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Thread: Oil going way up???

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Oil going way up???

    I thought this was a really interesting article. It just brings to light the fact that back in the late 1990's you could get gasoline for 90 cents a gallon. Now it's close to $1.80 a gallon here in the metro. That's enormous inflation in a short amount of time. Exactly the reason why the economy is fluctuating the way it has. Regardless of which party you support, oil prices make a huge impact on the economy.

    "Economist foresees $100-a-barrel oil
    by Janice Francis-Smith
    The Journal Record
    10/5/2004


    Get ready for $100-a-barrel oil, economist Michael Economides told those gathered at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association's fall conference on Monday. And don't expect to see $20-a-barrel oil ever again.
    Economides, a professor at the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston and chief technology officer of the Texas Energy Center, has been author or co-author of nearly a dozen books and has written nearly 200 journal papers, articles and editorials.

    "I'm the guy who predicted $50 oil a year ago," said Economides. "I am predicting we're going to see $100 oil before we see $25. You're never going to see $20 oil ever again."

    The threat of a serious energy crisis during this century is very real, he said, though proponents of alternative energy sources all too often are headed in the wrong direction. And "journalism in energy has reached bottomless stupidity," he said, citing a prediction made by The Economist in 1999 claiming that the price of oil would drop as low as $10 a barrel "for the rest of the decade."

    Much of the world's oil comes from three countries: Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq. "On anybody's list of the most corrupt countries, they are number one, two and three, not necessarily in that order," said Economides.

    "Venezuela is a huge problem for us," he said. "Hugo Chavez is a much bigger threat to America's energy security than Saddam Hussein ever was. Chavez is really the poster boy for what's wrong with OPEC today."

    The United States can't really get too comfortable with any of the major oil producers on the world scene. Saudi Arabia, which maintains friendly relations with the United States but which birthed Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, is an "enigma," said Economides. And former KGB official Vladimir Putin is "re-Sovietizing the country" of Russia, he said.

    Meanwhile, over the last decade China has increased its oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels per day. If China develops to the point where the country's per capita energy consumption rivaled that of the United States, China alone would need 80 million barrels of oil per day - more than the rest of the world combined. (The United States Geological Survey puts yearly world consumption of oil today at about 30 billion barrels.)

    "Energy will be China's choke point," he said. Economides estimated that worldwide oil production could reach its peak at between 120 million and 130 million barrels per day. Another Cold War could easily arise as the industrialized countries compete for oil, he said.

    Reducing the United States' dependence on foreign oil is "not as simple as politicians want you to believe," he continued. Economides attacked a statement made by presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry on the campaign trail, regarding his desire to increase to 20 percent the amount of electricity produced in the United States using alternative and renewable energy sources. However, almost all of the U.S. electricity supply is produced using domestic natural gas or coal - not oil.

    "In order to attack foreign dependence, you have to attack transportation - there's no two ways about that," he said. Getting rid of all the SUVs would only reduce the nation's demand for fuel by 0.6 percent, he said. "And even the Sierra Club would not advocate lowering our standard of living."

    Much of the new technology being introduced for transportation, designed to decrease the country's reliance on gasoline, relies instead on natural gas. However, the United States does not - and cannot - produce enough natural gas to meet future demand as it is.

    "You guys, you cannot meet the natural gas demand in the United States," he said. "I don't care how many wells you build." Therefore, the United States would only be forced to import natural gas from foreign sources instead of oil.

    Though several media reports have touted the oil and gas industry as a thing of the past that will soon make way for alternative energy sources, Economides said the industry isn't going anywhere soon. He noted a news report announcing that a prominent university professor has devised a means of produce hydrogen from vegetable matter by heating it to more than 4,000 degrees centigrade.

    "For this professor, electricity comes from a socket in the wall," he said."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Oil hit a new high at $51.52/barrell today.

    I wish my folks hadn't sold off their oil company in the 80's.

