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Gas Price Prediction: $6 to $7 per Gallon in 6 to 24 Months

Think that gasoline is expensive at $4 a gallon? Maybe, but apparently that price point isn't high enough to make Americans change their usual day-to-day driving habit:

If oil hits $200 a barrel, which is the upper end of Goldman Sach's prediction for prices over the next six months to two years, the gasoline picture changes quite dramatically. At $200 a barrel, crude alone would cost $4.76 a gallon. Add on the costs of refining and distributing as well as taxes, and pump prices could rise to a range of $6 to $7 a gallon.
U.S. drivers haven't radically changed their behavior, and it is unclear at what price it becomes unprofitable for Americans to go about their usual day-to-day activities, said Eric DeGesero, executive vice president of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey.
"Maybe at $6 or $7 a gallon, it becomes less attractive to go to work," Mr. DeGesero said. "We haven't hit that point yet, but we might soon."

Link

Previously on Neatorama: Gas Prices: How High is TOO High?


Ah...the "free market" at work! Nice to see how the "invisible hand of the marketplace" does it's job and keeps prices nice and low for everyone. Thank God we don't have bunch of socialist/commies/populists running our energy policy here in the USA, otherwise we'd have 17-cent per gallon gasoline like they do in Venezuel..oh, nevermind...America, Fuck Yeah!!!!
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Patricio -

You fail basic economics. Gasoline is a nearly perfectly inelastic commodity. The price can go as high as oil and gas producers want, until there is a viable alternative for consumers.
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Where I live, Denver, neighborhoods/suburbs are based on driving. Lots of strip malls, parking lots, drive through banks/restaraunts, etc. Just terribly pedestrian un-friendly.

You can see some changes already. Light rail usage is up. People are driving less, selling their SUV's, etc.
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Patricio -

uh. then there's "socialist/communist/populist" France which has been running off of $6-$7 a gallon for a while now.

Yeah, I live in Boulder, Colorado. Lucky me I live 1.5 miles from my work and have a good bike. I don't even own a car.
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Stop whining? Come back talking when you reach our price levels? Stop using petrol-munching SUVs?

No sympathy from my side as long as I pay about 3 times as much as the Americans.
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It astonishes me to see the same people pushing for higher CAFE (fuel economy) standards for cars and light trucks are the ones wanting to release strategic petroleum reserves and/or windfall profit tax the oil industry. Regrettably, most politicians are economically illiterate. They think the gov't can tinker its way in an out of everything.

The current high price of fuel at the pump is largely a function of very high market demand (Red China and the rest of the 3rd world is getting motorized...) and the crazy-low value of the U.S. dollar. Prices have risen in the world market to be sure, but not anywhere near like they've increased in the U.S, all on account of our dollar free-falling... So what does the Fed do? It cuts interest rates more! Ugh. They are attempting to be inflation hawkish, but the high energy prices are starting to filter through everything we buy and they will soon wind up chasing that.

Oh, the stupid ethanol mandates don't help anything either -- the wasteful burning of food as fuel only makes each more expensive.

So, what to do? While the value of the dollar should be managed more prudently, there should be no special steps taken to artificially control the price of fuel itself. Let it reach its natural level and US consumer behaviour will adjust as need be. Consumers will naturally gravitate to other alternative forms of transportation and/or explore other alternative fuel options without these being pre-selected for us by a government that invariably bets on the wrong technology. Sure, there will be fewer folks commuting in Suburbans, but so be it.

What else can be done? Permit oil drilling within our own boundaries. The drilling proposed in the so-called Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a *tiny* tiny fraction of an enormous expanses of tundra. Folks have the idea that it will be a huge tear up of some enormous pristine park when nothing can be further from the truth.
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What happened to the oil-shale they said they could make gas from for $3/gallon?? At prices over $5, I'd think that they'd be jumping on gasoline from genetically-engineered bacteria that can excrete gasoline (another technology that was announced a year or so ago...)

