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  #1  
June 24th, 2008, 10:26 AM
Jessikaylee22's Avatar Super Mommy
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I was watching the CNN special ("We We're Warned-Out of Gas") over the weekend and it got me thinking more about the recent spike in gas prices in the US. I'm new to this board and apologize if this has been done before (couldn't find a thread for it)

What do you think are the causes for the huge increase in gas prices?

I believe that the recent increases are due to a number of factors. The major issue is simply suppy and demand. Oil is not unlimited or renewable and the recent increase in vehicles in other countries such as India and China are impacting the demand. I think that along with the issues in the Middle East and the weakening of the US dollar are causing the significant increase in gas/oil.

What are the solutions?

I do not believe that off shore drilling and drilling in Alaska is the solution. There is not enough oil to even put a dent in the prices that we have been seeing. It's just not worth it in my opinion especially since we would not even get any oil from the sites for 8-10 years. I am all for reducing our dependence on foreign oil but, I think that there are other solutions. Ideally I would like to see us investing money in investigating renewable sources of energy. I know that this will also be time consuming but it is not going to be a temporary fix either. In the CNN special they were talking about how Brazil now uses Sugar Cane Ethanol as 40% of their energy. All of Brazil's gas stations have the Ethanol fuel (which is obviously much cheaper) and all new cars are made with engines which can run off the fuel. Electric cars would also be something that would be worth investigating. I just feel that at some point we are going to run out of oil (maybe not in our lifetime) but, why not spend the funds to investigate other sources of energy now instead of waiting for the crisis to become worse.


I am very interested in hearing others opinions on this issue

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  #2  
June 24th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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One thing we need is to stop trading oil as a commodity. Essentially, this is betting on where the price of oil will go. Speculation about higher prices will naturally drive the price higher. I know other things are traded as commodities, like oranges and pork. But why we trade something as essential as OIL is beyond me.

Aside from that, I think we need to look at both short-term and long-term solutions. Tapping into what we have by drilling domestically is going to help in the short term. We might not even have to go into unworked areas yet; I read somewhere (will have to research more) that U.S. companies haven't drilled in a lot of areas in which they already have legal access. Long-term non-fossil solutions are better, but they are a VERY long way off and will do nothing in the next decade. So we need to look into this as a stop-gap measure. We also need to remember that technology has progressed significantly since the ban was enacted in the early 80s. There is always risk - but there is risk with just about any form of energy, be it environmental impact or lack of resources (i.e. what if there isn't a windy day?).

Long-term solutions should involve alternative energy, both because of costs/national security and because of the environment. I worry about using food items for these sources - look at what has happened since we kicked up ethanol production. It's great on paper, but involves huge amounts of corn. As a result, corn is in huge demand and we can't fill it, and now it is affecting the global food market.

Where I see the future is in renewable non-food sources - nuclear, wind and solar energy. If we could figure out what to do with the waste generated from nuclear plants, I think that is our greatest hope. And given that a waste product is plutonium (which is a bomb component) you can deduce that plutonium has a ton of energy, right? If so... can we harvest that energy, from the waste, to contribute even further towards our energy needs?
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  #3  
June 24th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
One thing we need is to stop trading oil as a commodity. Essentially, this is betting on where the price of oil will go. Speculation about higher prices will naturally drive the price higher. I know other things are traded as commodities, like oranges and pork. But why we trade something as essential as OIL is beyond me.

Aside from that, I think we need to look at both short-term and long-term solutions. Tapping into what we have by drilling domestically is going to help in the short term. We might not even have to go into unworked areas yet; I read somewhere (will have to research more) that U.S. companies haven't drilled in a lot of areas in which they already have legal access. Long-term non-fossil solutions are better, but they are a VERY long way off and will do nothing in the next decade. So we need to look into this as a stop-gap measure. We also need to remember that technology has progressed significantly since the ban was enacted in the early 80s. There is always risk - but there is risk with just about any form of energy, be it environmental impact or lack of resources (i.e. what if there isn't a windy day?).

