Sunday, August 07, 2005

Over 60...

It's a little belated, but oil's ppb is now past another landmark, and it's now trading at 62.31$. Keep in mind this is up from the 10-20$ range 6-7 years ago (and 40$ one year ago). I thought and I still think that this is a short-term price lurch with speculation and politics more to blame than the fundamental problem (there's only so much oil left), but it's a good time for an update.

The oil companies themselves are intent on informing the public of the root problem, as Chevron and others launch huge commercial campaigns imploring governments and populaces to provide them with the help and leadership to move onto the next energy source.

The estimate is now 5 years before non-OPEC production peaks. The US production peaked back in the 70's.

Whilst the US consumes 20 million barrels a day (1/4 the world total), the next largest consumer is China at 8, and France, a nation comparable to us in development and economic status, consumes a mere 2.

One of the biggest alternatives right now is tar-oil, a seemingly endless source embedded in sands which is much more expensive to extract and causes much more environmental damage (primarily through emmissions). This is what will happen if the free market runs it course.

67% of our consumption is in the transportation sector. Small things, like building a few less highways, a few more trains, more mass transit, zoning land in such a way that work, home, and shopping can all be walked to, mileage standards, and gas taxes can make a huge a difference, and it is the practical policy to implement them.


Benton C. Glaze said...

So, with oil prices so high, what ever are we to do? I say that nuclear energy, coupled with hydrogen power, is our only feasable option right now. China sees it, when will we?

Anonymous said...

benton is correct on this. however , william - u cant compare the u.s. to france(socialist country) . we are far more productive and larger. therefore we would use more oil. Furthermore, are u against the free-market economy system __" extract and causes much more environmental damage (primarily through emmissions). This is what will happen if the free market runs it course."

francois said...

It would be practical to implement such things if it were possible. You can't plan a city. Cities pop up with individual actors building wherever they feel they'd like to build. You can't plan for shopping and jobs to be within walking distance. You can invest more in mass transit, but as long as oil is cheap people with the means to drive(which these days is almost everyone) will continue to drive.