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



  • shelterformshelterform Member Posts: 1
    Remember the story about the boy who cried wolf? Remember the wolf eventually came. This might be such a time. Please consult the geologists at Peakoil.net for starters. These are not environuts. These guys worked in the petroleum industry for their whole lives. A simple synopsis: About 100 years ago humanity discovered a suitcase in the attic full of cash(oil). We have been spending that cash as fast as we could ever since, also finding new cash stashed in the walls and the basement and increasing our spending along the way. Now the house is pretty much torn apart and we are looking for a coffee can full of coins in the backyard. Common misunderstanding: oil is not carbon or oxygen but it is stored energy. Energy does not appear out of the blue: Please study the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Highender. You'd be crazier that an out house rat to give up your wheels and I know you haven't even entertained such an idea. Someone earlier made the statement that they had a nice V8 that was all paid off and to finance a new car to try and save a little gas mileage was nuts. And you know what he was 100% correct. It's the people that will be making a new car decision in the next year or two that will have to weigh the mileage vs whatever factor into their choice not someone who owns a car free and clear.

    Along those lines let me share a story that I think is kinda humorous. I have a Hummer dealer just a stones throw from me and to put it mildly the boy ain't pushin' too much iron. One of the local news geniuses picked up on this trend and swung into his dealership to secure an interview. His response to downward Hummer sales was, "Well, you gotta understand...for most people that buy Hummers for them its a third or fourth vehicle." What he was trying to say was Hummer folks are rich so it doesn't matter what they cost. But in fact if its a third or fourth vehicle and they have been paying whatever for gas for their other cars and they realize Hummers only get 8 miles to a gallon they may not need this particular third or fourth vehicle. This dealer failed to make that connection. Go figure.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    Peakoil.net? Amen brother. That is a great site. Those guys have ruined a shirt or two out punching holes in the ground. They are the types that make yuo sit up and take notice because they haven't been sealed up in an ivory tower some where.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    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.

    It would not surprise me at all that the green religion turns to global chilling again (ie. the globe is freezing up, all because of your fault, you and your cars) as the climate go into a cooling period in the next 34-yr warming-cooling cycle. Humanity has been looking for "sinners" to cast stones at whenever there was a draught or flood since time immemorial.
  • sortersorter Member Posts: 146
    and people will be waitting miles to get that $5 Gas.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    I majored in Physics at MIT, so I know my 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamic. 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics do not prove any eminent energy crisis. Yes, in a closed system, energy is finite. If you want to make a sense of urgency based on the closedness of our planet or universe, you may well argue that there is no point to search for any alternative energy: because that is also finite; nor is there any point of conservation: the total amount of energy is finite.

    On the other hand, our time horizon is not infinite. The Sun is going to burn out in another 4 billion years, and long before that it's red-giant stage is going to engulf earth; The earth itself may either lose all its water like Mars did in a few hundred million years, or alternatively get so much from deep space that all continents are buried; statisticly, within the next 50 million years, earth may well be struck by something big enough to wipe out all surface life form; as historians say, anything older than 150 years is not really relevent to present day life; every 30 years or so another generation of suckers are born and ready to swallow any twice-reheated wacko theory. So, which time horizon are we talking about, as far as energy exhaustion is concerned? Knowing finite is not nearly as important as knowing just how big or small the number is. Not many chicken littles are worried about earth being swallowed by the sun in a few hundred million years right now. To use your house of cash analogy, what proof do you have that we are now through with the house instead of merely done with the suitcase before digging into the walls or basement? heck, what proof do you have that we are even done with the first envelope in the suitcase? Perhaps we just got done with the first loose bills on top of the suitcase before even opening the suitcase itself? I mean, we have so far dug on average less than 5 kilometers of less than 0.001% of the earth's surface; there's still 99.999% surface area to go, at depths up to 4200 kilometers. Proportionately speaking, we are not even done with the a single coin if the earth is compared to an average house in your analogy.

    "Peakoil" is such a scam. Using their methodology, you may as well argue for "PeakTShirt": you can plot a similar curve for T-shirt production in the US peaking in the 70's; it's now nearly non-existent as sweatshops all moved overseas. Japan's T-shirt production curve peaked in the late 70's. Taiwan's peaked in the 80's. Mexico's T-shirt production curve peaked in the 90's as production moved further south, or to China and India . . . Now, is the world running out of T-shirts? What each curve illustrates actually is the steady decline of the value of each kilowatt of energy (or each T-shirt) compared to human labor in developed countries. They used to send people down mine shafts in WV to dig up coal for energy; human labor (and human life, at least in WV) is worth more now, not because coal became scarece. We just care more about our landscape aesthetics now than digging around in developed countries for energy.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    and people will be waitting miles to get that $5 Gas.