At the higher crude prices, I would think the synth-gas alternatives could put enormous pressure on the OPEC stranglehold.
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Peak oil hysteria aside, we'll survive high gas prices by using something that's not gas. Electric car production is ramping up at a lot of companies, and cellulosic ethanol (not the appalling debacle associated with our current ethanol-from-food policy) may help produce gasoline to get us over the hump. Though the transition period will be economically treacherous we'll get through it and come out on the other side without a dependence on foreign oil.

But if it's $7 in six months, it will be a messy few transition years. I don't envy President Obama or McCain, as they'll get blamed despite not really being able to do much either way.
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It's not gas or even crude that's too high. It's that the dollar is so weak, we can't afford to buy anything except Wal*Mart Chinese crap. Get the dollar back strong and you'll see both crude and gasoline come down. Unfortunately, getting the dollar strong again is going to wreck a bunch of baby boomer crybabies' IRAs. Are you ready for that?
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This is why we need good public transportation. I'm so sick of Europeans whining " Oh I pay more than you. Well European countries are tiny, have great public transportation and some of them don't have winters like us. Brits should come to New England in the winter. They would change their tune real fast.
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Just checking in to see if all the 23 year olds have come in and posted their self righteous "I bike a mile to work every day and use no gas" comments.

As if 6 person families can afford to live in a shared two bedroom apartment.
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Hey Dick Head (you said it),

Nobody forced you to have six kids, or do you let your wife do all the thinking for you?

Before she commands you to buy the gas hog soccer mom battle wagon look for another alternative, like abstinence. It's something your own mother should have considered.
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I'm sick to death of hearing the press say U.S. drivers haven’t changed their driving behavior. That's bull. I don't know who they are talking to but EVERYONE I know is curbing their driving/travel. The gas prices are killing us. When it costs over $100 for 30 gallons of gas how could it not change the driving/travel of working class people? Not only are we paying high gas prices but the cost of everything else has risen dramatically. Have you been to the grocery store lately? I show dog....errr I used to show dogs. The gas crisis has stopped that. Which means the hotels are losing our business. It's a domino effect. We are hurting big time and I'm angry as hell about it. While the big gas company executives rake in unbelievable profits we are counting our pennies and hoping to save enough money to buy gas to get us to work and food to feed our families.
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Patricio,

This is not the free market. Oil companies are protected from competition and the free market by government regulations. In much of the world the oil companies are nationalized and part of one cartel or another. In the US we a stuck with big oil's effective cartel. This is not a free market, it's very far removed from one.

In the mid 90s oil companies set out to reduce gasoline refinery capacity to increase profits. google for the actual documents. They can do this because entry into the business is effectively blocked by government regulation.

Then there is the dollar problem. The dollar is tanking. 35 cents of 90% silver coin still buys more than a gallon of gasoline.

Lastly, there is no oil or gasoline shortage. Stockpiles are increasing despite production cut backs. Demand is falling but price continues to rise because free market principles do not apply. See the articles in buisness week.

We are being conned. By the government and by the media.
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I'm sure some people who identify with this message deep in their hearts will take issue with this, and attack it or mock it, as it hurts them to face reality and their sad situation, but:

The stupid, fat, lazy, and brainwashed Americans will continue to take it in the ass. You could have $50 a gallon gas prices and people would complain, they would post to their blog and make videos for YouTube. They would bitch, moan, walk into stores and wring their fists at other Americans working retail and day-to-day service jobs and take it verbally out on them like they do today, instead of confronting the issue together. With Katrina we saw the reality which bubbles underneath the masturbatory Hollywood America. The television continues to control the minds and the people parrot back and forth whatever the television says, usually with a tiny opinion of their own, but little more.

They don't think, they are trained to consume, what they are given they accept and they don't challenge authority, they are mentally beaten and assaulted with powerful advertising on a daily basis and are so used to it they often mix commercial content and slogans or jingles in with their daily life's communication.

Nothing will improve unless the people turned off their televisions, stopped parroting, stopped blogging about their ingrown toenail and how much they hate choice A and B and how terrible everything is and how they continue to FUND the issues they hate while they bitch about it and do NOTHING.

Unless you get together, turn off your televisions, stop being programmed by the rich corporations and political deviants, you aren't going to change. Your system is constructed to contain you in a cage. You can disagree and feel you are somehow different, but if you are paying taxes and doing nothing to change the system, you are as broken, immoral, and to blame as the ones who commit the evils you claim to despise.

