portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

environment

Gas prices- be careful what you wish for.

Gas prices are up, and some think its funny to watch Americans spend their spare change at the pump, but watch out what you wish for, you might just get it.
Gas prices are up and are expected to peak this summer at about $3.00 a gallon. In Alaska its already $5.00 a gallon. Some people are quite happy with this and think that Americans have for far too long enjoyed cheap gas. Well perhaps, but here is what is happening right now.


Diesel powered cars and trucks are flying out of the dealers showrooms right now because of their mileage and the low cost of diesel fuel. (we love they way they smell and pollute don't we?)

There are 4 SUV Hybrids right now on the market, and by the 2006 model year (next fall) there will be 11, some just as big as the current all Gasoline SUVs but getting 40+MPH and a lot cheaper to drive. This will make many more SUV owners out of people rather than less. The cost on these models are expected to be about the same as a conventional gas SUV but will save thousands of dollars in Gas over the life of the vehicle.

2 bills are going before the US House and Senate this fall to drill in ANWR. They are designed to force both the democrats and Kerry to show the American driving public where they stand on domestic oil exploration. The last time they voted this bill only lost by 2 votes. With enough pork thrown into these bills, and given the price of gas now, it will likely pass this time.

Charitable contributions have dropped off significantly in the United States since Gas prices have gone up this spring. People who would normally throw an extra $20 into the plate at church, or in the envelope to their favorite charity, have already spent the money at the pump and don't have it to give anymore.

Blood for Oil sounds a lot more palatable to people paying $75 to fill up their vehicles every 4 days than it did a few months ago.

5 States have legislation pending to license and tax bicycles for street use. This is being sold as a way to pay for Bike lanes, but is really a method to make up for lost gas tax revenue from the state's coffers. A flood of new cyclists will surely mean higher prices for bikes, parts, and forced use of BIKE LANES because the inexperienced cyclists demand safer biking conditions.


These are just a few of the current problems that accompany higher gas prices.
Innovations Useless To the Low Income 20.May.2004 18:16

North Portlander

And, as usual, the only people who be able to afford hybrid vehicles or the "new, improved, better-mileage SUV" will be the rich, who are the least in need of a break and can actually afford the higher gas prices.

The emphasis needs to be on alternative transportation with rewards for using it . . . not new taxes on bicyclists.

America's motorists have been spoiled.

the poor will by the old ones. 20.May.2004 18:26

trek owner

the poor will by the used ones in 5 years for about 1/10 what it costs new.

however I agree that we need to put our efforts into other forms of transportation (lite rail) etc.
but thats not really how america works, does it?

If it doesn't affect me, it's not there! 20.May.2004 18:45

North Portlander

Yup, most Americans identify more with the grasshopper than the ants.

reply 20.May.2004 19:06

scotty B

according to gasbuddy.com .. Alaska's price of gas is roughly $1.99

Debunked again!

Another price going up 20.May.2004 19:37

EVERYTHING

the price of everything is going to go up. All the product EVERYONE uses comes from a truck that drove it there, a plane that flew it there or a boat the floated it there (even local)...... all of these are gas powered, it is only a matter of time before all the costs go up to pay for it..... THE ONLY thing that won't is everyones wage. So hang on for the ride , it is sure gonna get bumpy...........

Here's some statistics 20.May.2004 19:46

blob

If anybody knows where I could obtain some statistics on how much oil is consumed by different sectors of our economy, I'd be really interested in knowing where they could be found.

I got these stats from  http://www.nationmaster.com/ (they're slightly outdated but still relevent, I think)

Oil consumption
1. United States 19.7 million barrels per day (2002E)
2. Japan 5.4 million barrels per day (2002E)
3. China 4.9 million barrels per day (2001E)
4. Germany 2.71 million barrels per day (2002E)
5. Russia 2.38 million barrels per day; (2001E)
6. Brazil 2.2 million barrels per day (2001E)
7. India 2.0 million barrels per day (2002E)
8. Canada 2.0 million barrels per day (2002E)
9. France 1.96 million barrels per day (2002E)
10. Mexico 1.93 million barrels per day (2002E)

Oil consumption (per capita)
1. Singapore 156.66 barrels per day per 1000 people
2. United Arab Emirates 142.06 barrels per day per 1000 people
3. Qatar 74.65 barrels per day per 1000 people
4. United States 67.85 barrels per day per 1000 people
5. Canada 62.09 barrels per day per 1000 people
6. Saudi Arabia 55.98 barrels per day per 1000 people
7. Brunei 47.47 barrels per day per 1000 people
8. Israel 44.63 barrels per day per 1000 people
9. Australia 44.19 barrels per day per 1000 people
10. Norway 43.99 barrels per day per 1000 people

Oil reserves
1. Saudi Arabia 264.2 billion barrels (includes half of Neutral Zone -- NZ) (1/1/02E)
2. United Arab Emirates 97.8 billion barrels (1/1/02E)
3. Iran 89.7 billion barrels (1/1/03E)
4. Russia 48.6 billion barrels (1/1/02E)
5. Libya 29.5 billion barrels (1/1/02)
6. China 24 billion barrels (1/1/02E)
7. United States 22.4 billion barrels (1/1/03E)
8. Qatar 15.2 billion barrels (1/1/02E)
9. Norway 9.4 billion barrels (1/1/02E)
10. Algeria 9.2 billion barrels (1/1/03E)

