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F... gas prices

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Old 06-18-2008, 06:52 PM   #226
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Re: F... gas prices

The government regulates utilities, why not gasoline? Once the automobile became an integral part of the American economy, I think the government had a responsibility to oversee that it's future was secure.

I think you are fooling yourself if you think that there are no good alternatives to gasoline. The oil lobby (and, through it, the automobile lobby) has had a vested interest in riding this out as long as possible. The government decided to take a passive role and not set any timetables (like they did for broadcasters and HDTV). Evolutionary change is painful, but it's usually in the best interest of the future.

I will add that we are equally to blame by not demanding alternatives through the market. However, the alternatives have generally been beyond the financial reach of 95%+ of the households out there.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:10 PM   #227
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by onlydarksets View Post
The government regulates utilities, why not gasoline? Once the automobile became an integral part of the American economy, I think the government had a responsibility to oversee that it's future was secure.
I never claimed the government should not or does not regulate gasoline. The government undoubtedly regulates gasoline, both directly and indirectly. Those little stickers on the gas pumps are mandated by the government. The government taxes gasoline. Gas station owners are subject to a whole host of regulations. The government also indirectly regulates gasoline by subjecting oil explorers, producers, refiners, etc. to heavy regulation. The government regulates fuel efficiency standards in cars. I am just unclear as to how the government can regulate gas in a way that solves the problem that we are currently experiencing.

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Originally Posted by onlydarksets View Post
I think you are fooling yourself if you think that there are no good alternatives to gasoline. The oil lobby (and, through it, the automobile lobby) has had a vested interest in riding this out as long as possible. The government decided to take a passive role and not set any timetables (like they did for broadcasters and HDTV). Evolutionary change is painful, but it's usually in the best interest of the future.
Please name a single realistic alternative to gasoline. Just as the oil lobby "has a vested interest in riding this out," other large multi-billion dollar companies would stand to make trillions upon trillions if they could readily develop a cheap, efficient, and green alternative. So, I don't quite understand why people cite oil company conspiracy theories as the real reason why we haven't found an alternative to gas, when there are trillions of reasons why existing powerful companies have been, are, and will be exploring alternatives.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:10 PM   #228
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Re: F... gas prices

this guy has the answer,our problems are solved,hes made gas out of water
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:53 PM   #229
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
I never claimed the government should not or does not regulate gasoline. The government undoubtedly regulates gasoline, both directly and indirectly. Those little stickers on the gas pumps are mandated by the government. The government taxes gasoline. Gas station owners are subject to a whole host of regulations. The government also indirectly regulates gasoline by subjecting oil explorers, producers, refiners, etc. to heavy regulation. The government regulates fuel efficiency standards in cars. I am just unclear as to how the government can regulate gas in a way that solves the problem that we are currently experiencing.

Please name a single realistic alternative to gasoline. Just as the oil lobby "has a vested interest in riding this out," other large multi-billion dollar companies would stand to make trillions upon trillions if they could readily develop a cheap, efficient, and green alternative. So, I don't quite understand why people cite oil company conspiracy theories as the real reason why we haven't found an alternative to gas, when there are trillions of reasons why existing powerful companies have been, are, and will be exploring alternatives.
My wording was poor in my previous post. I'm not saying the alternatives exist in a viable form. I meant that there is no reason they should not exist, if the proper motivations were there over the past 35 years. That's the regulation that the government failed to provide - incentives to develop alternative fuels that actually motivate.

The past 10 years have proved beyond a doubt that America is absolutely and irrevocably dependent on oil. What other resource would we stand for a quadruple increase in price in such a short period? It is the government's responsibility to ensure scarcity isn't a problem for a resource that the government depends on to that extent.

It's also not as simple as some random company inventing a new engine and making trillions. The investment required to create an alternate fuel is a barrier to entry to almost every company out there. It would take a huge chunk out of even big oil. It's not just inventing a car that runs on corn, it's creating the infrastructure to allow people to get their corn refills (or whatever).

In the end, though, we are where we are, and that can't be changed. The government shouldn't get a free pass for not addressing the issue earlier, though.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:12 AM   #230
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Re: F... gas prices

Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame | Video on TED.com

This guy has a great take on the issue and actually presents an argument of hope. I lvoe this site it has some great stuff.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:41 AM   #231
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Re: F... gas prices

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It's also not as simple as some random company inventing a new engine and making trillions.
It could be just that simple. Read this very interesting Newsweek article. I don't believe the process will be quick, cheap or easy, but with trillions of dollars to be made, the incentive and investment dollars are there.