Raise the gas prices to $100 a gallon, raise the milk to $30 a gallon, it won't matter, the Americans will do nothing, they will continue to sit back while their taxes pay for drones to fly and spot marijuana so the DEA can continue busting non violent pot smokers and lady justice can throw them in jail to get violently sodomized and forced to suck gang member's pensies and maybe leave jail with a nice disease, rather than get together, switch off corporate television, and think for themselves and shape their nation with their own minds.

No, they will continue to go to Youtube and post stupid videos of them sharing their thoughts about things they hate which their taxes continue to fund, post blogs about their stupid lives which fund the system they hate, and talk about choices A and B which are parties which are not people friendly, but corporate friendly.

You are fucked, and you will continue to deny it. When faced with the facts you will either (A) Ignore it, (B) Mock it, (C) Argue it, (D) Launch personal attacks, (E) remain in denail, (F) Lace it with humor, (G) Or another cowardly response.

Enjoy your mess.
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"Just checking in to see if all the 23 year olds have come in and posted their self righteous “I bike a mile to work every day and use no gas” comments.

As if 6 person families can afford to live in a shared two bedroom apartment."

Perhaps if 6 person families hadn't funded a system which favors the oil barons for so long, things would be different.

How many fat fucks are going to check in here and snub the younger people who opt for bikes before their asses are wide enough to require a parking spot for lodging?

More American in-fighting rather than coming together to bring change/peace. Losers.
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Everyone likes to bring up the alternative fuel vehicles as an option, which is potentially great. Except for a few bugs, like how many people can really afford to pay for a brand new vehicle. A lot of people know that it's going to cost more in the long run to stick with a petrol powered vehicle, but the high purchase cost of an alternative fuel vehicle prevents them from exploring any alternative.

For a new vehicle program to work there would have to be some sort of trade-in policy, and not the sort of pathetic rip-off trade-ins that car dealers now offer. Something more like a partially subsidized car exchange.

Then there's the carbon cost associated with making some of the new alternative fuel vehicles, the much lauded Prius being a great example of true environmental cost being hidden by marketing and social blindness.

Take a look at the production process for the batteries alone on the Prius, a car with a manufacturer's estimated life-span of 100,000 miles. Those of you out there with these cars are helping test a transitional technology, which is great, but in the process you're contributing more to pollution and carbon release than many of the much maligned SUV drivers.

Remember that nearly all vehicles have their place, its just that many people don't use them appropriately. SUVs in temperate urban areas, for example are just plain stupid. In places where it gets cold and has lots of snow with poor road conditions they make a lot more sense.
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Americans that think the demand for gasoline is dropping are seriously mistaken. Almost nobody is taking the steps necessary to reduce the need for petroleum. While China continues to demand more fuel, and at cheaper prices because of the lack of regulations and restrictions, OPEC continues maintain production. It is not that they are pumping less oil, or that there is some sort of shortage due to higher demand, but rather it is the prospect of a shortage due to increased demand from China. The oil market is based on futures. The price is set based on how those concerned view the future demand and price for the product, not the current demand.
This can be remedied by changing the way Americans think and the way they live. The fact that people are still buying the gas should begin to tell the tale of how we have been molded into slogan chanting morons. Remember 9/11? Greatest country in the world? Most free country on the planet? All examples of behavior modification tactics. The actors and actresses that chime in about having less freedom for the sake of gun control and safety are just a personification of a plague of nationwide ignorance.
The internal combustion engine is a technology that has been obsolete for nearly 75 years. We buy gas because we are sold gas. There is no profit in free energy. Can you tax air? Then you may not tax free energy. The fact is, we currently have the technology to subsist purely on solar and electrical energy. For crying out loud, the entire nation of Norway runs on human waste (I knew this before the Michael Moore film, so shut the fuck up), so we DO have the capability to achieve this. But who's going to make it happen? Not me, I'm American, and we don't protest. We just complain and ramble on about how it is worse everywhere else. Don't let those commies and soc's in here, right? Go U.S.A.! By the way, how is that economy holding up? Not well, you say? That's funny, because Exxon-Mobil just posted another record profit quarter. Worse yet, they are making a case for their profits being a necessity. Wow, America is awesome. I'm moving to Norway so I can crap my way to energy independence. Yeah poop!
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"Then there’s the carbon cost associated with making some of the new alternative fuel vehicles, the much lauded Prius being a great example of true environmental cost being hidden by marketing and social blindness.

