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F... gas prices

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #136
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Looks like I won't be driving to work much longer. My employer just jacked our monthly parking fee to $175. When you add gas into the mix that's almost $275 a month just to drive to and from work. Compare that to a subsidized $50 flex bus pass for an entire year taking the bus is no brainer.
Less oil needed. JoeRedskins argument in action. If we all took the bus more we'd be better off in so many ways in our country.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:51 AM   #137
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Re: F... gas prices

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No. By definition, the universal need for a product does not create a monoply. It is the control of the production by a single source that creates the monopoly. If multiple oil companies are in competition with one another, and lacking collusion, then oil will find its market value.



They are regulated out the wazoo which is one of the reasons gas prices are high.



That's a pretty sweeping indictment and one that goes to the fundamental aspects of both the free market system and of our form of government. I also think it is pretty naive. "Playing fair", in my mind, means don't collude - compete. It does not mean - "Gosh jeepers don't make too much money."

You don't like how much the oil companies make? Buy a prius - get a job closer to your home, work with one car, ride mass transit. When those options are not practically available, work towards having the government create incentives to create alternative energy choices, increase mass transit, etc. Telling oil companies to stop profiting avoids your responsibility in the market system and in the democratic republican (i.e. government by popularly elected officials) form of government we have.

When you start injecting socialist controls into the free market based solely on the concept that some group is profiting too much from the system, you inject artificial elements into that system which are fundamentally opposed to and work against the system's basic structure, i.e. incentive to maximize your own gain - whether you be buyer or seller. In doing so, you destroy not just the incentive for oil companies to compete with one another, you also destroy the incentive for alternative energy forms to compete with oil.

Oversight is fine, but destruction of incentive by artificially capping profits is not the answer. In our government/economic system, you, I and others have the power, if we mobilize, to almost completely destroy the oil industry profits in the US economy by both decreasing demand and by finding alternatives to the internal combustion engine. But it OUR responsibility to do so.
The energy market is free market? That's news to me. These guys have very deep pockets and will crush anyone that attempts to subvert their flow of income. If the government won't step in no one can because they have too many people in their pockets and any new startup/ventures will get crushed ala Microsoft style (bought and shelved, blacklisted, undercut, or pounded into nebulous existence). Anyone that really thinks the "free market" can solve our problems is either naive or utterly stupid.

As for mass transit being an alternative, it could but only if the government actually invested in a decent transit infrastructure. As it stands, it takes way too long to catch a bus and we don't have any trains to speak off. If we actually invested money like the Europeans have we'll be in a good shape. Alas, their is no interest from our political leaders to do anything meaningful, and why should they, their money comes from lobbyists whose sole job is to fuck you over.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:55 AM   #138
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Re: F... gas prices

Vive le Revolution!
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #139
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Re: F... gas prices

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Just recently read an article on the "oil bubble" comparing it to the "housing bubble". While there is speculation driving the price, there is an underlying increased demand from developing countries (particurlarly, as Schneed has repeatedly pointed out, India and China). Thus, while there may be some easing in the future as the market cools down, it is unlikely to "burst".

IMO, it appears to be a confluence of events and market forces that is making a resource, that had been vastly underpriced, reach its market price. It will probably overshoot and then ease back (my guess it ends up around 4.50). Prior to this latest spike, how many people (other than those who drove for a living) actually budgeted their weekly gas expenses? Doesn't that suggest to you that it may have been a bit underpriced?

The price now is beginning effect people and changing their habits - to me, that is an indication that it is reaching a price close to its free market level.

[BTW - Just to indicate how the gas prices are affecting us - now, b/c of our driving needs for commutes and such, we have actually added "gas" as a separate line item in our budget where previously it was part of discretionary spending.]
I think it was definitely underpriced in the 90s when it was under a dollar. When you figure in Fed and State taxes, it was practically free. (I think oil was around $13 a barrel.) So, that was never going to last, but I don't think demand has increased proprtionately with the increase in price. I think there are other factors at work.

Wether or not to extract oil from ANWR has reminded me of a joke that the late Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama told on Ted Kennedy some while ago. Senator Kennedy was photographed on his boat with some young women and Heflin remarked, "I guess Senator Kennedy has changed his position on offshore drilling." Hilarious. Get well soon Ted. We want you live to be at least 100.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:05 PM   #140
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Re: F... gas prices

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I think it was definitely underpriced in the 90s when it was under a dollar. When you figure in Fed and State taxes, it was practically free. (I think oil was around $13 a barrel.) So, that was never going to last, but I don't think demand has increased proprtionately with the increase in price. I think there are other factors at work.
Did you just make the case for oil being overpriced or that it's practically free and possibly profitless?
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:02 PM   #141
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Re: F... gas prices

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The estimates are that there are between 5-16 billion barrels in ANWR

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment, 1998, Including Economic Analysis (it's an old survey, 1996 so with newer methods more recoverable oil may exist).

By using this resource in a measured way, the US could reduce its dependence on foreign oil by 5-10% for the next 12-15 years.
It would also IMMEDIATELY begin to lower prices because speaculators price the oil on the market by looking into the future. By opening up ANWR and/or any of our other oil deposits, it would help clear up some of the uncertainty about our future oil. Then, when we actually begun using it, a more substantial price drop.

But yet again, Congress (mostly Democrats) said no.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:08 PM   #142
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Re: F... gas prices

I really hope this limits the amount of huge SUVs and trucks on the road. I've noticed that a) most people can't drive those vehicles. and b) I hate trying to see when someone has a car the size of a small yacht when they simply don't need that space.

