Gas Prices and the future

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jlewis2k1, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. jlewis2k1 macrumors 6502a

    jlewis2k1

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    #1
    ok so, as we all know that gas prices are beginning to raise once again. (we are just about to hit the $3 mark) Anyhoo, does anyone have any idea whats going to happen in the future for gas prices or will they finally have something more fuel efficient or even new type of cars that runs using alternative energy source.
     
  2. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #2
    First, the US has to realise what the Victorians realised a while ago - we don't have unlimited supplies. You know, half the worlds oil sinks straight into that place
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #3
    In the medium to long term petrol (or gas for you Americans, even if it is a liquid) is only going one way. Up.

    Hydrogen is the current best bet, but who knows. In the shorter term hybrid vehicles, diesel and not driving 3 ton SUVs might be a good start!
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #4
    For the US, the "bigger is better -- and will protect me and my family in an accident" didn't have a huge cost, gas wasn't a big issue.

    And you ordered these vehicle with the bigger engines to avoid pathetic performace, and the nasty diesel sound/smell.

    Heck a lot of vehicles were updated with high compression engines to make them zippy, even though they now needed premium.

    With the rise in gas prices, the bigger engines/vehicles have a cost ... that now hits you every time you tank up and deplete your wallet.

    Even in places where a Toyota Corolla would work fine for driving a single body to work, it still come across as a status symbol of burger flippers -- people would rather pay twice as much for style/power and to keep up with the Jones.

    So Hybrid to the rescue... :rolleyes:
     
  5. jlewis2k1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jlewis2k1

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    #5
    heh, so true. I wonder if car companies plan on making cars 100% electric or some form of electricity where it is not required to be plugged. basically it creates its own energy.
     
  6. Angelus520 macrumors regular

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    #6
    Just saw that the WHOLESALE price of gas on the Gulf Coast hit $3.15/gallon today. That's wholesale and not retail, which is always higher. The wholesale price on Friday was around $2/gallon and retail is $.60 - $1.00 higher than that. Guess we could be seeing gas jump to $4.00/gallon or so. Glad I can take mass transit and leave the car in the garage.

    Link

    Wholesale gasoline tops $3 a gallon on Gulf Coast By Bernie Woodall
    Tue Aug 30, 2:00 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wholesale gasoline prices on the Gulf Coast broke $3 a gallon on Tuesday -- far higher than prices at most U.S. pumps -- as major refineries remained shut after Hurricane Katrina, trading sources said.

    This could spell a huge spike in retail prices for drivers throughout the United States in the coming days and in particular those in the Southeast, where prices are typically the lowest in the country.

    The spike in wholesale prices from below $2 last Friday came after Hurricane Katrina plowed through the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall near New Orleans, forcing shut at least eight refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi and slowing production from two others.

    The shut refineries and plants with reduced production account for about 15 percent of U.S. refinery production.

    On Tuesday, a gallon of gasoline traded in the Houston-based Gulf Coast physical marketing hub cost about $3.15 a gallon -- sharply higher than the national average retail price of about $2.60 a gallon.

    Traders were reluctant to guess how high the wholesale spike will make prices at the pump but some say it's safe to bet that the price of a gallon of regular self-service gasoline in the United States will top $3 per gallon by next week.

    "Retail prices are going to vary among regions but for all practical purposes $3 is a floor," said private oil analyst Jim Ritterbusch.

    The spike could spread across other regions of the United States due to the shutdown of two fuel pipelines from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, including the massive Colonial Pipeline.

    "This tightness of supply in the Gulf Coast is going to spread," said Ritterbusch, of Galena, Illinois. He said the shutdown of a major fuel pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast could push prices up in other regions.

    "This thing has tentacles that are going to stretch all over the place," Ritterbusch said.

    The Colonial Pipeline carries about 1.3 million barrels per day of gasoline and distillates from the refining hub of Houston along the Gulf Coast through Atlanta, Greensboro, North Carolina, the Washington, D.C. area and terminates at the New York Harbor.

