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Thread: Good bye American auto dream

  1. #19

    Default Re: Good bye American auto dream

    I could not agree more. For the last 15-years or more, trucks sales are approaching 50% of all U.S. vehicle sales. I am currently involved in a study that will (hopefully) shed some light to the 'people in charge'. If the U.S. gravitated from a 50/50 car-truck fleet with 25 MPG / 14 MPG (car-truck) to an 80/20 car-truck fleet with 32 MPG / 14 MPG (car-truck) -- daily fuel consumption would be reduced by more than 31%. This reduction removes about 6.5 millions barrels of *daily* oil consumption. It doesn't quite remove us from foreign dependence, but it takes a lot of it away. If you make it 90/10 and 35/17 -- the problem of foreign oil is all but eliminated. We would have increase domestic production just a bit, but we would could thumb our nose @ OPEC forever.

    My brother-in-law is a general manager at a large Chevy dealership near St. Louis, and he is telling me that truck & SUV sales are getting to be impossible. The cool new Malibu and used Hondas & Toyotas he can not keep on the lot. Especially used Accords and Civics. Gone!!

    If these gas prices continue, there will be wholesale switch from a truck based fleet to smaller 4-cyl cars. I love my Accord and Corolla. (The Quest minivan...not so much).

    Quote Originally Posted by jpv View Post
    How about people stop driving tanks around, and opt for more efficient vehicles like Europeans? If an SUV gets 12 MPG and a Prius (off the top of my head) gets 30 MPG, then logically using a fuel-efficient car will cost "American families only making $50K per household" 2.5 times less of their hard-earned money.

    I don't know for sure about a Prius, but I'm thinking that they get something in the high 40s. My Corolla gets 36-39 on the highway, and my Accord gets 34-36 if I drive it nicely on the highway (under 70). My '03 Accord is by far the best vehicle I ever owned.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why Americans don't get this.

  2. #20

    Default Re: Good bye American auto dream

    JPV - A prius gets closer to 50 mpg highway, my pontiac sunfire get's over 30.

    Cyclone85 - You make some really good points, very well thought out, I don't have time to respond to all the them now, but I will later.
    There's no such thing as a pretty good aligator wrestler.

  3. #21

    Default Re: Good bye American auto dream

    We may never agree but it never hurts to talk. Also, I just heard something very disturbing on the radio (Beck). Nigeria and several other major oil exporting countries are signing 100-year contracts to have rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. I really don't think we need foreign countries digging in waters that bump right up to our southern shores.

    I wonder how many American companies having drilling rights in the Gulf?

    Quote Originally Posted by FloggingSully View Post
    JPV - A prius gets closer to 50 mpg highway, my pontiac sunfire get's over 30.

    Cyclone85 - You make some really good points, very well thought out, I don't have time to respond to all the them now, but I will later.

  4. #22

    Default Re: Good bye American auto dream

    Cyclone-
    1) If all these other coutries are drilling offshore and finding tons and tons of oil, how much more are we going to find? Enough to make a significant enough increase in the supply of oil to drive down world-wide oil prices?

    I also heard a report recently that Brazil's (and other non-opec countries) oil production was actually decreasing. Could it be that it's so expensive to get at the oil in their huge find that it isn't economically feasible?

    2) The 2 cent estimate was from Bush's economic advisors (someone else posted that so I don't have link). The NPR report I heard estimated that ANWAR could produce about 1 million barrels per day (~5% of US demand), if we assume the US uses half of the worlds oil (I've heard 40% and dropping) we could assume that ANWAR would create at most a 2.5% increase in supply and since oil has inelastic demand, the decrease in price would be less than 2.5%

    From my extensive research (wikipedia) Bakken is currently being drilled, and while it may have a huge oil reserve, a very small percentage of that reserve is recoverable with current technology. The state of North Dakota estimates that there are about 2.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil under the North Dakota section of the formation. The US uses over 7 billion barrels per year, even if there are similar amounts of oil on the Montana side, I don't see it makeing much of an impact on worldwide oil supplies.

    3) There was a shortage of refineries after Katrina because a bunch of refineries got shut down because of the hurricaine, now that they are all operating we have more refining capacity than we need.

