gas stimulus package?

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Ashiwi
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Ashiwi » Sat May 24, 2008 12:46 am

Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:Again we're talking fantasyland. "Could have been". "Should have been". Etc.
...
What is it exactly that you wanted to prevent? Life from happening?



Wow Corth. Just... wow.

Your basic argument is that we're better off not preventing something that's preventable. There's no point in addressing a problem _before_ it becomes a crisis? Is that really how you run your life? Do you really think that's the best possible way to handle things? How many succesful corporations can you name that take such a stance?


Not exactly... he's been arguing from the beginning that there's no point in thinking proactively as long as the bottom dollar doesn't support profits today. Many successful corporations utilize that approach in their businesses, and it works for them. It's kind of like all those businesses who saved so much money dumping their waste chemicals in the rivers that they could turn around and afford to tidy up their messes after years and years of damage.

Sarvis, you and I are interpreting things differently from Corth. What he sees as "fantasyland" is what you and I tend to call "learning from mistakes of the past." No, we didn't take steps fifty years ago, but apparently what we're missing is the fact that there's no point in taking steps today unless there's instant profit gratification to be had from it.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 1:20 am

Ashiwi & Sarvis,

You guys might very well be right that global warming is a huge menace to the world. Honestly, I have no idea. Lets assume that society has finally reached the point where there is consensus that action needs to be taken to prevent global warming.

You guys are leaders in congress. What kind of legislation do you propose to address this issue now that everyone agrees with you it needs to be addressed?

My answer: Raise the tax on gasoline. $8 per gallon should do the trick. Can't think of anything more effective to convince people to drive fuel efficient vehicles and use public transportation.

Whats your answer?
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 1:43 am

How about actively promote greener technologies? Maybe get the next racing movie to feature electric cars, or hire the same ad execs who push SUVs to create ads promoting fuel efficient vehicles instead.

Fund projects to _provide_ adequate public transportation (which does not exist in any city I've lived in.)

Hire marketing people to convince investors that green technology would be more profitable in the long run. For instance, maybe we could have convinced GM that gas prices were going to hit $4/gallon and they'd have the market on green cars cornered if they released the EV1. :evilgrin:
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 1:47 am

Ok, Sarvis says that we should hire a lot of marketing experts to convince consumers that electric cars are cool, and convince investors that green technology is profitable. He also suggests funding mass transit infrastructure, which I agree with given the assumptions we are using for this experiment, and I adopt that for my answer as well.

Its your turn now Ashiwi.
Last edited by Corth on Sat May 24, 2008 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Lilira » Sat May 24, 2008 1:50 am

At almost 4 bucks a gallon (in Kentucky anyway) who needs to tax us into submission? $50+ to fill my van today. (3/4 of a tank)

Travel for Memorial Day this year is supposed to be at an all time low. People who would normally be heading out to go camping with the family... staying home because it costs more to gas up the car than buy supplies.

Aside from swimming lessons the first two weeks of summer, and a trip in August, we're pretty much staying home all summer. I wonder how long before I pull all of my hair out?

Suggestions on how to beat the pump? We're organizing grocery days. Those of us in the neighborhood with vans are going to call up a couple of friends to do a grocery day on the weekends when the menfolk can watch the kids. I went to the store today and checked with two of my neighbors to see if they needed anything while I was out. There are lots of places that simply do not have public transportation, and alternate means are not at all practical. (Two kids and me on bikes taking the major highway into town.)

The biggest thing about gas prices right now... there is no flippen reason that oil should be up this high! None. Oil barons pocketing the extras, inspiring panic so the stocks sell. Its stupid. Its not just affecting us at the pump, but the airlines, stores (shipping), etc. I'm interested to see how trashed the entire economy is going to be by this stupidity because businesses will have to pay more for gas, lay off workers to make up for the cost as well as raise prices.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 1:54 am

Well Lilira's last paragraph was dealt with already maybe 80 posts back. But The first part of her message is actually worth looking into a bit. Interesting how expensive gasoline changes behavior. People aren't driving as much. Organizing 'grocery days' to cut down on trips to the store. I think this certainly tends to validate my position that increasing taxes on gasoline would encourage use of fuel efficient vehicles and use of mass transit. It only took $4.00 gasoline to get this far. Imagine the results we would get from $8.00 gasoline!
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 1:56 am

Corth wrote:Imagine the results we would get from $8.00 gasoline!