Oil imports (net)
1. United States 10.4 million barrels per day (2002E)
2. Japan 5.3 million barrels per day (2002E)
3. Germany 2.6 million barrels per day (2002E)
4. France 1.85 million barrels per day (2002E)
5. Italy 1.69 million barrels per day (2002E)
6. China 1.6 million barrels per day (2001E)
7. Spain 1.5 million barrels per day (2002E)
8. India 1.2 million barrels per day (2002E)
9. Turkey 584,326 barrels per day (2002E)
10. Thailand 539,973 barrels per day (2001E)

Oil exports (net)
1. Saudi Arabia 6.71 million barrels per day (2002E)
2. Russia 4.91 million barrels per day; (2001E)
3. Norway 3.3 million barrels per day (2001E)
4. United Arab Emirates 1.92 million barrels per day (3rd Quarter of 2002E)
5. Nigeria 1.9 million barrels per day (2002E)
6. Mexico 1.68 million barrels per day (2002E)
7. Iraq 1.56 million barrels per day (January-November 2002E)
8. Libya 1.25 million barrels per day (2001E)
9. Algeria 1.25 million barrels per day (January-October 2002E)
10. Oman 908,816 barrels per day (2001E)

Oil refining ability
1. Russia 6.6 million bbl/d (1/1/02E)
2. Japan 4.8 million bbl/d (1/1/02E)
3. China 4.5 million bbl/d (1/1/02E)
4. Korea, South 2.6 million bbl/d (1/1/02)
5. Italy 2.30 million bbl/d (12/1/02E)
6. India 2.1 million bbl/d (1/1/03E)
7. France 1.9 million bbl/d (1/1/03E)
8. Brazil 1.8 million bbl/d (1/1/02)
9. Saudi Arabia 1.75 million bbl/d (1/1/02)
10. Mexico 1.7 million bbl/d (1/1/03E)

Gasoline prices
1. Uruguay 1.95 (1998-2000 MRYA)
2. United Kingdom 1.92 (1998-2000 MRYA)
3. Israel 1.87 (1998-2000 MRYA)
4. Argentina 1.75 (1998-2000 MRYA)
5. Japan 1.74 (1998-2000 MRYA)
6. Finland 1.74 (1998-2000 MRYA)
7. Iceland 1.72 (1998-2000 MRYA)
8. Netherlands 1.69 (1998-2000 MRYA)
9. Burundi 1.66 (1998-2000 MRYA)
10. Denmark 1.66 (1998-2000 MRYA)

p.s., as far as people spending $20 dollars less at the collection plate, I think that's great. Every dollar taken away from religion is a dollar taken away from stupidity as far as I'm concerned.

And here's some evidence that gas is still TOO CHEAP 20.May.2004 20:57

xyzzy



Your statistics! 20.May.2004 20:59

Trek owner

A few things jump out at me about your statistics (not questioning them, just find it interesting).


(1) Oil consumption (per capita) The US isn't number one here. What they hell are they doing in Singapore with oil, swimming in it?


(2) Oil reserves. Its always mentioned that Iraq is second to Saudi Arabia, but its not even on this list??

(3) China and India's imports are WAY up in the past two years from when these stats were compiled. This is part of the reason for the high prices right now. (supply/demand).
Try telling Wong and Bala that they can't drive an SUV and they will park it on top of you.



(4) Oil exports - Iraq off the list again (I assume this is because saddham was in charge and iraq wasn't officially exporting oil, yet we all know the truth about that... )


(5) Oil refining ability - Now everyone should look at this one really hard. Its practically illigeal to refine oil in the US because of all of the EPA regulations, and these stats show it. We aren't even on the list! We lead an Eloy lifestyle while the Murlocks brew our Gas.., and you remember who the Murlocks "had" for dinner don't you?


Now for your last statement, and it's a really stupid one.

"Every dollar taken away from religion is a dollar taken away from stupidity as far as I'm concerned."

If hate religious people, fine, but that money goes to the poor and other charities, not to the Christians and others you hate.

praise the lord 20.May.2004 21:05

and pass the petrol

"Charitable contributions have dropped off significantly in the United States since Gas prices have gone up this spring. People who would normally throw an extra $20 into the plate at church, or in the envelope to their favorite charity, have already spent the money at the pump and don't have it to give anymore."

tell me about it, you left out what it costs for the gas just to get to church to make the donation including the part where we get volunteered to pick up six kids to take to sunday school. but it just sounds to me like religious leadership must have some sort of vested interest in standing behind the Democrats when they propose actions to bring prices back under control, instead of helping beat the war drums for the Republicans who seem perfectly content for prices to keep rising.

on the collection plate 20.May.2004 22:15

blob

"If hate religious people, fine, but that money goes to the poor and other charities, not to the Christians and others you hate."

Yeah that's why my pastor neighboor buys a brand new Lexus every year. If you're looking for a good business to get into, become a preacher, they really know how to rake it in. They're pretty sharp dressers too and pretty good with the babes as well.

As for the statistics, I'd still really be interested in finding out what sector of our economy (i.e. construction), uses what amount of oil. I suppose the DOE would have that info, but don't know where.

Alaskan Oil 21.May.2004 11:57

won;t help

There already is Alaskan oil being pumped. It was supposed to ease the burden last go around.
Only problem with extracting oil from Alaska is it seems to go to friends of the government and into their foreign interests and does nothing for Americans.