Crude oil price hits $73.85 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-30-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
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Crude oil price hits $73.85

Crude just hit $73.85.

Record is on April 21, 2006. But recently it was below $69.


This can only be good for the state of FE design and modification of cars, and the fortunes of the early adopters who act now to insulate themselves from rising fuel prices.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:25 PM   #2
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Goddamn I wish I had the cash to finish my EV. **** this ****, these oil prices are getting out of hand. Alternatives have been stalled, for no better reason than to keep economic growth as high as possible, consumer spending as high as possible, and profit margins and tax revenues as high as possible.

The electric car broke even with the gas car in the 1990s, when gas was cheap. They are far cheaper to runtoday. We still don't have EVs, the oil industry, auto industry, and federal government fought them, even though there was clear demand from the consumer. You see, we are approaching or have passed peak oil production. If we were to have alternatives in place before then, demand for oil would drop, there'd be no energy crisis, and the oil industry wouldn't make near the amount of profit they do today and government wouldn't generate near the tax revenue it does.

So alternatives have been stalled. And damned be the consequences to the rest of us. Whether simply expensive gas and rapidly rising prices of goods or an outright dieoff, the oil industry will do anything to maximize profit.

Their role(and the role of the government and of other entrenched industries) in stalling wind energy, killing mass transit, stalling the electric car, suppressing industrial hemp(biofuels, plastics, ect.), and promoting war for the resource they rely on is well documented.

Entrenched industries are holding us back.

Cars account for 40% of America's oil consumption. Today, we have the technology to make affordable, practical passenger electric cars that perform equal to or better than our current cars and do 200-300 miles per charge. We have the technology for electric sports cars that do 0-60 mph in 3 seconds and top 240 mph. But we can't buy them. Why? The U.S. Federal Government, the oil industry, and the auto industry don't want us using them in place of gasoline powered cars. The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief supporting GM, DaimlerChrysler and others in their federal lawsuit against California’s ZEV mandate. Former Chief of Staff and General Motoris Lobbyist Andrew Card acted as plaintiff against the State of California in regard to the ZEV mandate. The oil industry has made blatantly false advertisements and statements about EVs and their technology. The oil industry set up and funded organizations with the declared intent of "stalling or preventing the adoption of battery electric vehicles in California and elsewhere". The oil industry conspired to prevent utility companies from setting up EV charging infrastructure. Chevron bought out the NiMH battery patent and are setting a restriction on the size of the modules produced to prevent use in pure electric cars and plugin hybrids and charging well above the battery's retail price by the original developer for use in today's hybrids. The auto industry spread around misleading or even wholly dishonest information on EVs, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an ad campaign against the cars they developed. The auto industry attempted to suppress information on battery technology. The auto industry made misleading and dishonest statements about the existing and future market for EVs, a market that was estimated to have an immediate 12-18% share at the 95% confidence interval in the late 1990s with low gas prices. The auto industry outright refused to lease and/or sell the vehicles to willing customers with cash on hand willing to pay the advertised price.

Mass transit? The government sold off the systems in the 40s to the oil and auto industry, who promply tore them down. The government wanted to force car ownership to increase spending and grow the economy, and the oil and auto industries wanted to increase profits. The people were not pleased, with documented riots in cities like Cincinatti and Salt Lake city over this issue. Car ownership plateaued at one car for every 2.5 driving age persons in the 1920s. After America's extensive light rail system was dismantled in the 40s, car ownership rapidly rose to 1 car per person of driving age in the 90s and present.

Air travel accounts for 10% of Aemrica's gasoline use. we have the technology to make an electric rail system that is cheaper and nearly as fast, is far safer, and doesn't have the security concerns that air travel has. The airline industry is broke and cannot stay afloat without crying to big nanny government to make hard working Americans give their shareholders those dollars they slaved for. So what happens with proposals for high speed rail systems between major cities, like Houstin and Dallas? The airline industry spends millions of dollars lobbying politicians and fighting any and all proposals that threaten their industry, claiming that electric rail systems cannot stand on their own and thus shouldn't be built. Anyone see the irony here?

Industrial hemp can be used to make biofuels. It has an energy return of energy invested of over 10:1, needs no pesticide or fertilizer inputs, and can grow in even the most arid climates. The oil and petrochemical industries lobbied for the outlaw of marijuana in the 1920s and 1930s and also got the government to refuse to allow farmers to grow its non-intoxicating counterpart. To this day, hemp growing is forbiddon in the United States. Its potential for biodiesel is enourmous, but agribusiness lobbyists like Monsanto want to push their more profitable corn and soy products to make biofuels, when the EROIE on these crops is too low to be practical. But hemp has much lower profit margins for biodiesel than soy.

Agribusiness lobbyists also keep sugarcane ethanol from being viable. You see, sugarcane ethanol has an EROIE around 9:1. Corn ethanol is about 1:1 where you put just as much fossil energy in as you get out. But sugarcane is not as profitable as corn, and Monsanto wants to push its products. Throw some lobbying and sugar tariffs in, and not only do you have high fructose corn syrup being artificially cheaper than sugar and now being used as the dominant sweetener(With many ill health effects including diabetes and obesity risks), but it prevents sugar-made ethanol from being affordable to Americans. The oil lobbyists also back corn, because corn doesn't work.