An economy which grinds to a complete halt?
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Ashiwi » Sat May 24, 2008 2:06 am

My answer is that I've never run for Congress, and I never want to. I believe more in the power of individuals to work together to effect progress. If even one person here sees the common sense in making changes in their lives, even if those changes might slightly inconvenience them temporarily, if they put any thought at all into what's in the air their children are breathing, if they ask questions and ask for answers from the people who can give them, if they use their buying dollar to express their opinions and sway the markets, then we're one individual closer to making a difference.

Good legislation comes from differences that individuals make in their communities. The buying dollar is what it will take to convince the motor companies to build with an eye toward the environment, not the protests and lawsuits that it took to get large corporations to start cleaning up our waterways.

I buy in quantity and separate into portions myself. I use cloth grocery bags. When I use plastic, I recycle it. I drive when necessary, plan my trips, treat myself occasionally, and carpool when possible. I try to pay attention to where my money goes, and when I do make purchases, I try to make them with an eye toward the impact it will have on the world around me. I've talked the local Wal-Mart into making their recycling bins more noticable. I try to take steps every day. Sometimes I backslide. I limit my energy consumption in my home, and as I replace my appliances, I make sure I'm getting a product that keeps my energy consumption low. I support innovation and pass the word along to those around me when I come across it. I vote. I'm vocal. I support causes I believe in.

I'm not a hermit in a hand-hewn log cabin, by a long shot. I'm an individual trying to make my own difference. I don't want to run Congress or anybody else's lives. I just hope that people will give the situation enough thought to take even one step toward change.


What, did you want me to give you the list of silly answers, again? I'd legislate funds for somebody to pinch you every time you left a light on. I'd tax your sandwich baggie. I'd cut your power and feed your poodle plutonium so he could poop light.

Better?
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 3:48 am

Corth, you can talk all you want about how it's just "life." Ash and I want "life" to be better, not the same as it is now. So you may be ok with the Free Market reacting to something only once it's become a problem, while Ash and I are both looking for a more proactive society.

The free market won't create that, it won't prevent problems and in fact it frequently creates them. You can hollar to the hilltops that the free market is solving the fuel crisis, and you're right. It failed to prevent it though, and that's where it failed.

Your previous questions were no doubt meant to lead us into legislation you could then show would fail, and the point you're missing is that I haven't promoted legislation as a solution at all at any point in this debate. I'm only showing where the market is deficient, where it does not deserve credit for letting a problem flourish.

Let's have another example. In the mid-to-late 1800's ice cream was becoming marketable. Street vendors would sell "penny licks" to the public, and serve them in small glass cups. It was certainly profitable, unfortunately since washing the glasses would increase expenses most vendors did not. These penny licks became a huge factor in the spread of tuberculosis, until regulations forced vendors to stop using them.

Now, I'm absolutely certain that you'll look into this and come up with a defense. Namely it will be that waffle cones were invented and began replacing the glass cups at around the time the health regulations were passed. Three things about that though:

1) Some vendors continued to use the glass cups without washing them
2) Cones weren't invented as a solution to the TB problem
3) A simple, but less profitable, measure could have been taken to keep people from catching TB even before the regulations or cones were invented

Frankly, if companies ever... EVER took option 3 they'd face a lot fewer regulations today.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 4:04 am

Sarvis,

I gave both you and Ashiwi an opportunity to propose how you would use the power of government to promote environmental changes.

The best you could do was to hire fucking marketing people to convince people that energy efficient cars are hip. And umm, i guess the same marketing people are supposed to brainwash GM executives into believing that something is going to be profitable when its not. I'm sorry, but its a fucking weak weak response. Its more of that magical fantasyland should be could be crap.

Ashiwi did not answer the question. She essentially said that she would not use the power of government to promote environmental changes.

You say you want a greener world, but you cannot propose a single realistic way of getting it. All you can do is criticize a proposal certain to work, expensive gasoline. The economy would grind to a halt? They're paying more than $8 per gallon in Europe and things seem to be ok there.