    Kind of like it was recently in Iraq. You blow up the refineries and all the oil in the world doesn't do you any good. The simple fact is we cannot handle anymore crude oil, our refineries are working at peak production. One little glitch like the BP refinery fire and it sends the price out of the ballpark. Lack of oil is not the main problem. Lack of facilities to handle the oil, transport the oil and refine the oil are the issues behind the high price of gas in the USA.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    But in fact if its a third or fourth vehicle and they have been paying whatever for gas for their other cars and they realize Hummers only get 8 miles to a gallon they may not need this particular third or fourth vehicle. This dealer failed to make that connection. Go figure.

    Or the fact that the fashion statement has been replaced by the likes of Cayenne? A $60k vehicle depreciates $10k a year, plus another $3k for insurance and excise tax each year, for the first three years. What difference does it make whether those 5k miles (3rd or 4th car) are covered at 80miles/gallon ($100) or 8miles/gallon ($1000)?
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    Hi Brucej:

    yeah...just like you thought, I was a bit sarcastic and april fools envy when I posted that I sold all my cars to get into an overpriced Prius...spending money to save money was never a smart idea.... :-)

    agree on your posts...keep up the good work...
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    hey brightness :

    good to hear from you.....

    now if we can find sails and nitro ?!? ;)

    take care .... :-)
  • rfruthrfruth Member Posts: 630
    You got that right gagrice, its not the lack of crude rather refinery capacity
    http://tinyurl.com/5lfdy - I'd like to see the price back at $ 35 a barrel, the U.S artificially
    inflate the price to 45 and use that extra $ 10 for mass transit etc (I don't like the idea of telling politicians there is money to spend though) and sign me up for a Prius, no April fools joke.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    T-Shirts shifted because of the means of production were cheaper elsewhere not because of a shortage of t-shirts. Peak oil occured in the U.S. in 1970 because that was the year that we pumped the most oil. It has been in decline ever since.

    The big players didn't run off to the four corners of the earth looking in God forsaken quarters for the black stuff because it was cheaper to do so or the people were friendlier. They went because that's where the oil was.

    What methodology are you refering to as being bogus about the phenomenon of peak oil? Pressures are higher in the early life a well. They get weaker the longer the well is produced. Thats represented by a bell-shaped curve. When you state, " What each curve illustrates actually is the steady decline of the value of each kilowatt of energy (or each T-shirt) compared to human labor in developed countries." I don't begin to pretend that I have even a remote idea as to what you are trying to say. What you been smokin" at MIT?

    Finallly, they quit digging coal primarily because it was cheaper to extract oil and also because carburators tend to clog up with chunks of coal. (the environmental benefits were a mere plus) Think they won't be straining West Virginia backs again when the gas/coal ratio does a flip flop?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,204
    uh huh... what day is it? :confuse:
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    We just care more about our landscape aesthetics now than digging around in developed countries for energy.

    That was good. Your last line summed it up nicely. No one wants a refinery, power plant, wind generator, solar panels or a hydro electric dam in their back yard. The Green legislators have blocked any kind of progress in energy expansion for the last 30 years. Now we will pay dearly for shortages. You add to that the oil companies slowing production every time the price of oil drops. If it were not for the greed of OPEC we would not have gone back to under $20 per barrel oil in the late 1980s. I have watched the oil flow from Alaska for 35 years. Every time the price drops BP, ARCO & Exxon would slow production. Through most of the 1980s they were pushing over 2 million barrels a day through the Alaska Pipeline. When the price dropped the production dropped into the 1 million minimum barrels per day. Now that the price is high they are putting every well they can get online to make that money while it is high. Oh, and this is out of a field that was supposed to only have 9 billion barrels. They are past 15 billion barrels and still flowing.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    you: Energy does not appear out of the blue:

    me: except for a couple of other people here, you then shouldn't be ignoring coal gasification. There IS NO PROBLEM when the price of naturally occurring oil reaches an economically viable price to produce oil from coal. Isn't coal stored-energy?

    I think there are several reasons that many people don't want to admit this and continue to "cry wolf" as you mention.