    4) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews applications for new plants when an application is made (and they accept all of them). If no-one as applied recently they can't review/approve. They are currently reviewing lots of new sites, which will come online eventually. If stoage of nuclear waste isn't a problem why haven't we found a solution to it yet? You can't just leave a bunch of nuclear waste out in the middle of a bunch of unoccupied land, finding space for it isn't the problem, finding a secure way of keeping it there is. And France doesn't have a permenant solution to their waste, so they haven't figured it out (at least not all of it) yet.

    5) We can drill all we want, but supply isn't going to keep up with the growing world demand and prices will continue to increase. The more the price of oil increases the more alternative energy will be able to compete. Oil is not a long term solution to our energy needs.

    6) The numbers just barely add up now, they just barely added up a few years ago when gas was $2/gallon, they will still just barely add up when gas is $9. People addapt to changes in prices, they will buy smaller cars (your Honda Accord would be considered HUGE in parts of Europe), move closer to work, demand for public transit will increase which will lead to bigger public transit systems.
    There's no such thing as a pretty good aligator wrestler.

  5. #23

    Default Re: Good bye American auto dream

    You're a reasonable guy and I appreciate that. Here are my responses:

    1. It's a big world and if you lined up all of the oil rigs on earth (just in the Gulf), they wouldn't register when viewed from 20-miles up. We literally haven't scratched the surface of the ocean yet. What we have recovered to date is minuscule. The information on Brazil is incorrect; it is increasing and will dramatically increase in the next few years due to their find. Remember that 85% of the U.S. continental shelf cannot be explored and there are 100s of billions of known reserves that we can't touch! This is absolutely a deplorable action of U.S. policy. It is exactly this type of policy that will guarantee future wars with my kids and yours.

    2. The 2-cent estimate we've heard about is pure silliness; I know the source where it came from. The entire market, traders, speculators, and hedgers freak out when a 50,000 gallon pipeline goes down in outer Mongolia -- and can result in a 3% swing in world-wide prices. The oil and gas crisis of the 70s was caused by a 4% decrease in supplies due to a Saudi disruption. It caused major problems throughout the world, but particularly here in the U.S. where gas and oil skyrocketed in dramatic fashion equivalent to or worse than we are seeing today. We had gas lines and shortages all over the country. An additional 5% would have a very beneficial effect.

    Wiki can't be relied upon for any practical research. That 2.1 billion figure is a half-hearted estimate by extreme environmentalists and will be proven wrong. The figures do not jive with conventional wisdom about the find which indicate that Bakken would completely eliminate our foreign dependence. What self-respecting country wouldn't do that? We are the laughing stock of the world as we have the most restrictive drilling policies in the world in a country that has the most abundant resources. Even prescinding from Bakken -- we need to continually expand our supplies or it's going to get a lot worse.

    3. I can't comment on #3 right now....it's too complex.

    4. Safe storage is not a problem. It is simply not an issue when viewed against the backdrop of a nearly unlimited and clean source of energy. We have a big world for a reason. It can, will, and has been stored safely for 50-years and counting.

    5. I seriously don't understand this about supply not keeping up; it's because we can't drill on 85% of the U.S. continental shelf. You can not prove that supply won't keep up as there is no evidence indicating such. As I indicated above, we haven't even scratched the surface of the ocean yet. How do you know that it is not a renewable resource? Is natural gas a renewable resource? Did you know that there is growing evidence that oil is not even a fossil fuel? The Brazilian find is almost prima facie evidence that it is not since it was found under thousands of feet of salt and nearly 16,000 feet *UNDER* the ocean floor. How did these ridiculous dinosaurs all end up at the bottom of the ocean, travel through 10,000 feet of rock underneath the ocean, and then through 6,000 feet of salt, and then end up as oil beneath that? LOL!! I love 1950s scientists that were taught by academic utopians...

