old is no problem.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I too thought that OPEC was the blame when all the while it was the homeland guys putting the screws to us.

    You got it partly correct. The homeland guys you are referring to are multinational companies. As an open and free society anyone can invest in these oil companies, from any country. When oil dropped to $12 per barrel a few years back much of the production in this country was cut back. The Alaska oil Pipeline came on line when oil was over $30 per barrel. Now it is a mad rush up there to get more barrels through the line. In the history of the North Slope Oil production this is the highest rig count this winter of all. It will be several years before they head East toward ANWR. There is too much easy oil to get at in the NPR. It is all we can do to keep up with the communications needs as they head West.

    I understand that in TX & OK they are uncapping wells that were shut down when the bottom fell out of the oil market.

    The real shortage is refining capacity. Let your state legislators know that if they vote against building refineries they will lose your vote.

    conserving is a good thing. Until there are higher CAFE standards all the automakers will continue building bigger vehicles without significant mileage increases. That includes Toyota. They are expanding their PU manufacturing faster than their hybrid capacity.

    I don't think I would buy oil related stocks at this time. They are about peaked out. Wait for the next panic attack.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    ok, gotcha. That makes perfect sense, now :-) And by 2010, I'll probably be down to liability-only on my Intrepid too, provided I still have it.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Following is from American Petroleum Institutes recent letter to Congress. You can find it at:

    http://api-ec.api.org/media/index.cfm?objectid=F85A2433-3BB3-446B-81905F41D098D256&method=- display_body&er=1&bitmask=001007000000000000

    API Updates Congress on Energy Situation

    March 17, 2005

    Dear Member of Congress:
    With the summer driving season nearly here and increasing concerns about rising energy prices, I would like to share some useful information that may help put fuel prices in perspective. I also want to reiterate our commitment to working with you to address the nation’s energy challenges to enable our industry to continue to provide consumers with the reliable energy supplies they have come to expect.

    Crude oil has risen to over $56 per barrel, a record level in today’s dollars.  However, it remains well short of the inflation-adjusted highs of $80 per barrel in 1981. Since the start of the year, crude oil has risen nearly $14 per barrel, the equivalent of $.34 per gallon. Prices have risen so much because the supply and demand balance in the world oil market is so tight that even small changes in supply or demand can affect prices dramatically—a pattern consistent with the behavior of commodities.  With 60 percent of our crude oil imported, we are not immune from global crude oil markets.

    Strong economic growth, particularly in China and the United States, is fueling a surge in oil demand. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that global oil demand in 2004 grew by 3.4 percent—the strongest growth since 1978—and projects growth to increase by about 2.5 percent this year and next. For comparison, world demand between 1993 and 2003 grew at an average rate of 1.6 percent.

    Increasing the world’s production of oil has lagged, forcing suppliers to struggle to keep up with the strong growth of demand. Most producers are pumping flat-out, and spare capacity—crude that can be brought on-line during a supply emergency or during surges in demand—is limited to about 1 percent of world demand.

    Refiners are producing gasoline at record levels, and inventories are 10 percent above average for this time of the year and 12 percent higher than last year. Despite this, we have seen a sharp increase in gasoline prices because refiners face higher costs in purchasing crude, which accounts for more than 50 percent of retail gasoline prices.  Average prices have risen $.28 per gallon this year, to $2.10 per gallon.

    EIA is expecting another driving season of strong gasoline demand, with annual growth of 1.8 percent, while also forecasting crude prices will remain around $50 per barrel.

    Just as are consumers, America’s industrial sectors are bearing a burden from higher energy prices. Higher diesel and natural gas prices are also squeezing the agriculture community. Diesel prices have risen sharply since this time last year. Nationally, average prices stand at $2.19 per gallon, up $.58 per gallon. West Coast prices are even higher, averaging $2.44 per gallon, an increase of $.64 per gallon over last year. Although diesel production is at record levels, increased crude prices and strong diesel demand have driven prices up. In addition, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, higher natural gas prices have driven up nitrogen fertilizer prices by more than 20 percent over the past two years.

    This update is intended to provide helpful background for your constituent meetings over the recess. Again, we remain committed to finding workable solutions to our nation’s energy problems, but we cannot solve them alone. We take enormous pride in our industry, and in the technological advances that enable us to develop our domestic oil and natural gas resources in an environmentally responsible manner. However, we face enormous challenges ahead in continuing to serve our customers, your constituents. America needs a long-term blueprint to continue to fuel its economic growth and enhance the quality of life for its citizens, and passage of comprehensive energy legislation would provide an excellent start in that regard.


