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Old 04-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #29
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It might be time to review the movie:
Mad Max, Road warrior.



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Old 04-23-2008, 08:54 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Tim A.
.......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.
To politely disagree here, most natural gas the we, the American consumer use, comes from American wells. There are those (with a much better handle on the industry that I) that trace the incredible run-up in natural gas prices directly back to the Enron mess. Some even believe that the Enron knuckeheads were trying to control the entire world market of natural gas.

Excess profits? You might be right, a little. Windfall taxes? Never going to happen. The actual profit MARGIN of the big oil companies isn't that far out of line with historic norms. The numbers just look big because the gross numbers are big. If the politicians start hollering "windfall taxes", the oil companies will pull out the lawyers and we'll get nowhere.

Threaten to severely regulate these guys. That'll get some attention.

Just my 2 euros.

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:30 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Tim A.
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
Here an interesting analysis written in 2005. It makes a lot of sense in my book.


When voters elect the latest gladhander to their municipal and state governments, the chemical makeup of the gas down at their local pump is not usually high on their list of priorities. BUT if you’re an agricultural activist who wants to sell corn to the government to produce Ethanol, or an environmentalist who believes you possess the magic formula for reducing baby-killing smog in western cities, well, that’s a different story. These groups are extremely effective at lobbying government at the state and local level to create a "boutique" gasoline formula to further their cause. As a result, Missouri gas isn’t good enough to burn in California, whose gas cannot legally be sold in New York City or parts of Arizona.

According to Michael Ports of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of Americas, "Twenty years ago, there were two blends of gasoline offered in three octane levels, and essentially one blend of diesel fuel. Today, there are more than 18 unique blends of gasoline mandated across the nation — again offered in three octane grades — and at least three different blends of diesel fuel." Okay, let’s do the math. I make it… 59 different blends of gasoline spread out over 50 states. Just to make things that much more complicated, no one refinery produces all 59 blends of gas; nor is any refinery typically dedicated to any one grade.

OK, let's say a particular blend of gas for the Atlanta area is made in, oh, Louisiana and Mississippi. And let’s further imagine that a Category 4ish storm named something like Katrina pounds through the area, heavily damaging the refineries, destroying their ability to blend Atlantagas. So, all Atlanta has to do is call up Florida and ask for some Orlandogas, right? Well, no. Turns out the closest supplier of that particular formula of gas might be somewhere like… Europe. Until some big boats brimming with Atlanta-friendly gas cross the pond, load up a few thousand tank trucks and deliver the requisite blend, the local population is forced by legislative fiat to ponder pump prices hovering around $5.57 a gallon.

What’s more, all three octane levels of Atlantagas are all likely to have unique chemical constituents that the other 56 official blends do not. Those ingredients must be transported to the refinery. Some of them, such as Ethanol, may have special production and handling requirements, which adds time, effort and, of course, money to the equation. By the time a new refinery is ready to make Atlantagas somewhere else in the country, the original refineries may start trickling back on-line. The producer must weigh the simple advantages of riding out the storm. If they’re really unlucky, another storm (call it Rita) could be heading towards the new refining location.

Speculation is another factor adding to the recent gas price fluctuations. Back when gas was $2.00 a gallon, industry experts speculated that speculation was adding five to seven cents to a gallon of gas. In the wake of hurricanes, the “investor effect” has been both more volatile and more pronounced. Basically, some heavily moneyed folks are betting against The Truth About Oil; they’re making a short-term gamble that the price of oil will keep going up. Because this strategy has been successful in recent years, more commodities investors are doing it, which inflates the demand (and price) of oil (and gas).

These factors blend together (so to speak) to create a sub-economy so complex it takes a Congressional inquiry or four to prove that "big oil" is not guilty of price gouging. Although scoring political points seems to be our elected officials’ official business, Congress would be better advised to simplify the regulatory chaos surrounding US gas production and distribution. I'm all for clean air, but there is no way that 59 different formulas of gas are necessary to accomplish this laudable goal. Picking a winning formula, even if it is more expensive to begin with, would help prevent supply and distribution problems. During times of crisis, the ability to borrow a cup of premium unleaded from your neighbor would be a strong force against severe price fluctuations, speculation and gouging.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:42 AM   #32
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Gas Prices

Its about jobs, money and power.
If enough of us would simply get together in any one state and call their congressman or senator and demand economic relief (from the complicated structure) and get a story like the one laid out along with the excuse "there is nothing I can do" and then recall and replace just one of these ineffectual representatives, we would see gas prices plummet. The "tree huggers" cannot win out over people making decisions with their wallet. Their are too many of us.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:51 AM   #33
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Anyone see the documentary where Saudi Arabia has claimed the same or higher untapped reserves for the past 20 years?

