General Question

oneye1's avatar

If the war is about oil way now that we control most of the country is the price of oil still on the rise?

Asked by oneye1 (745points) March 17th, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

Because there are other countries that are exporting oil, and because the instability in the region means that it’s dangerous, and thus expensive, to drill for oil and to transport oil, and because the demand for oil is increasing (because of all the industrialization in China, in part) while the supply is staying roughly constant, or increasing but not as quickly, and because OPEC is carefully orchestrating its oil production so that it’s expensive enough to be painful but not so expensive that the US puts a lot of effort into developing alternate energy sources.

The war was really about vengeance for George H. W. Bush and American imperialism in the middle east. Oil is just a convenient justification.

allen_o's avatar

does that answer your question? Oil prices will keep rising until it runs out

oneye1's avatar

does that make a case that we should start drilling here again

cwilbur's avatar

No. It makes a case that we should start looking other sources of energy, and other ways to store and transport that energy. Whether you believe we’re at peak oil or not—and people have been claiming that we have been about to run out of oil for the past 40 years—it’s fairly clear that the price of crude oil is unlikely to go down significantly, in part because reduced price just means increased consumption by China, which will drive the price right back up.

GD_Kimble's avatar

No. it means we should finally get serious about alternate fuels.

oneye1's avatar

how will we change all the cars out I’m not trying to start a fight I think you are right for the long term. But what about the short term

cwilbur's avatar

It’s working now – people are buying hybrids and energy-efficient cars all by themselves, because people aren’t dumb. Make it possible for people to have a car that runs on an alternate fuel, and a way of refueling it, and people will buy it, especially if it’s cheaper. Eventually the old cars will be sold or retired.

We don’t have to change everything overnight.

occ's avatar

Well, the good news is that we already have the technology for all of our cars and trucks to go further on a gallon of gas – even without putting hybrid engines in – cars used to get 35 MPG on a normal engine. We really need to raise federal fuel economy standards—and Detroit needs to get its act together and give people better options for fuel-efficient cars. Or maybe we need to drill under Detroit ;)

In terms of domestic drilling though, the real problem is that we are addicted to oil and our elected officials have admitted the addiction. When you are an addict, you need to go off the drug entirely – the idea of drilling for more oil domestically reminds me of heroin addicts who start to shoot up in their toes or eyes once they’ve run out of veins on their arms. It’s a sad act of desperation.

The solution is to invest in alternative energy, and pump money into our public transit systems so that people can find ways NOW to commute without wasting gas. If we had convenient, efficient public transit, most people would probably prefer that to the idea of sitting in traffic, watching their gas gauge slowly drain downwards. As someone who has been a public-transit commuter all my life, I can tell you it’s a real pleasure to be able to read, get work done, and/or just be able to relax on my morning commute.

And…there is new emerging technology that will make it even easier to harness energy from the wind and the sun – infinite resources with a fixed, locked-in price. In terms of how this effects cars, well, if we can green the electric grid…then electric or hybrid electric cars become efficient and fueled by green energy. The geniuses at Google have a whole fleet of cars that they charge by plugging into a solar panel installation – their corporate google cars essentially run on sunlight!

oneye1's avatar

ya but the e85 is driving our food up faster than the price of gas not working

occ's avatar

Yeah, I don’t think ethanol is a good part of the solution – it takes more energy to grow corn-based ethanol than the amount of energy we reap by burning it. But there are other better fixes that we can use. And if scientists end up figuring out cellulosic ethanol (basically, a way to harvest energy from grasses) than we could have a great solution to add to our array of options…

occ's avatar

also, it’s problematic that so much of our food system is based on corn. the e85 IS driving up food prices—but for foods that use corn-syrup or made from dairy that are fed corn. It’s a bad situation, but a good reminder to diversify our diets and try eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed foods etc. If unhealthy foods become more expensive, and they are then on par with healthy foods, maybe people will make better choices.

oneye1's avatar

but it should be a choose I hear they are looking to grow algee at waste water planets I’m all for that but they are paying farmers to grow corn and they are not growing the other crops that are needed

hossman's avatar

The war was never about oil. If the Iraqi war was about oil, why did we leave after the first one? No one made us leave. Why did we forbid U.S. companies to do business with Iraq and let the French and Russians take all the lucrative contracts?

The price of oil is simply whatever the oil commodity traders can get other oil traders to pay for it. It is all based on perception, which is only influenced but not controlled by supply and demand.

You will never persuade these commodity traders that you won’t pay more for oil as long as you are paying $4.00 for a cup of coffee. When Starbucks stops building new stores, then they might believe we are serious about a recession. When we cut down our cell phone contract minutes and stop ordering premium cable channels to save money, they might believe us. When we stop running up our credit cards, they might believe us. Until then, we are sending them the signal that we still have room in our spending for more on gas.

oneye1's avatar

thanks for making my point

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