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Old 08-11-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
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Thank Uncle Sam for high gas prices

Thank Uncle Sam for high gas prices

August 10, 2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I read your article on Sasol and its hydrogenation process that makes gas from coal. I even bought 150 shares and thanks to you I now have a $5 per share profit. If this company can produce gas and oil from coal at an equivalent cost of oil at $42 a barrel why won't Exxon, Shell or Conoco do the same thing? I just paid $3.39 a gallon to fill my tank and that's obscene. There's no oil shortage and oil is now $77 a barrel.

Can't the government do something about this calamity? Can't the government do what Sasol in South Africa did? Our government is failing us.

N.S. Santa Monica, Calif.

Dear N.S.: You must first recognize that we have the best government that money can buy. When I asked a former member of Congress, whom I've known for 35 years, how he accumulated so much money on a government salary he commented frankly: "I would guess that 70 percent to 80 percent of my colleagues are on the take and ...." So asking "our government" to encourage the oil industry to lower oil prices is like asking the United Auto Workers to encourage lower wages so General Motors, Ford and Chrysler can sell more cars to consumers.

There are two reasons for record high oil prices. The first reason is the one that sounds good. Refineries all over the country are experiencing a record number of leaks, power failures, breakdowns and labor problems. As a result some 50 to 60 of the nation's 150 refineries (in 1985 there were 324 oil refineries in the U.S.) had to shut down or lower production this year. And as the fairly tale continues, these problems have created a severe supply shortage that has moved the cost of fuel to record prices at the pump.

To this I say, tommyrot, applesauce, balderdash and a few choice words in poor taste to print. If we really have a fuel shortage how come there aren't long lines of cars at gas stations waiting to fill their tanks? And why have Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Total and Marathon, which own most of the refineries, continued reporting record profits? Kind of makes one wonder if the refinery breakdowns, leaks, fires, etc. are contrived exaggeration and poppycock and purposefully engineered. And, considering the hundreds of billions of dollars these companies earn, it boggles my imagination that their upkeep is so sloppy. It just gets "curiouser and curiouser."

The second reason is not the one that sounds good; rather, it's the real reason. Remember Vice President Dick Cheney's secret Task Force meeting with oil executives and lobbyists in 2001? Today, seven years later, the administration still refuses to divulge the names of the 33 or so people who attended. Gas prices then were $1.55 a gallon. And be mindful that President Bush's family made their big bucks in the oil industry and that Cheney (the president's wet nurse) was chief executive officer of Halliburton, the humongous oil and gas service conglomerate.

Now, if you remember reading my column on coal hydrogenation and Sasol, you will recall my comment about Standard Oil of New Jersey, now called Exxon. I wrote that Standard Oil and its American management, between 1938 and 1941, helped Germany to build hydrogenation plants to produce gasoline from coal and that gas fueled German tanks, planes, battleships and supply trucks. And you will recall my comments that Standard Oil was a contributing member of SS chief Heinrich Himmler's Inner Circle of Friends even as late as 1943.

While Washington tells us that oil prices are too high, I can't find just one sentence in the Congressional Record that proposes a solution. Fuel prices are high because Big Oil wants them high and they are paying Congress for protection to keep those prices high. Now why would Exxon or Shell want to sell gas at $1.50 a gallon when they can sell it at $3, earning nearly twice as much with little or no increase in cost? The chance that that medicine will find a cure for, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer's, AIDS and stupidity in the next five years exceeds by orders of magnitude the probability of gas returning to $1.50 a gallon. So get used to it.

Address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 1416, Boca Raton, FL 33429 or e-mail him at malber@comcast.net.
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
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The boundaries between private and public are very ambiguous.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:47 AM   #3
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I think that in the US were are burning our coal to make electricity, so making oil out of it isn't quite so appealing here. If the "evil big oil companies" thought there was a nickel to be made making oil from coal, they'd be doing it.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:47 AM   #4
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Gasoline is hugely subsidized by the US Government. If you want prices to go back down, be prepared to pay more in taxes.

Gas from coal is not the answer. Coal is nasty, nasty stuff. There is no such thing as 'clean coal'. I shudder to think how many coal miners have lost their lives.
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Old 08-12-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
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There is also a great alternative to cold to produce electricity, SOLAR power. Yes its expansive, but if nobody bought it, the price never going to drop and the technology wont improve. Its like computer, 5 years ago, you could buy a laptop for about 2-3 thousand, now, for less then 1... There is also eolian power that could be brought to the residential level and could do a sinificant result combine with solar.