Take a look at the production process for the batteries alone on the Prius, a car with a manufacturer’s estimated life-span of 100,000 miles. Those of you out there with these cars are helping test a transitional technology, which is great, but in the process you’re contributing more to pollution and carbon release than many of the much maligned SUV drivers."


You saw this... http://www.reason.org/commentaries/dalmia_20060719.shtml

It's more like THIS... http://www.thecarconnection.com/article/1010861_prius-versus-hummer-exploding-the-myth

Read the whole article, please. Happy education. Ahh, another one saved. Today was not a waste.
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Over here in japan, gas is already 6 or 7 dollars a gallon. I don`t know the exact price because I don`t own a car, and neither does anyone i know. people here take the train.
America designed its city`s such a way that cars are a necessity, and that turned out to be a really bad idea. So what can you say? No one takes public transportation because it sucks (in every city in the states). So yes, Americans will continue to drive, regardless of the price of gas, because there is no alternative. No significant effort will be made on behalf of the people, the government, or the oil companies, to adapt to this new situation.
All been said before...
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I think the government could reduce the demand for gas by re-inacting the 55MPH speed limit. Gas mileage would increase in vehicles and thus need less gas.

Simply supply-demand..

Just my 2 cents worth (Is that more or less than a drop of gas?)
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while ive never been to the USA, stop telling that europe's public transport is great. our (the netherlands) bus system is on strike for 3 weeks and counting. Futhermore: also the size of a country doesnt really matter: a 15 mile comute is a 15 mile comute, no matter how far the border is.
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First off, if you don't live in America, how is it any of your fucking business? I can only imagine what life would be like going on blogs pertaining to another country's problems and saying stuff like "you should quit whining, blah blah blah". If we're so fat, lazy and stupid, then why the hell do you care so much? Feel free to go about your aerobic, active and intelligent lives. Are you running on the treadmill, reading a book and typing at the same time, or what?

We obviously have a problem in the states, and yeah, we do want it all. "All" being not being forced to live in a flat, not having cramped and over crowded cities with poor water supplies, a minimum wage that will allow even the hard working poorest of us to at least survive and some healthcare we can afford. And oh yeah, not having to cram onto a bus just to get somewhere. The basics. I don't see anyone else living up to that, and we just have higher standards, and we haven't been getting those standards for quite a while now. And instead of complaining, we're supposed to just shut up and take it, because it's like that in your country? Ha. Ha.

Oh yeah, maybe I should just face reality, this really hurts. Let's all get together and try to overthrow big business. Who's first? No one, because they'd immediately be taken out by the government, or mysteriously get a tumor. It's not the 1700's sweetheart, get real.

And the Americans saying we should all get bikes? Put down the pipe. So two full time working parents who manage to support their six children without welfare, who pay their taxes, don't have a right to complain about being charged more for gas? Someone gives an answer of "abstinence"? Sounds like you need to head your happy ass to Asia, where they give similar answers. If anyone has a right to be driving a gas guzzler, it's people who are going to put the space to good use, like, you know, taking children to doctor appointments. I hope soccer mom runs your pedaling, spandexed-ass over. Why don't you walk to work? Your bike tires are just going to end up in a landfill anyway. You think you're better than people that drive to work? Well people that walk are better than you. People that can teleport to work are better than them. You'll never be good enough, quit trying. Buy two bikes, maybe it will stop global warming. Because I can tell that it's really helping so far.

Quit spouting from the anus, people. Bottom line: greed. Until the powerful decide to stop, we can do approximately jack shit to change it. That includes your countries. Follow the investment trail and you'll find that just about everyone has fingers stirring our pot. When we stop funding big business, we also stop funding your countries elite.
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The difference between America and other countries that have ridiculously high gas prices is that in many other countries, the majority of the gas price is from taxes that go to maintain the roadways and public transit systems (the US has mostly poor public transit except for in major cities with a dense population per capita). In addition, these taxes can go to pay for your education and health care.

