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Gasoline prices: the end of an era. - Page 7  

post #91 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_JV
I was not comparing it to the rest of Canada. I was comparing Canada to the US.
Gas prices are higher in Canada because gas taxes are higher in Canada.
post #92 of 240
I understand your point of view, but it seems that we are facing a real tragedy. If the price of gas keeps rising to levels way over $3 per gallon, who is going to buy the large cars that these companies are selling? I think that GM and Ford are already operating at a loss, and that they may not be able to honor their pension and medical plan commitments. If they can't sell their large cars and SUVs, and if that's all that they have available, will the government have to bail them out? Will we get government funded rebates if we buy these large cars? I doubt it. I think that market forces will bring about very traumatic changes, if gas prices keep rising, and I think that gas prices will keep rising. Remember that China (with 1.2 billion people) and India (also with 1.2 billion people) are now competing with us for the same limited supplies of oil, and that more and more of their people are buying cars. This will inevitably drive the price of gas higher and higher, and will force most SUV and other gas guzzling car owners to switch to high mileage small cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
2007 is impossible. I write software for car radios and we plan out the next 3-5 years; I can only imagine how far ahead the engine/tranny people are looking. if you make a law now, you can not reasonably expect it to make it into production for at least 6-8 years without causing huge financial hardships to the companies involved. I realize that a lot of the problem lies with these companies in the first place but remember that they employ tens of thousands of people and are already in serious job-cutting mode. Ford has already laid out plans to cut around 10,000 white collar jobs over the next 3 years, GM probably can't afford to pay out their pensions anymore, etc.
post #93 of 240
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Too lazy to read through the thread but has anyone mentioned Canadian gas prices?
I started the thread and I live in Toronto.
post #94 of 240
The real sad thing about SUVs is that they slipped in through a loophole in the regulatory laws. Regulations are in place, mandating improved mileage and safety standards for cars, but not for trucks. And, since SUV are classified as trucks, they are exempt from these regulations. So, these unregulated gas guzzlers result in ship-loads of $$$ to pass to our Saudi "friends", with which more and more religious schools (i.e., madrases) are organized in Pakistan and elsewhere. And, of course, among what's taught at these schools is hate of our Western values, and of non-Moslem religions. It's really one Hell of a pickle that we're in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
We're not talking about entitlement we're talking about freedom. Americans are entitled to freedom but not to possession. The mandate you recommend would take that freedom from us. As I said before they could then mandate the home size you could own and even the amount of food you could buy based on what they think you "need", hell they could mandate our freedom itself! Stalin and Hitler have shown us where this path leads.
Lawsuits and murders are a very different topic and relate much closer to flawed court systems, judges, and prosecutions.

AlanY - Vehicle makers already improve MPG as they progress but it is not and should not be mandated. If someone wants great MPG they have the freedom to buy a hybrid or something. Think of it from a business owners standpoint; if you made headphone amps and the government slapped a mandate on you that all your amps had to meet certain power requirements/restrictions by a certain date. This would hurt your production, drive your costs up and may affect your product quality. As long as there is competition in any industry there will always be a natural progression.

Todays SUV's and such mostly have duel catalytic converters and produce almost 0 emissions, run virtually smog free, and get great MPG given their size. power, and abilities. Compare this to any vehicle from 1985 and tell me we have not made phenomenal progress in just 20 years!
post #95 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg
The real sad thing about SUVs is that they slipped in through a loophole in the regulatory laws. Regulations are in place, mandating improved mileage and safety standards for cars, but not for trucks. And, since SUV are classified as trucks, they are exempt from these regulations. So, these unregulated gas guzzlers result in ship-loads of $$$ to pass to our Saudi "friends", with which more and more religious schools (i.e., madrases) are organized in Pakistan and elsewhere. And, of course, among what's taught at these schools is hate of our Western values, and of non-Moslem religions. It's really one Hell of a pickle that we're in.
Woh, you're takin this to a whole new level. I'll just say that the sedans that have the same V6 and V8 engines as the SUV's you speak of also have the same components to regulate their emissions so making this SUV specific just doesn't hold water IMO.
post #96 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
I'll just say that the sedans that have the same V6 and V8 engines as the SUV's you speak of also have the same components to regulate their emissions so making this SUV specific just doesn't hold water IMO.
It's not the big engines that are the only problem, though they play a significant role. SUVs are inefficient because of their high parasitic masses, high crossectional area, and high rolling resistance. Wikipedia (what a great source!) actually has the mathematical equations behind all of this here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUV

Incidentally, that's why minivans with identical engines tend to get 3-6 mpg better mileage than comparable SUVs.
post #97 of 240
Clearly the solution to higher gas prices and global warming is to loosen air pollution and CAFE standards and of course the production of bigger engines.

The sooner the US can burn through all the remaining fossil fuels the better the US and the world will be.

In the meantime, Detroit can remain happy (more hemis and V-10s, please) the American public get to drive waterever they want, and Congress is not burdened with a particularly difficult conflict of interest--all the while stimulating the ecomony by offering $38k tax beaks and record profits for OPEC.

When the last drop of oil and lump of coal has been removed from the ground just maybe the US can transition from the oil economy to next best thing?? At the rate the current administration is going the Middle East will soon become a distant memory (Kaboom!) or the next global superpower alongside China.
post #98 of 240
AlanY - From gas to safety all in the name of anti-SUV??

jmr - Actually I am secretly behind the so called global warming with my big SUV and aerosol products. Amazing that it works so fast... notice how hot it was this summer??
Don't forget that when that oil and coal is gone we can all rejoice to the end of computers, cell phones, headphones, all that pesky life saving hospital equipment, air travel, and every other nylon, plastic, etc. product that is derived from oil.... or did you think only vehicles used that stuff??
post #99 of 240
What an interesting thread!
I agree that popularity of low mileage SUVs have been a contributer to the price of gas. So also has been the "mobilizing" of China. But, what ever the cause, we are now here with these prices. I'm worried about the US economy. I know that filling up my Ford F150 costs a small fortune, and leaves me with less money to buy CDs, computer accessories, etc.
I figure everyone else is in the same situation.
The only bight side for me, is that I work for a railroad. Manufacturers are switching from truck to rail to save shipping costs. That means more trains, and more work for me. Which means bigger paychecks.
I don't want to hear about some rich person and her Hummer. I have an old Dodge pickup that gets 6mpg. I don't drive it much just to work and back, and to the gravel pit for a load of gravel once in a while. I fill it up once a month.

Lastly, the CAFE standards did not affect trucks until recently. SUVs are considered trucks not because of the engine but because of GVW and frame construction.

Why is diesel more expensive than gas?
post #100 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
AlanY - From gas to safety all in the name of anti-SUV??
You mean the Wikipedia article? I thought it was pretty balanced. The article, like all Wikipedia stuff, was written by some people who are pro-SUV and some people who are anti-SUV. They strive for a balance.

I'm personally not anti-SUV myself, but I'm also in favor of more rational policies regarding them. Improving their fuel efficiency would improve national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil. The average fuel efficiency of the US vehicle fleet has actually dropped since 1987, partly due to the increasing popularity of these vehicles.
post #101 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY
You mean the Wikipedia article? I thought it was pretty balanced. The article, like all Wikipedia stuff, was written by some people who are pro-SUV and some people who are anti-SUV. They strive for a balance.