Now, I'm not actually suggesting the government should do that. I just used this to illustrate the point that giving people and corporations real economic incentives is the only way to guarantee a change of behavior. Ashiwi could go 50 years trying to convince one person at a time to make their own individual difference.. and, umm, you get what we have now. But if gasoline was taxed to $8.00 per gallon, you can be sure that in addition to 'grocery day', and less memorial day driving, people would start working closer to home, using mass transit, riding the bike to the store instead of the car, or perhaps buying the new GM volt which runs on electric for the first 40 miles. People would use local products instead of shipping crap halfway around the world. Etc. etc. All the sustainable things that people like Ashiwi have been trying to convince us of for 50 years.

Your marketing expert plan is utter crap. A fantasy. Sorry.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 4:43 am

Yeah right, corth. Propaganda never, ever works. :roll:

You say you want a greener world, but you cannot propose a single realistic way of getting it.


You're so out of touch you forgot you actually agreed with one of my suggestions, aren't you? Or is improving our mass transit architecture suddenly "fantasy land" crap?

No comments on my example with the penny licks? No desire to comment on an obvious travesty of the free market? Come on Corth, I'm discussing in good faith here...why aren't you? Just traps and equivocation.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 4:55 am

yes, improving mass transit infrastructure without giving ppl an incentive to use it is worse than fantasyland crap. Its a big waste of taxpayer money.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Ashiwi » Sat May 24, 2008 5:21 am

Your logic is fantastic ... except the reduction of gasoline usage doesn't automatically assume the reduction of pollutants and a more environmentally friendly way of life. Doing away with one pollutant does not assure that another will not take its place.

You make an assumption that A=B, but while A is a great part of B, they are neither equal nor are they mutually inclusive.

You know, you should really work on your subtlety. I'll be the first to agree you're a far superior debater than I will ever be, but I am not now, nor will I ever be, a politician, and to pretend to be one, or to pretend that I have the background to determine what is appropriate legislation would just be silly of me.

I'm not a politician, but I know enough about it to know that heavy-handed legislation tossed down from on high would be rejected almost unanimously by the people it's meant to protect.

Should I have suggested Ethanol? I feel it's a short-sighted prop that undermines charitable subsidies and is being used to inflate the value of both produce and meat products. It's resource-intensive and it's illogical and unrealistic as a single solution to the problem. Electric? As a mass transit energy source, perhaps, but for the general population we come around to the same damaging pollutants, only from a different source. Electricity has to be created out of natural resources, and we don't have a hydro-electric dam in Oklahoma large enough to support the state's population of homes, let alone all the vehicles they drive. The solutions to be had are in the new products that are only now out on the fringes of the market ... the same ones that I suggested earlier could end up being both a boon to the public and to the pockets of the owners of the technology.

So thank you for the opportunity to inflate your ego a bit, but I decline, feel free to congratulate yourself, anyway, seeing as how you already have. In the meantime, I'll go about my business of trying to get one person at a time to give this whole process some thought... and when they do, I'll be tickled to hear they told their friends, who told their friends, who told their friends. I'll continue to support the research and development of more realistic long-term solutions, and I'll continue to make changes through my votes and my buying dollar. I'm sorry you don't feel that the environment directly impacts your health or the health of your loved ones, but there are plenty of allergist/asthma specialists to handle your needs as your child grows to adulthood.

Although you need to book an appointment early, because they seem to be running a booming business this year.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 6:02 am

Corth wrote:yes, improving mass transit infrastructure without giving ppl an incentive to use it is worse than fantasyland crap. Its a big waste of taxpayer money.


Right. Sure. The only reason for anyone to do anything ever is to make money. :roll:
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 6:19 am

Ashiwi, theres not much for us to talk about is there? Your apparently trying to convince one person at a time to do... something, which you don't state. You will continue to try and change things through your votes (without disclosing what it is you support). All I can say, basically.. is umm.. good for you? I don't know what happened. You used to have some interesting stuff to say.. and over the past year you have really lost your edge. Too much rural solitude?

