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



  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    How do I deal?

    First, having lived in Northern climes all my life, I'm used to it I guess.

    Second, Patagonia outerwear! Patagoinia is the best. They make light weight, durable and very weather resistant clothing. Many of their selections are made from recycled plastic or organic materials. And they donate a set percentage of their profits to environmental causes.

    Not all is well even at Patagonia, however. I noticed at my last visit that even they appear to be shutting down US production in favor of China. Quality appears not to have suffered. But still.

    I must say though, that as I get older (late 30s now) the cold gets more annoying. I spent some time in West Hollywood on business last year. It seems you could get around pretty well without a car there if you worked in downtown LA or in West Hollywood itself. Just about everything you could ever want (and a whole lot you may never want - there are a lot of strange things in that town) is either walking distance or a quick bike ride away provided you live near Melrose Street.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,317
    those late March and April cold snaps can really take their toll on you, because your body is starting to get acclimated, both mentally and physically, to spring time. I know I'd rather have it be 0 degrees out, but not the slightest stir of air, and fairly dry, than to have it in the low 30's and a nasty, blustery mix or rain and snow.
  • c2rosac2rosa Member Posts: 76
    "Gasoline is already $5 or more per gallon in europe and asia and thats not stopping people from driving their cars. "

    Yes, but they use it the resource more efficiently by using diesel technology among other things.
    Cars are not intrinsically bad. They are tools that consume resources. As the resources that they use grow scarce, we search for alternatives. There was a time when most of the cities in the US were overrun with horse manure (talk about pollution!) from all of the horse drawn modes of the transportation in use at the time. Alternatives were found (namely, gasoline powered internal combustion engines). As petroleum starts to run out, other sources are being explored (hydrogen fuel cells, etc). Also, keep in mind that at $100 a barrel, alternatives to crude oil start to make sense (e.g., shale oil, tar sands, which, by the way, are, thankfully, available in North America in large quantities). I think that we'll be using cars for quite some time to come.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    China's demand for oil causes worries worldwide

    The Dallas Morning News

    BEIJING - (KRT) - What is China's greatest economic challenge?

    "Energy supply. Especially oil supply," said Huang Fanzhang, vice chairman of the China Reform Forum.

    Huang is a respected Chinese economist who writes reform proposals for the People's Congress. We'd talked of many problems, but he chose oil as the most critical.

    Today there are 10 million cars on China's streets and freeways. In 15 years, there will be 120 million.

    China's oil consumption hit 5.8 million barrels a day last year. China moved up to second rank among oil consumers behind only the oil-thirsty United States, at 20 million barrels a day.

    China imports 2.75 million barrels a day (modest by U.S. appetites). But with 120 million cars in its future, China's oil companies are scouring the world to find oil and natural gas deals that aren't locked up.

    One approach would be to buy the reserves of other companies. Chinese takeover rumors have swirled around Unocal Co. and Canada's Husky Energy Inc.

    At the moment, it is the competition for reserves in other nations that has many people worried. Including Huang.

    Worriers in America look at China's oil deals in Iran and think China will offer it diplomatic protection at the U.N. Security Council if Iran's nuclear program draws a threat of worldwide economic sanctions. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao has called this "insulting."

    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is loudly declaring his intention to shift away from his main oil customer, the United States, and has met repeatedly with top Chinese officials.

    China's refineries aren't yet able to handle Venezuela's thicker oil. They need the lighter types of crude oil produced in the Middle East, West Africa and Russia.

    China's top foreign oil suppliers now are Angola, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran, Russia and Sudan. About 60 percent of its imports come from the Middle East by tanker. The vessels have to sail through the waters of Southeast Asia on their way to China, which makes Chinese planners nervous.

    "They're pretty uncomfortable with oil on boats moving through the Straits of Malacca, under the gaze of the U.S. Navy," said a Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Worriers in Asia fear China's territorial claims to islands and undersea petroleum resources also claimed by Japan, Taiwan and other countries.

    Worriers in Beijing look at a bidding war they recently lost with Japan for Russian oil. Japan has offered billions of dollars in financing to build a pipeline across eastern Siberia that would terminate near the Pacific port of Vladivostok. China wanted the pipeline to cross its oil-producing northeast, where it could feed a chain of refineries, before reaching the sea at a Chinese port.