    [Red Cavaney]
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,599
    Maybe I'm naive, but I've gone through this whole scenario more than once and remember my parents bitching about rising gas prices in the '70s. Also, remember them waiting in line to buy gas. At the time, it was said (at least by the oil company pundits) that we'd be lucky to have 15 more years of oil supplies. They blamed OPEC for the rise in prices. They blamed the car companies for making gas guzzlers. They blamed the weather. They blamed the oil tanker companies. Any ridiculous excuse was blamed.

    Carter administration (anti-"big oil" president) initiated the 55 MPH speed limit to cut back on the the long gas lines. He also initiated healthy fines for the oil companies "raping" the consumer for the artificial rise in gas prices.

    Shortly thereafter, I got my license. I remember thinking "we're supposed to have run out of oil by now". I also remembered that oil companies were blaming everyone but themselves for the rise in gas prices. Well, wouldn't you know it....prices all of a sudden dropped to $8-$9-$10/bll Oil companies cried. They couldn't afford to drill. The gov't wouldn't allow them to drill in the wildlife areas. They couldn't compete. Houston, as a city almost went out of existence.

    Here we are, 20 years later and what are we hearing? OPEC is the reason the gas prices are high. There's not enough supply to meet demand. The weather is causing gas price jumps. Too many people are driving gas guzzling SUVs....and on and on and on. All the while, the oil companies are raking in record profits. See a pattern here?

    OPEC has warned time and time again that their fear is that any price above ~$30/bbl will lead to a world wide recession. Think that stops the oil companies from bidding gas futures above that (to record ~mid $50/bbl)? Nope. Oil companies have found a gullible public and a profit bonanza. They aren't going to let that go easily. Makes you think, though. If OPEC says they think the price/bbl is too high, then the only ones left who can control the price are the people who are buying, right? Finger points right back to the BPs, Chevrons, Dutch Petroluems (Shell), etc. who is driving the price higher.

    Wait another year or two. This whole artificial bump in gas prices will subside. Oil companies will start crying again.

    It's clear to me that the oil companies want gas prices to stay above $2/gal. They are making tons of $$$$ with it right there. They are in collusion (when's the last time you saw a one company owned station with more than a penny per gal difference from one BP to another Shell?

    We've got a big oil White House right now. Nothing is going to be done to get to the root of the problem. Without any pressure from Washington to find out the real reason for the gas price run up, it will continue it's run up, unabated.

    Wanna make a bet that the next administration makes this a campaign issue? Wanna make a bet if an administration that doesn't cow-tow to the big oil lobby takes action, gas prices will drop dramatically?

    Two more years until the next election starts lining up candidates. We'll see then whether this run up keeps going or is stopped dead in its tracks.
    2022 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    Actually, there does seem to be a grain of truth to the rumor about GM and trying to put the trolleys out of business. It's all on this page: http://www.1134.org/stan/ul/GM-et-al.html

    Sorry Logic, I don't remember if this was the one you posted, and I'm too lazy to look back that far!

    Anyway, back in the late 40's, GM was charged with two counts...
    1) Conspiring to acquire control of a number of transit companies, forming a transportation monpoly;
    2) Conspiring to monopolize sales of buses and supplies to companies owned by National City Lines (A subsidiary of GM).

    GM was acquitted of the first count, but convicted on the second. However, put in layman's terms, GM was convicted of conspiring to have the GM-owned transit companies only buy GM buses.

    So there was no really broad conspiracy to run the streetcars out of business. Natural selection was just doing its thing, and as the streetcars became obsolete, they were put to rest.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    But the trolly systems at this point would be a very clean alternative in terms of air pollution. (assuming one can produce the electricity cleanly).

    San Diego has a nice electric trolley system. We use it to go to functions downtown due to the parking costs. Parking is free in the trolley stations out in the suburbs. There is a downside. Prior to the latest expansion to feed the football and baseball stadiums, it cost the taxpayers about 50 million per year to subsidize the system. I am sure with all the additions it is way over 100 million per year.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    In the past OPEC had elasticity in its production capabilities. Demand was nowhere near what supply was. That is not the case today. The days when OPEC could open the spigots to drive down prices are over.

