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Old 04-23-2008, 09:47 AM   #15
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The analysts keep talking about tipping points, and prices keep blasting right through them. I really wonder what the actual tipping point is going to be, though I suspect that it will be some small measure of time beyond the point where private citizens have nearly all quit driving; I suspect things will really start to bind and seize when the trucking and other freight companies start having to shut down because they can no longer reconcile their operating costs in fuel with their rapidly increasing freight charges that companies are no longer able or willing to pay - because those companies no longer have the people willing to purchase their products - because the people are conserving what resources they have to pay for the bare essentials - the price of which has soared because the companies have had to raise their prices due to transporation and manufacturing costs... etc., etc.... It's a vicious, vicious cycle, and I don't believe simple conservation and increased efficiency standards are going to help much, if at all - as was previously mentioned the reponse would be simply to cut production to keep availability low and prices high.

I believe a breakdown of catastrophic proportions - from our own kitchen tables, to the country of origin, be it India, Taiwan, China, Indonesia - whatever - with shockwaves all the way back up the entire chain - which brings the whole show to a screeching halt, is going to have to occur. Unfortunately, this is going to take a lot longer than it did in the 70's because there are far more players in the game to be affected. Sort of like when we experience a natural disaster in the country now, and there are nothing left but pieces, and you're standing back at square one. The desire to try to insure that such devastation never occurs again is always present - and this is where conservation and efficiency can have a real effect - in the beginning. It's a lot harder to build smart on a flawed substructure than it is to start from scratch. I sure don't like the idea of global depression, but I truly believe it's where things will have to go before any meaningful improvements will take place.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by richinny
it was interesting to read that none of the candidates want to pump crude from up north.
They may not want to, but it is already underway:

Oil pipeline barreling through scenic B.C. park
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bake315
I sure don't like the idea of global depression, but I truly believe it's where things will have to go before any meaningful improvements will take place.
Well, similar to California where so say CARB, so say the nation....

If the US economy takes a major nose dive as all indicators show it is pointing in that direction, this will cause the global meltdown we're talking about. If consumers here cut back, all those neat little things we buy at Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc that are all made in China, guess who is gonna be next to feel the pinch. I think we've already seen the airlines jumping from the flaming building. When you see the trucking companies do it, I think we'll be well past the point of no return until we sink to the bottom like a rock.

As for the money we're suppose to get this spring from the fed, heck that won't even pay for 3 months of utilities and gasoline.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:54 AM   #18
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Winnebago Pauses Production lines.

Starting Monday, Winnebago will shut all production for one week, due to sales slowdown, lack of consumer confidence. This will affect most of the companies 3000 employees.

Maybe this should also be posted in the "Corrosion on AS" thread. Maybe AS will have more time to deal with the problems with it's current customer base.

Jonathan
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:12 AM   #19
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Well, here’s a thought.

I wonder if anybody has studied regulating the hydrocarbon industry in a similar manner to the electric industry. Hear me out first.

Electricity is pretty cheap and prices have been pretty stable for years, at least in my part of the world. And this is despite the fact that hydrocarbons, in one form or another, are used to generate much of that electricity. Electric companies make a pretty good profit and employ lots of folks. Most of them are public companies (closely government regulated as opposed to government owned). Good situation all ‘round.

In other words, maybe we should change our thinking about hydrocarbons from not so much a commodity, but more along the lines of a PUBLIC UTILITY that can be closely regulated. In these days of extreme government control over most everything, I suspect that even the threat of something like this would send shock waves thru the industry and send prices down.

(In case you’re wondering, I’m the opposite of a socialist, but something has to be done or we won’t have an economy left in another year or two)

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:31 AM   #20
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Peak Oil is here and it's going to get a whole lot worse. Airstream will eventually see that there IS a demand for more lighter weight units. We are keeping in mind that $10 gal. gas may be on its way in less than five years, but yet still plan to buy an Airstream (just a lighter weight one).