    In December, when the Chinese provided more than $6 billion used by the Russians to finance the auction seizure of the major piece of Yukos Oil Company, it looked like the pipeline terminal might be in play again. The Chinese government said the money was for future oil deliveries, but it helped the Russian government steer the auction away from U.S. bankruptcy court threats aimed at any European financiers that supported the sale a favor the Russians are likely to remember.

    The Chinese government has set a priority on energy efficiency in its future economic growth plans. China uses far more energy for each dollar of economic output than other countries - 2.4 times as much as the world average, and 8.7 times as much as Japan.

    But China will need more oil in a world where there are limited supplies.

    "We have to expand our production through more and more exploration, and we have to buy more oil from abroad," said Huang. "A better way for China to buy this oil is through cooperation with other consuming countries instead of competition."

    Huang hopes Japan and China could jointly finance the Russian pipeline, and that other deals in the Far East tie countries together instead of leaving them snarling in a bidding war.

    Russian gas from Sakhalin Island, for example, could supply China, Japan and South Korea. In the future, even North Korea could be added.

    "These deals may be good, not just for China, but also for Asia and even world peace," Huang said.


    © 2005, The Dallas Morning News.

    Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at http://www.dallasnews.com

    Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    I don't debate that gas prices are going to rise. And I wouldn't be all THAT surprised to see it hit $4-$5/gallon.....by 2010. But what set my teeth on edge was your initial assertion that it would hit $3/gal by THIS fall 'at the earliest'. You then predicted the $5/gal mark much much earlier than 2010.

    Yes, I would agree that the oil production curve is a bell-curve. And it may very well be that we are near the top of the curve. But several of the references YOU have posted opine that when they say we are at or near 'peak oil' they mean over the next couple of years, and not necessarily NOW. Also remember that the oil production curve is just that: a curve. It doesn't reach a peak with a cliff on the far side.

    And also remember that crude oil which is pumped out of the ground is by no means the planet's ONLY supply of oil, let alone fossil fuel. Other (plentiful) sources are available but are not (at the moment) economically viable. I've read indications that they ARE economically viable with crude oil trading in the $60-$80 range. But since the intial investment required to take advantage of these alternate sources of oil are very large, these sources won't be tapped unless it is demonstrated that the price of crude oil will STAY at elevated levels. Companies would take a dim view of investing a tens of billions of dollars to begin large scale extraction of, say, shale oil and then have the oil market return to the $40-$50/bbl range.

    If you are concerned that the price of gas will get relatively expensive over the short term then by all means invest in an automobile that gets excellent mileage. Nothing we can say in here will give you the peace of mind to own anything else. My father owns a Prius and absolutely loves it; I've driven it for extended distances a number of times and agree that it is a fine car. But 'blind faith' leads me to believe that I can continue to afford any vehicle which gets 'only' 20-25mpg for the foreseeable future.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I must say though, that as I get older (late 30s now) the cold gets more annoying.

    You might consider San Diego. We have a wonderful electric trolley system, that extends 25 miles to the East County. Our buses & many of our taxi's are CNG. You know what they say about Hollywood. What ain't fruits and flakes are nuts. We can always use productive people willing to use public transit. You can ride your bike 365 days a year without Patagonia wear, made in China. I think your stuck with Chinese sneakers unless you buy custom sandals.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    BTW - National average gas prices have increased from $2.153/gal to $2.164/gal over 2 days. Extrapolated out, that would mean we would hit $3/gal on Sept. 1.

    So you're a month ahead of schedule. Just that I'd throw that bone out to you.

  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    I've heard good things about San Diego. Unfortunately, I haven't had any business reasons to go there. If I ever get some time for a real vacation, I really ought to go check it out.

    Incredibly, New Balance still makes some of its athletic shoes in the US. At least they were last Fall when I bought running shoes. The last few years I have not been able to find a good pair of riding shoes made anywhere but China. Even the Shimano riding shoes with the pedal cleat hook ups are made in China now.

    Alan Edmunds makes some decent shoes in Wisconsin, but they tend to be a little bit too formal to risk on the bike.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Andre: Agree 100%. You get a couple of moderately warm days in Middle March, and suddenly your body is completely back in warm weather settings.