In the united states we have to pay for our own education and healthcare. healthcare alone costs over 2500/year alone if you have to pay it yourself.
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I drive a Yaris the most fuel efficient nonhybrid sold in the US, but as the guys from Van Halen put it so well years ago; I Can't Drive 55.
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1. Good job to those who mentioned that there is no point in trying to rationalize why fuel prices are so high. To do this, is after all, just another aspect of the system that we have been engineered by and trained to support. More and more of the populations of Westernized countries attend post-secondary institutions where they are trained to put forth their thoughts in 3-part "hamburger" essays based on established (supported/approved) evidence, instead of listening to the little hairs on the backs of their necks that might be trying to tell them that something else is at play. Where we do not deal in established evidence to convey our "thoughts", we deal in jargon.(Really it is the same thing though). Jargon is also taught in universities, but can be had for free from TV in any event. Some of the jargon can sound quite smart. We learn terms once reserved for pipe-smoking economists and feel much better about our own lot among the damned masses by rattling off these terms as if we are somehow better by being so enlightened. Engaging in this jargonistic behaviour however, sets us up to lap up whatever explanations for high gas prices are flung at us through the media machine. They tell us about a refinery fire here, some political unrest there, that war going on and consumer demand. We listen to this, nod and say,"yes... I recognize some of those words...I can parrot them back, even if the consequence is that I end up believing in the message that is conveyed." Forget the jargon-based explanations as to why gas prices are high. Forget about trying to analyze market trends according to established factors and key performance indicators. Listen to the little hairs on the back of your neck. The message is simple: We are getting fucked and this is because we allow it. You will never be a news broadcast that will tell you that pump prices are on the rise because psychologists and social engineers have determined that the residents of the people-farms will tolerate so much and more. They will not tell you that gas prices jumped again because you have been trained to believe anything, however ridiculous.

2. Has anyone out there wondered if one of the agenda of this fuel-price-policy is to herd more and more people into cities where they can be fed off-of more efficiently? Take away the ability to move freely, and this is the likely result. How will existing cities be re-worked to allow for less autos? Will we have to relocate to new cities instead?
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Electric Scooter for the city.

Seriously. Plug it in at night to fuel it. Gets up to 50 km/h (most residential streets). Has a damn good range if you're just using it to get across town and back.

Man, best thing ever. And it only cost 3,000 Dollars.
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@ sid morrison- yes, i agree whole-heartedly. politicians are economically AND socially illiterate. i made a realization in my 'history of sociological thought' class that it has never been required (and mostly avoided) by politicians to actually UNDERSTAND the society they represent. they are never required to understand the movement of society and none of them have actually gone out into society and asked people what they want. they do, however, go out and stand on their soap box and spew what knowledge they've been able to collect thus far and we're given the choice to pay attention or turn the other cheek -- and that's all the choice we have! south park made the best metaphore of this situation, when we're forced to choose between a turd sandwich and giant douche. the most credible theorists say that sociologists should never be politicians (which actually botches my own theory) but that they should be advisors of the politicians, which i guess makes sense. but i then realized that it's not so much a suggestion to make sociologists the second-hand man, it's a suggestion to educate society ABOUT society, and therefore be able to apply the proper rules to that society. politicians apply universal rules to individual cases, which then effects the individuals who originally had nothing to do with any of it. but they still lie under the umbrella of that society, therefore must abide by the rules set for the people who can't function without them.

which brings me to argue against some of the comments put on here-- i know it's just semantics, but it's the mentality of it and not just the vocabulary. and i understand that there are people from other countries, but they are excused because they're allowed to do this.. people are saying 'americans are stupid because blah blah.. THEY do this and THEY do that' and they're forgetting that they, too, are american. that's the "individual" i'm referring to above, where politicians are forced to make rules for EVERYONE because INDIVIDUALS are incapable of seeing that issues within society are the issues OF THAT SOCIETY and not just the select few who can't think for themselves. it's funny, because that's the first step in drug/alcohol rehab (no i've never been a participant))- admitting you have a problem. part of the language of admitting it is OWNING the problem by saying "my name is blah, and i am an alcoholic." they can then take steps in identifying how they got to the point they did, and take more steps in the direction of fixing their mistakes. if people blamed others for their own addiction, they would never get clean. seem relevant?