I happen to agree with the question of how do you pull billions of barrels out and still have such huge and/or grown reserves after 30 years of pulling it out of the ground?

In this documentary, they showed that at the start of the oil use, America actually had the largest known reserves. In 30 years we ate through all of it until Alaska came along. Now, Russia and the Middle East have the reserves, but in reality, do they and for how much longer?

I tend to speculate that the Middle East may not have what they think they have, just as the US ran dry, so will the Middle Easterners. Eventually, the reality will sink in that there is just so much oil in the Earth. At some point, something has got to give and I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceburg here.

Even if we streamline the gas formulas, and we now, or soon really cut back on our use via Hybrids, Electric, etc, there will still only be a finite amount of oil and natural resources in the ground, some of which cannot be recovered and some of which may be grossly overstated on what can be recovered.

Demand up worldwide, India, China (thanks to the US dollar going there due to manufacturing, call centers, exporting jobs, etc). You in fact have the perfect storm and unlike Katrina, it's the storm that has parked itself overhead and isn't going to go away for a long, long, long time. Without sounding like the glass is totally half empty, it's a whole big mess from the exporting of jobs, to the exporting of raw materials and then we wonder how demand snuck up overnight.

I was at recycler this past week, as I was tearing down part of a house, we took in the alum siding. Got about .92/lb. Highest ever. Guy asked what else we had. China wants everything they can get their hands on and have the $$$ to buy it. What are they doing with all the copper, metal, alum, etc I asked? He said they are making products and reselling it back to us.

Where do you think China got all that money from in the first place?


Folks, break out your bikes and pedometers!
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:05 PM   #34
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Many posters seem to think that the President, or Congress, can somehow lower gas prices, but the fact is that it’s a matter of (international) supply and demand. Politicians can no more conjure fuel out of thin air than King Canute could stop the tide from coming in.

Today’s gas prices result from the confluence of three factors:

First, world demand for oil is increasing, mostly on account of economic growth in China and India.

Second, world supply of oil cannot increase fast enough to meet this demand—and may already be declining—because the easy-to-get oil is running out and such newer sources as can be found are a lot more difficult and expensive to develop.

If you want to understand the worldwide oil supply situation, I highly recommend the book Beyond Oil by Kenneth Deffeyes, a petroleum geologist.

Amazon.com: Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak: Kenneth S. Deffeyes: Books

Basically what it says is that the world is running out of cheap oil, and what will come after will cost a lot more. This is necessarily going to affect what we do and how we do it.

The third reason U S gas prices have gone up (and factored into the $120 a barrel petroleum we are hearing about) is that the U S dollar has taken a big plunge on the international currency markets on account of the Fed inflating the currency to alleviate the financial crisis caused by bursting of the housing bubble. That is something the politicians can do something about, but the alternatives aren’t necessarily attractive, either.

One positive note is that some smart folks with money in the game think that crude oil prices have currently been bid up way too high by (international) speculators and that a more realistic price based on actual supply and demand is closer to $50 or $60 a barrel than the $120 it has been bid up to. An article in the Wall Street Journal just last Monday titled “The Mother of All Bubbles” talks about this.

If the crude oil bubble bursts we may see $2 gas again before we see $10 gas. But that doesn’t change the fact that in the long run, gas prices are going nowhere but up.



See you down the road,
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:51 PM   #35
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Gas Prices

OK then how come China has found a way to cap gas prices?
Sorry, don't buy it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:59 PM   #36
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Government subsidization?
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:44 AM   #37
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OK then how come China has found a way to cap gas prices?
Sorry, don't buy it.
Beginner
Beginner, I'd like to hear more about that...I didn't know China capped fuel prices, more info please-very interesting...