    One reason is that it is just in some peoples' nature that they must be the prophet to preach to others to save them. They therefore must have a crisis to save the others from. They enjoy creating a crisis psychology, and it plays well with everyone who's fascinated with the latest disaster movie of the month. And there's also the bunch who deep-down believe we are all sinners, and we must look forward to being punished, either by your choice of gods, or nature.

    The other probable reason is that many green people want the world to run short on energy, so that industrial growth and greenhouse gas emissions could be stopped. They wish there were no hydrocarbon fuels left. They want us to only use solar and wind, and maybe a biofuel. So when you mention that we can continue to burn oil for another hundred years after natural oil starts decreasing, they basically have a fit. There goes their dreams of changing peoples' lifestyles and behaviors. And if you mention increasing nuclear energy they again have a fit, because that frees up hydrocarbon fuels for transportation.

    So, remember as you point out that the issue is energy, not simply naturally occurring oil. Oil could also be made from C, H, O, and some energy from the sun (or a nuclear reactor). If we build the technology for fusion reactors in the next 50-100 years we'll have plenty of energy to make all the oil we want, if that's the most efficient packaging method of energy.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    they quit digging coal primarily because it was cheaper to extract oil

    I don't believe they have slowed down on digging coal. Over 50% of our electricity is still produced with coal. Very little is from petroleum. They are using more modern methods that protect the workers a little better.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    you: The Green legislators have blocked any kind of progress in energy expansion for the last 30 years. Now we will pay dearly for shortages.

    me: yes, as I just posted, I believe the green agenda is not to develop energy for people to continue their lifestyle or even increase it; their agenda is to decrease energy usage. Therefore they dispute every bit of energy exploration/retrieval, powerplant, and refinery they can by claiming it will cause change. Really now? I think everything causes change. Since almost every spot on the Earth has some kind of life, you could argue that doing any energy extraction will affect some lifeform in some way. I don't really see the why anyplace on earth is more pristine or better than another. Sorry, I don't believe in holy land or buildings either.

    Here's what I think of the green-movement. If you don't like peoples' freedom to work or invest to make as much money as they can, and to spend that money anyway they want even if it's for a 2mpg semi to go pickup the paper every morning on the other side of town, you might be happier living in a 3rd world country, where no one has the money for a car or fuel. And the rest of us who like living in a modern society can make some practical choices on developing energy.

    I believe we will be smart enough to figure out how to harness far superior nuclear energy sources. http://www.iter.org/index.htm If we're not that smart, conservation does not change the result of what is a losing game. Conservation is no more useful than if everyone bailed water on the Titantic. The only difference in both cases is a short period of time.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    T-Shirts shifted because of the means of production were cheaper elsewhere

    Since you dish out, I suppose you can take it . . . What have you been smoking??? ;-) "Means of production" is capital. You probably meant labor is cheaper elsewhere, which makes capital more precious (relative to local labor), hence attracting capital flight. duh!

    What methodology are you refering to as being bogus about the phenomenon of peak oil? . . . I don't begin to pretend that I have even a remote idea as to what you are trying to say. What you been smokin" at MIT?

    Are you even remotely aware of Hubburt's Peak Oil theory? His theory originates from the observation that when you plot out output vs. time line for a given country, you get a Poisson curve (later changed to Gaussian, or "bell curve" in vernacular terms; then after his death, his adherents changed the precise math to a vague "trapzoidal shape"). Gaussians have a nice mathematical property if you add multiple Gaussians together, you get a Gussian, still with a finite integrable area. The flaw with his theory is of course not realizing that the shift of production from US to overseas is not exhaustion in the US but less expensive alternative production source being found overseas, just like T-shirts. The world is not running out T-shirts despite the fact T-shirt produciton in the US, Japan, Taiwan and Mexico have all peaked. Same goes with oil. Yes, an oil well may be exhausted, but bring another oil well in Saudi Arabia into production instead one in the US is a strictly financial decision; Just like when Sam Walton died a decade ago, Walmart's last batch of made-in-USA T shirts were made, the next batch was ordered based on cost and the order went overseas not necessarily because the US ran out T shirts. Yes, there may well be an oil peak sometime in the future (the volume of the earth is finite, after all), but that could be 200 years from now, 2000 years from now or 20,000 years from now. What's so hard to understand? What have you been smoking today? Just kidding. Lets stay civil, shall we?

    Finallly, they quit digging coal primarily because it was cheaper to extract oil and also because carburators tend to clog up with chunks of coal. (the environmental benefits were a mere plus) Think they won't be straining West Virginia backs again when the gas/coal ratio does a flip flop?

