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Old 02-12-2009, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
slimpanzee
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Default Oil companies are still screwing us

I know I've brought this up before... but I thought maybe it would spark a little conversation.

As we all know, gas prices dropped a lot. However, they're on their way back up, even though the price per barrel is dropping and is currently below $40 a barrel. The US stockpile is growing larger than expected as demand keeps dropping, yet the price at the pump keeps going up. WHY? The fucking refineries are cutting production to make the price go up. So instead of following typical economics, they are trying to force the supply to be low, so they can raise the price to make more money... even though Exxon made record profits in Q4 of 2008! And if you remember back, gas was at an all time low in November. So, even with gas prices low in Q4, they still made record profits. Why exactly do they need to bump the price up? Why can't it find a happy medium where consumers will start buying again?

Just keep this in mind when the economy starts to climb back up or if gas prices lower a bit. Keep conserving and keep demanding electric cars. I'd say, any time gas at the pump goes up, even 1 cent, we all cut back even more. If you have oil heat, wear a sweater. If you drive a lot, cut back, yada, yada. I do have to say, the train in Seattle seems to be more crowded these days. Nice to see.
 
Old 02-12-2009, 02:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oil companies make me sick. First, even when the economy is crashing, they pull in record profits. Now, I've heard their whole sob story about how all the money they make is necessary for them to survive and that it all goes back into the community. I'd buy my wife tweed tampons before I'd buy that story.

Not only that, but they are the first ones jumping in on the alternative fuel revolution. Oil companies are the LAST people I want helping with alternative fuels. That's like watching R.J. Reynolds making energy drinks. "They won't be addicting, we promise!" *insert maniacal laughter*

I personally believe hydrogen technology is the way of the future. Once we develop a clean way to process it, we'll be good to go. Hybrid cars use batteries which are extremely polluting so I don't have an electric car. Although, if they make a battery that lasts long enough, it could be a good alternative.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oil companies practically have a monopoly on us. Not in the sense of one company runs it all, but in the sense of we all need it. Until someone pries everyones fat American asses out of their SUVs it will not change.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I drive a mildly fuel-efficient cars when it comes to the average American. My Z gets about 30mpg on the highway. But I've put on 4k miles in a year and a half, so I guess I'm doing my part.

I LOVE living near a light rail. Drive 5 minutes to the station and you're good for the rest of the day in Portland!

If people don't want to drive different vehicles, they can just drive less. I personally bike to the nearby places when I can.

Granted, I'll drop the top and just go for a cruise in the summer, but we all have our little addictions.
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The only thing that will change anything is money. Cold hard cash. The tax on gas should be indexed to the price of oil to create an artificial price floor and additional revenue for the country, paid mostly by the gas-hogs that do the most damage to the road and environment anyway. The cheaper the oil, the higher the tax. That's the only thing that'll get the gears of progress (away from ICE cars) moving again.

Unfortunately, gas is relatively cheap again and people have completely forgotten about this past summer. It's hard to say if sales of small cars are dropping off b/c of the economy or because SOB's in their SUV's have short memories at this point.

Anyway, if we dig ourselves out of Bush's goodbye gift to the country (the economy) I've got faith that eventually we'll find a way around the gas dependence. Afterall, we're the country that brought you such paltry things as AC electric, the microprocessor, the PC, the lightbulb, the interwebs, the telephone, wireless communications, Elvis, the moon landing, airplanes, hydroelectric power, striped toothpaste and atom bombs.

It's going to take some serious thinking outside the box, sacrifice, and hard work. The answer no doubt involves the shrinking of suburban living and the rise of mass transit powered by the smart grid. The only question is just how bad is it going to have to get before we jump that hurdle? $4.00 a gallon seemed to get it moving, but it didn't last long enough to sink in. I see sustained $4.00+ a gallon doing it, but I also see OPEC not stupid enough to let it get that high for more than a week ever again if they want repeat business.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Flick, I have read articles from people who owned (or own) the RAV 4 EV. It was produced in 1997. There are people with the '97 Rav 4 EV that are still getting close to the same charge capacity as they got back when they bought it. I have also read reports that the batteries are a lot more recyclable than what the OIL companies studies would lead you to believe. That, and battery technology could be considered in it's infancy and will only get batter. However, in order to get it better, money needs to be spent on R&D... which means the first rounds won't be the best. My dad has a hybrid, and has had it for while. No change in it's battery. Still goin' strong and it's been a few years.