    As far as "collusion" is concerned let me ask you this. If you owned a candy store and posted the price of a chocolate bar on a sign outside your store and another candy store moved within eye shot of your store and that store also posted the price of a chocolate bar how long do you think it would take for the signs to have a price that was almost identical? You may call that collusion but I prefer to call that survival.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,316
    we might be getting back to the point that trolleys, streetcars, and other forms of light rail might start to make sense again. Provided, at least, that they're on their own dedicated tracks and not out in the street.

    The buses replaced the streetcars because they were faster, cheaper, and could be re-routed much more easily than a streetcar system could. But now it's getting to the point that the roads are so crowded that everything often slows to a crawl. And a bus can only go as fast as the half-million cars in front of it.

    So as long as the streetcars are on separate right-of-ways, and not having to share the lane with cars, they might make sense again, at least in some areas where you have a high population.

    Remember that old electric passenger service I mentioned, that ran near my house back in the 30's? Well, most of the right-of-way still exists, although a good chunk of it has been converted to hiker-biker trail, and power company right-of-ways. But back in the early 90's, the Baltimore Light Rail opened up, and used part of that old WB&A right-of-way, at least from Glen Burnie to Baltimore. They also added to the north, and branched out, and now have something like 40 miles of light-rail.

    Now I'll admit I've only ridden it once, and that was back in 1992 when some buddies and I decided to ride it just for kicks. It's actually somewhat easy to find parking in Baltimore, so driving's not that much of a hassle. And, well, Glen Burnie's about 20 miles from where I live now, so if I'm going to drive that far, I might as well just drive to Baltimore, as it's only a few miles further!

    If they still had the old WB&A running though, I'd definitely use it. Heck, that would've been ideal, being only 700 feet or so from a station for a train that could take you right into DC, Baltimore, or Annapolis!
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    If right of way is needed, it would be much less expensive (and therefore easier and quicker to implement on a broader scale) and more flexible, to make a dedictated bus roadway. By flexible I mean it is easier to add or reduce buses on routes as need requires than on a fixed line.

    A modern hybrid or liquid natural gas powered bus is actually cleaner than an electric trolley.

    Electric has to come from somewhere - and that somewhere is usually dirty coal. All electric wires lose significant portions of power as the electric is transported to its destination, meaning electric is a very inefficient choice of power.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    I remember well the fading transit system of old. I should. I lived it both as a civilian and a railroad engineer. I saw buses and trolleys and even passenger trains ever so slowly fade into oblivian. Why? Well "PBS" (public tevevision) presented the full story with so much of the blame on "THE BIG THREE" and their heavy handed lobbiests that, just after the WAR (WWII) set about to institute a new age of transportation (Super Interstates). I remember the steel industry that was going strong during the war escallate its' production and employing over 39,000 workers at its peak just at UNITED STATES STEEL CO. in the Chicago/NW INDIANA area alone. By the way that same company is now at an employment number of less than 5,000 .

    The railroad that I worked for (owned by USS) went from a huge industrial server to a skeleton of its self. We have "rails to trails" everywhere. No one thought less of the idea of taking abandoned tracks and turning them into useful riding & walking paths but now maybe they should have been given more thought to passenger service.

    Do I believe that the auto industry manipulated history by their push for $$$$? It was never in doubt to me. Hind sight is, as usual, 20/20. I only hope we find a better way of life that is guided by common sense and cleaner air at a reasonable cost. Just don't take too long. The clock is ticking.
    Railroadjames(Carpe Deum!)
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    good post...

    I hope that all realize that all of us are to blame...for driving everywhere, for using tons of plastics and buying tons of useless doodads...artificial stuff to give us temporary comfort .....

    Time for all in the US and developing countries to wake up.

    Recently the UN put out a report saying that population growth has outpaced the ability of Earth to support all....and that the eco system is irreparably harmed....

    time to institute population control.... 6 billion people trying to drive a car is bad news for the Earth... :cry:

    hey,....maybe having 10 a gallon gas will redirect people's efforts into conservation and alternatives... ;)
  • nornenorne Member Posts: 136
    Gasoline is already $5 or more per gallon in europe and asia and thats not stopping people from driving their cars. Americans will continue to drive their automobiles regardless what the price is.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    A few points:

    The "golden age of highway building" in the 1920s (so described in 1948) put a lot of the intercity electric lines out of business as their customer base bought cars and started driving themslves around, and the Depression (and more highway construction) finished off most of the stragglers. The city lines faced the same decline as more people bought cars and roads were improved.