Bill
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:58 AM   #38
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Gas Prices

Japan picked up the health care and retirement costs costs for their auto makers until they could get a strangle hold on our car market. For all I know they still are.
The USA country pays farmers to NOT grow crops not grow certain crops in this country.
The USA still gives substantial tax breaks to manufacturers who have in the past and are continuing to send jobs over seas.
The USA continues to give huge tax breaks to all oil companies who are making billions in profits and whose prices to us don't really seem to be linked to the cost of crude as the price at the pump dosent drop when the price of crude did but went higher each and every time the price of crude goes up.
Yes the the Europeans are paying high dollar for gas but 80% or better of that price at the pump is going to taxes to maintain their roads. That delta here is going into the oil companies pockets.
Sorry don't buy it for a minute.
If we recalled and replaced one Senator here in the cause of gas prices or lack of citizen representation, the gas prices would plummet.
Trust me.
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:29 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvite-F
Many posters seem to think that the President, or Congress, can somehow lower gas prices, but the fact is that it’s a matter of (international) supply and demand. Politicians can no more conjure fuel out of thin air than King Canute could stop the tide from coming in.
Nuvi
Though this may be true, this only tells one side of the overall story.

If we really took a look at what our own government has or has not done, one can clearly see that the money given to big oil is not really needed. That money could in fact be given to companies and taxpayers to more fully expand and adopt renewable energy sources. As demand goes down, supply could go up? Disagree? Well, let's take the math that has been given, where one person said the US takes and uses about 30% of the market. Imagine if that were to cut in half. You can't tell me it isn't possible, because it is entirely possible. If we put our eggs into the renewable energy basket, instead of big oils back pocket to fend off state run oil (to which they can do just fine with little to no money from us to do this), you may be shocked at what can be achieved. Folks here get real excited when they see cars get 45mpg and when an SUV can actually get more than 15mpg highway. I subsribe that it's great to get more mpg, but the real issue is we are running out of oil at some point. You'd need 100+mpg or more to be able to curtail or slow what is going to come crashing down around us in the end, and that end could be sooner than most thing. As I said earlier, it didn't take long for some countries to exhaust their oil supplies. It's not like oil gets made in a century. Expanding economies (besides China and India) will only contine to fuel this fire as more and more countries vie for big business' dollar since making something in what we'd consider a 3rd world country costs dramatically less than what it costs to produce here...or does it if you look at what is happening as a result of all these activities?!

In addition to this, it is up to us. How many times have you gone to the store and bought something made in Inda or China? It's hard not to, because it's everywhere. Sending jobs overseas makes money for the corporations, but it also has the effect we are all seeing here now. These economies would not be where they are today if it weren't for our desire for a low cost product. In fact, you only see a fraction of the savings, the rest goes into the bottom line of the corporations who sell you this stuff. There are many other things we all can do, but I can tell you that most will prob not happen.

As for the China comment on holding prices, I had not heard that, but frankly it does not shock me too much. I mean we are talking about a Communist country. The state has overall authority to do what they wish, and with all of our money going to goods made in China for every little thing we all buy here, there are piles of cash for China to be able to do something like this. As has been pointed out, many countries do what is in their best interests or the best interests of their people. Here in the US, the US does what's in the best interests of those who are the special interests groups, with large groups who lobby, make major contributions to the politicans, etc. In these senarios, who do you really think is representing the people?!

I fully agree that if you took even half your representivies to task on these issues things would change....but with less than 30% voter turn out for most elections, who is really to blame?!
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:50 PM   #40
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Until we as a Country begin the necessary effort of drilling and refining the oil we have at our disposal, we will continue to be in this economic position. We have more oil available in America than all of the Middle East combined. We only have to be willing to drill for it. Also we can chose to purchase fuel from non opec countries only. However, that is where the consumer organization comes to play.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:22 PM   #41
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Why does most of the oil drilled in Alaska go to Japan? I worked as a crane operator during the construction of the pipeline and a little after at the port of Valdez and most of the tankers in port were bound for Japan. Everyone has had good arguements about why, but the bottom line is GREED. I do agree with beginner that if we were to throw one Senator or Rep. out we would find all kinds of solutions to the different crisis this country faces.
Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:06 AM   #42
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Found this article interesting, maybe you will too:

Glenn Beck: U.S. is a suicidal superpower - CNN.com
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