    Coal consumption in the US has not declined in the last 100 years, or 50 years, or 30 years. The WV coal mine was stopped because human labor and human life became more precious than the value of energy contained in the coal that could be brought up in WV per labor hour (or per life lost). Oil or no oil is not entirely relevent when coal production/consumption in the US has been increasing; only that they stopped the WV underground mines. Meanwhile, dangerous coal mine accidents have been increasing in China in the past three decades even as the WV mines ceased production. That's not much different from continental US oil exploration slowed down while grounds in the rest of the world being ripped open in search of oil. The cost of exploration and production are just cheaper overseas. Therefore US production peaked. A major diffrence between coal and oil is that coal is even less expensive per ton and cost more to ship, therefore making it less worthwhile to import.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Stop confusing this issue with facts !! ;-) I want to start spreading the rumor that the government has been hiding the fact that the last barrel of oil in the ground will be pumped next Tue.

    Being on these forums really makes me depressed that schools are not teaching mathematics, economics, chemistry, or physics; or if they are people don't get the connection between the books and life.

    As you mention people take 1 fact such as a mine closing and then draw some kind of conclusion from it like "we're not using coal anymore". Similarly I get frustrated when people don't understand that the price of oil went up substantially simply because our currency devalued 50% in the last 3 years relative to many major economies. Countries who's currency went up in value, saw a much, much smaller price increase in oil.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    When do any of you remember ever seeing gas prices fluctuate to the point that when you get up in the morning and head out to work you check (almost by habit) what TODAYS' price is. Then you wonder what it will be on the way home and start procrastinating...."should I top off the tank just in case it does that incredible 12-15 cent a gallon JUMP." How about that good feeling when you just filled up and an hour later it took the eruption by 15 cents a gal.
    Remember my little joke about the guy who has to change the numbers on the sign at the gas station being tired from over work.?

    The reason that this site is, without a doubt, one of the hottest & busiest of all the sites on the web with the exception of maybe adult naughtys is because we're all in this together. It effects us all in so many ways. Cost of living...Inflation...The Dollar value on the world market.

    Last FYI....One of the unexpected reasons that SUVs and other gas guzzlers will leave popularity is because when gas escallates alot of folks will figure it to be "UNSMART" to be driving a "BEAST".....Transportation by Association. Agree or disagree?
    Railroadjames(reality at present already scares me abit)
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    No actually when I used the term means of production I meant what I said. You see I went to school across the river from MIT at Boston U. and I majored in buisness. See below:

    means, noun pl.
    1. what something is done by or the way something is brought about; agency; method.

    capital, noun, adjective.
    3. the amount of money or property that a company or a person uses in carrying on a business.
    (source-World Book)

    Regarding Hubbert. Yeah I've heard of him. I think I said a while back that I have been studying peak oil for about the last year. Just because you discovered Hubbert this afternoon doesn't mean I did. Regarding his curve, which I described as a bell shaped curve I'm not certain what you are talking about but if you visit www.hubbertpeak.com you will find the following:

    "The noted geophysicist M. King Hubbert (1903-1989) was the first man to effectively apply principles of geology, physics and mathematics (in combination) to the projection of future oil production from the U.S. reserve base. The Shell employee and, later, geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, was a brilliant scientist but was described by contemporaries as sometimes abrasive and having a short temper. He did not suffer fools gladly and was always a center of controversy.

    "Yet, Hubbert’s contributions to the industry included seminal research papers on the formation of geological structures, the theory of petroleum migration and the influence of fluid pressure on the movement of faults.

    "His most famous predictive analysis was published in 1956. In it, he indicated that our conventional crude-oil production would go over the top of a great curve in 1970 and start down...."

    Going over a great curve and starting down is a bell shaped curve. It happened in the U.S. in 1970.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Complete article bellow at:

    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=businessNews&storyID=2005-04-01T230856- Z_01_N01353364_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESS-AUTOS-SALES-DC.XML

    GM, Ford Sales Fall; U.S. Share Slips

    Fri Apr 1, 2005 6:09 PM ET

    By Michael Ellis

    DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Ford Motor Co. (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research) posted weaker March U.S. vehicle sales on Friday, losing further market share to Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. <7203.T and Nissan Motor Co. (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research) as high gasoline prices hurt sales of fuel-thirsty sport utility vehicles.

    The two biggest Japanese auto makers recorded double-digit sales gains and their best-month ever, as their aggressive expansion into new segments of the market and fresher lineup of cars and trucks wooed customers away from the U.S. auto makers .