Electricity can be EASILY produced cleanly and efficiently through thermol, hydro, wind, solar, etc... I like Hydrogen possibilities, but it's still a ways off. Electric cars are here today and area viable option as an alternative to gasoline. WE can produce out own electricity. We won't be reliant on anybody but ourselves. AND... if you're motivated enough, you can take yourself off the grid and produce your own electricity... that is, if you have the dough.

I don't think people have completely forgotten about the high price of gas. Considering demand is lower and only getting lower, I'd say we are still remembering. I'd just really like to stick it to the oil companies, since demand is low, price per barrel is dropping, yet price at the pump goes up. That's just fucked.

And has anybody talked about how the price of gas seemed to spark this entire shit storm. Sure, the economy has been on it's way down, and a perfect storm was created. But it seems as though the high price of gas excelarated and exaserbated the problem. Once gas when up high, price of food went up and the price of goods went up. Those already squeezed and those not quit squeezed ran out of money paying for gas and food, so they quit buyin luxuries. This cause a shit storm with retail, which cause a shit storm with stocks, which caused lay-offs, which cause people to fuck up on their loans and credit, which cause the banks to lose dough. Sure, the banks handed out crappy ass loans, and retailers were chargin and arm and a leg for stuff that should have been cheap, etc, etc... but it just seems like the perfect storm got set up, and the high price of gas just blew it up and blew it up quick.
 
Old 02-12-2009, 06:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If the electricity to charge the cars comes from solar and wind power, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, a lot of it still comes from coal plants.

I'm not sure what the answer is. It's all way too complex for my tiny brain. All I know is that I really, sincerely believe that the oil companies will turn any good-natured attempt at renewable and clean energy into something corrupt. It really scares me to see them trying to dip their fingers into the alternative energy market.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
If the electricity to charge the cars comes from solar and wind power, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, a lot of it still comes from coal plants.
FYI, there have been studies that show that a coal fired plant providing electricity is much more efficient than millions of combustion engines. Even having to increase production or build new plants still outweighs the environmental impact of all the cars we have on the road now. This is another tactic the oil companies use to keep us away from electric cars.

Edit: You should really change the thread title to "always screwing us" as it's never really stopped.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Cheney and Rumsfeld run oil companies? If you're going to turn threads into picture books so they're easier for you to understand, at least make them relevant.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The US has some of the windiest areas on the planet, which could easily be tapped in to for wind power. WA state currently gets 75% of it's electricity from ONE hydro electric damn. There are large area all over the states that could tap into solar... and dare I say it... nuke power. Today's nuke is much more safe and clean as well as today's coal plants. Obama's idea to modernize the grid is awesome. Not only will it help to build a future freer of gasoline, but it will put many people to work building an infrastructure to support the new era of electric cars. Instead of bailing out the fail US automakers, the gov should just buy up a bunch of electric cars from Tesla and Zap for their fleet vehicles. That would pay for the R&D of the first model, making the 2nd and 3rd models affordable to the rest of us, it would put people to work for accommodate the increase in production, it would FORCE GM and Ford into being a little bit more innovative, and it would help reduce the demand for oil... not to mention it would allow "free market" to work it's way out with the failed business tactics of the US auto industry.

I could see the oil companies owning productions of hydrogen fuel and bio-fuels to an extent. It's pretty damn hard for the average person to create their own hydrogen fuel, and as easy as it is to create ethanol or bio-diesel, it's work, and who here really wants to spend that time. It's easier to head your way to a pump and just pay your money. But electricity is different. It's already in place. It's not like the oil companies are getting in on the ground floor. AND, it's not that hard for you to get yourself off the grid, or supplement you electricity with wind or solar. Solar is a bit more expensive, but if you live in a windy area, a little wind-mill is less than 5 grand. With this power in the hands of the consumer, it makes it a lot harder for the oil companies to own it, run it, and monopolize it.
 
 

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