Energy and You, the World, the Environment
how to get your girlfriend backldwidehippies.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/retail-price-of-gasoline-300×182.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”182″ />By Marie Gage,Worldwidehippies – Energy touches every one of us on the planet. The more “modernized” we are, the more the need for fuel becomes a necessity. Cheap power in a never-ending supply has been driving force on several fronts. Political, financial, environmental. What are some of the facts that this planet is currently facing? This is by no means an all-inclusive list of sources, or even all the facts that surround the sources listed. It is just some stuff you should know about and maybe you will want to find out more and do some research on your own.
The demand for oil continues to soar as China and India progress towards a more westernized type of lifestyle. In fact, Asia already accounts for more than 31% of global oil demand. The Economic Times says, “Booming Asia will in a decade push oil to $200 and maybe $300 per barrel.” Hence, oil prices will continue to rise regardless of what happens in the Middle East.
As prices continue to climb and supply gets scarcer, the world’s quest for oil will get even fiercer. All the big dudes in the oil business are scrambling to find more. They are drilling in places that are not fit for man to live in. In the Arctic, under the seas. Of course, here in the USA, they receive up to 75% of all their R & D expenses back in the form of tax subsidies, so they are not really losing anything. They receive that amount whether they find any oil or not. Shell Oil spent 4 billion dollars to gain permits to drill in the Arctic. As of today, there are no techniques for cleaning oil from ice, should an oil spill disaster occur.
You will hear many politicians on any side of the political fence use gasoline prices as a promise for your vote, or a denigration of the opposition’s candidate. In reality, the total influence politicians have on domestic gasoline prices to just fewer than 50 cents per gallon. The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. State and local taxes add an average of 31.1 cents to gasoline and 30.2 cents to diesel. So no one person or government agency can actually give you 2 dollar a gallon gasoline.
The Congressional Budget Office just released some very interesting information about the effect of domestic oil production on national gasoline prices. In a nutshell, there is absolutely no relationship at all.
The chart shows that oil prices for a country that is entirely dependent on imports are highly correlated and proportionate to a large exporter. The real difference in price is entirely related to the taxes placed on gasoline. The data proves cheap gas cannot exist in the U.S. without wild increases in supply or a large reduction of demand.
China had been importing coal in huge numbers. As coal is dirty and antiquated fuel source, it has not been a big seller here in the USA due to restrictions placed on it from the EPA. However, the existing coal companies have not stopped mining; they just started selling the coal on the global market. China has been one of the biggest importers of our coal. Prices have fallen 30% this past year. China has been reticent to order more coal as the prices are dropping by the day. They are even defaulting on current contracts. By the time the coal reaches their shores, they cannot resell it for even their purchase price.
So what is China going to use for the energy that it needs? They are looking at the USA. What are we doing? We are touting natural gas. We seem to feel that we have plenty of it and that could solve the problem of having to import energy supplies. China has twice as much shale gas wealth as the USA. China currently imports its natural gas from Russia.
In the USA, it is all tied to H.R. 1380: The energy bill being “fast-tracked” through Congress. The official name for this bill is “New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011.” But it is really all about Natural Gas. There will be new tax credits and subsidies given to not only the producers of natural gas, but for those businesses that convert gasoline and diesel engines to run on natural gas. Heavy trucks, those 18-wheelers, account for 4% of our nations vehicles, but consume 23% of our transportation fuel.
Sounds nice, but at what cost will the environment suffer to extract this resource? I know some folks in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio might have something to say about this. Fracking seems to be quite destructive, poisoning our drinking water and creating new waste disposal issues. Does the USA really want to be the leader in this? Instead of raping and pillaging the earth some more, like we have been doing with oil, why are we not investing in some science to improve on some of the other successful transportation alternatives? Electric rail, hybrid cars, electric cars, etc. It all comes down to money and lobbyists. Some people own a bunch of land that has natural gas and they want to make money on it. Getting the government to subsidize it and help it create customers for it will ensure that they will not lose anything.
So – how do we provide energy solutions that don’t destroy the earth, allow access at an affordable price for the average citizen wherever they live, and still allow people to make a decent profit from it? I do not know. I don’t think that a plan that requires a huge corporation to bribe governments to not only allow them to tear up the planet (fracking, creating tar sands), but also requires that it asks the citizens to pay for the privilege (tax subsidies whether there is product produced or not), while not giving anything in return is not a good plan.
Here are a few links where you can read more on this subject. Educate yourself. Get involved. Let our leaders know how you feel about the future of energy.
Marie Gage is a former corporate whore and autodidact with experience in brokerage, real estate, high tech, construction, and medical equipment fields. She has attended colleges and universities many times in various US locations as well as the University of Guadalajara shunning the matriculation process. Having been deemed obsolete by corporate America, she returned to where she always belonged with her hippie friends to help them spread the news of how it really works in The Corporation. She lives down by the river with her three little dogs, lots of big trees, and one cool dude.