    The exodus by car buyers, out of U.S. brands and into those of their foreign rivals, is a worrisome trend for Detroit, where Ford and GM have been struggling to revive profits in their automotive operations.

    Vehicle sales across the industry came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.85 million, according to tracking firm Autodata Corp. That beat expectations for sales in the range of 16.5 million to 16.7 million, compared with 16.7 million in March last year.

    Ford, the second-largest U.S. auto maker, said its U.S. sales dropped 5.1 percent to 285,659 cars and trucks last month, excluding its foreign brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover.

    GM, which in March warned that it expected sharply weaker profits this year, said its U.S. light vehicle sales fell 1.3 percent in March to 417,281 vehicles. All sales results are adjusted for an extra selling day in March this year, and GM's results excluded its Saab brand.

    Both GM and Ford reported weaker sales of traditional, truck-like SUVs, while some crossover SUVs -- which are built on car platforms and tend to get better gas mileage -- posted better results.

    "Higher gas prices seem to be accelerating the demand for small and crossover sport utility vehicles," Earl Hesterberg, Ford group vice president of North America marketing, sales and service, said in a statement.

    GM and Chrysler played down the impact from gas prices, however. And sales for the Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX.N: Quote, Profile, Research)(DCXGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 4 percent in March to 212,978 vehicles due to the continued strength of its Chrysler 300 sedan and strong results for its minivans.


    Toyota said its U.S. sales rose 12.3 percent to a record 203,223 vehicles, driven by a new high for its hybrid gas-electric Prius sedan, while its Corolla and Scion small cars also racked up gains. Toyota also posted weaker sales for large SUVs, but it is less dependent on them than its Detroit rivals for overall sales.    Continued ...
  • durability05durability05 Member Posts: 142
    With our present conservative goverment, only market forces are allowed to shape our gasoline prices. The congressional leadership are ideologically oppose to even a penny increase in gas taxes, but are not at all bothered by even a dollar increase per gallon in gas prices. Now mandated fuel economy standards will destroy Detroit , because the Japanese are always ahead in innovation because their home market is their proving ground, they are good at making economical cars. One area they can't compete with us, is making big refrigerators and awesome washers and dryers, because we have the home market as our proving ground. I try to cope with high gas prices by owing a Focus ZX4 for commute with its low price and economy, and a Honda Pilot because at 17 to 22 mpg, not bad for a 8 passenger SUV. So far it is $2.48 for Chevron regular here in Southern CA. I think I would $2.70 as peak this summer , but I don't expect to see a $3 peak till next year.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    NEVER!! WHY?

    You think Ford's and Chevy's are being givin' away now?

    'Yota and Honda would be 1 and 2 in the US, splitting a 50% share!

    Unemployement would be at 10%

    The Gov't would NEVER allow the gas to crush the makers. GM and Ford would be dead! Buried!

    Ford would survive for a little while, using Toyota's rough Hybrid drafts from 5 years ago, but that blueprint might as well be an '89 Enquirer issue by now!

  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    I'm confused. How is it that the government would never allow $5 gas to happen? What are you specifically suggesting that the "government" would do to prevent $5 gas? Just curious.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    Bruce, this is not meant to be mean (pun intended), but "Means of Production" should carry very specific meaning for anyone with a passing knowledge of the history of economic theories in the last two centuries, not some random words to be pulled out of dictionaries.

    I have known Hubbert since the 1970's. His curves and peak theory was all the rage back in the 70's and early 80's. At the root of his theory is the very simply mathematical truism about finite integrals, because the total volume of the earth is indeed finite (and of course, like any geologist that relies on the market valuation of the company's underground assets, the smaller the projected finite number the higher per centage the company's known holding is). The "bell shaped curve" started off as just a vernacular term for Gaussian, which is a finite integral. As the later data started to diverge from the mathematical simplicity proposed by Hubbert, some of his adherents started to modify the precise mathematical formulation to "sort of trapozoidal" or vaguely "bell shaped curve." Some of those are not even finite integrals. The modified theory has a convenient feature that it can be resurrected to promote the value of oil companies (their underground assets) whenever there's a blip in the oil price.
  • rswaglerswagle Member Posts: 27
    Research biodiesel/fuels. After you have done your homework then let's talk.
  • rswaglerswagle Member Posts: 27
    Odd writing style but try this one as well..
  • rswaglerswagle Member Posts: 27
    Biodiesel benefits:

    1) It decreases the dependence on foreign oil

    2) It decreases emissions to the environment

    3) It helps the economy by keeping fuel dollars at home instead of sending it abroad