    Wind with sleet or mixed rain and snow is the absolute worse time to ride a bike.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    The market re-invents itself every morning. I don't pay too much attention to the daily price of things. By the way I reiterate. I hope gas isn't $3 by Oct. 1. The reason being that for me to collect my $20.00 I will have had to pay a whole lot more in gas to do so.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,599
    bruce....points well taken.

    Fact is, the world oil market (not just OPEC) does have elasticity in what they put on world markets. For example, we scant little about what Iraq is now producing. That's some sort of well guarded secret (by the U.S., btw). My guess is the U.S. controls more oil than we're letting on by taking over the Iraqi oil business. Another example, not much is known about Russian oil, it's production or how it's hitting the world markets, either. Pick any non-OPEC country and find that there is scarce knowledge (except for the few that are "in the know") about what they are/aren't putting on the world market. What this tells me is power is shifting from OPEC (although they are still a major power) to these other sources....sources the U.S. has more control over. I think little more evidence is needed other than the total lack of intercession, or even discussion, regarding our energy policies.....other than "let's drill in wildlife preserves".

    What I am hearing are a lot of excuses, though. Whenever gas dips under $2/gal, all of a sudden some excuse (most are pretty lame like "it's winter, it's spring, it's cold, it's travel season, all of China's billions of citizens have bought SUVs, someone stubbed their toe in Saudi Arabia") to boost it back up. It's clear to me where the BP's, Dutch Petroleums, etc want the price of gas....and it ain't tied to any reasonably believable explanation. I say audit the oil companies (won't happen with the current administration) and find out who is really controlling the price of a gal of gas. We might be very surprised what we find out. Levy some fines (as per the Carter administration) for those who are blatantly gouging the public. Look no further than the annual reports to see which oil companies are guilty.

    While I hate for gov't intervention for anything, put another 50 cent gas tax on a gallon of gas and you'll see oil companies drop their prices quicker than a fly avoiding a fly swatter.

    Not too many years ago, gas stations were mostly independent, or at the least, franchisees. We regularly saw gas wars happening so one independently owned station coudln't get the "leg up" over the one across the street from them. Over the last 10 years or so, we've seen oil companies put up company owned stores. I would venture to say the likelihood of collusion is higher with the big oil companies than at any time in the oil industry's history.
    2022 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    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?

    bruce - it's obvious that you have some strong feelings on this subject, but I'll try and answer your question. The reason we don't go out and find a bunch of articles to support our statements is that you can go out and find supporting evidence on ANY topic NO MATTER WHICH SIDE YOU WANT TO ARGUE, be it oil supplies, global warming, Social Security, etc., etc.. Some might not be worth the pixels they're written with, and some may seem very compelling. But most often, the truth lies somewhere in between.

    Since most of us have experienced this, we tend to take these articles with a big grain of salt, and certainly don't feel it's worth our time to research them. Show me 10 articles arguing any subject, and within a half-hour or so on Google I could find 10 articles arguing the opposite. We're just expressing our opinions here, not really trying to convince you to change yours. Frankly, I don't think that's possible. However, we may all come out of this better educated, which is a good thing. :)
  • iancariancar Member Posts: 31
    When gas climb to $5 or even higher in the future, it will be good thing for the environment. Sorry to say, even $2.5 is a little too low to persuade people to get off from big cars and big SUV. A normal econ-car rank about 35 mpg and a SUV rank about 19 mpg. It looks like a lot of difference, but on 2.5 per gallon, that just mean approx. 20 bucks more each week, price about 7 coffees from Starbuck. In reality, a lot of people is willing to pay that to have fun in driving. Similar problem in 'high' power car, not so long ago, normal cars could only go about 13 sec in 0-60 run. But now, even econ-car can go about 7-8 sec. People are just keep asking for more horses, rooms, and height from their cars ( and light trucks?) without thinking they are actually need it or not. None of my friends ever went to road trips or the wild, but all of them own one or more SUVs. Normal American men only have 5'8", I just wonder how many people can touch the roof of their cars like "ford five hundred" with their head? But I am not a greenie and i really like big cars. With a gas price like $2.50, i will still stick with my big suv and long sedan.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Member Posts: 1,650
    Somebody at least TRY to support the "everything will be just fine" argument with some authoritative links! Bruce has done an excellent job of documenting the "doom and gloom" scenario (which I think is too conservative). Some one step up and REALLY defend the other side (please).