let's say it together so we can move on- so we can stop blaming whoever for why our prices are high- so we can move on and take the proper steps in trying to fix our problems- I AM AMERICA, AND I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM. now. treating this issue as if countries were people, should america go to england for help? their government seems to be doing well for them, i bet they can do the same for us! but wait, no- because they are different! they have other systems that work for THEM that won't necessarily work for us. ok, how about south africa? no, wait.. indonesia? no.. australia? no. we need to help ourselves and the first step in doing so is working as a country and not just a bunch of disenfranchised individuals. this went way off topic.. sorry guys. i'm just trying to emphasize how important it is to stop blaming OPEC, stop blaming rising food costs, stop blaming other people for our problem. yes, OUR PROBLEM. steve carrell said it best in 40-year-old virgin: stop telling me how i feel and just tell me what i should do!
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The problems stem from the government, as most systemic, long term economic problems do. Governments skew demand for fuel supplies by passing onerous regulations that cause further supply disruptions and different problems (e.g. fuel additives, like ethanol). Government wages unconstitutional, open ended wars and occupations against countries that are no real threat, one of which happened to be the 2nd largest supplier of oil, so that causes supply disruptions.

Government massive spending and borrowing leads to printing money, weakening the dollar, creating bubbles (in stock, housing, etc.), and then inflation. Massive government growth robs the productive sectors as more government employees feed on the wealth that is produced. This kills domestic businesses (e.g. manufacturing), leading to more imports and a weakened economy and standard of living while other countries get rich supplying us and we end up with massive trade deficits.

Hassling people because they have kids is stupid, and typical of a short sighted individual who obviously has no one to care for but themself. In reality, just as a nation depends on wealth generation for its current and future prosperity, a nation depends on kids (and the familys that have them) for social stability and a national future. Every entitlement program depends on a next generation, and should the USA continue with family hostile policies, then people living in the usa will have fewer kids, and less wealth. The wealth of a nation is intricately tied to its population. In the end, taken to an extreme, countries like China, Mexico, etc., will just move their populations into areas like the former USSR and USA where declining "native" populations are aging and fading. You will notice that this is in fact happening, leading to rapid demographic shifts that make the USA of 1940-50 culturally, socially, and ethnically an alien nation to what it is now, and what it will be in 30 years.

In short (and these examples could continue endlessly), the root problem is govnernment and its policies. The USA needs a small, Constitutional government that takes in less than 10% of GDP at all levels. It might bear mentioning that before WW1 the average take of government of GDP was under 5% for most nations (UK, Germany, France, USA), and it was a time of incredible advancement in science, industry, agriculture, public health, and pretty peaceful too. This much government is poison to the long term survival of a nation (even the "commie" chinese actually only have about 8-10% of GNP as government spending, as opposed to the "free market" USA which has about 40% or more of GNP as government spending at all levels). The differences in government consumption of the economy (which is what it is, not investment) account for the differences in economic growth rates and the rapid ascent of the Chinese.

Unfortunately, in a nation full of Americans who have been indoctrinated by over a decade of public schooling (go to John Taylor Gatto's site to see what that has meant), I don't see that the problem of addiction to government will change. The mindset of "needing" government in every facet of daily life for "security" and such is just too deeply embedded!
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So, how many more price signals will we need before we are allowed to drill Anwr, the Florida coast, the East coast, and Colorado? Natural resources are worthless if you never use them

TXL
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@ Medussa and Bob Dog
21 years ago the Chevy Sprint got 50mpg, which beats both of yours. Not a dig at you but the global car industry, for years of sitting back and contributing NOTHING to help head this off.
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What a lot of EU people don't understand is the commute to work for many Americans is 10-20 miles. I can't see my 40 year old boss on a bike with his laptop bag riding through the rain. And I am sure he is going to get up at 4 in the morning to ride his bike to work and make it in at 8am then ride back home. Public transportation doesn't go out to the sticks, boondocks, BFE, or whatever else you want to call it. America is not built like EU cities. The UK had to build up because they are a small island and can't build out. Enough with the 6 kids comments too. Just because no one wants to procreate with you doesn't mean you have to rain on others parades. It is going to be a tough couple of years ahead but we will pull through it. Things always change, just roll with it.
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Oil at $200 a barrel is very likely to hit us within 24 months. The inflation/supply & demand mix seems to be culminating in a perfect storm.