    4) It's non-toxic and non-hazardous to the environment (you could drink the stuff)

    5) It increases the life span of auto's and trucks

    6) It preserves a wholesome way of life - Farming

    7) It provides jobs to the American people

    It's a win-win situation!!
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    Thanks for the posts. Good reading.
    I love the idea of ethanol and biodiesel. What could be cooler than growing the "get" juice for you Harley right in the old back yard? There are several problems. First one. How much in the way of petroleum based products am I going to have to use to grow the corn, etc. ? Did you know that all of the nitrogen based fertilizers are derived from natural gas? Gotta put something in the old tractor to turn the soil. Gotta gotta run the pumps to irrigate the fields. Gotta process the crop to get it to the point of usability. Gotta get the finished product to market.

    In the mean time we have grown the world's population to the point of 6 billion people. I gotta eat before I jump in the old jalopy. Let's see...do I eat the corn or put it in the tank?

    The following excerpt is an article from Harper's Magazine. It is titled "The Oil We Eat." It can be found in its entirety at:


    I guarantee that you will find it a fascinating read.

    The common assumption these days is that we muster our weapons to secure oil, not food. There's a little joke in this. Ever since we ran out of arable land, food is oil. Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten. In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1. And this understates the problem, because at the same time that there is more oil in our food there is less oil in our oil. A couple of generations ago we spent a lot less energy drilling, pumping, and distributing than we do now. In the 1940s we got about 100 barrels of oil back for every barrel of oil we spent getting it. Today each barrel invested in the process returns only ten, a calculation that no doubt fails to include the fuel burned by the Hummers and Blackhawks we use to maintain access to the oil in Iraq.

    David Pimentel, an expert on food and energy at Cornell University, has estimated that if all of the world are the way the United States eats, humanity would exhaust all known global fossil-fuel reserves in just over seven years. Pimentel has his detractors. Some have accused him of being off on other calculations by as much as 30 percent. Fine. Make it ten years. Continued....
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    ... losing further market share to Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. <7203.T and Nissan Motor Co. (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research) as high gasoline prices hurt sales of fuel-thirsty sport utility vehicles.

    me: well in the case of Nissan, rheir newest vehicles to market have been the Quest, Frontier, Pathfinder, and the Xterra. - the average mpg of those is no better than 20 mpg combined, and worse if you don't drive conservatively. The only fuel efficient car they have is the Sentra; that may be selling okay as they have heavy (as a percentage of MSRP) incentives on it.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    When I read these individual editorials or articles from newspapers or websites, I'm left with quite a bit of doubt as to whether this person has the facts straight, what their knowledge base is - another similar posting? It is good to doubt these type of articles, because if you did research on the opposite side of the coin, you'l also get reasons why it won't work.

    So in that light, do you have any links to any government, university (not grad. students and individual profs.), national laboratories, or major chemical/petroleum companies - Dupont, Dow, Exxon discussing this topic? I think the Biodiesel org. might have a strong bias towards biodiesel don't you? That's why I'm asking for someone neutral, which usually means a larger group with no motivation to take sides either way.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    Here's another article I found just after posting previous one. I've only excerpted. Complete article at: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050329132436.htm

    Study: Ethanol Production Consumes Six Units Of Energy To Produce Just One

    by SD staffer

    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.

    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."

    Ethanol is produced by fermenting renewable crops like corn or sugarcane. It may sound green, Patzek says, but that's because many scientists are not looking at the whole picture. According to his research, more fossil energy is used to produce ethanol than the energy contained within it.

    Patzek's ethanol critique began during a freshman seminar he taught in which he and his students calculated the energy balance of the biofuel. Taking into account the energy required to grow the corn and convert it into ethanol, they determined that burning the biofuel as a gasoline additive actually results in a net energy loss of 65 percent. Later, Patzek says he realized the loss is much more than that even.