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Well, the oil companies are definitely reaping the benefits. But oil profits are one of those things that fluctuates constantly with supply and demand. Right now we're in the middle of an oil boom. But once things settle down in Iraq, I think the price of oil will go back down.

    Fortunately for Oklahoma, our economy doesn't depend as much on oil as it did back in the 80's, so if an oil bust ever does occur again in the near future, we won't be hurt nearly as bad. Houston on the other hand.............

  4. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    I recently filled up at $2.03 a gallon. Makes me glad I live and work downtown.
    Continue the Renaissance

  5. #5
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Wow! Man, gasoline is getting high. And just think.....back in the late 90's you could get it for less than a dollar a gallon! Times sure change. I'm willing to bet gasoline prices will only continue to rise. Iw ouldn't be surprised if they hit $3 a gallon in the next 4 years.

  6. #6
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Man, I hope not. I guess it is time for me to get my 18 speed bicycle out and use some pedal power. Since I don't live that far from my office, I usually ride my bike to work and back (15 miles round trip). It's Fall now, and the weather is perfect for riding. VVVRRROOOMMMM.........

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    My next car will without question be a hybrid.

    Or if possible won't use petroleum.

  8. #8
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Personally, I kind of hope gasolnie prices keep going up. I know that sounds stupid! But, I think it will give people incentive to buy smaller cars and conserve on fuel, while at the same time sparking more interest in alternative forms of energy. The problem with energy prices being low is there just isn't any incentive to pour money into research for alternative forms of energy, like hydrogen fueled cars, for instance. By placing more reliance on alternative fuels over time, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil! That solves part of the Middle East equation. As far as I'm concerned, let's just push forward the science of Hydrogen-powered cars, and once we get them fully developed and on the market for a decent price, tell the Iraqis, Saudis, etc. to go jump in a lake!

  9. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    This should be a wakeup call for Is-took(ing). The time is right for rapid transit. Especially if the gas prices continue to rise.

    Plus, we need to slap all the nay ayers in the face and wake them up. I am about ready to give a big, loud "I told you so."

  10. #10
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Argh! I still can't believe Istook keeps winning! I just wish the guy would step down. Get this....this man had federal funding available for a lightrail system in downtown OKC and between downtown and the Meridian/I-40 hotel district. He turned it down, saying it was a waste of federal funds. Then he turns around and approves federal funding for a rail system in Salt Lake......hmmmm, the guy is a Mormon. Think about it. Actually this is a really old story that I bring up everytime he runs for re-election. But it's true. So now, we're stuck with a rubber-wheel trolley system, while Salt Lake has a nice rail trolley system! Who exactly is Istook voting for, Oklahoma or the capital of the Mormon Church?

    I rest my case!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Having ridden the downtown trolley quite a bit, I agree with Istook. A light rail system in OKC would definitely be a waste of money.

    For now, I think the rubber tire one is just fine. In the future, we should definitely upgrade. I just wish the rubber tire trolley came closer to my apt. than two blocks and ran past 8PM M-W.

    Of course, M-W, I can usually find free street parking in Bricktown, so...

  12. #12
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!

  13. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!
    What a mashugina!

  14. #14
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is a mashugina ?

  15. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Excuse my ignorance, but what is a mashugina ?
    It is yiddish for idiot.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!
    We all say we want conservatives in office. However, when one of our elected officials does something that is really conservative, like turn down money for something we don't need -- and c'mon, OKC has no current need of a light rail system -- maybe in the future when we have Bricktown more developed, but now?!

    It was just him being responsible with taxpayers' money. Salt Lake is a MUCH larger city than OKC. Certainly, he should support a light rail problem as they really need things to help reduce smog over there.

    If all Senators were more like Istook in the way they approached pork barrel politics, we'd all have more money in our own pockets.

  17. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Actually, Salt Lake City is by population about as large as Oklahoma City. By area it is MUCH smaller.

