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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A "Slippery Slope"...


AP: VIENNA, Austria - Oil prices rose Monday as traders weighed the effects of sabotage that disrupted Iraq's southern pipeline exports against partially resumed crude production in Ecuador.

Analysts cautioned against putting too much emphasis on the Iraqi outages, saying it was too early to say how long the shortfalls in output would last. An official of Iraq's South Oil Co. said exports had resumed on a limited basis, while other officials said waiting tankers were being serviced by pumps on auxillary power at a rate much reduced from normal.


As if gas prices of $3/gallon weren't bad enough, contemplate what they're really paying for: A booming Saudi stock market. Subsidies for Castro. And...weapons for terrorists.

Iran's mullahs, locked in a standoff with the U.N. and U.S. over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, are boosted by an oil-rich economy that will grow 6% this year and next.
(According to the International Monetary Fund)

After the 9/11/01 attacks, the Saudis met U.S. demands by ending government support for Islamic charities linked to terrorism. But individuals in the kingdom continue to send cash to groups that support terrorists.

"We know wealthy Saudis are funding terror. With higher oil prices, they just have more money to do so," says Rachel Bronson, director of Middle East studies for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Saudi Arabia's population has exploded from 5.7 million in 1970 to 25 million today. That has driven down per-capita oil export revenue from more than $22,000 in the early 1980s to less than $5,000 today.

"Even with oil at $65 a barrel," says Bronson, "they can't solve all their economic problems."

There's no time like the present to increase funding of alternative energy research, and using the existing technology as much as possible.

I get relatively good gas mileage with my Harley, but the cold weather's a-comin'...

29 Comments:

Blogger 'da Bunny said...

Good post, camo. I especially appreciate the "cartoon" at the end.

Yeah, it'll be hard to ride that Harley in the snow and cold! :-)

August 23, 2005 10:31 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

'da Bunny:
Thanks. I thought the cartoon summed it up nicely.

As for da Harley, it has heated handgrips, and I ride it down to 33º...but once it gets to freezing or below, I put it in the garage.
(You never know where ice might be)

August 23, 2005 11:03 AM  
Blogger mk77 said...

Oh quit moaning, for pete's sake.
We're paying $4.87 a gallon here.

August 23, 2005 12:52 PM  
Blogger Josh Fahrni said...

Netherlands is paying like 6 1/2 bucks. I really don't want to complain about the price. And I should be...I have to buy the gas I use when I drive :-p

August 23, 2005 1:07 PM  
Blogger Kajun said...

It's going to be interesting to see how my State Legislature (mostly democrats) can claim (as they do annually) that there is a large budget deficit again next year, and they'll have to raise taxes.

A large percentage of oil is produced in or passes through (and is taxed by) Louisiana.

Our State budget is based on the taxes generated by $20 per barrel oil.

I visualize a spending spree on government coming up.

August 23, 2005 5:33 PM  
Blogger JR said...

CamoJack,
  I am reminded of the north east and the heating fuel expense... It is going to be one long cold winter and cost twice as much as last year...
JR

MK77,
  Does any one really need a car were you live anyway???
JR

August 23, 2005 5:36 PM  
Blogger mk77 said...

"Does any one really need a car were you live anyway???"

The word is "where" not "were".

August 23, 2005 6:30 PM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

ANWAR, ANWAR, ANWAR!!! I think if the general public knew the advances made in drilling in the past 30 years, how little it effects the environment, etc., they wouldn't be so adament against drilling there. Even if a few caribou are displaced, that's a small price to pay compared to the dependence on Saudi oil.

Also, the environmental regulations imposed on refining has cost us plenty! No new refineries built in the States in the last 30 years because of it. We can do it cleaner and better and cheaper, but are held back by Draconian measures. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for clean air, and we can do it. China isn't held to such standards and the west coast of the US pays for it. YIKES!

August 23, 2005 6:50 PM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

Jack,

Too early to go off topic on SF, hope you don't mind here, but I just gotta say:

YOU 'DA MAN!

My mower problem WAS a bum wire. Started looking and sure enough, there were two fused together and one broke when I pulled them apart (after disconnecting the battery thank you very much). Reconnected, taped, and VROOOOM!!, that baby started right up! Wish I'da asked before two weeks of messing with a battery charger, etc. (Although that did lead me to clean the air filter around the carb. YIKES! That baby was PACKED!)

Anyway, I owe you a cold one. The first round at the Scrapplefest is on me! Thanks bud!

I wish I could reciprocate by advising you on how to mow AROUND stumps, but I'm probably not the best one to give advice in these matters. ;o)

August 23, 2005 7:17 PM  
Blogger Josh Fahrni said...

JEEZE CAMO!

Spammed. Owned.

August 23, 2005 8:28 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

mk77:
You seem to have missed the point; it's not about the price, rather, it's about the cost.

Josh:
So, the Netherlands get to pay more towards their terrorism...

And all the blog "ho"-ing?! Egad!!!
(I don't know; delete?)

Kajun:
You know that if your State wants to raise taxes...it will.

JR:
Since I live in the Northeast, and heat with oil, I'm glad I locked in the price last year!
(Of course, that ends next year)

MargeinMI:
I agree that we should explore the possibilty of developing the resources of the ANWR; 2000 acres out of a place the size of South Carolina is acceptable to my way of thinking, although I don't know that it'd make a significant impact on U.S. dependency on foreign oil sources.

Oh, and you're quite welcome for the technical advice.

August 23, 2005 9:27 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Most of those countries with high gas prices are tiny - so you can't drive very far anyway ;)

August 23, 2005 10:08 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Rich:
The smallest cars I've ever seen were in Europe, where they sell gas by the liter...and you can drive pretty far there.