    "Limiting yourself to the energy balance, and within that balance, just the fossil fuel used, is just scraping the surface of the problem," he says. "Corn is not 'free energy.'"
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Another great article to ponder which discusses food's dependance on oil:

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Biodiesel is the only real option to getting out from under OPEC, currently available. There are no hybrids in the USA that will run on it. I am about to buy a Passat Wagon TDI for that very reason. When Gas gets to $5 a gallon Biodiesel will have a great market at $3.50 per gallon. That is the current Real cost to grow, manufacture and distribute. If the government subsidy of $1.00 per gallon of B100 remain in affect, it will be a real bargain. Those with diesel cars will be watching the guy with the Prius paying $50 to fill their car with fossil fuel.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105

    Did you read any of the previous posts regarding ethanol and biodiesel? Just wondering.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Ethanol Production Consumes Six Units Of Energy To Produce Just One

    Ethanol is not a good solution. It should not be thrown into the discussion of Biodiesel. They are far from the same thing. Even though they can be made from the same sources. Most tractors will run on biodiesel, cutting that use of fossil fuel. Ethanol is a poor fuel at best. It is cleaner, at the cost of performance and economy. The only real reason it is manufactured is to oxygenate CARB state's gas. That 11% ethanol is probable what cuts the fuel economy of the hybrids in the winter, more than the cold does. E85 vehicles have horrible mileage with a little improvement in GHG. Ethanol has had government subsidies for a long time and it still costs the taxpayers millions of dollars to produce. Just another example of corporate welfare.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Doesn't Ford still make a Taurus with a FFV (Ethanol) engine? Just wondering, but does anybody on this board know anybody at all that bought a Taurus/Sable with a FFV engine?
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I'm feeling slow today. Is not the fuel called "biodiesel" not derived from plants? If so, how does the energy it takes to grow the plants differ from ethanol? Help me out here.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Did you read any of the previous posts regarding ethanol and biodiesel?

    Yes I did. I agree with some of the information. I base my assertions on reality. Here is the reality of biodiesel. A friend in Maui has successfully produced biodiesel for several years on both Maui and Oahu. The islands have always had higher gas prices that allowed him to make a profit off the biodiesel. He has not gotten any government assistance with this project. He may be cashing in on the latest incentive, as I have not visited with him since that went into affect. Biodiesel can compete with fossil fuel. As the price of oil goes up biodiesel becomes a real competitor for fuel dollars. I am with Willie Nelson on this one. I am also a friend of the farmer having owned farms. I would rather pay $3 per gallon for biodiesel than $2 per gallon for OPEC diesel. And it is environmentally better than gas.

    Check out what is going on with biodiesel in Hawaii:

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Ethanol is alcohol. It is highly flammable and hazardous to transport. Biodiesel is a direct replacement for diesel, with limitations. It is much safer to transport than gasoline. It is subject to gelling in cold weather as is #2 diesel. You can mix it to any percentage with #1 or #2 diesel, and still use it in most diesel engines. Many of the manufacturers are coming around to supporting biodiesel. It was not that it is bad for your engine. It was more a matter of standard quality. You have people making it in there garages from old McDonald's french fry oil. It needs to be processed correctly.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    You still haven't answered my question regarding the amount of energy that has to be used to produce biodiesel. In a previous posting i shared that ethanol is a bad idea because it takes five times more energy to produce it than you end up with. What is the ration for biodiesel? Again I'm all for farmers (have some in the family) and lessening OPEC oil but not if the net result is a loss of energy.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    That is a good question, and a very difficult one to answer. If you make your own from recycled cooking oil the average cost is 60 cents per gallon. I believe that is what it costs for the natural gas to heat treat it. If you are growing soybeans with all the associated costs of fuel, fertilizer, distilling & transportation I would not venture a guess. I do know that 100% biodiesel is selling in Ohio for $3.48 per gallon at the pump. What kind of cost do you put on the energy required to fulfill our long term obligation to protect the Saudi oil fields. That agreement was signed by FDR in the early 1940s. I would say that subsidy is much more than the one we are offering the farmers to produce biodiesel.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Someone asked for some good non-biased sources for energy information. I don't think any such thing exists. Everybody has ax ox to gore in this discussion. Having said that I'll share a list from National Geographic that they ran at the end of an article they did on oil. Original article can be found at:


    The list follows:

    Energy Information Administration
    This is probably the most comprehensive source of energy statistics on the Internet. Along with hundreds of Web links, it offers easily accessible information about everything from end-use consumption to analysis of energy consumption and resources in most countries of the world. The site also includes a lively section for kids about energy production and consumption.

    Society of Petroleum Engineers
    Although this site is primarily for professionals, it has very good material for general readers about the exploration and production aspects of the oil and natural gas industry. Links include state and national geological agencies and organizations that focus on sustainable development and environmental issues.

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Portal
    An informative site from the U.S. Department of Energy, this is a great place for information about currently available alternatives to conventional energy sources and technologies under development.  Resources for energy-conscious consumers cover everything from guidance in buying windows to installing a solar pool heater.
    Oil Market Basics
    If you've ever wondered what a spot price is and why it matters, this is the place to start reading. In clear language the text explains supply, trade, and pricing in the global oil market. It's full of links to help you navigate within the document and to outside resources.