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I've been looking for articles that suggest that everything is hunky-dory in "oil land." I can't find them. Please help me out and post several.

  • electrictroyelectrictroy Member Posts: 564
    "There are a great bakery, produce store, two pharmacies, three video stores, and multiple restaurants all within walking distance of my home."


    And you live in the city, which I affentionately call "hell".

    I'm sorry, but I absolutely, positively can not live in a city. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by trees & wildlife, and that's where I will continue to live. I'm not going to sacrifice my happiness just to "enjoy" riding the subway & living in concrete hell.

  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    Here's one. Took me 10 seconds to find. I could go on, but why?

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Bruce has done an excellent job of documenting the "doom and gloom" scenario (which I think is too conservative).

    I think of it as too liberal. Gloom and Doom sells on the TV and the media. No one wants to hear everything is going to be alright. How much of the good do you hear about Iraq compared to the bad. Yet it keeps getting better. Remember they are the second only to Saudi in oil reserves. If they can get back to pre 1990 production much of the wind will have gone out of the sails of the doom and gloom party. I think the water shortage in the South west is much more critical than gas prices. We spend more per month on water than gas. About $65 to $75 per month. $3 to $5 per gallon gas is not a pleasant thought. However we are paying more percentage wise now for electricity than fuel for our cars. How about property taxes. That is much more than gas compared to 30 years ago.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,317
    I'm kind of a country boy myself, and it'll be a cold day in hell before I give up my 4 1/4 acres. However, I don't think all cities are automatically "hell". I have some friends that live in downtown DC, and on some of those side streets it actually seems more quiet and serene than it does out in my neighborhood! Many of these streets have big, mature trees, both out in front and back along the alleys. You still get all the birds and squirrels and 'possums and such, although the true "country" critters like snakes, turtles, deer, raccoons, etc are much more rare.

    I don't think I'd ever want to live in a high-rise, but I always kind of liked the old-style row-houses with their garages and alleys around in back. The biggest downside I could see is that if you love cars, about the best you're going to be able to hope for in something like a DC rowhouse is off-street parking for two cars. So most people who live in a big city most likely aren't going to have a big collection. And you can probably forget about swapping out your engine in your back yard! Although people have done it...
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    It took you ten seconds. But how much time did you spend sifting throught it? Here is a list of the stated experts that work for this insittution:

    Pete du Pont
    John C. Goodman, Ph.D.
    Barry Asmus, Ph.D.
    Bruce Bartlett
    Dorman E. Cordell
    H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.
    W.W "Bill" Caruth
    William B. Conerly, Ph.D.
    Thomas R. Saving, Ph.D.
    Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Ph.D.
    Gerald W. Scully, Ph.D.
    Matt Moore
    Devon M. Herrick, Ph.D.
    Gerald Musgrave, Ph.D.
    Roy G. Boyd, Ph.D.
    Barry J. Seldon, Ph.D.
    Linda Morrison

    They are all PHD's Nothing wrong with PHD's but what disciplines are their PHD's in. They may be legit but I'm not too certain. Other problem is that piece is from Jan. 2003. That was before the China/India card entered into picture. Also before Shell Oil had to lower their reserve estimates by more than 25%. Find me another one.

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I don't think all cities are automatically "hell".

    "Hell" might be a bit harsh. I have thought of living in a city from time to time. I am looking a condo in downtown Hilo, Hawaii as a matter of fact. For the very reasons many have given. You can walk to the store and restaurants. It may be healthier than our country living that is so appealing to many. I would like to ride my bike more. Our drive up the side of the mountain is too steep for me to make it peddling. So my bike sits more than it should. I could never live downtown in a big city. Maybe a small one would be good. It is a gas saver for sure.
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    Heh - I forgot to add that 10 seconds is all I spent reading it as well. Because it doesn't matter. Obviously, these guys didn't convince you. I doubt any report would convince you, whether it was 2 years old or 2 minutes old, because you feel too strongly about your opinion.

    The real truth about the oil supply is that no one really knows when it will run out. It's not worth my time sifting though articles to figure that out.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    I grew up in a rural area and own land - which a local community college is converting back to prarie - in western Illinois. I've been so busy lately, it has been more than a year since I was able to get out there.