    Regardless of size difference, Oklahoma City is ready for light rail. As with increasing Will Rogers. Build it now, plan it now. The future holds a much higher cost and if we wait until the majority thinks we are ready it will be too late.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Salt Lake proper does have a much smaller population than OKC (181,743 compared to 506,132). The metroplexes are about the same -- Salt Lake has about a 100K person edge on OKC.

    OKC also has an edge on population density -- I'm guessing this is because Salt Lake City includes a lot of uninhabitable land as being part of the city. 321.9 km/2 vs. 321.9 km/2.

    Having been to Salt Lake, I can say that their downtown area certainly seemed to be more compact than OKC's and seemed to have a higher population density. However, I can't find any data about their downtown population density. Ours is 2600 mi/2.

    That being said, I think that the rubber-tire system has a lot of advantages. First off, it took almost no time at all to implement. Had it been light-rail, we'd probably still be wading through construction delays, cost overruns, etc. I ride the trolley probably around 1 round trip per week and think it serves its purpose just fine. I'm sure that as downtown grows, so with the role of the trollies.

  19. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    If you want to ride a slow moving form of transportation that still contibutes to the rush hour congestion, I guess that is your right.

    I have been on several subway systems on this planet and find them to be quite convinenant. I, for one, would rather ride a rail to Edmond. Not spend nearly ten bucks on half a tank of gas. Plus, during peak times, the rail is faster. My feet will take me the rest of the way.

  20. #20
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    I think as gasoline continues to rise, you'll see rail become more of a profitable option for our city.

    Midtowner, in regards to your statement, "and c'mon, OKC has no current need of a light rail system -- maybe in the future when we have Bricktown more developed, but now?!"

    Well, in the future a light rail system will probably cost double, maybe even triple what it would cost today. Costs of materials continue to rise, as does construction, especially as gasoline prices continue to rise. We'd be money ahead starting a small system now to at least build interest and get our feet on the ground. Cities much smaller than ours are already implementing rail projects. We're actually a little behind the pack on this one.

    Sure, we probably shouldn't start off with a large project, for we wouldn't want to fear having the project go under, but the way I look at it, if El Reno can support a rail trolley, Oklahoma City should be able to.

    Just to show you how much of an interest people have in rail....for two weekends the Oklahoma Rail Museum has Thomas the Tank Engine in town.....tickets were pretty much sold out weeks in advance. Only a few were left at the event. To think, people would pay $14 a ticket for a 25 minute ride through the slums of NE OKC. I think that just goes to show you the interest people have in rail. Rail just has a way of drawing people that fake rubber wheel trolleys cannot match. People see the rubber wheel trolleys as nothing more than glorified buses. But railed trolleys are nostalgic. If you haven't ever done so, take a ride on the El Reno trolley. It's quite an experience.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    Patrick, I'd love to see a rail system in OKC. Don't get me wrong. I am just questioning the cost effectiveness and especially whether or not FEDERAL tax money should be used for it.

    If the local voters want to take out a MAPS-like initiative and vote in a rail system, then my vote is definitely yes!

    However, I am very cautious with public transportation and anything that COTPA gets their greasy fingers on. We're talking about a government entity that can't turn a profit on a parking garage! Insane.

    I'm not sure that something like that would ever turn a profit. Almost all public transportation is subsidized in some form by the government. Otherwise, we'd have for-profit corporations trying to start up the light rail system.

  22. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    I do not think there is any mass transit system that makes a profit. They are subsidised by the governing body and the feds.

    As long as the rail system even came CLOSE to break even, that is all I ask.

    By the way. I have always liked the name CORT (Central Oklahoma Rapid Transit).

  23. #23

    Default Interesting article from the Cato Institute:

    Over the past quarter century, U.S. taxpayers have pumped more than $100 billion in subsidies into the nation's urban mass transit systems. That massive taxpayer investment has paid for urban public transportation systems that fewer and fewer Americans are using. Incredibly, mass transit ridership is lower today--not only as a percentage of commuter trips taken but also in absolute numbers of riders-- than it was in the early 1960s. Despite the low and declining use of bus and rail systems, federal grants for urban transit now appear to be as popular as ever: bills before both houses of Congress would provide increases of up to 20 percent in public aid for municipal bus and rail systems.

