Gas Prices Hit $4.08 a Gallon; Electricity Prices Soar

gas prices hit 4 08 a gallon electricity prices soar

On the same day that USA Today reports that average U.S. gas prices have hit a new high, the paper has some bad news for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) fans who think they'll be able to tune in, turn on and drive off for pennies on the gallon: electricity prices are also heading skywards. "Utilities across the USA are raising power prices up to 29%, mostly to pay for soaring fuel costs, but also to build new plants and refurbish an aging power grid." New, schmew; those raw materials costs are soaring. "The price of coal, which fires half of U.S. power plants, has doubled since last year, largely because of surging energy use in countries such as China and India. Natural gas prices are up nearly 50% on high U.S. demand. In California, drought has forced Pacific Gas & Electric to replace cheap hydroelectric power with natural gas, helping to prompt it to seek 13% rate increases." And you know that "let's build nukes for our plug-ins" idea? "South Carolina Electric & Gas wants to boost rates 37% by 2019 to cover its share of two nuclear reactors costing $10 billion." And Americans who believe that global warming is a threat are going to have to put their money where their mouth is. "Expect bigger rate shocks if federal legislation, anticipated by 2010, passes and forces coal-fired generators to pay fees to emit global-warming gases. American Electric Power, the largest coal-fired generator, will have to raise rates 115% to pay higher fuel costs, build new plants and recover global-warming fees." Bottom line: ICE, PHEV, EV– there is no such thing as a free ride.

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  • Areitu Areitu on Jun 17, 2008
    # Phil Ressler : June 16th, 2008 at 10:36 pm Too much pessimism and not enough creative problem-solving. Don't forget about the status quo. I live in a desert community in California and I've seen some of my friends' electric bills hit $400-500 easily during the summer because they use the AC constantly. Solar, along with judicious use of skylights and evaporative coolers would reduce the energy demand.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jun 18, 2008

    nukes ftw

  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
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