Ok Sarvis, you have the last word. Tired of going back and forth between basic economic theory and basic fantasy. The gasoline tax idea is a common leftist proposal to deal with global warming.. one that I would never support, but i put it forward to illustrate a point. You just want to disagree with anything that is market oriented. Its dogmatic and boring. I'll join back in if the conversation gets interesting again.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby shalath » Sat May 24, 2008 8:25 am

Here in the UK, in the last year the average price of Petrol (what you call Gasoline) has gone up from 90p per litre ($6.80 US per Gallon) to £1.15 per litre ($8.70 US per gallon), and diesel has gone from 95p per litre ($7.20 US per Gallon) to £1.35 per litre ($10.22 US per Gallon).

The effect on almost everyone has been marked. People are driving less, people are car sharing, people are thinking about where they go - these things are good for emissions I'm sure. However, people are not going out as much, people are spending less in shops and restaurants when they do, and in general everyone is feeling poorer. Here in London, at least I have good public transport (yea I can complain all I want and it's not quite Tokyo, but it's much better than many other places). I can't imagine what life must be like out in the country at the moment, where you have no choice but to drive.

Putting huge taxes on fuel is not the answer. I don't have the answer. But the high taxes on our fuel are frankly killing us at the moment. And the trouble with taking your taxes from fuel is that it's addictive and impossible to give up. A large chunk of our government's income now comes from fuel taxes - if they were to somehow lower them, there would not be enough money to run the country, and they'd have to cut in other areas - like free healthcare, free schooling, and so on. They can't and won't do it, so we're in a catch 22.

-simon

(NB. The above was based on the US Gallon, where 1 US Gallon = 3.78541178 litres. The numbers get worse if you use 1 UK Gallon = 4.54609188 litres)
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Lilira » Sat May 24, 2008 1:35 pm

Thanks Shalath.

You added something I tried to point out in my post by pointing out the problems of people who live in the 'country'. *shrug* I'm not a debater, have never claimed to be. The US has far too many areas that are still fairly agrarian for mass transportation to be successful. But then, they require fuel to run things like... tractors, harvesters, trucks to get the crops to market (whatever size). The US also uses tractor trailers to make deliveries of things like food to the grocery stores etc. Kentucky is pretty farm based, and the current gas prices are hurting farmers who are already struggling to make ends meet. Its not just things like holiday travel that are effected, its day to day life.

Raising the gasoline prices unless there is a plan to give tax breaks for certain 'groups' would make things worse, not better, no matter how you look at it.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Corth » Sat May 24, 2008 2:10 pm

Shalath, Lilira,

Don't get me wrong. I'm the guy that doesn't want to tax anything. I intrdouced the 'gas tax' idea purely to demonstrate to Sarvis and Ashiwi how they're goal of reducing greenhouse emmissions would best be effectuated through market means. Its the best possible way of changing behavior, and changing behavior is their goal.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 2:21 pm

Ok Corth, you have the last word. You just want to disagree with anything that is not market oriented. Its dogmatic and boring. I'll join back in if the conversation gets interesting again.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby jalahin » Sat May 24, 2008 2:39 pm

A tax scheme is one way to make people stop and really consider the ramifications of their fuel consumptions. While Lilira is likely correct that there would need to be certain accommodations made if such a tax were assessed, the fact of the matter is that everyday habits would change (i.e. going out less, spending less, etc.), and the policymakers of the U.S. may well decide that these are acceptable costs.

Another way to address this problem is a more top-down approach by putting the onus on car manufacturers to work some emissions magic, much like the way the EPA regulates in big industry. Without boring you with the regulatory specifics, the EPA has employed the so called "technology-forcing" mandate included in Clean Air Act by setting certain emission limitations prohibitively low to force industry to develop cleaner technologies. The sheer resistance by a surely united car manufacturing industry against such a regulation leads me to believe that any attempt by the EPA would be ridiculously delayed/ossified by lobbying, and that even if successfully passed it would face endless litigation.