    U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy
    This site provides details about regulations, supply, delivery, and facilities pertaining to various energy sources. It also includes current inventories and the guidelines for releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and Navy Petroleum Reserves.

    Association for the Study of Peak Oil
    Read news and analysis about peak oil at this website. Founder Colin Campbell is one of the strongest voices on the subject of oil depletion.
  • bpraxisbpraxis Member Posts: 292
    Hello everyone and I hope that you are having a great day.

    If the price of gas is $5.00 in 2010 that would be about the same price adjusted for debasement of the currencey ( Inflation ), that we had in 1980. So life would go on and we would adjust.

    The higher price would create more incentives to develope alternative fuels like the aforementioned bio being one of many examples. Some of which we can not even imagine what future energy sources will look like because they have not been thought of yet.

    The price of a commodity like oil is determined by supply and demand as you know in an unregulated market. Unfortunately the market for oil is heavily regulated, taxed, manipulated and misallocated.

    The solution for cheap energy is to deregulate the marketplace, reduce taxes on gas, get the environmentalists out of the way, and let the free market work.

    The average state and federal tax on gas in now over 50 cents per gallon.

    Exxon makes approximately 2 cents per gallon profit.
  • brightness04brightness04 Member Posts: 3,148
    Biodiesel benefits:

    1) It decreases the dependence on foreign oil

    Not if more farming is required to produce the extra farm output for biodiesel. American style industrialized farming is incredibly energy intensive. More fossil fuel is put into making chemical fertilizers, pesticides and transportation than the biomass can ever expect to produce. If you farm to produce fuel, you will get negative net output; by a factor of 5 or more. Most of the plants suiltable for America's farm belt store most of their energy in the form of starch (corn, potato, etc.) not oil. The extra farm fields that would required to produce enough fuel for the existing automotive fleet would require multiple times the current farmed acrage.

    2) It decreases emissions to the environment

    Raw plant oil has far higher sulpher and nitrogen content than practically any crude oil (one of the evidences for abiogenic origin of oil and gas; where did the sulpher and nitrogen molecules go?). So more refining effort (energy consumption) will be required to produce the same clean fuel when making fuel from plant oil than from crude oil.

    3) It helps the economy by keeping fuel dollars at home instead of sending it abroad

    Promoting economicly unproductive domestic enterprise is never better than trade. Biofuel would have to be supported either by government funding or tax/tarif. That would not help the economy at all.

    4) It's non-toxic and non-hazardous to the environment (you could drink the stuff)

    Burned biomass smoke is one of the worst carcinogens. As stated above, it takes more energy to refine and purify plant oil (ridding it of Sulpher and Nitrogen molecules) than refining crude oil.

    5) It increases the life span of auto's and trucks

    Not sure how that works. Why is biodiesel better than regular diesel, which would be cleaner given the same amount of refining effort.

    6) It preserves a wholesome way of life - Farming

    Ploughing down more concervation land to produce biodiesel is hardly wholesome; nor is dousing the earth with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the only practical way to get high yield per acre.

    7) It provides jobs to the American people

    Tax and tarif to support biodiesel will retard the economy and job creation.

    It's a win-win situation!!

    More like lose-lose.

    Our economy has evolved to burning oil and coal (the latter for electricity generation) not because someone's grand design, but the result of over a century of market searching for the cheapest (when refining and transportation etc. are taken into account) source of energy. Energy is literally burning money, so the market place has evolved a way to burn as little money as possible while servicing the market need. Since the middle of 20th century, importing oil combined with domestic coal production seems to be the ticket that market has chosen.
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    "in which the opening scenario is a terrorist crashing a 747 into the sulfur cleaning towers up near Ras Tanura in northeastern Saudi Arabia. Since you have to get sulfur out of the Saudi oil that would take several million barrels, probably around five or six million barrels a day, off line for a year or more. And Bud here is an old artilleryman. He and I were talking the other day; I think he'll tell you you probably don't need a big 747 to do that. A pretty skilled guy with some orders could probably do it."

    http://www.loe.org/ETS/organizations.php3?action=printContentItem&orgid=33&typeID=19&itemI- D=251&User_Session=a02f3d0d30dbe2d755c698a56fd318c0#feature4

    Plausable (and scary)?
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    Try this link:

    Then go to Oil & National security roundtable

This discussion has been closed.