Oil too pricey? Search & burn all gas-powered trojan horses!

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by 2cents, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. they are responsible for 45% of US gas consumption! :D

    more seriously, here's some good food for thought, going well beyond the thread title's tease / invite to patriotic vandalism:
    http://www.rff.org/Documents/RFF-DP-06-26.pdf for the laziest of you, just read the 1-page intro and the 1-page conclusion (p30), its got all the meat!
  2. here's another good 1, along similar lines:

    just an extract of this colourful editorial http://www.ei2025.org/previous_editorial.asp?e=169 :
    "How does our dependence on foreign oil affect the US trade deficit and the loss of jobs?

    Today, one-third of the annual US trade deficit is spent on oil imports. In November 2005 alone, this amounted to $24 billion.[2] According to the latest trade figures, the US is projected to buy an unprecedented $320 billion worth of crude from abroad in 2006.[3]

    The Department of Energy estimates that for every $1 billion in deficit spending, 27,000 jobs are lost in America.[4] Based on current deficit figures, this means we could have added up to 8.6 million American jobs this year. For example, instead of buying the oil from abroad, jobs could be created by domestically fostering an ethanol fuel industry.

    Have big oil companies profiteered from today’s oil market?

    For the industry, the market caps (value of the company) of the largest oil companies BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron, as well as industry service providers like Halliburton and Schlumberger have at least doubled since 9/11. The increase in their stock prices has roughly coincided with the rise in oil prices.

    The record windfall earnings of oil companies have raised concerns of profiteering.  However, these companies state that their profits are the result of the rise in crude prices for oil that they themselves produce and from efficiency gains in the refining process. Furthermore, since the oil they produce is part of the global oil market it fetches the same price as does oil worldwide. As an example of efficiency gains, over the past five years, ExxonMobil has cut its workforce by one-fifth while its return on capital has increased by 20%.[5]

    Nevertheless, there have been claims that the industry is deliberately constraining refining capacity in order to create a shortage to boost the price of gasoline. Although the technology for oil refining has continued to improve (e.g., more gasoline can be recovered from lower grade crude) the supply of gasoline has not been able to keep up with growing demand. For various reasons, including high capital costs and more stringent environmental regulations, new oil refineries have not been built since 1976 in the US despite increasing pressure to do so.

    At this point, there is no evidence that the industry is engaging in price gouging by artificially limiting their refining capacity. In 2006 alone, oil companies and investors are spending a collective $100 billion on new oil refineries.[6] However, no refineries will be built in the US because of opposition from communities where sites have been proposed. About 60 percent of them will be constructed in the Middle East and in Asia.

    How much tax breaks are oil companies getting?

    According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), big oil is getting at least $20 billion in annual tax breaks.[7] These contribute to another $3 per barrel in hidden fees. Some of these breaks include depletion allowances, production credits, exploration and development costs. In addition there are also foreign tax credits and state sales tax are usually lower when compared to other industries.

    How much in federal subsidies are oil companies getting?

    Approximately $0.32 per gallon in fuel taxes are dedicated to maintain the transportation infrastructure.[8] However these taxes and toll fees collected are not enough to cover the cost to constructing and maintaining roadways. As much as $112 billion in government funds are needed to finance highway projects each year.[9] This amounts to another $15 per barrel in hidden costs.

    What are the health costs of motor transportation?

    Although continued improvements in lowering emissions from motor vehicles have helped to make the air cleaner by reducing particulate matter into the air, there are still noxious gases including nitrous oxide and ozone that contribute to a lower quality of health.

    In addition, allergy and asthma symptoms are exacerbated by global warming effects, which are directly linked to the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline. The medical spending and associated losses from productivity due to these respiratory illnesses are estimated to be between $30 and $530 billion per year.[10]

    The US spends approximately $2 trillion for health care each year. Assuming an average of 10% or $200 billion that these illnesses cost in medical fees, this adds another $26 in unseen costs per barrel of oil. In addition, lost wages of the same magnitude can be expected. For our calculations, health related costs are pegged in the range of $26 to $52 per barrel of crude."

    ... am not american, don't even live there, but if i did, i wouldn't hesitate burning a big fat gas-powered vehicle a night, starting from today, and perhaps a gas station a week for good measure! c'mon guys, don't be shy! :D :D :D