But if the US goes to war with Iran (which would seem to be Bush/Cheney's big agenda), then $200 oil is a guarantee, and $300 oil could be possible.

Hopefully the Bush/Cheney team doesn't get their wish. Time will tell.

PF Wilson, Editor, http://TheInvestorReport.com
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It is NOT about supply and demand, it is about market manipulation:

"As detailed in an earlier article, a conservative calculation is that at least 60% of today's $128 per barrel price of crude oil comes from unregulated futures speculation..."

See: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article4793.html

Look at the numbers - demand is DOWN, supply is UP and prices are sky high? Get a clue people -- you are being conned.
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In Germany one litre of gas costs 1,49 Euro by now - that's about 8,70 $ per gallon - and that's not only the high taxes here. Well, with those high prices it's still possible to afford filling your tank, because most modern cars around here only need approximately 5 litres per 100 kilometers. That's about 45 mpg - much mor efficient than most US cars, as far as I know...
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Quote: You fail basic economics. Gasoline is a nearly perfectly inelastic commodity. - bean

You are incorrect. Gasoline is most certainly not perfectly inelastic. Like most commodities, the total demand is part elastic and part inelastic. This has been historically proven, most notably during the 1970s fuel crisis. As a result of that crisis, Americans began purchasing small, fuel efficient vehicles. The age of the muscle car came to an end.

American most certainly adjust their behavior based on their own selfish interests. When the price of gasoline goes up, SUV sales go down. Yes, Americans will still have to drive to work, but they can choose what they drive.

There is a lag between gas prices and fuel demand because people don't buy a new car just to save on gas money -- after all, cars are expensive. However, the typical American buys a new car every 5 years. This means that half of them will buy a new car within 2.5 years. You can expect a substantial decrease in gasoline demand about two years after a major run-up in prices.
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The higher prices can be blamed wholly on the mindless liberals in Congress. Two of the reasons for their guilt are these:

(1) For a few decades now, the lefties have prevented domestic exploration, drilling, and refinery-building because of misguided environmentalist-wacko concerns.

(2) Forcing continued increases in the minimum wage, which simply gives the producing nations an excuse to raise their prices per barrel of crude oil.

The doom-and-gloom numbers that are mentioned by the pessimistic authors of this blog thread are the by-product of inexperience and a lack of understanding of economic forces. The "law of supply and demand" will prevent such major increases in price. There is a "ceiling" -- which may have now been reached -- at which people will cut back on their DEMAND of gasoline (and other goods [that have inflated prices, due to delivery charges]) so much that those who SUPPLY crude oil will stop cheating Americans.

The unfortunate thing is that the soon-to-come stoppage of price hikes for crude oil will give the Marxists in Congress an excuse to continue preventing domestic drilling and other reasonable efforts at "energy independence" for America.
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The other day, the #3 favorite ranked Google Video was a 75 minute lecture "The Non-Energy Crisis" by Lindsey Williams. It's very interesting. I still don't know what to believe, but I recommend checking the vid. Obviously, many people are, by the indexing and ranking it's getting.

At the pump, Americans are financing the war and "controlling" the nat'l debt. According to Williams, oil is the REAL currency of the world, and petroleum products are simply taxation. Alaska is sitting on huge oil reserves, but if we used it, the US economy would collapse because we sell our nat'l debt to the OPEC nations. According to the video... Interesting.
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Oops. I "misspoke."

I said that eventually "... those who SUPPLY crude oil will stop cheating Americans."