Long-term solutions should involve alternative energy, both because of costs/national security and because of the environment. I worry about using food items for these sources - look at what has happened since we kicked up ethanol production. It's great on paper, but involves huge amounts of corn. As a result, corn is in huge demand and we can't fill it, and now it is affecting the global food market.

Where I see the future is in renewable non-food sources - nuclear, wind and solar energy. If we could figure out what to do with the waste generated from nuclear plants, I think that is our greatest hope. And given that a waste product is plutonium (which is a bomb component) you can deduce that plutonium has a ton of energy, right? If so... can we harvest that energy, from the waste, to contribute even further towards our energy needs?[/b]
You said it! I agree completely!
Allow more drilling domestically to cover short term needs WHILE we investigate efficient forms of energy. Many European countries already use nuclear energy because it is extremely efficient. I don't know why American's are so fearful of nuclear energy when it can be a very safe alternative to oil.
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  #4  
June 24th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Many European countries already use nuclear energy because it is extremely efficient. I don't know why American's are so fearful of nuclear energy when it can be a very safe alternative to oil.[/b]
Three words, Momo - Three Mile Island. It was a scary accident to say the least, but instead of fixing methods and moving forward our country became petrified and abandoned pursuit of this endless energy source. We forget that there are still nuclear plants in operation today, working day in and day out - yet we haven't had a significant incident here in the US since Three Mile Island back in 1979 (which, btw, resulted in no deaths or injuries to plant workers or nearby residents). And if we don't act soon, it'll become tougher to do. Many contractors that used to work on plants have gone out of business because we simply haven't built any. At least that's the big "scare" that prevents public acceptance.

Another reason, though (and far more realistic), is the disposal of nuclear waste. It contains plutonium, which is highly radioactive and has a 25,000 year half life. So it takes 25,000 years for it to lose [i]half[i] of its potency. I'd be interested to know what Europe does with its waste, but between the contamination possibilities and the need to protect it from terrorists who would gladly add it to bombs... yeah, it can be a tricky situation.

This gives more information on the dangers of nuclear waste and possible methods of disposal:

http://www.etsu.edu/writing/3120f99/zctb3/nuclear2.htm
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  #5  
June 24th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Here is some interesting information regarding drilling in the ANWR

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/nation...oil-prices.html

Attached are some quotes from the article

Quote:
But the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy, concluded that new oil from ANWR would lower the world price of oil by no more than $1.44 per barrel—and possibly have as little effect as 41 cents per barrel[/b]
Is it really worth it?

Quote:
If Congress approved development in 2008, it would take 10 years for oil production to commence, EIA said. With production starting, then, in 2018, EIA said the most likely scenario is that oil would peak at 780,000 barrels per day in 2027 and decline to 710,000 barrels per day in 2030. Currently, the United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day.[/b]
It doesn't appear to be the quick fix that everyone is looking for. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea but it just seems like its not worth it. Too little, too late.


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  #6  
June 24th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Here is some interesting information regarding drilling in the ANWR

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/nation...oil-prices.html

Attached are some quotes from the article

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
Quote:
But the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy, concluded that new oil from ANWR would lower the world price of oil by no more than $1.44 per barrel—and possibly have as little effect as 41 cents per barrel[/b]
Is it really worth it?

Quote:
If Congress approved development in 2008, it would take 10 years for oil production to commence, EIA said. With production starting, then, in 2018, EIA said the most likely scenario is that oil would peak at 780,000 barrels per day in 2027 and decline to 710,000 barrels per day in 2030. Currently, the United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day.[/b]
It doesn't appear to be the quick fix that everyone is looking for. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea but it just seems like its not worth it. Too little, too late.
[/b][/quote]

I see your point, but it's not just the oil itself that could lower prices; it's the realization by OPEC nations that we can indeed drill for it ourselves. One of the reasons oil prices are so high is that they can charge us more for it. Think about it - if you live in a town with one gas station, that station's owner can pretty much charge what he wants. But if another station opens down the road and sells gas for 50 cents a gallon less, will the first station's owner keep the high prices? No. He'll have to lower them to compete.