Wind energy? he coal, nuclear, oil, and natural gas industries have been fighting wind for years. Wind is now cheaper than coal, but it is less profitable than coal. Our grid could handle 20% wind power. But we are using nowhere enar that, these entrenched industries have stalled it the best they can to preserve their profit margins and kill the comepetition.


The government has always sided with entrenched industries on these issues. You see, keeping the status quo keeps Americans spending as much as possible to go about their lives. Cheaper alternatives would reduce economic spending, reduce resource consumption, and thus reduce economic growth. While good for the public from the money saved and the environment from the decreased pollution, it also means the government will collect less taxes and industry will make less profits.

So instead? To keep spending, profits, and taxes high, we get a national debt as far as the eye can see and we get oil wars. Who's going to pay that national debt? Industry? Nope, we are. Who's going to fight the oil wars? Industry? Nope, we are. Who's getting an increasing share of the tax burden, industry? Nope, we are. Who has to pay for the medical and property damaged caused by air, water, and land pollution? Industry? Nope, we do. Industry gets the carrot, we get the stick. We have to do industry's work and suffer its ill effects while the owners of these businesses get the profits.

Want to address peak oil? Address it at the source of the problems and tell these entrenched industries that are stalling technological and social progress to go **** themselves. This is america, and if they don't like listening to the will of the people and respecting this country's constitution, then they should get the **** out and not do any business with it.

"I wish to kill within its infancy the birth of the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, who dare already chellenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of this country." ~Thomas Jefferson
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Toecutter
Goddamn I wish I had the cash to finish my EV. **** this ****, these oil prices are getting out of hand. Alternatives have been stalled, for no better reason than to keep economic growth as high as possible, consumer spending as high as possible, and profit margins and tax revenues as high as possible.
Yep, it's a basic part of business logic to push for privatization of profit centres while leaving the externality to the government and public to deal with.

Fortunately, there is a limit to how high gas prices can go before the straw breaks the camel's back. With every new record gas price set there is more interest in things like this website. And now with the internet, it is possible for people to quickly learn about it, and backyard manufacturers to get into business producing something that there will be great demand for.

If people are already interested in this stuff now, what will the interest be like when oil is $200/barrel? I say bring it on... and for a number of years. And then people will finally be slapped in the face enough to actually do something about their own stupid, wasteful habits.

Imagine if drag coefficients, vehicle weight, engine efficiency and rolling resistance coefficients were the talk of schoolyard boys in addition to peak horsepower, torque and 0-60mph times? There would be a market created.

Seeing as China doesn't have much respect for patents... why aren't they producing their own NiMH or Li Ion batteries for internal consumption? You can buy generic knock-offs of everything else on ebay, why not car-sized Li-Ion packs? Or even automotive battery sized Li-Ion packs, for "weight reduction" for the performance crowd?
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:41 PM   #4
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By the time oil is $200/barrel, it may be too late to change anything. People are tied up into debt as it is, and this government has driven up a lot of debt that it's going to make its taxpayers pay off if(when) it defaults... Peak oil poses a serious threat to the economy, and once that threat becomes reality, who will have the cash to switch to alternatives?

This is a crisis in which the problem cannot be addressed after it has already happened. Entrenched industries are trapping the public into a ditch that they won't be able to dig themselves from.

China does infringe upon many battery patents, but their products remain sold in their country. Should the companies try to bring even a similar product here, the companies here will sue their asses off.

Even when Panasonic had its own seperate battery patent and had developed its own EV-size NiMH battery and had its patent(s) recognized, Chevron-Texaco still sued them, and won. Now imagine what would happen with a Chinese company that doesn't even develop its own battery, and tries to sell it in the U.S...
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Toecutter
By the time oil is $200/barrel, it may be too late to change anything. People are tied up into debt as it is, and this government has driven up a lot of debt that it's going to make its taxpayers pay off if(when) it defaults... Peak oil poses a serious threat to the economy, and once that threat becomes reality, who will have the cash to switch to alternatives?
Good question...

For one thing, reality will set in for people and government in general. Nanny state regulations for safety etc. will be trumped by people wanting the basics of life. There are large legislative entry barriers for people wanting to enter the auto industry - especially safety.

For examples of what can happen to industries in which there suddenly exist a circumstance in which information and economics slips out of a company's control, see the recording and movie industries. Eventually they adapt or they get pulverized by the market. Along comes an Apple that legitimizes music "sharing", and the clock cannot be turned back.

Or witness film companies and digital cameras. Sure, there are much smaller margins to be made with digital cameras as with film, but there is no turning back the clock there either.

This is a crisis in which the problem cannot be addressed after it has already happened. Entrenched industries are trapping the public into a ditch that they won't be able to dig themselves from.

China does infringe upon many battery patents, but their products remain sold in their country. Should the companies try to bring even a similar product here, the companies here will sue their asses off.

Personally, I think a shock is better for us while there is still a decent amount of fuel in the ground, giving us room to manoeuvre.

Quote:
Even when Panasonic had its own seperate battery patent and had developed its own EV-size NiMH battery and had its patent(s) recognized, Chevron-Texaco still sued them, and won. Now imagine what would happen with a Chinese company that doesn't even develop its own battery, and tries to sell it in the U.S...
BTW thanks for cross-polinating this forum with information about EVs. I was skeptical at first, but the more I look at them the more sense they make.
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