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Author Topic: Gas for us in the USA  (Read 4263 times)

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aspinall_lover

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Gas for us in the USA
« on: May 29, 2008, 08:13:12 PM »

I looked on this link and I saw there was no thread for the most popular subject in the US news EVERYDAY....the prices of gas.  I know it's affecting everyone world-wide, but some of us, like me, live in the country and don't have the previlege of mass public transportation in the big cities.  What do all of you think about it???  You think the government is trying to rip the gas user's off, or the almight "Oil Barrons" are getting richer and richer???  Let's here your thoughts.....
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harihead

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 12:56:36 AM »

Quote from: 1255
You think the government is trying to rip the gas user's off, or the almight "Oil Barrons" are getting richer and richer???
Well, that's a given. :)

Still, I think the problem is that the US can no longer dictate the price of oil. Sometime in the 70s (I know you remember our first oil crisis) the US started importing more oil than it could produce. Before then, we were a biggie in the oil industry and could basically tell OPEC what the prices could be. Our domestic oil has been steadily dwindling, and now the Saudis are sitting pretty with industrialized China and India bidding on their oil. The US will not see gas prices go down again in our lifetime (unless it's some temporary stunt done for political reasons).

Then there's the problem of peak oil. Some people believe we have already passed this. There's some evidence that the Saudis are lying about the amount of oil they can pump because whoever has the most oil gets to call the shots over the other OPEC members. But they don't seem able to deliver what they promise, so it looks like their huge field is petering out at last. Yes, we all need to look into alternative energy sources, but more than that, we need to develop a less resource-intensive lifestyle. The US went crazy building a suburban lifestyle that can only be maintained with lots of oil-- to run the cars, repair the roads, pipe gas to the homes, etc. It's not sustainable, even if we didn't have outside competition for the remaining oil. There's just not that much left that we can squander it on big cars, big homes, and miles of roads crossing big empty nothings.

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BlueMeanie

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 01:51:02 AM »

Quote from: 551
Still, I think the problem is that the US can no longer dictate the price of oil.

Erm...sorry, but isn't that what's happening at the moment? The American recession, and the poor dollar are dictating the price of oil.
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Geoff

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 10:03:21 AM »

Quote from: 551
Yes, we all need to look into alternative energy sources, but more than that, we need to develop a less resource-intensive lifestyle. The US went crazy building a suburban lifestyle that can only be maintained with lots of oil-- to run the cars, repair the roads, pipe gas to the homes, etc. It's not sustainable, even if we didn't have outside competition for the remaining oil. There's just not that much left that we can squander it on big cars, big homes, and miles of roads crossing big empty nothings.

Agree entirely: the "oil economy" has had a good run for the last century, but it has to come to an end. This is a Thomas L Friedman column from the New York Times the other day:


Truth or Consequences

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: May 28, 2008

Imagine for a minute, just a minute, that someone running for president was able to actually tell the truth, the real truth, to the American people about what would be the best
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harihead

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 03:15:34 PM »

Quote from: 483
Erm...sorry, but isn't that what's happening at the moment? The American recession, and the poor dollar are dictating the price of oil.
Sorry, I don't know much about how our recession is affecting other people. (Remember, I live in the insular land of denial; go straight ahead with blinders on.) So I'd be happy to hear more. What I meant to say above is that (based on my elementary understanding of oil prices) when the US lost the ability to flood the market at will, it lost the ability to dictate what the standard price should be. Now that power rests with the people who still have the largest reserves left.  

Great article, Geoff. I'm glad to see this type of thinking in print!

Quote from: 1161
the McCain-Clinton summertime gas-tax holiday, would only make the problem worse, and reckless initiatives like the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep offer to subsidize gasoline for three years for people who buy its gas guzzlers are the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.
Don't forget that we right now subsidize gas-guzzling cars. You can get a huge tax incentive if you buy a Hummer - 8 mpg. The whole popularity of our gas-guzzling SUVs is so they can be built on a truck engine and therefore escape those irritating environmental and fuel-economy measures that our government was at one time so foolish as to impose on cars. Let the US never be accused of thinking long-term or proactively when a powerful lobby has gifts to throw around.

So our government is at this moment incenting people to buy unregulated, gas-guzzling machines, while at the same time we're fighting a war for oil. Does this strike anyone else as particularly insane?

As to "help" for poor people making under 80,000 a year-- how times have changed! My first salary was under $6,000. Wow.

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Geoff

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 03:43:21 PM »

Quote from: 551
Let the US never be accused of thinking long-term or proactively when a powerful lobby has gifts to throw around.

Or a politician smells votes to be scrounged, especially votes from dummies, or a group of people that a politician takes for a wagon load of dummies. The McCain / Clinton gas tax holiday absurdity is a wonderful example of this: never mind the bad economics involved, just think of the near impossibility of getting such a thing through Congress and signed by the president before summer. Utter rubbish; and the sad thing of course, as we saw in the primaries, is that there are people- quite a few of them in fact- who will swallow such impossible ham-fisted pandering. To that extent, our political class is justified in taking us- or some of us- for dummies.
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aspinall_lover

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2008, 10:40:17 PM »

Woooooo............Geoff.........good stuff posted on the gas thread.  Down here in Arkansas, there's "pages" of people waiting to buy the Prius.  And these "fool" "soccer moms" and there gas-hog SUV's?????  Oh well, I'm glad I drive a Honda and don't have far to go for anything.  My Honda Accord gets great mileage.
And down here, today, gas hit an all-time high at 4 dollars for regular unleaded.
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alexis

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 10:45:50 PM »

I remember when the bumper stickers down here used to say "Drive a Hummer, Freeze a Yankee" . Ain't nobody happy now ...
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Geoff

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 11:05:27 PM »

Depressingly self explanatory, this:

Oil Prices Skyrocket, Taking Biggest Jump Ever

By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: June 7, 2008

The rise in oil prices turned into a stampede on Friday with futures jumping a staggering $11 a barrel to set a record above $138 a barrel. The unprecedented surge came as the dollar fell sharply against the euro and a senior Israeli politician once again raised the specter of an attack against Iran.