    In addition to the refinery shutdowns, about 92 percent of Gulf of Mexico crude oil production was shut on Monday as a result of Katrina, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said, triggering worries that refiners may not have adequate feedstock when they restart.

    Citgo Petroleum, a subsidiary of Venezuela's PDVSA, said on Monday it formally requested oil from the U.S. emergency stockpile to keep its refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, operating.

    A switch to easier-to-produce autumn grade gasoline later this week is expected to bring prices lower, some dealers said.
     
  7. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #7
    Well, that's kind of the idea behind fuel cells. It makes its own electricity to run electric motors. Problem is, the initial power still has to come from somewhere. Hydrogen is the most talked about form of energy medium, and creating hydrogen takes a lot of power to do (hydrogen is best though of as a medium for moving energy, and not as a fuel source in and of itself). Some have investigated the idea of a home hydrogen station. But then, plugging it in would probably be more efficient if we improve battery technology. Hydrigen also has other problems such as the fact it needs huge, heavy tanks and needs to be highly compressed.

    The only "free" energy out there is solar, and its no where near efficient enough to be of real usefulness. And those pesky clouds and nighttime make them somewhat impractical. Everything else will require external power of some sort, and one way or another, you are going to pay for it.
     
  8. jlewis2k1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jlewis2k1

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    #8
    and they cant get it to where it could produce its own electricity just by driving. sure it could have a back-up battery that will help start the car or whatever.

    edit: now it would be nice if they could create a car very similar to what is in the iRobot movie where it is completely gas free or so i think it is.
     
  9. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #9
    What you're suggesting is that it 1 lot of electricity goes in and 2 lots come out. Just so you know, that's breaking the most basic, fundemental law of physics.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  11. jlewis2k1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jlewis2k1

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    #11
    basically but the alternator would need to be producing a whole lot more power than before just go beyond what the current fuel-engine cars do.
     
  12. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #12
    In an alternator, the energy comes from somewhere (the highly explosive liquids). In what he's saying, somehow the energy being lost by making the wheels turn creates energy, which makes no sense whatsoever
     
  13. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #13
    It's about time Americans got a dose of reality when it comes to petroleum prices, we have had artificially low prices for decades which is not based on a reality, finite-supply model. I personally am glad that all those people that bought HUGE oversized SUV's getting 12 m.p.g on average for no reason other than they are "popular" and "look cool" get a wakeup call when it costs $100 to fill up their gas tanks. The rest of the world has been paying the cost for American oil consumption for decades (i.e. Iraq, Nigeria, Liberia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and now Alaska, etc. the list is endless...).

    Also since the budget bill passed this month by the Republican dominated Congress and Senate opening up the Artic Wildlife Refuge for drilling when it will only net about 5 billion dollars in ten years depending on who you believe (link) to be split between the government and oil companies and only provide a tiny fraction of a percent of our overall need is a crime and the Bush Administration are the worst robber baron/criminals I have seen in my lifetime since Richard Nixon and company.

    Alternatives like bio-diesel (ease of conversion, huge grain subsidies being destroyed yearly that could be used for bio-diesel, 80% less emissions and just about any diesel can convert to bio fairly easily).

    Electric - Huge potential with more research.

    Hyrogen - There have been workable models for years, it just hasn't been in big business best interests' to pursue and convert.

    None of the big oil and auto companies are really going to truly convert until it is either profitable enough or world petroleum supply runs out. They will keep "greenwashing" their images and paying lip service to conversion until they can no longer afford to do so. Also it is not just the auto industry but all "petroleum based" products like plastic and silicon, etc. that are dependent on petroleum.
     
  14. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #14
    $3 a gallon? Think yourself lucky - here's it's $6.20 a (US) gallon and will rise as the current crude prices rise.
    Cold Fusion is the answer. Not technically possible at the moment but let's see. At least it'll rid of everyone of the dependence on oil. And turn it to dependence on water :p
     
  15. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #15
    All of what you say is correct but this is the biggest sticking point - the oil companies will never change until they have to.