Try to find a fresh, local food source, because the store shelves may someday be empty. Heck, we have a few chickens in our backyard. It's a small start.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:54 AM   #21
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Seems like with gas prices what they are, folks might be more open to hearing about how our neighbors to the north have learned to safely tow with smaller vehicles.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:06 PM   #22
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The History channel just did a multi-hour show on the history of oil and for that matter the carbon cycle. From Alge to tank and back again. I can highly reccomend watching this show if it comes back on again. It is a real education. For example, it is estimated that the peak of our abilities to extract oil (production) has passed and that does indeed mean that it will be harder and harder to find and extract it. And all the while our consumption goes up and up. It will eventually go away. Perhaps not in our lifetime but our grandchildren's???
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:11 PM   #23
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As Americans, we have been very, very spoiled over the last several decades of paying less for gas than almost everyone else on the planet. A friend of mine over in the UK just filled his Ford 350 to tow his Airstream and it cost him over $205 USD! And that is the norm for him. There are no less than twelve factors that go into what we as consumers pay for gasoline at the pump. I could outline the process, who gains and who losses (yes there are loosers in the oil game) the timeline between well and your local gas station but there isn't enough room here in the forum for it. One of the worst contributors is actually a partnership that has never been written in ink or even a hand shack; the media and the local gas stations. As soon as the media started the hype of $4.00 per gallon gas prices, that very same day stations started to raise prices by as much as $0.05 per gallon and haven't stopped yet. If you read it in the paper or see it on the news it must be true! So the local extortionist is making good on the medias prediction. By mid summer we will be well over the $5.00 per gallon for regular gasoline for a whole bunch of reasons. Am I going to be towing my Airstream all summer long without any changes in plans. Why? We love the freedom, we LOVE our New England WBCCI Unit friends, we love being on the road or camped in the woods. Now lets talk about the cost of milk and Moon Pies!
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:26 PM   #24
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The independent truckers are the one who are feeling the hurt the most right now. Many have contracts to haul for $$ per mile. The cost of fuel will force many of these trucks off the road.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:17 PM   #25
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We are constantly being told that there is a lack of refining capacity and that we are even importing refined oil products.

Looking back at a little price history you will see that from 1986 to 1999 gasoline prices at the pump had very little movement. A low of 0.75 in 1986 to almost 1.30 in mid 1999.

In November 1999 the Feds gave approval for the merger of the two largest oil exploration/refining companines in the world, Exxon and Mobile.

Since November 1999 to present gas at the pump has gone from 1.30 to 3.59.

Now, who controls all of that refining capacity???
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flightlevel5

Now, who controls all of that refining capacity???
Well the story was that the big oil comps had to merge to be able to keep up with state run oil (Chavez, etc). At this point there are several losers in this, and I seem to be one of them. $205 a tankful in Europe? Well, I'm about $150 a tank for the burb. I hear they are now up to about $7 (US) a gallon now.

It's not a matter of freedom or choice, it's a matter of reality. There is no question that I won't be going on as many trips this year. My 1200 sq ft ranch, to which I normally paid about $120 for natural gas in the coldest of seasons here, was just last month $239 and the average temp was 40 degrees, not the below zero temps I had when I paid $120 (my highest bill before this last monster). I'm not hurtin all that bad, but I am also not made of cash. It's a matter of priorities at this point. If gas alone was the only big hit, then I could see just doing the trips, but everything has gone sky high.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flightlevel5
We are constantly being told that there is a lack of refining capacity and that we are even importing refined oil products.

Looking back at a little price history you will see that from 1986 to 1999 gasoline prices at the pump had very little movement. A low of 0.75 in 1986 to almost 1.30 in mid 1999.

In November 1999 the Feds gave approval for the merger of the two largest oil exploration/refining companines in the world, Exxon and Mobile.

Since November 1999 to present gas at the pump has gone from 1.30 to 3.59.

Now, who controls all of that refining capacity???
I do not want to defend the oil and refining industry, but simple price comparisons do not give a complete picture.

When considering the price at the pump, it is necessary to compare the price for crude oil to the price of the products refined from it. In 1999, a barrel of crude oil cost about $16.50 and today that same barrel costs about $118 for an increase of over 700%. The gasoline prices you mention show an increase of about 276%. That would suggest that the refiners have lowered the cost of refining.

Exxon/Mobil does not control the refining capacity in the United States. Other large companies involved include Chevron, BP, and Shell and there are many other refiners independent of the major integrated oil companies.

American oil companies no longer have substantial control of the world's production of oil and natural gas. The futures markets for oil and refined products are also world and not US markets today. The US is dependent upon imports of both crude oil and refined products, so our prices reflect the world market prices.

If the American voter thinks that oil and refining companies operating in the United States are making excess profits, that is something they should take up with their elected representatives. The Windfall Profit Tax was one method used, in the past, to control the profits of oil producers. It could be reinstated, but the probability is that its cost will ultimately be passed on to the consumer.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:58 PM   #28
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Read recently where the US uses 30% of the world's gasoline. If true, I'm displeased.
Might have been the same article that mentioned that gasoline use is down in the US for the first time in quite a while.

I work between 2-12 miles from home (depending on what I'm doing at the time). The bike racks are starting to fill up. For years there were only one or two bikes at my current site, but this winter one or two others popped up, and lately there have been more like a dozen (plus one unicycle. Darned if I can figure that one out), and yet there are far more cars in the lot - more than 50% of which drove less than 5 miles to get there.
Where's the sense in that?

Our use of energy is a lot more elastic than we'd like to pretend.
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