Also, I'm not sure what role the government should play in this mess. Remember, our government is the one that tried to kill Castro with exploding cigars, couldn't deliver drinking water to Katrina victims, and pays $500 for toilet seats. What makes people optimistic that they can solve a problem that greedy multi-billion dollar companies can't?
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:00 AM   #232
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Re: F... gas prices

Good news everybody...Shell, Exxon Mobile, Total, Chevron and BP are final stages of negotiating a no-bid contract with the Iraqi Oil Ministry. We're in for some treats.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:56 AM   #233
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Re: F... gas prices

but saden, its NOT about the oil. and sheriff, im not blaming the oil crisis on the gov't. but these guys are supposed to be the genius's they claim to be, they should have been looking at alternatives as far back as the 70's. its funny how all of a sudden its a big issue, to everyone.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:25 AM   #234
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
It could be just that simple. Read this very interesting Newsweek article. I don't believe the process will be quick, cheap or easy, but with trillions of dollars to be made, the incentive and investment dollars are there.

Also, I'm not sure what role the government should play in this mess. Remember, our government is the one that tried to kill Castro with exploding cigars, couldn't deliver drinking water to Katrina victims, and pays $500 for toilet seats. What makes people optimistic that they can solve a problem that greedy multi-billion dollar companies can't?
Now? Not much. This is a problem for the market to solve and the American people to bear in the interim (via high gas prices). I was speaking historically and from the perspective of, does it make sense to turn over more land (or off-shore rights) to the oil companies when they've shown so little interest, historically, in coming up with alternatives. I understand the economic argument for handing over the drilling rights, but I think it's short-sighted, because the current course is not sustainable and there has to be some incentive to change it.

Interesting article. There was also a National Geographic article a while back that discussed some of the hurdles to biofuels.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:52 AM   #235
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Re: F... gas prices

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but saden, its NOT about the oil. and sheriff, im not blaming the oil crisis on the gov't. but these guys are supposed to be the genius's they claim to be, they should have been looking at alternatives as far back as the 70's. its funny how all of a sudden its a big issue, to everyone.

I have been told that production from Iraq will increase and gas prices will decrease because of the supply and demand nature of the oil business. Are you tell me I'll be paying just as much at the pump? *gasp* It can't be..
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:39 PM   #236
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Re: F... gas prices

Being that the technology for an electric car existed in the 80's, I really can't see a scenario where some sort of alternative plan isn't already in place in some way or form.

Now, I realize that gas prices are going to have to carry out their course before it makes sense for energy companies to provide different methods of turning a profit, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't a gradual evolution of the main sources of energy over the next ten years.

One big problem that I don't think enough people are talking about is whether our current power grids can support the massive transition from fossil fuels and natural gas to electric everything. Obviously, no matter what the source of energy is (nuclear, hydrogen, solar, wind, etc), it has to be converted into electricity to be useful to us. That, I think, is going to be the biggest challenge of moving away from oil and natural gas.

And I do think drilling in ANWR will help soften the transition a lot. I am not sure if its worth it though, maybe we do need a nice swift kick in the fact to wake us, as a people, up.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:57 PM   #237
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Re: F... gas prices

When health care, drug policy, and many other topics are debated, you often hear people say "We're the only developed country that..." or "In Europe, they...". Well, we're the only country in the world that has decided to put it's own natural resources off limits. If we don't get the oil out of ANWR, the Russians will figure out a way to slant-drill it a-la Mr. Burns. This should be the easiest decision in the history of our government.
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #238
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Re: F... gas prices

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How do you sell alternative fuels when they are more expensive than gas? The answer is simple. You can't. Now that gas has gone up so much it startes to bring alternatives into play and I think we will see allot of new ideas hitting the market. There just has not been a market for alternatives. I also think we would be surprised how much has allraedy been spen on alternatives.
That's where I believe the government should have played a role in providing incentives to develop cost-effective alternatives over the last 35 years.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:58 PM   #239
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Re: F... gas prices

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That's where I believe the government should have played a role in providing incentives to develop cost-effective alternatives over the last 35 years.
You previously noted that the cost of developing and bringing cheap alternative fuel sources to market is exorbitant. If that's true, the government would presumably have to have shelled out hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars in subsidies or tax breaks to fast-track the process. Right?

People are inherently short-sighted. Congressmen and women look to the problems facing the country now and that will emerger prior to the next election cycle. CEOs of public companies look to the next quarter's profits so they don't get their asses handed to them by their shareholders and boards. Your average Joes don't buy solar panels, even though it will save them money over the long haul and otherwise generally act in their short-term best interests. Our government acts the same way. It sucks, but that's the way I see it.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #240
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Re: F... gas prices

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That's where I believe the government should have played a role in providing incentives to develop cost-effective alternatives over the last 35 years.
Woulda coulda shoulda. I'm not sure how that helps us now?
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