Monday, May 12, 2008

Running On Empty

Do you believe that gas is too expensive? Considering all of the factors that influence the price of gasoline; market demand, market speculation, the number of boutique blends required by the U.S., and the whims of OPEC, it's my opinion that gasoline is still on the cheap side. Yeah, I said the CHEAP side. If you believe that the current prices of $3.25 to $3.75 a gallon are causing you to change your life style and to make different choices, what are you going to do when the price hits $5.00 a gallon? How about $10.00 a gallon? I truly believe that we will see $10.00 gas within the next five years. Perhaps then we will be motivated to prove once again that we are the most resourceful nation that the world has ever seen and devise a plan to move us forward.

What is it going to take to motivate us, the United States, to move away from oil as a source of energy? Fidel's best friend, Hugo Chavez, is laughing at us and making sure that the world believes anything bad that happens to Venezuela is the United States fault. There would be such a beneficial, global domino effect if the United States was not dependent on oil for energy. Most of the financial sources for terrorism would dry up and dictators like Chavez and Ahmadinejad would no longer have a voice on the world stage. [Are We Motivated Yet? - posted this blog August 19, 2006]

Scandinavia is building a Hydrogen Highway. Now this is not going to solve all of their challenges with gasoline, but it sure is a great start. The plans are to start with a fleet of vehicle for public transportation that consist of both gasoline powered cars and hydrogen powered cars. As the business model proves itself out, they will introduce more hydrogen vehicles and reduce their dependence on oil. The stations are planned to be solar powered and to derive the hydrogen from the air - leaving only water as a byproduct.

Now I'm a southern boy and I don't know a lot about big city commuting, but I've heard a lot of people commute everyday between large cities and the suburbs. There has to be some prime testing grounds for a U.S. Hydrogen Highway project to get us started down at least one alternative path. One thing that I am definitely tired of is seeing TV commercials from oil companies telling me how much they are doing for alternative energy. Give me a break. If the oil companies were really concerned, our cars would be getting better than an average of 20 miles per gallon.

So, now that I dinged the oil companies, I need to make one other point very clear. Taking profits from the oil companies for any reason is both wrong and ineffective. Once you start taking profits from any company based upon some government mandate, where does it stop? If the oil companies are so evil for their profits, then why not cap the net profit that Microsoft can make? For that matter, why not cap how much professional athletes, doctors, race car drivers, or musicians can make? How about the extreme fees paid to speech makers like Bill Clinton? Certainly his net profit from speeches is higher than Exxon Mobil. Furthermore, taking the oil company profits has the opposite of the desire effect. Taking the profits cause the oil company to invest less in research and development which limits supply which drives up demand - ergo, higher gas prices. This is economics 101.

Let's prove to the world that our ingenuity is not running on empty and that we can find sustainable alternative sources of fuel. Let's turn our back on oil and move our country forward showing the rest of the world the way to freedom. Let's see how long the engine of terrorism can sustain itself without oil revenue. Let's see the terrorist states that don't play well in the international community try to grow wheat or corn in desert sand.

OPEC - go pound sand!

##That's my opinion##


Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Let's turn our back on oil and move our country forward showing the rest of the world the way to freedom."

Why? The fact is that at present, oil and other fossil fuels are the cheapest, most reliable, and most efficient sources of energy available.

We don't need to be as dependent upon foreign sources of oil as we are. We get over 50% of our oil from North America but you almost never hear that on the nightly news. We could replace the amount of oil we get from Saudi Arabia simply by drilling in ANWR (this by most estimates). And, certainly there is much more oil on the outer continental shelf.

But ya know what?? The Environmental lobby, Liberal Democrats, and now Liberal "Green Conservative" Republicans (and you know who they are) wont let us get at it.

Alternatives are great. But, they ought to be sustainable and viable. But, most importantly, they ought to be able to stand on their own two feet without Massive government subsidies.

And that is a damn shame.

Lucid Guy said...

Exactly Soapbox. Don't misunderstand my "turn our back on oil statement", that's not an overnight thing. We desperately need to drill in ANWR - since there are specific parcels of land set aside in ANWR for oil exploration and drilling - no one talks about that. But long term, we need to be completely done with oil - there's no future in it. We need a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel that will rid us of the 'gotcha over a barrel' (pun intended) situation. Americans are smart people. We can figure this out. It's time we got to it. And John McCain should be ashamed of himself for even uttering the phrase, "global warming" or "climate change". Damn junk science.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

I hear ya. I often wonder why Geo-Thermal isn't really talked about more. I don't know if you have to live in specific areas of the world to tap into it or what but it would seem to be to be a pretty sensible way to heat a home.

I've seen some stuff on hydrogen fuel cells as well that looks pretty amazing.

The politics of it all really doesn't make any sense though.

Take ethanol for example. Switchgrass based ethanol is much more efficient than is corn based. But, rather than eliminate the $.54tarif on it and get it from Brazil, we'd rather go the corn route which, as we can very well see, has had quite an unfortunate effect.

Ordinary Guy said...

Right on SoapBox and Lucid.

We continue down this path of financing the very terrorists that are attacking our troops in Iraq because we cannot seem to get our heads out of our butts and understand that we MUST be energy independent.

The world stage has changed. We consume more than we create. We act like small whiny children (Varuca Salt?) looking for everyone to give us what we need and not do anything where we might have to work for a living. What happened to the American spirit? What happened to our creativity? What happened to us where we are stuck on the teat of the government?

-End of Ramble