    But the more I thought about living a green lifestyle, the more it occurred to me there were only two options: live off the grid as some chose to do (mainly in places like rural New England and the Pacific Northwest) or live in the city where it is easy not to use a lot of resources, recycle, yet still be wired.

    So many people are 'enjoying' living in the countryside that unless you get all the way out to Iowa, there is a whole lot less of the trees and wildlife than there were just a generation ago.

    In any event, Chicago has a great lake front long park and a green belt that follows the DesPlaines River on its western border. You would be surprised how easy it is to get away from the urban in some of the nature zones there.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    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

    me: so the train doesn't run unless you showup? ;):D See logic1's post #258, for those who live in urban areas.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Don't forget that if gasoline prices hit $5 per gallon, even if you buy 0 gallons of gasoline, you WILL be paying for the higher gas prices in the form of higher costs of everything at the stores. And it is not just the transportation of the goods, it is all the plastic (made from petroleum) in the goods, and plastic resin prices are on the rise!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 215,937
    Very good point, mcdawgg.

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  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    "And you live in the city, which I affentionately call 'hell'."

    And what you call hell I call home.

    "...but I always kind of liked the old-style row-houses with their garages and alleys around in back. "

    Andre, Philadelphia is full of just such houses, mostly in the Northeast. Get 'em while they last! Even houses in my old neighborhood which is what I'd now call "marginal" are going for $120K. Ten years ago you could've got 'em for as little as $65K and the place was nicer. New houses being built in my neighborhood are starting at $350K, but you can still get a bargain on an existing house if you hurry!
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Here's from a quick google on "coal gasification gasoline diesel", and it's even promoted by a green-site! After you get done reading this, if you want to know more about coal reserves, I suggest you go to doe.gov and look at energy sources and research coal.


    Spread the word we have plenty of coal, stop fretting and panicking unless you're going to live another 200 years. I don't how much more I can hand-feed some of you this info. to stop the crisis-mentality. Yes there may be some short-term pain until companies or the government decide to invest in coal gasification, but we are not going to go to $10/gal fuel, and we are not even going to be at $5/gal. fuel long-term. If gasoline looked like it was going to stay at $5/gal. these coal gasification plants would get built, and the price would then lower, as this additional supply hit the markets. Long-term the average price should be no higher than $3/gal in '05 dollars.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...in the anthracite coal region, even the coal waste called "culm" isn't wasted. The landscape in Schuykill County is dotted with CoGen plants that burn the coal waste, (huge mountains of slag generated by over 100 years of deep and strip mining) to generate electricity.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    And here's a small project that is getting built. And some info. on the history of why these plants haven't been built to date - natural oil was cheaper than coal gasification. http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/03/16/build/wyoming/40-- coal-proposal.inc


    I'm sure if you went into any major energy company today, you'd see planning/costing being considered for their own plants.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    Bruce shouldn't be doing hard work here at all. He should be leveraging up the hilt buying oil and gas future contracts. If and when his doom and gloom scenrio plays out, he will be rich beyond belief, and may well be in a position to tell everyone else exactly what to do with the dwindling amount of energy that's left on the planet.

    The reality is that . . . price of oil and gas futures have not exploded skyward. In fact, aside from mirroring dollar devaluation (which is well reflected by gold and silver price increases in lock steps with oil), there hasn't been much move in oil and gas price. Nobody, not even Bruce, would bother to argue that the world is running out of gold or silver.

    The oil industry does have a vested interest in trying to convince the public that "reserve" is some kind of finite resource that will be exhausted in a couple decades. The industry has been doing it since mid-19th century. Humanity was supposed to be on the verge of exhausting "oil reserve" just by burning kerosene lamps. By mid-to-late 20th century, another industry came along trying to capitalize on the doom-and-gloom story: the messianic doomsday environmentalists. They get paid through donations and arbitrarging political policy making. The "repent now for the reckoning is nigh" message always sells well for a bored and faithless populance; has been ever since Zoroastrians invented the original good-vs.-evil apocaliptic doomsday. It works again and again, every time, for the last four thousand years, no reason to stop now. The green religion works more effective today in Western Europe than in the US simply because the former had been even more spiritually adrift; there was a religious vacuum to fill, and the green religion was the perfect choice.