    The combination of cash starvation in the 1930s and wartime demands in the 1940s meant that in 1945 most lines were running the same stuff they were running in 1930. They started to switch over to buses (cheaper to buy, more flexible, and local government maintained the right-of-way) but they didn't have the funds or the customer base to pay for a full changeover, and faced the prospect of shutting down completely in a few years.

    Thus GM came in and bought them up, preserving the operating franchises already in place and keeping GM's customer base of bus buyers in existence. Nothing diabolical, just GM acting to protect a part of its business.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    The Europeans still drive at $5.00 a gallon but they don't drive nearly as much. And they (we're talking majority here) don't drive cars that get poor mileage.
  • electrictroyelectrictroy Member Posts: 564
    "You should ask yourself if the problem is really: a) how to get 10-bags home or b) the more elementary - why you need to buy 10-bags at a time. "


    Why would I want to waste time (and natural resources) going to the store every other day? One trip every 3 weeks for 10 bags uses FAR LESS energy than frequent 1-bag trips:

    1 trip every 3 weeks (via insight) = 1/7 a gallon of gasoline burned
    20 trips during the same 3 weeks (via train) = a LOT more burned

    Think long-term.

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Full Story Here:


    Shell pumps twice as much as it finds

    by Reuters staff

    LONDON (Reuters) - Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell replaced less than half the oil it pumped last year with new finds, according to revised reserves figures published Thursday.

    Shell said its proved reserves stood at 11.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at the end of 2004, equal to less than nine years' production at average 2004 rates, excluding the Athabasca oil sands reserves, which it put at 0.6 billion boe.

    While the figures were broadly in line with previous guidance, they will cement many investors' worries that Shell has lost its knack of finding oil, following a reserves over-booking scandal last year that led the company to downgrade around a quarter of its oil and gas reserves.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Full Story Here:


    Germany Launches Its Transition To All Renewables
    by Donald Aitken, Ph.D.

    Can renewable energy development keep pace with rising global energy demand? As world governments struggle with this question, Germany is advancing with resolve in a transition to 100% renewable energy. The German government accepts the goal is technically and economically feasible, and has adopted a long-term national policy for the transition. After years of reliance on nuclear energy - which supplies 30% of the nation's electricity - Germany has concluded that nuclear is a dead-end and has established long term plans to phase it out.

    Germany's most urgent conclusion is that the period lasting until about 2020 comprises "make-or-break" years for the renewable energy transition. It is this conviction that has driven German policy makers to introduce the world's most aggressive support for renewables, to stick with it during the past decade and to guarantee that support for the next 20-30 years.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    I suggest the long term thinking is best done when deciding where to live.

    There are a great bakery, produce store, two pharmacies, three video stores, and multiple restaurants all within walking distance of my home.

    I take the rapid transit train to and from work. Along the way home, I can get off at one stop where there is a Trader Joe's grocery store, and another where there is a Whole Food's and a Jewel (like Safeway or Kroger's - a mainline traditional middle America grocery store for those not in the Chicago area).

    I burn no gasoline for grocery shopping.

    As I have to rent cars on a regular basis to see clients in the suburbs, I plan my trips to the Target, Sears Grand, and Home Depot around rental times. For instance, you can get massive containers of dishwashing and laundry detergent. Saves the trips and uses less container materials.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Shell has lost its knack of finding oil,

    I think the queen is too busy with wedding plans for Charles & Camilla to be out looking for oil.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Peak oil puts us in a different reality


    Matthew Simmons, a highly respected investment banker and adviser to the Bush administration, is quoted in Al-Jazeera (Feb. 22) as saying that "we may have passed peak oil." This is significant in that peak oil represents the dividing line between cheap oil and expensive oil, or, put another way, between a supply of oil we don't have to worry about and a supply of oil that may lapse into shortages and place our economy and the world economy in jeopardy.

    Simmons recently investigated Saudi Arabia's ability to continue producing large quantities of oil and has a book scheduled to appear at the end of May titled "Twilight In The Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock And The World Economy."