Just the mere idea that we can contribute more to our own energy needs (even if it's just for the short-term) by drilling more locally... that alone can help.
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  #7  
June 24th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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I see your point, but it's not just the oil itself that could lower prices; it's the realization by OPEC nations that we can indeed drill for it ourselves.[/b]
Which could make sense however, I'm sure OPEC could find the information that I was able to find stating that the amount of oil that we have domestically is not even a fraction of what we use overall. I doubt that would cause a significant decrease.

Quote:
Just the mere idea that we can contribute more to our own energy needs (even if it's just for the short-term) by drilling more locally... that alone can help.[/b]
The problem is that its not a short term solution. It could take up to ten years for us to see ANY of that. Meanwhile we will be spending millions to retrieve the oil and then send it back overseas to refine it. It just doesn't make sense to me.
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  #8  
June 24th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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My dad has said for years that there is a lot of untapped oil in Mexico. But the US doesn't look there.
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  #9  
June 24th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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IMO, the "crisis" is not about prices, it's about the western world's (and increasingly, other parts of the world's) utter reliance on oil and petrochemical products, a non-renewable resource. We really have no idea how much of our lives revolve around it - not just fuel in our cars, but everything. The products in our homes are made of petrochemicals, the pesticides that keep bugs from eating the crops are petrochemicals, the fuel to run farm machinery to harvest the food, plastic bags, the list goes on and on and on.

I don't like high oil prices, but to me, it's a secondary concern over the pollution, waste, environmental damage, global warming, etc. that goes along with the petrochemical industry, and the fact that we are doing very little to replace something that will eventually run out.

The solution: massive public focus on alternative energy sources, and WAY more individual responsibility in reducing our individual reliance on oil products.
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  #10  
June 24th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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IMO, the "crisis" is not about prices, it's about the western world's (and increasingly, other parts of the world's) utter reliance on oil and petrochemical products, a non-renewable resource. We really have no idea how much of our lives revolve around it - not just fuel in our cars, but everything. The products in our homes are made of petrochemicals, the pesticides that keep bugs from eating the crops are petrochemicals, the fuel to run farm machinery to harvest the food, plastic bags, the list goes on and on and on.

I don't like high oil prices, but to me, it's a secondary concern over the pollution, waste, environmental damage, global warming, etc. that goes along with the petrochemical industry, and the fact that we are doing very little to replace something that will eventually run out.

The solution: massive public focus on alternative energy sources, and WAY more individual responsibility in reducing our individual reliance on oil products.[/b]



Yes Yes Yes!!!





I am very passionate about this particular cause - I have a LOT of links and have done a bunch of research on this topic (in regards to what we are doing to the environment.) I'll sift through my info and be back later with some links.


Lisa
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  #11  
June 25th, 2008, 01:14 AM
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I'm too tired to type a really complicated answer to this very complicated question, so I won't. I'll type it tomorrow and leave you with this for tonight.

Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy.


On average, one American consumes as much energy as

2 Japanese
6 Mexicans
13 Chinese
31 Indians
128 Bangladeshis
307 Tanzanians
370 Ethiopians

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  #12  
June 25th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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I completely agree with TigerMom. The estimated amount of untapped oil believed to be available on our own soil would be a significant jumping off point. The Green River Basin, alone, is sheltering an estimated 800 billion barrels of oil in the shale deposits.

Then there is the whole tax issue, but I digress.

Quote:
My dad has said for years that there is a lot of untapped oil in Mexico. But the US doesn't look there.[/b]
Mexico is the third largest importer of crude oil to the US, behind Canada and Saudi Arabia, respectively.

EIA


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  #13  
June 25th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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The reason that there has been a ban on offshore drilling is because it will negatively effect the environment around it and contribute in major ways to global warming. Drilling so some folks can save a buck on gas isn't the answer. Tapping offshore oil will NOT yield ANY new oil for AT LEAST 5 years and up to 20 in some places - yet the damage we will have done to the environment by then will be almost incalculable.

