Friday, February 25, 2011

The Price Of Gas

In the coming episode of, "Nobody could see it coming", we'll get to debate why we are spending billions of dollars on bailouts, stimulus, and infrastructure, without ever giving real consideration to any planned conversion to natural gas.  Sure, Boone Pickens has been making noises in the U.S., but up to this point, little has changed.  The price of natural gas has long been below the level where it would save companies money to switch from oil to gas.  As I was driving to Toronto on Wednesday, there were points in time where, of the three lanes of traffic, two were almost solid with trucks, one after another, after another, for as far as I could see.  I don't remember seeing any which were fuelled by natural gas.

Why is it my hydro bill is going to double, at least, in the next couple of years because we want to pay hefty subsidies to the marginal providers of electricity generated by solar panels, and wind turbines, while we continue to ignore the fuel of which we probably have over a hundred years of supply?  Why is it we can afford to build the infrastructure for alternative energy sources, but not for larger, cheaper, energy sources?  Do politicians really think we are going to switch to electric trucks, any time soon?

In the mean time, the current economic recovery, if it can be called that, could be in serious jeopardy.  While it may have been difficult to foresee the magnitude of the Muslim revolution throughout many of the oil producing nations, it isn't too hard to do the math when it comes to figuring out who is most in need of most of their oil.  Did not anybody stop to consider that most of the oil revenues were going into the pockets of a small number of, mostly corrupt, individuals.  Was there no thought given to what would happen when the have-not's could no longer feed their own?  Is it not ironic that despite their denials, this whole situation likely has been made much worse by the monetary policies of those who are most dependent on foreign oil?  At this point, should we even be surprised?

I have said it before, and I'm saying it again - if people can't be that stupid, then they must be getting some form of compensation for doing what it is they are doing.  Think about it.  Using natural gas to, at least, power our transportation industries, would save money, be better for the environment, and create jobs.  These jobs would be needed to produce the natural gas, and to build out the required infrastructure while reducing dependence on foreign oil.  So why not?  The only conclusion one can come to is the politicians are serving the oil industry.  Why else would a country like Canada not want to replace oil with natural gas?  Why else would we not have better environmental standards?  It isn't like we don't know the issues regarding finding, drilling for, pumping, refining, and burning the stuff!

I feel like I am watching a bad episode of Laurel and Hardy - "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"  Every time I go to the gas pump, now, I think about how it costs me a larger and larger portion of my income when fueling my car.  Every time I open my utilities bill, I am reminded of how much more government is costing me.  We scrapped the original electric cars so that we could bail out the auto industry for making obsolete products.  Now we could force the economy into recession, again, rather than clean up our act by doing the logical, more environmentally friendly, and cost-effective thing by reducing oil consumption and making natural gas the better alternative.

Let's just say I'm not about to run out to buy shares in any natural gas companies for awhile.  As for the arrogant politicians, despite even further costs, I can hardly wait for the next elections.

How high do you think the price of oil/gasoline can go?

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