Oil prices have doubled in the last 12 months, and are up 42 percent since the beginning of the year. Oil futures surged $10.75, or 8 percent, to $138.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their biggest jump since contracts began trading in 1983. The record rise brought a two-day jump of over $16 a barrel, after Thursday 5.5 percent gain.

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HeatherBoo

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 12:22:32 AM »

All I know is that a month ago I went online to check out prices for a trip to NYC later this summer (I am in CA), and the tickets were about $430 which is what I paid for the same tickets last year.  Ok great.  I go and check the prices and am ready to buy my ticket last week... $850!!! DOUBLE!!!!  Luckily I found some tickets after some searching for about $500 so I didn't really get hit that bad but geez!!

Gas here in the Sacramento, Ca area is well over $4.  It's really sad because you can barely afford to drive to work and then you have to pay hundreds of dollars a month just to park your stinkin car at work.

I plan on moving back downtown so that I can start taking the train to work again or hopefully I will live close enough so that I can just walk to stinkin work!!!


Sorry had to rant a little bit!!  >:(
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aspinall_lover

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 01:46:40 PM »

^^^^That's alright.  Rant all you want.  Diesel here in Arkansas is like 4.85 a gallon and steadily going up.  What's these poor truckers gonna do???  My husband's job depends on the truckers bringing in freight to the company he works at.  
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harihead

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 04:42:02 PM »

America is going to be in deep yogurt.

Heather, moving into town sounds like a great option. America is just not set up to handle high gas prices-- it's going to cost people more to commute (which nearly everyone does) than they'll make at their job. I'd say, take your option while you can! Good luck.
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madman

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2008, 12:22:57 PM »

Yes, the price of gas needs to go up in order to make alternative fuels economically viable.  Why bother with solar/electric etc when oil is still way cheaper?

Alternative fuels did get some attention after the Arab oil embargo in the 70's, but once the price dropped again, the oil companies said forget it.  And they're not gonna start trying again now, either.  Why?  If the oil bubble bursts and the price crashes, most people will lose interest in hybrids and related technologies and they'll go right back to their old habits.

Alternative technologies should get more attention, but there's the minor problem of infrastructure.  You could come up with a cheap all-electric car tomorrow and mass produce it the day after that, but how will you get all that new support technology out there?

With oil, the infrastructure (pipelines, refineries, etc.) developed as demand increased, so as cars became more popular, there was an incentive to develop the necessary facililties.  Oil was "everywhere", so why not get a car?  

Now, a whole new infrastructure needs to be put in; where's it going to go?  There was a lot more open space 90 years ago than there is now.  Can it run parallel with the oil delivery system?  How will it be installed?  That's a lot of money for something that's still not being fully embraced.

We dug ourselves in this hole; hopefully we'll wise up and drag our way out, no matter how painful it is.
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HeatherBoo

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2008, 11:59:46 PM »

Yes California is very different than let's say NYC.  Back east, everything is closer together and taking buses/trains is alot easier.  Here in California everything is so far away, you almost have to drive.  Makes it alot harder.  I saw some gas around here yesterday at $5  :D
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madman

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 07:23:01 AM »

Quote from: 1204
Yes California is very different than let's say NYC.  Back east, everything is closer together and taking buses/trains is alot easier.  Here in California everything is so far away, you almost have to drive.  Makes it alot harder.  I saw some gas around here yesterday at $5  :D

Only if you live in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.  Out in the suburbs, mass transit is spotty at best.  At least where I live, anyway.  During the week you might be able get around, but on the weekend, forget it.  You'll be stranded.
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HeatherBoo

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2008, 01:34:56 AM »

That's true madman.  I guess I didn't think about the people who don't live in the major cities.  I have family in NJ but they live very close to Newark so public transportation is an option for them.  
I live in Sacramento, which is somewhat a big city...Not compared to San Francisco but it is certainly not small.  And everything is just so far apart.
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aspinall_lover

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2008, 06:08:55 PM »

Quote from: 1330

Only if you live in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.  Out in the suburbs, mass transit is spotty at best.  At least where I live, anyway.  During the week you might be able get around, but on the weekend, forget it.  You'll be stranded.
^^^^^Everything is far away for me, too, in Arkansas.  Alot of rural areas here and very little to none public transportation.  We do have buses that run in the city, but not out in the country.  You're on your own in getting from one place to another.  That's why I drive a Honda.

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HeatherBoo

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2008, 09:20:05 PM »

We have a Honda too.  Good on gas and reliable.  Plus if something goes wrong with it, it is usually cheaper to fix.
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Geoff

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2008, 11:51:15 AM »

This is interesting:

Plan Would Lift Saudi Oil Output to Highest Ever
 
By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: June 14, 2008
Saudi Arabia, the world
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madman

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Re: Gas for us in the USA
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 01:32:35 PM »

Are we really going to notice an increase that "would amount to less than 1 percent of global consumption"?  I doubt it.  It's more psychological than anything.

All OPEC wants is to keep oil a price high enough so they can make a buck (fair enough) but low enough to discourage the development of alternative fuels.  But we still need to develop other sources, since this new maximum output can't be sustained forever and will just hasten the depletion of whatever oil is left.
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