Bush to Tell Saudis Oil Prices Will Damage Markets

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by maxvamp, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #1
    Link

    Ok, I need some clarity here....

    My father-in-law is a very stanch Republican. On this issue, he continues on the Republican talking point that the oil prices are irrelevant, since there is no way that the US could make more fuel if it wanted to, due to limited refinery capacity.

    If this is the case, Why is the president speaking with the Saudi government? Shouldn't an oil man like pres. Bush know better?

    Me thinks this is another example of the the Righties in the media mis-informing people again....

    Lefty Max.
     
  2. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #2
    It's true that our refining capabilities are tapped out, due to oil companies shutting and slowing down many of the refineries.

    If I'm reading into Bush's message to his cousin Abdullah, it's that we will become more energy independent and efficient if they don't give us more oil, and we don't want that to happen, now do we, 'cuz?

    Perish the thought!
     
  3. maxvamp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #3
    Was just listening to Ed Schultz on the topic of BioDiesel.

    I have been using a 30% blend for quite a while now. I look forward to it taking off .

    Max.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I'm puzzled as to why anybody would consider oil prices to be irrelevant. Any time energy costs and raw material costs rise, everybody is affected, worldwide. When these inputs cost more, products will then cost more. Typically, costs rise faster than wages, so negative impacts spread throughout an economy.

    Dubya and the Saudis are--I guess--doing some mutual stroking and jawboning, but they can't do much of anything about oil prices. The Saudis are right at the upper limit of their production, and that means they can't jawbone the price downward via the threat of more production.

    Odds are that until more alternate sources are developed, whether new oil fields or bio-mass diesel or whatever, the price of crude will continue to rise, which means gasoline prices will continue to rise.

    Basically, cheap energy went away some thirty years back, and we've been coasting across the rather extensive top of a curve. We're on the downslope, now. Energy costs, whether for electricity or transportation, will continue to increase.

    TANSTAAFL.

    'Rat
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    And of course our leaders say there's nothing we can do to reduce demand...

    Yeah right.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    mac, conservation is part of a sound energy policy. It's not the basis for a sound policy. A sound policy seeks an ample supply at a reasonable price. And, there's more to energy policy than just transportation.

    The CAFE is part of the conservation aspect of energy policy. So are the tax breaks for retrofit of insulation in homes.

    One problem the folks who struggle with energy policy have is that of people's behaviors. One of these behaviors is living a notable distance from work, necessitating lengthy commuting. Another behavior is that of consuming of imported products, which necessitates all those trains and trucks hauling stuff from import points to points of sale. The very size of the country is a factor in these consumptions of fuels...

    Still, our use of energy is the world's most efficient, in terms of dollar outputs of goods and services per kw-hr of electricity or per barrel of oil. And that's in spite of such things as lit-up Las Vegas!

    I ran a cross an article a couple or three years back that an unexpected cause of increased demands for electricity derived from the home computer and the Internet. Sure, no one computer system is any big draw, but when tens of millions of them are left on 24/7 it adds notably to the load. Then, add in the penchant for cell phones; those relay towers accumulate to andother major load.

    I'm unendingly amazed and amused at Walt Kelly's prescience: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    :), 'Rat
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    And another thing they struggle with is resistance from industry and it's lobbying dollars. Doesn't help that energy industry folks are in charge of the country either.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Pick an industry. No matter what sector, it's obligated to attempt to remain or become profitable. There is thus a vested interest in energy policy. They have an absolute right for input into discussions as do you or I.

    Insofar as energy industry, which sectors do you see as "running the country"? Electricity? No. Oil-as-transportation fuels? No. Oil-as-petro-chemical/chemical? No. Sure, they all have input and influence, but their focus is on meeting consumer demands in a profitable manner. But they all have competing interests within this "energy industry". They do not march in lockstep. They never have, and they never will.

    'Rat
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    They have more dollars that you or I do, therefore they have an undue amount of influence. Pick any industry.

    Besides, I was simply adding another factor to your list. People have an absolute right to behave as they wish as well, but I didn't rush to contradict you there.

    I really don't know why your trying to dispute me on this point. It's another part of the problem related to effective energy planning. Period.

    Ummm... Bush and Cheney worked in what industry again? And what role do they have in running our country?
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050425/pl_afp/ussaudisecurity_050425225451
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    mac, I possibly interpreted your comment to mean that ONLY the energy folks had input into policy development. IMO, they MUST be included because they are the ones with specific knowledge of the ins and outs of the entire production process. Non-industry folks are needed in order that the overall policy must not be solely profit-motive driven.

    Stipulating that Bush/Cheney et al are running the country--insofar as anybody can be said to actually be running it--I don't see that whatever they've done in favor of Big Oil has been antithetical to the needs of the nation. If anything, catering to big oil would have included an open push for more refineries, beginning back in 2001 or so; maybeso, but I don't recall that. Again, however, that seems to be a national need, right now.

    Same for punching holes. We need more oil; we need more natural gas. The larger issue, seems to me, is instituting adquate safeguards against more than the absolute minimum of environmental degradation within meeting these needs.

    I note that there has been a regular stream of commentary from the Administration whidh is favorable to alternative sources of energy. Again, one can argue whether more such commentary is needed, or more federal funds are needed for R&D, but there certainly has not been an absence of awareness of the need for alternatives.

    To me, the whole energy deal is a multi-path trek. Some retrofit of insulation and of solar panels wired into existing systems. More wind generator "farms". More effort at persuasion for more purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles. More fuel-cel and bi-power vehicles. More nuclear generating plants. And, for a while, more oil and gas wells.

    Insofar as government's role, I guess more enabling laws and tax breaks. (And some sort of reduction in tax breaks for non-commercial vehicles with a GVW over 6,500 pounds. :))

    'Rat
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Nope, I was adding to your observation about human behavior.

