If you drive a Tesla, Leaf or a Volt, you may not have been to a gas pump lately. For the rest of us you’re probably wondering how in the Hell did he get it so wrong! There are some pretty amazing things happening in the oil industry, and a perfect storm gathered to spike gasoline prices in the short term, and has set up a tidal wave of oil that could completely collapse both crude oil and refined fuel products just as the summer driving season begins.
Despite a collapse in oil prices of 50 percent since summer’s end, Saudi Arabia, whose vast production capacity has enabled that country to modulate world oil prices by adjusting its output, “effectively resigned from that role,” Daniel Yergin wrote in this past Sunday’s New York Times Week in Review. “…OPEC handed over all responsibility for oil prices to the market, which the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, predicted would ‘stabilize itself eventually.’”
Reuters Energy analyst John Kemp has published a timeline of events that explain the latest crash in crude oil prices. As energy prices enter a new era, we’ll be focusing more and more on this sector, and how it relates to the automobile.
Last week, I bought gasoline for less than $2/gallon for the first time in probably more than a decade. A tankful for my ’08 Civic (stick) cost me sixteen whole dollars and fifty-three cents.
Now two leading thinkers, one from each party, have called for taking the opportunity of low gas prices to slap a tax on petroleum—or on carbon.
David Obelcz is back with Part Two of his series on oil prices. Part One can be viewed here.
In the 1966 Spaghetti Western classic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the three principal characters come together in what is considered the most iconic standoff in cinematic history. Three parties hostile to each other and the first one to shoot is the most likely loser.
The recent fall in fuel prices isn’t just an opportunity for Americans to demonstrate their collective inability to remember the events of even the recent past; it’s also a decisive hammerblow to E85 plants and retailers across the country.
This has to be the case, right?
As of 3:03 P.M., a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil is sitting at $49.90 USD. For $42.48, you can get a fifth of Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky - decent stuff, but nothing fancy. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy myself a Hellcat.
The auto world may be on an extended vacation thanks to the timing of New Year’s day, but the energy markets are still moving. Matt Smith of the Energy Burrito blog (and energy firm Schneider Electric) discusses the impact of lower gasoline prices for the American consumer. According to Smith, the savings amount to $378 million per day, or $80 billion annually.
Last week in a speech at Daimler owned Freightliner truck plant, President Obama said that the new 55mpg CAFE standards will save a typical American family $8,000 a year on gasoline. That would be great news to most American drivers if it were true but the president took political science and law courses in college, not math. Or maybe his math isn’t off. (Read More…)
“The electric things have their life too. Paltry as those lives are.”
Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
At the High School I attended, progress reports were never a good thing. Halfway through each term, students who were averaging a D or lower would receive a print-out of their grade accompanied by a line from the teacher explaining how the miscreant in question was failing to live up to expectations. True to form, the White House’s just-released “One Year Progress Report” [PDF] on President Obama’s “Blueprint For A Secure Energy Agenda” includes some devastating evidence of abject failure. But unlike my post-progress report conversations with the parental stakeholders, Obama has a lot more to explain to voters than a simple “insufficient homework turned in.”