    For a reality check, search on line for "abiogenic origin" of gas and oil. Hydrogen and Carbon are two of the four most common elements in this part of the universe; numerous nearby astrobodies are largely made out of hydrocarbons. There is no reason to presuppose that there is enough oxygen on this planet oxydize all the hydrocarbon inside the planet, as the astronomical neighborhood obviously doesn't (we have free hydrogen, water, carbonaceous gas and solids floating around in the solar system everywhere, but no clouds of oxygen in space).
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Buying oil futures just might make a little sense right now:


    Of course the BBC apparently has some reporters on staff who are unclear on whether Bob Marley is alive or dead.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    Buying oil futures just might make a little sense right now:


    Of course the BBC apparently has some reporters on staff who are unclear on whether Bob Marley is alive or dead.

    Sometimes I too wonder if journalist schools train students to be gullible. Sure $105 a barrel is coming up real soon; just let me cash in on the 6000 Nasdaq prediction first.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358

    that was my main point....: to group one's trips and walk if possible...or bike if it is slightly further away...

    use cars or fuel burning vehicles as a last resort....

    China used to be sellf sufficient " they used to bike or walk.......they EXPORTED oil and gas to us....now they are major competitors with us on the oil market...They all want a car as a status symbol , and want the upscale, energy wasteful lifestyle...
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    ......alternative powered vehicles (APV's). The need for transportation is only going to increase as the world's population increases. We (the world) just can't keep relying on gasoline and diesel to meet our transportaion needs. With the seemingly endless increases in gas prices, you'd think the automotive industry would now be motivated enough to get serious about developing APV's in serious numbers. There's certainly a market for them now. I just don't understand why they're so slow to react to the situation.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    agree with APV...

    but the bigger problem is human population growth...it has to be contained....


    get it back down to 4 billion....and decreasing per year....

    that is what all the animal kingdom and mother Earth has to say...
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,317
    there was a Twilight Zone episode about a community called "Evergreen" that had a big sign out front that said "Our Children are our Greatest Resource". And yes, they meant it, in a Soylent Green sort of way!
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,599
    Oil prices on the rise again as a result of Goldman Sachs reports. Care to guess who sells oil and gas futures? Care to ponder why they would make such crazy estimates and who they would benefit? Care to guess who their clients are?

    As they always say, just follow the money and you'll find the answers.

    Personally, I think their report was wildly speculative, at best and bordered on the irresponsible. Well, it worked. All the "chicken littles" out there are proclaiming the sky is, indeed, falling.

    This is a temporary situation, at best. When these artificially inflated prices deflate, the oil companies will cry again. Hopefully, this time we'll let them wallow in their own debacle with no intercession to dig them out of the holes they are digging themselves into right now at the consumer's expense.
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  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Look I'm not a big stock speculator in that I don't have a ton of disposal investment money. I have settled on a couple of funds, a couple of blue chips and S&P 500 Spiders. Truth be told I think Spiders are the way to go because of the low operational numbers and the diversification. But I have taken a portion of my investment money and put some into oil related stocks. Not the big guys with their names on the pump but the little guys that provide services to the big ones. In my oil stocks I'm currently up a bit over 25% year to date.

    But that is beside the point. People keep offering scenarios regarding coal gasification, and shale oil and so on and so forth. And I agree. These are forms of energy that exist (in huge quantities) and will be utilized when it makes economic sense to do so. I'm not for a minute suggesting that the big guys won't involve themselves in mining these energies. For crying out loud the biggest manufacturer of solar panels as of 4:00 EST today is Brittish Petroleum.

    Listen to what you are saying. You are saying the end isn't here. We have this other energy over here we can use and I concur. But to get to, extract, and refine those other energies it is going to take more energy. That means it will be more expensive.

    If you recall this whole thread started with the $5.00 by 2010 question. I've given you reasons (backed with articles, etc.) that lead me to believe that 5 by 10 is a very real possibility. When you come back with arguements about these more expensive to extract alternatives you kind of help me make my point. Please share your sources for the cost of exploiting these other types of energy.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    In Europe, aren't they already selling gasoline at that price? I think it's just that Americans have enjoyed the luxury of low gas prices and jumbo sized, gas guzzling SUVs for too long. Didn't GM say that they were going to put a million Hydrogen cars on the road by 2010? Any idea how GM is going to pull this "research project" off?
  • kurtamaxxguykurtamaxxguy Member Posts: 677
    I lived in Australia from '92 thru '97 where gas __and car__ prices were easilly double or triple those of the USA. The Aussies made great use of their trains and busses. Then again, they were in the process of "discovering" the automobile and rapidly turning every road they had into a major traffic jam.
    Point is they managed fine. I got around Sydney without too many problems. It was kinda nice not to have to always worry about the car, its insurance, whether I would be killed by a fool on the road, etc. It can be done!