    We'll never know, now will we? The participants in the discussions that produced this administration's energy policy are being kept secret. No environmental groups that I know of have stepped forward to say they were invited to the table, let alone attended. You say you don't see that whatever they've done in favor of Big Oil has been antithetical to the needs of the nation, but how would you see that if the discussions were held in private? You obviously trust this administration to have the nation's best interests at heart.

    I'm not necessarily opposed to new drilling sites, but I think there is more promise in alternative sources, and conservation than in increasing production without lowering consumption. Short term, yeah we need more oil. Problem is, oil exploration isn't short term. Oil companies are going to want a good 25 years of production out of a well, right?

    You might also note that there has been a regular stream of commentary from the Administration regarding such things as amending the Constitution
    to forbid gay marriage. There also was a steady stream of commentary regarding their willingness to sign the AWB. Ditto for a trip to Mars. You might also notice that not a lot has happened with any of those items. But with little commentary the estate tax is being repealed, veterans are having their benefits cut, and a State Dept report on increased terrorism is quietly killed.

    I'm a big believer that actions speak louder than words.

    I agree with everything here except the increase in nu-cu-lar power. Repeal Price-Anderson, and find a way to render the waste harmless and then we'll talk.

    Your such a statist! Always with the more government.
    :p
     
  13. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    Bush disagrees:

    The **** we can't! The problem for him is that you can't sell conservation. Literally -- there's nothing to buy. In fact, that's the whole idea. And if no one's buying, then there's less opportunity for the Kenny Boys to turn a profit.

    And let's face it, this administration is run by the oil trusts. Anything they say is going to be exactly what a lobbyist for ExxonMobil would say.

    I set out on a little fact finding on nuclear power plants last month. I think they're a fantastic idea in theory. In theory, they're safe, reliable and clean. The problem is that in practice, every one has been found to leak significant curies of radioactive elements.

    If the winds had been blowing south instead of north on March 28, 1979, there's a good chance I'd have been miscarried or died as a young boy of leukemia. There's a reason pregnant women aren't X-rayed. A pelvic X-ray increases the likelihood of miscarriage or infant leukemia by an order of magnitude.

    There were no flies in the Susquehanna river valley in the summer of 1979.

    The NRC is an absolute joke.

    Exelon cut TMI staff almost in half since taking over. Peach Bottom scrams a few times a month. Davis-Besse had all 6" of its reactor vessel rusted away, and the company knew it but didn't act because of cost concerns. The only thing keeping it from blowing apart was 1/4" layer of stainless steel that had started to push out through the football-sized hole in the reactor head.

    Look this stuff up. Our nuclear power plants are not operated safely in the United States.
     
  14. mac-er macrumors 65816

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    #14
    No, high gas prices will deliberately hurt the Bushes' (and Dick Cheney's) investment in oil and the House of Saud.
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    You only have to watch the Simpsons to know that...
    :p
     
  16. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    You'd be surprised how many of their jokes about the nuke plant are actually based on real occurances, and how many real occurances are so awful they're not funny. Like the Peach Bottom employees who got busted by the FBI in the 80s for running a meth distribution ring.
     
  17. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #17
    China is beginning a program for 35 pebble-bed reactors for electricity. These are boiling-water reactors, I understand; not pressurized systems. The fuel pebbles don't lend themselves to enrichment for weaponry. From what little I've read about this design, it's much safer than the pressurized systems, albeit somewhat less efficient.

    The idea that energy independence can come from conservation alone doesn't seem at all correct. Sure, we can do a lot more insofar as conserving, but the amount which can be saved is less than what we get from imported fossil fuels.

    My understanding is that we import about half our fossil-fuel demand. I'm dubious that conservation can reduce our demand by one-half.

    Note that the ranking of GDP per capita relates directly to energy use per capita. We're #1, last time I saw a listing. We're the best at $/kw-hr. Even so, we're working toward ever more efficient use of energy. The argument is really about the rate of improvements in efficiency.

    And there are favorable signs all over the place. It includes comparing the amps for new refrigerators vs. those of 20 or 30 years ago. The new light bulbs which give more lumens for less amps. It's showing up in things like the Prius. Business buildings are retro-fitting fuel cells. Steel mills have new designs which require less electricity per ton of steel. Several hundred wind generators have been built along and north of I-10, northeast of Fort Stockton, Texas. (That work is resurrecting some little ghost towns in that area. New jobs.) Better fuel-efficiency is being incorporated into farm equipment.

    IMO, we're always gonna see some improvements, but we're always gonna have some backsliding. This latter is simply because we're a nation of people with varying ideas about what's important or what's good enough for now; we ain't automatons...

    'Rat
     
  18. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #18
    is anyone pushing that position, though?

    it occurs to me that, by bush making that statement, he's dismissing a position nobody holds. then he "cleverly" moves to the "next" position, in which conservation isn't something which should even be employed.

    i say, of course we should conserve. and we should also invest billions into development of new technologies. conservation is a good habit for all time.
     
  19. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #19
    As I pointed out above, the problem with conservation is that it's not a commodity. It's the opposite of purchase. And God knows anything that slows consumer dependence on corporations would hurt a good number of friends of this administration.
     
  20. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #20
    I hope they held hands and made up.

    Though, I still feel that the reason oil prices are so high comes down to market manipulation. There have been no shortages and record profits.

    Leading into summer, which is the busiest time of the year, there is a problem with surplus production in the US. Hmm, Oilmen in the Whitehouse. An energy bill that pays Oil Companies to make huge profits through tax incentives and exploration work.

    Improve efficiency standards? Nope.
    Alternative fuel funding? Nope.

    How serious can he be about solving this problem and killing those record profits?
     

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