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Joe

Speaking here as citizen of a foreign country ...

The USA consumes way more oil and energy of all types than it produces. As such you must buy on the world market and pay the world price.

Your contention that demand for oil has declined or is flat may or may not be true for the American economy but in a world wide context it is false. The balance between supply and demand for oil is precarious and just a slight imbalance causes a big movement in price. China provided that slight imbalance coupled with some declines in production in a few major oil producers (Russia, Nigeria and Mexico).

Canada is a major producer of all sorts of energy but we do not sell it to ourselves at a subsidized rate. We charge the world price to ourselves (and to you) for a simple reason - we learned long ago that distorting a market with subsidies is costly and prevents the long term adjustment that price provides.

Oil companies who have access to oil reserves that they can pump do make a huge windfall profit. But they also took a huge risk at some point in the past to drill. Right now, the Beaufort Sea has large reserves of oil. It may be just profitable at current prices ~$125/barrel to extract BUT it is risky. The Beaufort Sea is in the Arctic, there is not an oil pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley and a large investment is required before any profit can be made. The Crown owns the resource but I would be most surprised if the government were to go back into the oil business (didnt we learn that once with PetroCan?). An oil company who makes the investment today in the Beaufort Sea may someday make an enormous profit when oil is worth ~$250 per barrel but that is the stakes that are being discussed.

I am not an American citizen and cannot vote or otherwise have a say in American policy. For us here in Canada, I am in favour of maintaining the sale of energy at the world price ie no subsidy, making additional investments in nuclear power generation and encouraging (not through tax breaks!) the private sector to make the investment required to extract natural resources like oil.

The only thing I can wish for about the American approach is that if you continue to burn coal, at least do it cleanly. Global warming, true or otherwise, is a benefit to Canadians (just ask anyone around Ottawa if a few degrees warmer wouldn't be better!) but polluting the atmosphere is not helpful to those like us who have the prevailing winds blow our way.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Doug,

I actually had a very well thought out and productive response until the site locked up on me.:mad:

I'm not even going to attempt to rewrite things but I will say that the fact we do not produce our own energy or most of it has scared the bejeebus outta me since the conversations I overheard as a youngster in the last energy crisis.

The comment I made about consumption was that Gasoline consumption here in the states is down by almost 25% over May of last year. I'm not sure how sustantiated that number is since i went to find the article I read it in and it was gone. I would have liked to post the link, it was a good article.
 

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The problem is here to stay. The government needs to be cutting some tax deals for alternative energy companies so they can get them out to the public. The current solar tax break expires this year. Lots of people used to use natural gas in their cars to get around locally, that could be a good option. For most of our driving an electric car with 80-100 mile range would be fine for 80% of our driving. Plus, the government could let them drill off the east coast and closed areas of the Carribean. Oil rigs seldom leak anymore, so no reason not to drill more. Jerry
 

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Don't fret. Oil price will come down. The market has a mysterious way of not letting anything cause big disruptions in stable economies for very long. Read this: http://tinyurl.com/6rmb8u

My 2005 Prius keeps humming along, 45,000+ miles, getting anywhere from 45mpg in the coldest weather (gas engine runs more often to keep the catalytic converter up to required temperature) to 51 mpg in the summer, combined city/hiway driving. And Jack, that argument about the cost of replacement batteries is old and doesn't hold water. Please read this: http://tinyurl.com/2eq9qh
Toyota's competition tried to float that fear-mongering warning years ago to dissuade potential Pruis customers, but history has proven it without merit.
My wife's 2002 PT Cruiser keeps humming along nicely also - 75,000+ miles and averages about 22mpg all around. Not the most efficient but we carpool to work together in the Prius most of the time.

Wish the Maryland Dept of Transportation would consider more commuter rail but they have their collectives heads in very dark damp places.

If BJ Clinton had signed the ANWR bill in 1994 when it was presented to him we would have had a productive field 4 years ago and would have that much more oil today. But he and the Party whose symbol is a jackass don't want U.S. energy independence if it involves oil or nuclear power. The 1979 fictional movie "China Syndrome" induced fear into enough people that they naively dumped all the science and engineering that preveted Three Mile Island from melting down and enacted laws that have got us to where we are today: dependent on OPEC.

Then again, I can't give very good marks to the other party since many of them including our esteemed POTUS have been trying to kill Amtrak via financial starvation since it's inception.

Oh and BTW - we *are* expanding refinery capacity in the U.S. (although not building any new ones just yet): http://uk.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUKN2121150320070921

Happy Motoring! :cool:
AL
 

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We have plenty of oil, coal, and natural gas to use -- but the environmental extremists block us from getting at it. 85% of off shore oil is off limits!!!


I agree, I am so sick of the enviromental wacko's. They care about every tree, shrub, insect, worm, snail, etc., etc.,....................everything but people. Why don't they ever gripe about how the other Countries polute? Check out China, Russia, Mexico, etc., but no, to the wacko's only the U.S. is to blame. I say drill where ever we can in our own Country, including off our shores, start building coal to oil production facilities (this is World War I technology that works) and tell the middle east to eat sand.
 
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