On the other hand, I get 20 minutes of enjoyment every day watching the woman with the Suburban try to park it every evening. One day she'll even get it straight.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:13 PM   #143
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Re: F... gas prices

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schneed, i didnt mean to attack you personally. but we definitely look at this differently. you think its fine for gas to be $5.00- $6.00, or whatever, a gallon so the companies can maintain record profits. we disagree on that. we disagree on how they go about it. we definitely disagree on the governments place in this problem. you see this as capitalism at is finest. i see this as raping the American public. the government can control anything it wants to. why not oil? because of the Saudis influence with the American government. and yes, i understand who O.P.E.C is. and i also understand the military's involvement in the middle east. the little bit of stability they have comes from an American influence/ presence. we Americans are always more then willing to aid any country that asks. how about someone scratching our backs every once in a while?

These "record profits" are only because usage is at an all-time high. Most big companies, like Coca Cola, operate at a 20% profit. Oil companies operate at a 2-7% profit rate. The various levels of Government make 10 times the profit as oil companies in the form of taxes, which they have done zero work to earn. Also, environmental restrictions and regulations force prices and production costs WAY up. The oil companies are NOT the enemy OR the reason for prices being high and moving even higher. The government and Congress has the majority of the guilt and yet, we still listen to them when they want to investigate and tax oil companies into oblivion to please the uninformed sector of the population. Oil companies are ALREADY operating on substandard profit rates and if they're squeezed any more, they will have to begin offering lower quality fuels, forcing us to use more.

Yes, total profits may be records, but you have to look at their profit % which is nothing compared to the Governments'. Also, inflation must be figured into it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:29 PM   #144
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Re: F... gas prices

I'm pretty "pro-environment," but I have to wonder what harm would it do to drill in Alaska. Supposing we drilled in some remote forest and there was a spill, would it be that hard to clean up? I would think that a oil spill on land would be pretty contained.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:32 PM   #145
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
schneed, i didnt mean to attack you personally. but we definitely look at this differently. you think its fine for gas to be $5.00- $6.00, or whatever, a gallon so the companies can maintain record profits. we disagree on that. we disagree on how they go about it. we definitely disagree on the governments place in this problem. you see this as capitalism at is finest. i see this as raping the American public. the government can control anything it wants to. why not oil? because of the Saudis influence with the American government. and yes, i understand who O.P.E.C is. and i also understand the military's involvement in the middle east. the little bit of stability they have comes from an American influence/ presence. we Americans are always more then willing to aid any country that asks. how about someone scratching our backs every once in a while?
So are you saying that the Saudis have influence over the entire American goverment? The just one party in general and which party? How about their influence over the Clinton, Obama, or McCain?
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:06 PM   #146
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Re: F... gas prices

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I'm pretty "pro-environment," but I have to wonder what harm would it do to drill in Alaska. Supposing we drilled in some remote forest and there was a spill, would it be that hard to clean up? I would think that a oil spill on land would be pretty contained.
After you sucked Alaska dry what's the game plan? If people referred to drilling ANWR as a short term solution I'd have less of a problem but people act like it's a viable solution which solves the fundamental problem. What happens 10-15 years from now? Drilling ANWR is a hack just like the gas tax relief being flaunted.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:08 PM   #147
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Re: F... gas prices

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So are you saying that the Saudis have influence over the entire American goverment? The just one party in general and which party? How about their influence over the Clinton, Obama, or McCain?
The Saudis have America by the balls, period. Democrats, republicans, it doesn't matter. That's why the president was begging them to increase their production and reduce prices last week.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:11 PM   #148
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Re: F... gas prices

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I'm pretty "pro-environment," but I have to wonder what harm would it do to drill in Alaska. Supposing we drilled in some remote forest and there was a spill, would it be that hard to clean up? I would think that a oil spill on land would be pretty contained.
I'm pretty sure that there are no forests where they want to drill. I think it is too far north for there to be any trees. I do know that drilling for oil has become a lot more environmentally friendly and that spills are very rare. Also, where they drill for oil will only take up 2000 acres out of ANWR's total area of 1.5 million acres, so it won't really have that big of an affect on the area.
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Only 8% of ANWR Would Be Considered for Exploration Only the 1.5 million acre or 8% on the northern coast of ANWR is being considered for development. The remaining 17.5 million acres or 92% of ANWR will remain permanently closed to any kind of development. If oil is discovered, less than 2000 acres of the over 1.5 million acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected. Thatıs less than half of one percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity.
Alaska Oil Anwar
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:16 PM   #149
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
After you sucked Alaska dry what's the game plan? If people referred to drilling ANWR as a short term solution I'd have less of a problem but people act like it's a viable solution which solves the fundamental problem. What happens 10-15 years from now? Drilling ANWR is a hack just like the gas tax relief being flaunted.
Who ever said this was a long term solution? This is something that will help us NOW, which is what we need. The future plan is some kind of alternative energy, but right now, none of them are economically feasible. Right now we need more oil and the only way to do that is to drill for more.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:26 PM   #150
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Re: F... gas prices

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After you sucked Alaska dry what's the game plan? If people referred to drilling ANWR as a short term solution I'd have less of a problem but people act like it's a viable solution which solves the fundamental problem. What happens 10-15 years from now? Drilling ANWR is a hack just like the gas tax relief being flaunted.
I think it is pretty evident that our oil addiction is a big problem. I also believe that drilling in Alaska isn't a cure-all. However, I think it's an option we should pursue, given that will buy us time to find more permanent solutions.
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