Links as to the effects of this:

Quote:
Climate change could destabilize weak states, U.S. report finds
It says free flow of commodities could be disrupted by climate change
Global warming could increase U.S. food production, report suggests
But experts say coasts could be threatened by larger storm surges[/b]
Source

Quote:
At a news conference held in mid May to announce the listing, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne was armed with slides and charts showing the dramatic decline in sea ice over the last 30 years and projections that the melting of ice -- a key habitat for the bear -- would continue and may even quicken. He said that means the polar bear is a species likely to be in danger of extinction in the near future.[/b]
Source

Quote:
But there's a flaw in that logic: even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer continental shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best. A 2004 study by the government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that drilling in ANWR would trim the price of gas by 3.5 cents a gallon by 2027. (If oil prices continue to skyrocket, the savings would be greater, but not by much.) Opening up offshore areas to oil exploration — currently all coastal areas save a section of the Gulf of Mexico are off-limits, thanks to a congressional ban enacted in 1982 and supplemented by an executive order from the first President Bush — might cut the price of gas by 3 to 4 cents a gallon at most, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And the relief at the pump, such as it is, wouldn't be immediate — it would take several years, at least, for the oil to begin to flow, which is time enough for increased demand from China, India and the rest of the world to outpace those relatively meager savings.[/b]
Source


Even if we did drill, the difference would be negligible, and we would be causing significant damage. So why do it?


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  #14  
June 25th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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Tapping into what we have by drilling domestically is going to help in the short term.... Long-term non-fossil solutions are better, but they are a VERY long way off and will do nothing in the next decade. So we need to look into this as a stop-gap measure.[/b]

Not true.

As for the statement that drilling domestically will help in the short term -
Quote:
Even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer continental shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best.[/b]
Source


As for non-fossil fuel solutions being a long way off -
Quote:
Honda's new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell car rolled off a Japanese production line Monday and is headed to southern California, where Hollywood is already abuzz over the latest splash in green motoring.[/b]
This isn't "mainstream" yet - but if we concentrated on this and spent the money that we are proposing to spend on offshore drilling on boosting production of these cars, there would be more produced, which would in turn lower prices, boosting availability.

Source


There are also plenty of hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels such as Ethanol, Biodiesel, and natural gas (mostly methane) that are available right now. If government and manufacturers focused on these, we would see a MUCH MUCH larger impact on fuel and the environment than offshore drilling, hands down.


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  #15  
June 25th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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I live in an oil rich location and I am happy that oil is in such demand, it means my husband has a good job and we live the way we want (I know, selfish, living in the now), but I do worry some about longterm implications too.
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  #16  
June 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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The polar bear population is estimated between 20,000-25,000, up from an estimated 10,000 in the late 1960's and most of them are in Canada, which allows a hunting quota of over 500, annually. The area of ANWR that would be opened to drilling would only account for 0.01% of it's total acreage.
Quote:
More than 20,000 foreign supertankers (most single-hulled) offloaded oil at east, west and gulf coast refineries last year; they carry from 700,000 to 1.2 million barrels a day from Iraq alone. Foreign oil is produced and shipped under less strict environmental standards than domestic oil. Alaska's oil fields are the cleanest in the world, second to none.[/b]
Quote:
Eighty-eight percent of the energy for America's transportation, industry, government and residential needs comes from oil, gas and coal. No combination of conservation, technology or alternatives can come close to replacing these fossil fuels. It will take years for research, testing, permitting, construction, and distribution systems for replacement alternatives to be realized. When alternative energy sources become practical and economical, Americans will use them. Until then, fossil fuels must be relied upon.

Today's domestic oil production comes from more than 150,000 wells scattered throughout the country; they average 15 barrels a day. There have been no new major discoveries in the 48 contiguous states in thirty years. As the U.S. population increases, the nation must either produce more or import more. Alaska's Arctic is the most promising area for the largest supply with the smallest physical impact.

