• Andrew Posted: 7/20/2008 5:30pm PDT

    Hank - The drilling offshores deal has to be controlled by the national government due to the regions they're going to be drilling in. Depending on how you decided to project out the state lines into the oceans, you'd run into issues in the carolinas where they're going to be drilling. But thats moot anyways, the seas off the states do not belong to the state governments, they are governed by the national government. I think if its going to impact a state, they'd need a say in it, but I mean, saying its a state issue is not going to work here.
    Beyond that, offshore drilling is expensive. They're not going to do it until we reach around $5-6 / gallon. Even then, it acts as a stabilizer at $5-6 per gallon. Oh, and it takes time too, so yeah, 8 years from now is really going to help me at the pump.
    I dont see how eliminating CAFE standards will be a boon to lower gas prices. Likely you'll see fleet MPG go down, and theres no benefit. Consumption will go up, supply isnt going up due to the elimination of CAFE standards, so, yeah, higher prices. You included that point in a list of ways to cut gas prices, so now I just feel like this is 7 ways of pushing my own agenda, and oh yeah, look, through sordid reasoning I get to say it lowers gas prices.
    Ethanol from Brazil is a good idea. Leave it to our government to get greedy with a good thing and pander to the midwest, even when they dont understand the midwest. Brilliant as usual.
    China, Russia, and India can plan out 100's of new reactors because they don't live in a political or moral environment where thinking ahead is not only prudent, but necessary. We have an energy crisis right now, and its relatively minor, but yeah, its pretty bad. Lets not be short-sighted and follow it all up with an environmental crisis of epic proportions. I'm not saying dont build reactors. I'm saying the knee-jerk reactions don't have a place in the political process.
    I really don't see reason to leave big oil alone. Capitalism only works in the face of an educated, involved consumership, otherwise it spins off and starts causing, well, price gouging. Theres already a body, OPEC, in place that sets the price for oil exports. You couldn't do that in the US without being an illegal monopoly. Its time for some tough regulations. In the end, we're using more oil than any other country in the world. We have the consumer power to force them to lower their profits, they're not very well able to cut off exports to the US. Whats the harm in exercising it?

  • Hank Posted: 6/29/2008 7:47am PDT

    Marty makes some good points and some very bad points. Americans do need to makes choices about where they live and how frequently they shop. However, in the meantime most cannot hope onto a moving van and say bye bye to suburbia. If anything CAFE standards need to be higher. The technology exists but the American automakers have resisted building efficient cards. Does Chrysler even have a hybrid on the drawing board.
    Oil companies should be incented to identify non-oil alternatives to petroleum. This money would come from taxing windfall profits. Speculation on oil needs to be investigated and possibly curtailed. If we treat electricity and water as utilities why not oil?
    Drilling off shore should be a state's rights issue. If a state wants to trade off exploration for tourism it should be their right. Additionally, oil spills becomes their problem as well as being held accountable for sullying the shores of a neighboring state.
    Cars should be taxed on the square footage they occupy. The larger the car the more expensive it should be.
    If there was a change in perspective amonst the American public it should be the realization that taking more than your share means that somewhere along the road of geopolitics the US will have to send its boys and girls to some god forsaken land to protect our addiction. Get Smart America.

  • Tom L Posted: 6/23/2008 3:56pm PDT

    Will, good point about those petroleum reserves being worth even more in the future. I doubt that we won't need oil in 20 or even 50 years. It's used to make so many products in the future burning it for energy might be considered insane. I don't think your comparison between CAFE and littering laws is valid, the two seem too different. CAFE is a cop-out by the government. If the government wants to curb oil consumption it needs to tax its use. Taxing or regulating the sale of products that use oil will mainly cause people to hold on to their existing products.

  • Will Posted: 6/23/2008 1:27pm PDT

    It's peak oil folks. ANWAR has a few months of consumption but won't solve the problem. Drilling there will cause the worst kind of development in one of the last unspoiled wildernesses in the world. Furthermore, that tiny amount of oil will be worth a heck of a lot more 20 years from now when the Saudis and Russians have peaked and production is really crashing. Let's hold on to it until we absolutely have to. Hopefully, it will be obsolete because we won't be basing our economy on oil 20 years from now.
    Finite resources cannot be the base of the economy for too long.
    Nuclear power is really expensive per KwH. In fact, its more expensive than wind power. We're running out of sources for uranium and will be out of fuel in 20 or 30 years and there is that waste problem. See Ken Deffeyes books and website (http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/) for more.
    Your idea of throwing out CAFE so everyone can have choice is like saying we should not have anti-littering laws because we should let the "free market" decide whether we have litter on the highways. Then, you would use the fact that there's lots of litter on the highways to argue that the law doesn't work so we should just go back to the free market.
    The question is how expensive would gas be and how much more inefficient would our cars be now if we had not had CAFE. The fact that it left a loophole so people would buy SUVs doesn't mean the concept of fuel standards is bad. It just means the law was poorly written and that the congress failed to fix the law.

  • Ed Posted: 6/23/2008 1:19pm PDT

    The entire planet must get off the petroleum "high", as the future existence of all living things is endangered. There are nothing like very hard-hitting general crises to provoke great solutions, but nothing really important will not come without great sacrifice.
    The European community is already living with twice the retail price of gasline in the USA. Yet life and R&D goes on.
    Alternatives to petroleum-based energy sources exist, and must continue to be developed. The continued use of ICE motorizations is not practical, even with ethanol, and real alternative solutions are nearer than many think.
    Meanwhile, use of petroleum should be limited to the absolutely imperative. A short list would include: medicine, synthetics and aircraft fuel.
    Ed

  • Ed Posted: 6/23/2008 12:56pm PDT

    The biggest way to lower gas prices in the future:
    HIGHER, much Higher, gas prices NOW!