Then there's Japan, which is roughly the size of California, and gas there costs plenty. Speaking of Japan, an interesting little "factoid" I've picked up is that they are the second largest market for Harleys...

August 23, 2005 11:53 PM  
Blogger Kajun said...

Second Year--Rice Crop Failure In Japan

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles selling as fast as they can be imported!

August 24, 2005 3:58 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Kajun:
Yesss...cool, huh? :-D

August 24, 2005 5:08 AM  
Blogger RAM said...

JR: You beat me to the punch about heating costs that are coming this winter. We will also have the gas costs during the winter, and I have a feeling the heating costs for stores and malls will be added to their products, so better stock up now. I wonder if we will see a resurgence of the wood burning stoves again?

My bet is the "employee discount" on the new cars will be extended once again. That is the only way they are going to get rid of those gas guzzlers. There are only so many millionaire celebrities and sports stars to buy them.

August 24, 2005 5:12 AM  
Blogger Mack said...

Hydrogen is promising. To quote Joseph Wambaugh from the book “The Delta Star” “The oceans of the world will be our gas pump and the Middle East will be returned to the status of a worthless sand box.” I am an eclectic reader and have read an average of a book every three days all of my adult life. It makes my wife crazy and very proud when we play Trivial Pursuit.
Back on topic, that is a long term solution. My short term opinion remains focused on the facts. They didn’t have F-22 Raptors and F-18 Hornets in World War two. They had F4F Wildcats and P-40 Tomahawks so they had to develop the technology.
The need had to be met so the national effort and the purse strings of the powerful were loosened to create from whole cloth the technology that led us to the moon in the 60s and the space station of today. But they had to want it. As long as people are satisfied with what they have there is no inspiration for industry to advance beyond it.

August 24, 2005 6:39 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

RAM:
Fuel/shipping costs will indeed be passed onto the consumer...it's inevitable.

Mack:
Hydrogen is promising, but last I heard it wasn't a cost effective source of alternative energy, in that it takes more energy to extract it from water than it ultimately produces. I think it's our best hope for a non-polluting energy source, however, and I would like to see sufficient research and development devoted to it in order to improve its cost effectiveness...

August 24, 2005 7:32 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

On Topic. Got this today from Fred Sinclair...

"This week's "Left Media Buster" Award: "Gasoline today, the cost
of a gallon, in real adjusted dollars, is less than it was in 1981, less than it was in 1935...[W]hat we see is headline after headline telling people something that's not true: 'Record gas prices.' Then
you go to the first paragraph or the fifth paragraph and it says, 'in nominal dollars' ---which means disregard the headline." ---George Will

August 24, 2005 5:04 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Hawkeye®:
Quite right. When you adjust 2005 dollars for inflation, gas did cost more previously. But we're getting closer to those levels all the time...

August 24, 2005 5:47 PM  
Blogger Kajun said...

In 1955 I bought a new (6 volt) car battery. Price: $46.95 plus tax.

In 1956 I bought 4 new Goodyear car tires. Price: $200.00 plus tax.

Some things have gotten a lot cheaper over the years, just like gasoline.

August 24, 2005 7:52 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Kajun:
The thing about today's gas prices is, it costs the Saudis under $10 per barrel to produce. Demand from China in particular is driving the price hikes; Economics 101, Supply & Demand...

August 24, 2005 10:09 PM  
Blogger Goesh said...

- thought I'd just stop by and say hi and mark your blog - saw you post at Neoneocon's blog

August 26, 2005 7:09 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Goesh:
Welcome to my little corner of the "blogosphere".

I've noted your posts at neo-neocon; they're very well written, and indicative of an actual mind.

Thanks for stopping by.

August 26, 2005 7:14 AM  
Blogger Beerme said...

Camojack,

Some very interesting things are being done with Hydrogen, both as a fuel and using the process of extraction of hydrogen from water as an electricity-producing event.

See the following article for one example:

http://www.zpenergy.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1473

August 28, 2005 2:08 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Beerme:
Thanks for posting that article. I hope it works out; a cost effective, viable (clean! endlessly renewable!!!) alternative energy source will be such a boon to humanity, in so many ways...

August 28, 2005 2:20 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Of course - commecial mining of the moon for Helium-3 for fusion power is the most promising new energy source to date - on another note - has anyone noticed that a "blue county" is about to experience a cataclysm of biblical proportions?

August 28, 2005 9:22 PM  
Blogger LebenFrei said...

Some very excellent facts of which I was not aware. Your conclusion that pursuit of alternative fuels is right on the money. Why funding for such research has not been provided by any administration is a puzzle to me. We have so much coal that can be turned into clean burning fuel, we would not have to buy any oil for something like a hundred years (I can't remember the actual estimate). The higher oil prices go and the value of our dollar plummets, the more viable alternative fuels become. It has to happen at some point and it would seem obvious to me that now is the time. You're right on again cam. BTW, Cam Neely was a big star with the Bruins until a hip injury forced an early retirement. His nickname was the Cammer. Rhymes with hammer which is what he did to opposing players with his fierce body checks and fist fights when necessary. I may have to start calling you cammer because you have such hard hitting commentary. Keep hammering Cammer.

August 28, 2005 10:12 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Rich:
I'm sure that commercial mining of the moon and asteroid belt are years away...but they are definitely good reasons for our space program.

LebenFrei:
Hello, stranger! Long time, no blog. Yes, with gas prices escalating, not to mention the environmental impact therefrom, it's way past time to "pump up the volume" on alternative energy research.

You can call me Cammer, just don't call me late for dinner...

August 29, 2005 1:07 AM  

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