The U.S. economy benefits from domestic production when new construction, service, manufacturing, and engineering jobs are created. These jobs occur in all 50 states. A national impact study by Wharton Econometrics estimates total employment at full production in ANWR to be 735,000 jobs. Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties and taxes.[/b]
Quote:
Discovery of the gigantic Prudhoe Bay oilfield was announced in July 1968, the largest deposit ever found in North America. (Environmentalists called it a "few months' supply.") Nine years, 7.7 billion dollars, and 1,347 government permits later, Americans cheered as oil began flowing through the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

Since July 1977, the pipeline has carried more than 13 billion barrels of oil from Alaska's North Slope. During that time Alaska oil has supplied 20% of domestic production, amounting to nearly a $300 billion offset to the national trade deficit. Natural gas, produced with the oil, continues to be reinjected pending studies to determine feasibility of a pipeline to U.S. markets. Prudhoe Bay gas reserves are 30.9 trillion cubic feet.

Studies of the ANWR coastal plain indicate it may contain between 6 and 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil (between 11.6 and 31.5 billion barrels in-place). With enhanced recovery technology, ANWR oil could provide an additional 30 to 50 years of reliable supply. Natural gas, produced with the oil, could be reinjected or added to a new gas pipeline originating in Prudhoe Bay.

Petroleum development at Prudhoe Bay has not negatively affected wildlife. For instance, the Central Arctic caribou herd is at home with pipeline facilities and has grown from 3,000 to as high as 27,100 in the last 20 years. Drilling activity in ANWR would be limited to winter months when wildlife does not frequent the coastal plain.

Constantly improving technology has greatly reduced the footprint of Arctic oil development. If Prudhoe Bay were built today, facility designs show the footprint would be 64% smaller.[/b]
source


Quote:
TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT IN ANWR

1. 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. That¹s less than half of one percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity.

2. Revenues to the State and Federal Treasury Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties and taxes. Estimates on bonus bids for ANWR by the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Interior for the first 5 years after Congressional approval are $4.2 billion. Royalty and tax estimates for the life of the 10-02 fields were estimated by the Office of Management and Budget from $152-237 billion.

3. Jobs To Be Created Between 250,000 and 735,000 ANWR jobs are estimated to be created by development of the Coastal Plain.

4. Economic Impact Between 1977 and 2004, North Slope oil field development and production activity contributed over $50 billion to the nations economy, directly impacting each state in the union.

5. America's Best Chance for a Major Discovery The Coastal Plain of ANWR is America's best possibility for the discovery of another giant "Prudhoe Bay-sized" oil and gas discovery in North America. U.S. Department of Interior estimates range from 9 to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

6. North Slope Production in Decline The North Slope oil fields currently provide the U.S. with nearly 16% of it's domestic production and since 1988 this production has been on the decline. Peak production was reached in 1980 of two million barrels a day, but has been declining to a current level of 731,000 barrels a day.

7. Imported Oil Too Costly In 2007, the US imported an average of 60% of its oil and during certain months up to 64%. That equates to over $330 billion in oil imports. That’s $37.75 million per hour gone out of our economy! Factor in the cost to defend our imported oil, and the costs in jobs and industry sent abroad, the total would be nearly a trillion dollars.

8. No Negative Impact on Animals Oil and gas development and wildlife are successfully coexisting in Alaska 's arctic. For example, the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CACH) which migrates through Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3000 animals to its current level of 32,000 animals. The arctic oil fields have very healthy brown bear, fox and bird populations equal to their surrounding areas.

9. Arctic Technology Advanced technology has greatly reduced the 'footprint" of arctic oil development. If Prudhoe Bay were built today, the footprint would be 1,526 acres, 64% smaller.