Actually, the Arabs and their colleagues-in-crime will never "stop cheating Americans." They will just stop INCREASING the degree of their cheating.
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"Maybe at $6 or $7 a gallon, it becomes less attractive to go to work."

Attractive or not, it still has to be done. What's worse... spending more net income on gasoline or not making any net income at all?

Someone needs to invent a molecular transporter, and quick!
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Enough with the stupid "liberals vs. conservatives" nonsense. That argument just serves to keep the people fighting it busy while the real players urinate on ALL of us. The real problem is the fact that the oil market manipulated by the futures and derivatives markets.

Did you know that to buy oil futures you only have to put 6% down in real money? You just borrow the other 94%. Imagine what would happen if you went to a casino and could play on 94% borrowed money? Do you think the gambler would behave the same way if he had to put up 50% of his own money instead of 6%? If all we did was require the futures market to pony up 50% to buy a contract you would see far less wild speculation and prices would drop.

Stop being fools of this dumb "liberals vs. conservatives" game. Think for yourself. Ask yourself when you last saw this same thing hapen. Hint: what was Enron doing that got them in trouble?
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Someone told me high gas prices will cuase people to stop driving and cuase automakers to build better efficient cars. But that only means that less people will be able to afford new cars becuase better anything in the car business means more money [ cost].
I watched a guy walking down the road with his little boy, when i asked him if he needed a lift - he said "no, I'm almost at the corner store. I'm going to buy milk"....

When things are tight - it doesn't matter how efficient new cars are....

I guess I'll try to win the $500 Gas Card !
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Wanna double your miles per gallon without changing your car? Get the WATER HYBRID CONVERSION guide to learn how to convert your car into a water hybrid @ https://paydotcom.com/r/47165/sabre23/18066767/
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from senator maria cantwell.

During the hearing is was reported Michael Greenburger (the former speculation committe chairman) reported that gas could drop 25 to fifty percent. If spectulation could proprerly regulated would get prices back under control would drop the almost right away. These controls were removed in 2000.

One reason is we have seen the price of oil more than double from $60 to $135 is just over two years without major supply disruptions. We have also been plagued by manipulation in other energy markets.

Enron and others manipulated the Western electricity markets in 2000 and 2001 and cost consumers over $40 billion. In light of that, Congress gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission new authority in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Specifically, Congress made it “unlawful for any person … to use or employ … any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance,” in connection with the wholesale electricity and natural gas markets. We’re going to hear today from FERC’s Deputy Director of Investigation and Enforcement on how FERC has used its new authority to root out manipulation in physical electricity and natural gas markets.
To date, FERC has used its new authority to conduct 64 investigations resulting in 14 settlements totaling over $48 million in civil penalties. We have seen the very same energy traders move from Enron to Amaranth, and American families and business alike have the same concerns about potential manipulation in our oil markets.

Last December 2007, Congress granted the FTC anti-manipulation authority in the Energy Bill. Specifically, Congress made it “unlawful for any person … to use or employ … any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance,” in connection with the purchase or sale of crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillates at wholesale.

Americans may be surprised to learn that our oil futures markets were substantially deregulated by CFTC staff decisions that were made behind closed doors. This “London-Loophole” and now the “Dubai-Loophole” is keeping important U.S. energy trading in the dark. And without proper light manipulators have free reign.
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Why is everyone so angry at each other?

I would hope, at the end of the day, this is all in jest. I am not a very religious person, however I believe we all should have a level of respect for each others circumstances and situations. We are all products of the environment we are in, brought up in, or a member of.

To sum up the world energy crisis in blog format is both disrespectful to my intelligence as well as yours. So instead of fighting each other, why not offer suggestions, or alternatives that individuals can do to make a change in their life, which, hopefully if enough make, will change all our lives for the better.

My opinion/suggestion ... cut back on frivilous spending ... I know I drop like 5-10 bucks a day on drinks or food while at work, well, no more. So I have been saving about 50 bucks a week. This offsets the current $55/tank fill up I do once every 7 days.

I found it amazing just how much I spend on random crap every week ... dont know, just my suggestion for those out there, I didn't think I wasted that much money...you'd be surprised, get a statement from your bank ;-)

Let's try to be civil, I mean really people ...
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