    Wrt USA gas at $5 in 2010, the upper strata will care less and continue to buy ever more powerful and faster cars (have you noticed nearly all the "excitement" of late is in the higher end vehicles ?).
    The poor will make do with whatever mass transit the cities/communities can scrape up money for. The middle class? - we'll have real pain and possibly drive fewer miles until alternative energy is available or some kind of affordable hybrid (probably from China) shows up without the %$^&@!! dealer markup!
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358

    I think you are wrong to demonize SUVs....it is all cars that are causing the oil depletion, , and pointing fingers at one car type but not the other is disengenuous, IMO. Did you know that sports cars use alot of gas...and especially if they are driven the way they were meant to be ? Did you know that many cars get less than 19 mpg on city...including the Acura TL ?

    SUVs are not the problem....people are !!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    I understand, bad news sells and gets ratings. But watching people line up at a gas station here because the station lowered the price two cents while others didn't is incredible. What even became of rational thinking? I keep a fairly detailed household budget using Quicken. I don't like the increasing price of gas anymore than anyone else. but for crying out loud, my grocery budget is over 5 times as large as my auto fuel budget. I understand that eventually the extra costs of doing business is going to affect the price of everything I need to buy. But despite what the media seems to WANT, the prices at the pump are not a CRISIS that's going to grind the world to a halt as far as I can tell.

    Don't mind me...LOL... the never ending drumbeat of gloom and doom since the 70's must finally be getting to me. I fell for it when those scientists warned me about the impending ice age and told me we had to do something NOW before the polar ice caps covered NJ. If we didn't act NOW, we were all going to die.

    Of course, when that didn't pan out, those same exact folks are now spouting global warming and that we have to do something NOW to save those ice caps. Uh huh.

    And you can google now and find some of the same people saying that global warming (which they must think is a proven historcal fact that has already happened .. note the past tense) is a signal that another ice age may be impending. I kid you not, that was picked up by some news service.

    It's my fervent hope that the population can hold it together long enough to get us through the weekend.

    {insert primal scream HERE}

    PF Flyer
    News & Views, Wagons, & Hybrid Vehicles

    I'm much better now :)
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I don't agree with following but it is an interesting idea. I've been giving reasons irrespective of tax issues why gas prices will rise. If enough legislators agree with the following (and what legislator doesn't love taxes?) Katie, bar the door.

    Original article at:

    http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-vpjmp4193724mar28,0,1024397.story?coll=ny-viewpoint- s-headlines

    Even costlier oil would help U.S.
    Tough medicine, but nation would be forced to use less - bringing benefits here and around the globe

    Michael Mandelbaum is professor of American foreign policy at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the author of "The Ideas That Conquered the World"

    March 28, 2005

    The price of internationally traded oil rose to an all-time high recently, exceeding $57 a barrel before dropping slightly.

    The record price was bad news for the American consumer, for whom the price of gasoline has risen, with some brands in some places selling for more than $3 a gallon. It is bad news as well for the American economy, threatening a slowdown that could cost jobs, since high oil prices retard economic growth.

    Paradoxically, however, the long-term interests of the United States would be best served by an oil price that rose to an even higher level and stayed there. This would lower the American, and worldwide, consumption of oil in general and of imported oil in particular.

    That, in turn, would not only reduce the total amount of money that Americans spend on energy, it also would bring substantial political, economic and environmental benefits to the United States and other countries.

    High oil prices would reduce overall consumption by promoting conservation: Americans would use less oil. For example, the new hybrid cars that run on a variety of fuels would become, because they use far less gasoline than standard automobiles, economically attractive. Americans (and others) would buy many more of them than they do now.

    High oil prices would also encourage the use of substitutes for imported oil. The expensive-to-obtain oil contained in shale rock, which is abundant in the United States, and in tar sands, which are plentiful in Canada, would become economically competitive with - and could therefore replace - oil pumped in other parts of the world.