    The considerable support within Congress for expanded transit aid is not surprising. Since the federal government created the Urban Mass Transportation Administration during Lyndon Johnson's administration, public transit has been a fertile field of dreams and promises. Tax-supported transit lobbyists(1) supply Congress and state houses with visions of magic carpets that whisk commuters around gleaming cities.

    The alleged virtues of public transit are by now familiar. For weary motorists, public transit systems promise less automobile-generated traffic congestion; for environmentalists, less air pollution; for city planners, a first step toward urban revitalization; for the poor, inexpensive access to efficient transportation; for conservationists, less wasteful use of energy; and for the business community, a way to lure suburbanites back to central business districts.

    Regrettably, more than two decades of experience with publicly supported bus and rail systems have exposed each of those dreams as a costly illusion. Public transit systems have failed to deliver any of the promised benefits.

    * Transit subsidies are not increasing ridership. Transit ridership is lower today than it was 30 years ago--before the billion-dollar subsidies began. People, including transit executives(2) and elected officials, tend to ride public transit only when they have no other reasonable choice.

    * Transit subsidies have not reduced road congestion. The shiny new multi-billion-dollar rail systems have not diverted meaningful numbers of drivers from their cars; most new patronage has been of less expensive, more flexible bus lines and energy-efficient car and van pools.(3)

    * Transit subsidies do not reduce air pollution. Because public transit has not increased ridership, transit has had no discernible impact on air quality in cities. Mass transit patronage is so low that even doubling it would have a negligible effect on air quality.

    * Public transit is not energy efficient. The average public transit vehicle in the United States operates with more than 80 percent of its seats empty.(4) Because of the low average number of passengers per bus, energy consumption per passenger mile for public transit buses now is greater than that for private automobiles and far exceeds that for car and van pools.(5)

    * Transit subsidies have not helped revitalize cities. Cities, such as Buffalo, with new multi-billion-dollar rail systems have not reduced flight from their central business districts. Even with ever-greater subsidies for public transit, the exodus of businesses and residents from downtown areas is accelerating.(6)

    * Urban transit does not benefit the poor. Ridership studies show that the poor are not heavy users of federally subsidized transit systems. Transit provided only 7 percent of trips made by low-income people.(7)

    The cold, hard lesson of the last 25 years is that instead of promoting increased efficiency in bus and rail service, higher taxpayer subsidies have paid higher-than-inflationary transit costs. Subsidies have financed exces-sive compensation for transit employees, declines in transit productivity, and swollen bureaucracies--not increased sevices. If public transit costs had risen only at the same rate as private bus industry costs, service levels now could be more than double the 1989 level.(8)

    Worst of all, taxpayer subsidies, particularly federal grants, have actually impeded the development of efficient and cost-effective urban transit programs in U.S. cities. The experience of other industrialized nations and some selected systems in the United States demonstrates that by tearing down the significant regulatory barriers, which prevent private, unsubsidized transit systems from developing, and by encouraging competitive contracting by private providers for subsidized systems, the mobility needs of urban residents can be met at lower cost and greater convenience to customers. Conversely, if Congress approves further large increases in transit subsidies, they will fuel further increases in transit costs. Those funding increases will ill-serve the interests of urban commuters, and they will certainly ill-serve the interests of American taxpayers.

  24. Default Re: Oil going way up???

    The above information is probably the propiganda spewed by Earnest "I could care less about my home state" Istook.

    I have been on enough light rails and subways to know better than to believe ridership is not high and they cause pollution.

    Just the opposite.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Oil going way up???

    It's from the Cato Institute -- a conservative/libertarian think tank. Certainly, consider the source. But also, consider the studies they cite. Sure, it would be interesting to know how the studies that they cite were conducted, but as it stands, they make a fairly reasonable case that mass transit as it is is not getting used enough to make it effective.

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