I'm personally not anti-SUV myself, but I'm also in favor of more rational policies regarding them. Improving their fuel efficiency would improve national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil. The average fuel efficiency of the US vehicle fleet has actually dropped since 1987, partly due to the increasing popularity of these vehicles.
No it just seemed like your argument shifted from SUV gas issues to SUV design and safety... no biggie
post #102 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
AlanY - From gas to safety all in the name of anti-SUV??

jmr - Actually I am secretly behind the so called global warming with my big SUV and aerosol products. Amazing that it works so fast... notice how hot it was this summer??
Don't forget that when that oil and coal is gone we can all rejoice to the end of computers, cell phones, headphones, all that pesky life saving hospital equipment, air travel, and every other nylon, plastic, etc. product that is derived from oil.... or did you think only vehicles used that stuff??
Currently, petroleum is used as the main raw material for production of polyolefins mainly because of abundant supply and lower cost. In the future this may change. The research (with major funding from companies like Dowlink and DuPont) is already underway for the next best source for plastics some of which include combining carbon dioxide with either lactic acid or glucose (easily obtained from plants). Some of these plastics are presently finding uses in the medical field because they are bioresorable.

As for transportation, I'm hoping for teleportation. I just hate commuting in traffic to and from work.
post #103 of 240
Lots of interesting points in this thread.

It is a really frightening situation if you run the numbers. There's literally nothing that can bail us out, other than radically cutting back on consumption. The US uses 21 million barrels of crude per day. That's about a quarter of world oil consumption (89 million barrels/day).

People talk about ANWR as a solution, but it will hardly help at all; it will only help prolong the inevitable for a very short time. There are only 7 billion barrels of recoverable oil in ANWR (source), which, even if it could all be totally pumped, would only satisfy US oil demand for 11 months.

People talk about the oil sands in Athabasca or Orinoco as a solution, and it's true, there is more oil in these places than in all of Saudi Arabia, but the problem is we can't get the oil out fast enough, regardless of how much we pay. The huge Syncrude 21 project in Athabasca (the biggest oil sands project in the world) is only slated to produce 200 million barrels of crude per year by 2015! (source) That would satisfy US demand for just ten days every year, assuming no increase in demand for oil over the next 10 years.

We've been hugely irresponsible over the last 20 years, wasting chances to cut back consumption, basically just partying and having fun, giving crazy tax breaks to crazy vehicles. It's as if we didn't learn anything at all from the last two oil shocks. (Nixon and Kissinger had a plan to make America independent of foreign oil, but it was frittered away, just another wasted opportunity.) Now things are going to get really rough.
post #104 of 240
Wodgy, I totally agree. This is the perfect example where government legislation (tax incentives for industry or money earmarked for energy research) could have gently nudged our economy in the right direction years ago.

One cannot always expect a free market to follow paths that may not be economically viable for decades.

I would like to see a competition like the enormously successful $10 Mil X-prize that led to the first private spacecraft. I'm not sure Ruttan would have been able to get financial backing if the prize money or competition hadn't existed. The media and press alone had Richard Branson throwing money at the project.

The biggest problems with switching to alternative fuels are infrastructure and distribution. Without government help the transition will be glacial and could take decades until the economic conditions are right for companies like BP, Exxon, Texaco and Shell to dabble.
post #105 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy
Lots of interesting points in this thread.

It is a really frightening situation if you run the numbers. There's literally nothing that can bail us out, other than radically cutting back on consumption. The US uses 21 million barrels of crude per day. That's about a quarter of world oil consumption (89 million barrels/day).
[...]
We've been hugely irresponsible over the last 20 years, wasting chances to cut back consumption, basically just partying and having fun, giving crazy tax breaks to crazy vehicles. It's as if we didn't learn anything at all from the last two oil shocks. (Nixon and Kissinger had a plan to make America independent of foreign oil, but it was frittered away, just another wasted opportunity.) Now things are going to get really rough.
OK. I agree, to a point. However, even if we totally (an enormous if) free ourselves from petrodependancy, there is no guarantee that emerging economies like China will too. However, let us remember that there is more to petroleum consumption than gasoline. What about plastics? What about industrial lubricants?

We are in a junkie's catch-22: we need to get off the stuff or we're in deep trouble, but we cannot get off the stuff because we're in deep trouble. What does that say? There is no methadone for oil addicts.
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