    The ensuing reduction in both overall oil consumption and the use of imported oil would make the world far less dependent on the increasingly uncertain political stability of the part of the world with the lion's share of the planet's oil, the Middle East, and especially on the political stability of the country with the largest oil reserves, Saudi Arabia.

    The consequent reduction in the flow of oil revenue to Saudi Arabia would make it more difficult for the people and government of that country to support the fundamentalist Islamic preachers, mosques and schools that have produced many of the world's anti-Western terrorists, including the majority of the hijackers who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Reducing oil consumption and therefore oil imports would also promote democracy around the world by weakening governments that use their oil revenues to secure their own power and resist demands for political freedom. The regimes of Vladimir Putin in Russia and the ruling mullahs in Iran fit this description. Many other countries are reluctant to pressure or even criticize them because they import energy from Russia and Iran.

    Importing less oil also would strengthen the United States economically. It would reduce the nation's large trade deficit, which the American government must attract $2 billion each day in investment or loans to close. The resulting debt increases the resources that must be used to pay interest on it and so cannot be used for more productive purposes.

    The deficit could cause even greater damage if other countries balked at providing the needed loans, which would necessitate a sharp and economically harmful rise in American interest rates.

    Finally, the decline in overall oil consumption that sustained high prices would trigger would have a salutary effect on the world's environment. It would reduce the emission of the "greenhouse gases" that cause global warming. The American refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the global treaty designed to limit the production of those gases, has created ill will toward the United States around the world. A significant decline in the American use of oil would help dissipate that.

    The best way to reduce the American dependence on foreign oil and the country's overall oil consumption would be to supplement market forces by raising the price of gasoline gradually, perhaps by increasing the federal gasoline tax by 25 cents each year for eight consecutive years. (It also would be useful to raise the number of miles per gallon that automobiles sold in the United States are required to achieve.) Such a policy is, unfortunately, highly unlikely.

    Congressional resistance to tax increases in general, including the gasoline tax, is strong, and reflects the preferences of American voters. Without such measures, however, American consumers will be at the mercy of an increasingly volatile global oil market, and all of the adverse consequences of the world's dependence on imported oil - the support this provides to terrorists and dictators, the threat it poses to the American economy and the damage it does to the world's environment - will continue.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Oil prices spiked to over $58.00 a barrel today before levelling off just over $57.00:

  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    I predict over $60 per barrel of oil by the end of the year.... :-o

    you all have good points...both sides....paradoxically all can be right, and wrong, at this point in time...

    all is in flux....who knows ?
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    The best way to reduce the American dependence on foreign oil and the country's overall oil consumption would be to supplement market forces by raising the price of gasoline gradually, perhaps by increasing the federal gasoline tax by 25 cents each year for eight consecutive years. (It also would be useful to raise the number of miles per gallon that automobiles sold in the United States are required to achieve.)

    It would seem that if the first suggestion is taken, the second suggestion will be unnecessary.

    All of this gloom and doom over recent price increases is akin to Kirstie Alley saying that she'll starve to death if the price of a Big Mac goes up .50 cents.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    I give up....

    to all you car enthusiasts :

    I have seen the light.... oil depletion is the result of SUVs...

    I have sold/traded in my Cayenne and Stillen Suburban.. and now have a Honda Hybrid Accord. IT is such a nice feeling to be driving a politically correct car...it saves gas....and when you see me next time, I will be cruising along with a lot of miles between fillups.
    We also traded in the TL....getting 19 mpg on city is just tooo low...so we went for the Prius....another socially responsible car. I have eyed the GEM electric vehicle....but deemed it too restricted in terms of usage and utility.

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I agree with you regarding recent increases. Don't forget what we are talking about are long term trends. I don't care one whit what today's price is. I sounded off yesterday and coincidentally today gas hit an all time high (though not in terms of real dollars). Big deal. I'm not saying "told you so".

    We are going to to continue to pay increasing amounts for energy. There will be days when the price falls. As a matter of fact I'd be willing to bet that the price will fall next week from today's high. My point is that for the long term the trend is up. And because of this upward trend at some point (and I believe that to be sooner than later) we as a nation are going to have to address some very interesting and challenging issues. Your point regarding recent increases is spot on correct.
This discussion has been closed.