  • Jack Posted: 6/19/2008 6:09pm PDT

    According to the nytimes editorial today:
    "Separate studies by the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Wilderness Society, a conservation group, show that roughly three-quarters of the 90 million-plus acres of federal land being leased by the oil companies onshore and off are not being used to produce energy. That is 68 million acres altogether, among them potentially highly productive leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska."
    lots more here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/opinion/19thu1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  • Jim Posted: 6/19/2008 5:18pm PDT

    People don't seem to realize that there is a responsibility that goes along with freedom of choice. EG: You have the right to bear arms, but you are responsible for their security and safe operation. (So you don't pull a Dick Cheney on your best pal while out hunting.
    The freedom we enjoy is an amazing privilige, and should not be seen as an all or nothing proposition.
    Jim

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 6/19/2008 3:46pm PDT

    "Get past this freedom of choice thing?"
    Never.

  • Jim Posted: 6/19/2008 2:09pm PDT

    "Drill here, drill now." I'm pretty darn far from being an eco-friendly kind of guy, but this strikes me as awfully short sighted, and just plain stupid.
    Are you actually willing to sacrifice some of the world's most beautiful places, just so Joe Replublican-Voter can continue to drive his quad-cab-duallie-towing-package-luxo-barge-monster-truck to the office and have his choice of 16 cupholders in which to place his extra large latte? You've got to get past this whole freedom of choice thing, and take some responibility. Your last point made that absolutely clear.
    Cut consumption, and you cut cost. It's that simple. Consumers in markets where fuel has always been more expensive drive smaller cars, and have countries with perfectly functioning economies. Why can't we?
    Researching alternatives? Good idea. It's a shame that it takes this sort of "crisis" to motivate the average citizen into action on this sort of thing. Brazillian ethanol? Also a good idea, but the govt. is very protective of domestic industries, and it'll be hard to get this past the farm lobbyists pounding on office doors in Washington.
    Nuclear? Well, like my mother always said "If your friends jump off a bridge, are you going to jump too? Again the "researching alternatives" point comes into play.
    Sorry about the rant, but it's about time America woke up and smelled the coffee.
    Jim

  • Joe Posted: 6/19/2008 1:12pm PDT

    Why not allow more workers to have a 4 day, 10 hour per day, work week? That will save 1/5 as soon as it is implemented. Our management pays lip service to this by saying it is up to local discretion. Not one area will allow this practice.
    As for the last point, Why not allow workers who cannot afford to live closer to the job site, work at home. They could come in for meetings on an 'as needed' basis and have a high speed internet access to preform Their daily work. All hours are already recorded on the normal networks.
    This is My personal opinion.

  • JRG Posted: 6/19/2008 11:36am PDT

    All of these ideas are great and realistic, except that most people can't just move closer to the city or trade their SUV's for hybrid compacts - we have too much invested. In the same vein, our government needs to allow local oil exploration and refinement and also accelerated research for alternative energy resources, but there are no instant solutions for anyone. In the short term (15-30 years), we need to end our dependency on foreign energy sources (oil and ethanol); in the long term (50-100 years), we need to end our dependency on fossil fuels and learn to conserve all resources.

  • John Posted: 6/19/2008 8:05am PDT

    Marty - I'll go with your last point as the most important and relevant. I'm not too crazy about drill everywhere - perhaps you're too young to remember the Santa Barbara spill of 1969 of the coast of California. Good point about Brazilian ethonal - they are way ahead on crop choice and use in Brazil. When you add the populations of Brazil, India and China you have half the worlds population - only Brazil is on the ball to be self sufficient.
    PS - The site is coming along nicely - you guys keep up the good work.

  • Duxem Posted: 6/19/2008 4:34am PDT

    Amazing... watch the prices of gas stations on your regular driving route. The same brand name station on the main street or highway entrance is usually more expensive per gallon than the station that’s a few blocks off the main route.

  • Jim Posted: 6/19/2008 2:25am PDT

    I totally agree, we "Need" to do everything! Search and explore Alternatives but we have to also Drill in this Country and look into things like converting Coal to Oil.

  • Larry Huffman Posted: 6/18/2008 11:11pm PDT

    I agree with most of the points. One that is overlooked is for many white collar folks to work from home. In this information age, it should be easily possible and save a bunch in commuting.

  • Seano Posted: 6/18/2008 10:28pm PDT

    I'd be happy with most of Padgett's suggestion although the 'Go Nuclear' and 'Drill at all costs' strike me as somewhat pedantic..nuclear still isn't cheap and waste disposal remains unresolved while new oil is really only delaying the inevitable as the continuous growth model and a fixed supply of a basic resource is incompatible...regardless of merit neither is a quick fix - five years at best, two decades at worst. Think of what other options for energy diversity that a rich and seemingly intelligent nation like the US could really develop in such a timeframe.....biofuels, wind, solar, hydro, tidal.....
    ...in the end though, Padgett's last suggetsion is by far the best option for not only US drivers but drivers everywhere....

  • David M Sasso Posted: 6/18/2008 7:22pm PDT

    You might be surprised to find that a Democrat like me agrees with every single one of Padgett's points. Especially are rediculouse not in my backyard aproach to oil exploration. If we want to get away from foreign oil than we need to be producing some of our own and if were worried about enviromental impact we can do a better job of watch dogging it here than we can on foreign soil.

  • Tom L Posted: 6/18/2008 4:03pm PDT

    The above solutions have to be taken as all or nothing. You can't adopt any one of them and think it will work by itself. America needs a comprehensive energy policy working a variety of angles. I'm afraid that if we open additional drilling the increased supply will drive the price of gas down much more quickly than the other measures can take effect. I don't trust the government not to say "See problem solved" and abandon their responsibility regarding the other measures.