    Politics here we come :D
     
  16. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #16
    I knew when I replied that this thread would probably end up in the Politics sectiion but I just had to state what in my mind is the obvious. Hopefully this thread won't be banished to the Wasteland. :D
     
  17. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    We're getting that :cool: Run it on the waste from the local chippy. There was some dude in the Nat Geog who runs his car in $8 a month!
     
  18. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

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    #18
    The main problem is that we haven't had any refineries built since the 70's, and the few that we do have can only use the higher grade "sweet crude". We need to build more refineries that can handle the "sour crude", which has higher sulfur content, but is cheaper. That would not only lower the price per barrel, but it would also allow us to refine oil at a much higher rate.

    Another thing is that the hybrid cars do use less fuel, but they end up costing more than conventional gasoline cars. They cost more originally, so it takes some time to break even through money saved on gas. Once you finally do save enough to break even, it's usually about time to buy new batteries. which will be another few thousand dollars. To add to all of that, very few places will work on hybrids, so it's very difficult to get something fixed when something breaks. Gasoline cars aren't going anywhere any time soon, because they're just too widely used.
     
  19. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #19
    A number of my friends run bio-diesel and besides smelling faintly of "french fries", "chips" or "popcorn" they seem to have no complaints. :)

    The price of gas will soon cost as much or more than bio-diesel anyway.

    My brother did a research paper on bio-diesel for his Masters degree and the one of the only negative factors he found is that current bio-diesel supplies would not support a mass consumer conversion but a gradual conversion which I think would be how the change over would naturally occur anyway.
     
  20. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #20
    Still wouldn't address the overall problem of finite supply and the damage incurred extracting and processing it. It is a short term solution, like methadone for a heroin addict.

    Sorry for the double post...This reply was written while I replied to other post.
     
  21. satty macrumors 6502

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    #21
    High oil price

    I find it strange, that everyone is thinking of his car and driving habits first.

    I thought people are enlightened enough to know that the most basic things in life - water and food - are very energy consuming products.
    Small example: For each energy unit of food we consume more than 10 energy units are used to produce and transport it. The reason is, that pesticides and fertiliser are based on oil and natural gas, all the machines for the fields need petrol and lubricates made of oil, the package is made of plastic, which is an oil based product, and we need energy to cool it down and transport it to the consumers.
    We also need a certain amount of energy (mainly not oil-based) to clean and transport water.

    This will be the reason for a delayed high inflation caused by high oil prices. For some areas it will be very difficult to find substitutes to oil.

    In a worst case scenario, I think following will happen to mankind:
    - Peak-oil or peak-energy,
    - Peak economy, because production is mainly energy driven,
    - Peak of food production a couple of years later and finally
    - Peak of global population, maybe a decade later.

    I think it's about time to look more into
    re-newable energy and to save precious fossil fuels for more important things than driving around just for fun.
     
  22. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #22
    I think he is trying to say this:
    Startup Battery starts the electric motor, gets the vehicle going.
    Once the vehicle is going, belt drives, chain drives, drive shafts, etc. in effect turn an alternator (or generator) which powers the electric motor, and then charges the startup battery plus any other batteries needed.

    One of the problems with this model is getting the car going initially, which requires a very high-performance battery, as well as similar batteries throughout the vehicle.

    Personally i think a combination of electric/alternator/generator technology, plus solar power would be a great idea.

    The only problem with this newer technology, as it currently effects me, is that my 1966 Pontiac may just become obsolete. :(

    Right now the Gas situation is a siege. We can not function without oil/gas so even a total boycott of gas would not work. The only thing the oil industry would have to do is hold out, and eventually, when our lives grind to a halt, we would come running back in droves.

    Gas is our cultures drug, and Oil dispensing Arabs/et. all are the greedy dealers. We just can't break our habit.
     
  23. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #23
    Not as daft as it sounds. In Brazil they run a lot of cars on alcohol. A good friend of mine swears that the average 18 year old Brazilian guy buys a load to get drunk on and some to drive home with - dual use ;)
     
  24. satty macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I think it can never be a mass consumer solution, because you have to share the infratructure that is used for food production at the moment.

    Most people prefer food to bio-diesel for dinner.
     
  25. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #25
    Not disagreeing, but link please?
     

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