Anayway, George prefer to invest in some kind of HYDROgene, a technology that will never be able to be usable before 20-30 years, and that Bush knows it so well, because his friends, the oil compagnies, will be safe for a long time.
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:01 PM   #6
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There is also a great alternative to cold to produce electricity, SOLAR power. Yes its expansive, but if nobody bought it, the price never going to drop and the technology wont improve. Its like computer, 5 years ago, you could buy a laptop for about 2-3 thousand, now, for less then 1... There is also eolian power that could be brought to the residential level and could do a sinificant result combine with solar.

Anayway, George prefer to invest in some kind of HYDROgene, a technology that will never be able to be usable before 20-30 years, and that Bush knows it so well, because his friends, the oil compagnies, will be safe for a long time.
Solar Power is a no brainer ...

Germany shines a beam on the future of energy - Monday, December 20, 2004
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...NGRAAEL4B1.DTL
Quote:
"There's a huge amount of opportunity here in Germany because the government has created a system that encourages large installations," said Thomas Dinwoodie, chief executive officer of PowerLight Corp. of Berkeley, which built and operates the Muhlhausen facility and two other solar parks nearby.
Algeria Plans to Develop Solar Power for Export - ALGERIA: June 19, 2007
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsst...2682/story.htm
Quote:
ALGIERS - Algeria plans to make use of its hot southern desert to develop solar power for export and domestic consumption, the OPEC member country said on Monday.
It doesn't have to be our sole source, but don't we have lot's of desert in the USA, not to mention monster strip mall parking lots doing their best to create terrible heat islands? Where's the enlightened self-interest when we need it most?

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Old 08-13-2007, 09:58 AM   #7
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BIBI -



Solar Power is a no brainer ...

Germany shines a beam on the future of energy - Monday, December 20, 2004
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...NGRAAEL4B1.DTL


Algeria Plans to Develop Solar Power for Export - ALGERIA: June 19, 2007
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsst...2682/story.htm


It doesn't have to be our sole source, but don't we have lot's of desert in the USA, not to mention monster strip mall parking lots doing their best to create terrible heat islands? Where's the enlightened self-interest when we need it most?

CarloSW2
No brainer, ok well you seems to be an expert...

And solar power at a residential level. You know, their isnt a lot of threes in the US the block the sun, so you just put solar panel on every ****in home (cause we all know that americans love big *** houses) and on every of their gigantesque sheds and YES, it could make a difference.

Their is also a greaaat alternative I didn't mentionne. Its using less power. I do u do that, first, you build less big houses (and a bonus their, you same on the amount of wood and materiel you use, so we still got our forest, here in Canada). And you start to reforest those city, because a threes is a good damn good air conditionnair, So that in summer, the south of the united state won't be cossuming a DRAMATIC amount of energy in cooling their ****in buildings.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:50 AM   #8
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BIBI -



It doesn't have to be our sole source, but don't we have lot's of desert in the USA, not to mention monster strip mall parking lots doing their best to create terrible heat islands? Where's the enlightened self-interest when we need it most?

CarloSW2

hmm interesting idea, what would happen if they covered the entire roof of the mall in solar pannels? or better yet, cover a huge part of the parking lot with a canopy of solar cells? make it look kinda like a huge carport where the roof is solar cells....
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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hmm interesting idea, what would happen if they covered the entire roof of the mall in solar pannels? or better yet, cover a huge part of the parking lot with a canopy of solar cells? make it look kinda like a huge carport where the roof is solar cells....
Parking Lot or Power Plant?
http://www.californiasolarcenter.org...0020528-4.html
Quote:
Close to half of the urban landscape in the United States is dedicated to automobiles and about 20% reserved for parking alone. With land becoming an increasingly scarce resource, attention has turned toward making parking lots more productive urban features, serving multiple functions rather than only providing space for cars that sit idle 95% of the time.
Attachment 831

Mmmmmmmmmm, shade ...........

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Old 08-15-2007, 08:43 AM   #10
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Wow I like! Now think of ALL the benefits; cars are kept cooler, so the AC doesn't have to work as hard to cool it down after shopping for a few hours. Cars are protected from hailstones while shopping, lowering repair costs and the pollution that results thereof. Lower costs to the mall since their power would be coming from their own parking lot, which would also cause lower leasing payments inside the mall, meaning lower prices for goods. Fewer power plants needed since a fair sized load is no longer on the grid. Now if they would couple lining the parking lots AND the mall roof in solar cells with a few decent sized windmills, the mall could actually make power power than it needs to operate, which means the mall could make money selling the power back. Wow, this could really take off! Think I'll shoot an email to China Mart, they are always looking for ways to cut costs, and their super centers certainly take up their fair share of land.

Whups, too late. Looks like they are already looking into this sort of thing.
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