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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Do we need to risk a Gulf type disaster on the West Coast just for cheaper gas?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) September 4th, 2010

Instead of more drilling off the California cost would it not be better served to find ways to use something other than oil to fuel vehicles and grease the wheels of economy? With all those smart minds they should be able to come up with more than “drill baby drill”. Would a Gulf type disaster on the West coast be worth the price of a cheaper gallon of gas?

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6 Answers

Whitsoxdude's avatar

Natural gas is a much better alternative.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Yes we do. But the gas won’t be any cheaper. We are being deceived at every corner by these lowlifes who own the oil companies.

jazmina88's avatar

Gas goes up on holidays…..why wouldnt they jack up the price of gas in California during emergencies as well?

funkdaddy's avatar

Alternatives are being developed, more efficient cars are becoming the norm, and people are becoming more aware of their use of resources in general and petroleum specifically.

You don’t just stop using literally billions of machines that run on petroleum products (not to mention all the other uses for refined petroleum) overnight. It’s going to be a long, slow process. In the meantime, we’ll still need oil. Honestly, we’ll probably need oil until it literally runs out.

Even if we’re just talking about cars, let’s say a completely oil free alternative became available tomorrow. Would every car owner buy one right then? I don’t think that’s even feasible, it would be an unprecedented economic burden on individuals and businesses. Alternatives are going to be phased in slowly and gain acceptance, the process has already begun.

The focus for now should be on making those platforms as efficient and safe as possible while still funding and developing the alternatives. We’re early in the process and things will really start to take off once one technology starts to be “the choice”, then the infrastructure (gas station alternatives, repair shops, widespread parts availability) will start to develop and things can move a lot more quickly. Unfortunately none of the existing alternatives beat good ol’ gas yet.

wundayatta's avatar

There’s always risk. Especially in businesses such as energy production. These are large projects with many moving parts—huge infrastructure requirements. Well, traditionally, at least. “Green” energy can be more small scale—solar panels, wind mills, geothermal and whatever else is out there.

In any case, the price of gasoline seems to include the cost of huge oil spills. BP seems to have paid for it’s spill and is still sitting in a good position. Oil companies must have extraordinary amounts of cash lying around.

The public has conflicting interests. They want cheap energy, and they want an unpolluted environment. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to business practices as long as nothing bad happens. When something bad happens, it’s too late to fix it.

Will people on the West Coast decide they are willing to pay more for energy in order to try to up the protection against environmental disasters? Have people made their choice about risk and pollution, already? Are they willing to accept a BP event (whose effects seem to have disappeared to where no one can see them)?

Anyway, I fail to see any action long-term taken by the feds, and even if they did take action, I’m not sure if there’s anything useful to do, other than drilling freezes. Eventually, when things have quieted down, the freezes will be lifted. For all I know, they are already gone.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Risk…oh, I’m sure it is a certainty you’ll get something catastrophic eventually. Unavoidable…might as well get some cheap gas out the deal unless you’re going guerilla.

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