10. Alaskans Support More than 75% of Alaskans favor exploration and production in ANWR. The democratically elected Alaska State Legislatures, congressional delegations, and Governors elected over the past 25 years have unanimously supported opening the Coastal Plain of ANWR. The Inupiat Eskimos who live in and near ANWR support onshore oil development on the Coastal Plain.[/b]
ANWR.org
The current prices are based, in part, on future speculation of availability. So, even if domestic production from the US is more than a decade away, the decision to drill will impact investor speculation which, stands to reason, would impact current cost. The two reserves of the US are headed in opposite directions. The Federal Reserve has overproduced, devaluing our dollar, and the oil reserves remain untapped driving up the price of oil. As long as investors speculate an increasing demand for oil against a stagnant or diminishing supply, they will continue to use oil as a hedge against inflation when our dollar is failing.

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  #17  
June 25th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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The Polar Bear population is up from what it was in the 60's.... That doesn't mean that it cannot be wiped out or diminished by drilling. It has been built up BECAUSE of the work we have done to preserve the population, and drilling in their natural habitat will effect them.


Polar Bears are only one small part of the issue - greater emphasis is on everything else I posted. I have read article after article stating that tapping domestic oil will have little to no impact - even with market speculation. The one I posted is only one of many that have said that same thing, over and over.


All that aside.... it has been made clear to all of us that drilling and dependence on oil is a bad thing. Drilling, refining, distributing, and using oil is damaging to the environment. No good (environmentally speaking) comes from it. Nada.... So, if there are other energy sources out there, and there are, why not use them?

I'll use this analogy because it is the only one I can think of right now - but say you have a bag of cheetos. Cheetos are yummy, so you eat them. Eating cheetos isn't healthy, but won't cause significant damage to your body right this moment. Even though eating a cheeto won't make you sick this very moment, it is not good for you. Processed fats and oils, not to mention high sodium content can only do harm, not a bit of good can come from it health-wise. Over months or years, eating cheetos as a snack will make you gain weight and become unhealthy - you'll deal with that when you come to it though. Obviously, the answer here is to not eat cheetos, but pick a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks instead, to avoid having to loose weight and get back to a healthy state. Same applies to oil - if there is something better available, why not use it now instead of drilling and using up oil and having to do major damage control later?


Lisa


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  #18  
June 25th, 2008, 04:33 PM
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From my pp:
Quote:
Eighty-eight percent of the energy for America's transportation, industry, government and residential needs comes from oil, gas and coal. No combination of conservation, technology or alternatives can come close to replacing these fossil fuels. It will take years for research, testing, permitting, construction, and distribution systems for replacement alternatives to be realized. When alternative energy sources become practical and economical, Americans will use them. Until then, fossil fuels must be relied upon.[/b]
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  #19  
June 25th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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From my pp:

Quote:
Even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer continental shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best.

Source


Honda's new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell car rolled off a Japanese production line Monday and is headed to southern California, where Hollywood is already abuzz over the latest splash in green motoring.

Source


There are also plenty of hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels such as Ethanol, Biodiesel, and natural gas (mostly methane) that are available right now. If government and manufacturers focused on these, we would see a MUCH MUCH larger impact on fuel and the environment than offshore drilling, hands down.


Lisa[/b]
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June 25th, 2008, 05:03 PM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
From my pp:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
Quote:
Eighty-eight percent of the energy for America's transportation, industry, government and residential needs comes from oil, gas and coal. No combination of conservation, technology or alternatives can come close to replacing these fossil fuels. It will take years for research, testing, permitting, construction, and distribution systems for replacement alternatives to be realized. When alternative energy sources become practical and economical, Americans will use them. Until then, fossil fuels must be relied upon.[/b]
[/b][/quote]

I think the bolded sums up a huge part of the problem: most americans aren't willing to make changes to their lifestyle that might be inconvenient or more costly, REGARDLESS of the damage it does to the rest of the world.

The solution is NOT more oil so that we can continue to "rely upon it" because alternatives are time consuming and costly to figure out.

Future generations will look back on this attitude and wonder how we could be so foolish. We are exploiting earth's resources with barely any thought or consideration to the long-term impacts.

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