    Peak oil goes back to a concept introduced by M. King Hubbert that oil production follows a bell-shaped curve, reaching a peak in production similar to a rollercoaster slowing as it reaches the top of the curve and picking up speed again as it plunges off the other side.

    Much debate has been spent on this point recently between those who believe that we will have an adequate amount of petroleum extending into the future and those who believe that the peak in production is nearly upon us or, in fact, may have already occurred.

    The downside of this debate is that once the peak occurs, the price of oil will no longer be controlled from the production side, by the oil producers and the market, but instead will be controlled ruthlessly by the law of supply and demand. Oil will skyrocket in price and instead of selling for $35, $40 or even $50 a barrel, will quickly go to $100 or more a barrel. Such prices will injure economies the world over but will especially harm ours in that we consume a prodigious amount of oil each day, some 20 million barrels a day, or one-quarter of the world's supply.

    We have not made any preparation for this coming shortfall. President Carter, as one example, ordered the placement of solar hot-water panels on the White House roof to save energy. President Reagan, upon taking office, ordered that the panels be taken down and junked.

    One might say we have a difficult time ahead of us, but in my view this understates the case: We will have a monstrously difficult time ahead of us. We are terribly in debt and a crippled economy will only make this problem much harder to manage. We have continued our high level of immigration and population growth. We are choosing to make China our enemy at a time when China has bought Boeing airliners and holds a considerable amount of our debt and promises to buy more of our debt into the future.

    We have made no effort to curtail our use of petroleum or the size of our vehicles yet everything, including the dollar, is balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff. We have chosen force and belligerency to maintain our place in the world and our access to oil when cooperation and the rule of law are the only real options open to us. Peak oil means that we are entering into a reality far different and much more threatening than the one to which we are accustomed.

    Marvin Gregory lives in Renton.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Previous story can be found at:


    My apologies for sending without crediting
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    There are a great bakery, produce store, two pharmacies, three video stores, and multiple restaurants all within walking distance of my home.

    That sounds good on the surface. I spent a week in training in the Chicago area. It was April. It was cold, spitting snow and very windy most of that week. I would not have wanted to walk more than a few feet outside in that kind of weather. Mind you I was living in Anchorage Alaska at the time, very acclimated to bad weather. What do you do during those miserable weather periods?

    The people in the restaurants and shops around Lisle where I stayed were as friendly and polite as anyplace I have visited.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I orginally came to this forum for a very diffferent reason than I keep coming back to it. I am in a position where it is time for me to consider buying some new transportation. I have been reading quite a bit about the gas & oil industry in the past year and have become concerned about whether or not good old Mother Earth was going to continue supplying us with enough oil to sustain us with the standard of living that we have become acustomed to. I came to the conclusion that she was not.

    With that conclusion I decided that I should start reading up on hybrid cars to see if they made sense for my needs and thus ended up on this forum. Glancing through the postings the one that caught my eye was "What if gas costs $5 per by 2010?" I entered into the fray and am glad that I did. My take is that we most assuredly will be spending $5 by 2010. A lot of people disagreed with my opinion and that is their right to do so.

    I know that I have formed opinions, early in life that I have held fast to and will continue to do so until the day I die. Most of these opinions are based on Old and New Testament writings that have to do with how we should treat one another. These opinions are based on a blind religious faith (yes, Virginia, a good portion of faith is "blind" faith.)

    For this particular forum I am trying to put aside opinions that I have that are "blind" faith opinions. I believe we will be seeing $5 gas by 2010..and here are the reasons. I have been sharing recent articles that lead me to my conclusion. Admittedly, the articles that I choose to share on the forum are in no way the ultimate truth. The writers of these articles have opinions, prejuidices, agendas, etc. etc. I also choose to share articles that agree with my opinion. (Nothing particularly orignal in that...I mean do you expect me to argue with myself? In public no less?)

    Where goes this rant? Well it seems to me that a lot of the postings on this issue are based on gut feelings or "blind" faith. That means beyond the readers knowing how you feel about this issue you have cheated them by not telling them "why" you feel that way. What are your sources? Where are the articles by people who work in the industry, or the government, or the think-tanks that follow this resource?

    I guess what I am requesting is that someone start sharing some info with me that will lead me to change my opinion and the reason is that I don't like where my opinion has delivered me. I keep looking for evidence that we are going to be able to continue conducting "business as usual" and I'm not finding it.
This discussion has been closed.