    Finally -- please note that the U.S. does not use 50% of the world's energy. It's 20 to 21 million of the 88 million that the world uses; that's 23.3% and we use it *very* efficiently. For example, the GDP of the U.S. is 4.25 times larger than Chiner, however, we only use 2.73 times the amount of oil as Chiner. Now that is an efficient economy. Chiner, on the other hand -- with it's economy being only 23.6% the size of the U.S.'s economy, have overtaken the U.S. as the largest emitter of CO2. 1/4 of the size GDP-wise, and yet -- it pollutes more. Chiner, Rusher, and Indier, are at the epicenters of the world's greatest environmental disasters the world has ever seen. (This is a separate topic that interests me because I am good friends with a CEO of a huge chemical company that has a Chinese interest in a company that produces generic versions of DuPont's Round-Up chemical).

    I think an easy case could be made that the U.S. economy would crash and burn with $300 oil and $10 gas; it would leave millions of victims in its wake. I think we need to be mindful that we could have violence as a result -- not because we can't drive our precious cars, but because we won't have jobs and we won't be able to feed our families. We've already gone from $9 oil to $124 oil in 9-years. Don't think for a minute that it couldn't double from here oil-wise, and that gas couldn't do another triple. It most certainly can and most certainly will if things don't change. This would *not* be a good thing, and you will be affected along with millions of others in a very sinister way that will rock your world.

    You'll be wondering where your next meal is going to come from and what horrors tomorrow might hold. Everybody should be writing their congressman that the first order of business is to secure America's energy future. Fine -- put money into solar and wind research, but that won't cut it for now. We need black gold and we need it now or your life will change for the worse a lot sooner than you might think. We can not have a 3,233% increase in oil [(300 / 9) -1 ] x 100 and believe that everything will be fine and we'll all adjust to it. Jelly beans can go up 3,233%, but the energy that powers our economy, our lives, our employers, and our farmers, can not be allowed go up 3,200%.




    Quote Originally Posted by FloggingSully View Post
    Cyclone-
    1) If all these other coutries are drilling offshore and finding tons and tons of oil, how much more are we going to find? Enough to make a significant enough increase in the supply of oil to drive down world-wide oil prices?

    I also heard a report recently that Brazil's (and other non-opec countries) oil production was actually decreasing. Could it be that it's so expensive to get at the oil in their huge find that it isn't economically feasible?

    2) The 2 cent estimate was from Bush's economic advisors (someone else posted that so I don't have link). The NPR report I heard estimated that ANWAR could produce about 1 million barrels per day (~5% of US demand), if we assume the US uses half of the worlds oil (I've heard 40% and dropping) we could assume that ANWAR would create at most a 2.5% increase in supply and since oil has inelastic demand, the decrease in price would be less than 2.5%

    From my extensive research (wikipedia) Bakken is currently being drilled, and while it may have a huge oil reserve, a very small percentage of that reserve is recoverable with current technology. The state of North Dakota estimates that there are about 2.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil under the North Dakota section of the formation. The US uses over 7 billion barrels per year, even if there are similar amounts of oil on the Montana side, I don't see it makeing much of an impact on worldwide oil supplies.

    3) There was a shortage of refineries after Katrina because a bunch of refineries got shut down because of the hurricaine, now that they are all operating we have more refining capacity than we need.

    4) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews applications for new plants when an application is made (and they accept all of them). If no-one as applied recently they can't review/approve. They are currently reviewing lots of new sites, which will come online eventually. If stoage of nuclear waste isn't a problem why haven't we found a solution to it yet? You can't just leave a bunch of nuclear waste out in the middle of a bunch of unoccupied land, finding space for it isn't the problem, finding a secure way of keeping it there is. And France doesn't have a permenant solution to their waste, so they haven't figured it out (at least not all of it) yet.

    5) We can drill all we want, but supply isn't going to keep up with the growing world demand and prices will continue to increase. The more the price of oil increases the more alternative energy will be able to compete. Oil is not a long term solution to our energy needs.

    6) The numbers just barely add up now, they just barely added up a few years ago when gas was $2/gallon, they will still just barely add up when gas is $9. People addapt to changes in prices, they will buy smaller cars (your Honda Accord would be considered HUGE in parts of Europe), move closer to work, demand for public transit will increase which will lead to bigger public transit systems.
    Last edited by Cyclone85; 05-09-2008 at 08:18 AM.

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