As things stand now, when someone purchases a gallon of gasoline, they are paying only the motive power of the fuel, and not at all for any of the damage/pollution they are causing. So, to some extent, the necessary action depends on your view of humanity's role on this planet: Are we here to use to the exclusion of future generations, without regard to the burden we are building for our children, or are we stewards that minimize downstream effects?
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 24, 2008 2:50 pm

jalahin wrote:Are we here to use to the exclusion of future generations, without regard to the burden we are building for our children, or are we stewards that minimize downstream effects?


Obviously the former, the latter is just pure fantasy!
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Ashiwi » Sat May 24, 2008 4:07 pm

As Simon points out, the increased cost of fuel cuts into the pocketbook so much, people make active decisions to give up activities that were supporting their local economy. The answer is not in oil, no matter how you look at it.

The answer is in the alternatives, but the alternatives are not yet at the point where they're truly marketable when taking into consideration mass production, cost factors, current legislation, market resistance, and other factors such as media and marketing by controlling interests that sway public opinion. Utilizing alternatives is going to require a massive revamping of life as we know it, and there's not going to be anybody out there who's going to be ready for overnight changes. The innovators who step forward and make the market work for them, however, are going to make a fortune. Over the next fifty years, as emerging technologies vie for lead positions in the market, we're going to see a lot of "Beta vs VHS" competition as alternatives are marketed, touted, chosen, and discarded.

I've never disagreed with you that higher fuel taxes could be a primary mover for this process. Disgruntlement and desperation drive innovation in the US... that and the almighty dollar. What is unfortunate is that the majority of the innovation is coming from overseas.

Bush's legislation on MPG forecasts for the US was laughable. Who's pocket was he in for THAT one? I'm sorry, but there's no other way to see that issue. 35 mpg by 2020??? Are ya kiddin' me??? The technology's already there to make vehicles that fuel efficient. It's already being utilized by foreign markets.

"These numbers are very challenging. They will stretch the industry to innovate in ways they haven't had to do in the past and will continue to set us on a course to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new autos," said Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and others.

That's a total joke when you compare what we have in the US and some of the models that are coming out overseas. On top of that, incentives for wind and solar power were pretty much stripped from the bill, and the requirements for ethanol production were jacked up disproportionately. The ONLY reason to support ethanol as an alternative is as a boost to the farming community, but it's a stopgap measure, a spotted elephant used to make people think real measures are being taken. Economics and technology both are going to overtake the artificially low standards set forth in this law. Bush didn't set a law for anything that the automakers don't already have. You want real change in the industry? Have the government put its money where its mouth is and use the collective buying dollar to offer incentives to industry. Federal vehicle purchase contracts requiring consecutively higher standards might generate some interest.

Do you think Charles Territo has read ANYTHING regarding some of the more innovative hybrids edging their way into the market lately? Do you think he's hoping that none of the general public has? Has he checked out the Aptera? It's too bad it's being produced by one of those innovative private companies, instead of a corporate structure that could bring mass production costs down. With plug-in hybrid and ethanol technology where they stand RIGHT NOW, we could have vehicles on the road with an average of $0.75/gallon comparative cost in fuel efficiency, not even taking some of the more extreme hybrid choices into account.

I'm not a huge fan of plug-in vehicle technology, because it all boils down to a dependence on fossil fuels, but over the next fifty years we'll have to move in steps to get where we could have been today, had we only started working on the "fantasy" fifty years ago. China and India aren't going anywhere, and their fuel consumption isn't going to magically decrease. As those countries expand their resources and markets, their consumption will only continue to climb until it reaches the critical stage where necessity steps in. I'm at a loss to even consider how their differing cultures will impact the "economy vs environment" debate, but I'm not predicting a huge environmental win over corporate and government interests any time in the near future, and the heavier they play, the more we pay.

We can begin to wean ourselves off the immediate hit at the pump, but oil prices drive more than the cost of our own driving. Eventually the cost of maintaining even a high efficiency plug-in will make us question how we'll be able to pay our electricity bills. With the reduction of incentives for alternative source fuels, the oil companies maintain their hold on the markets, no matter what type of vehicle we drive. It will be individuals that drive the move toward solar and wind resources, and eventually the government will have to recognize the need and institute legislation that will encourage innovation in the field at a rate that will make it available for the common man. You think it's not possible? Move to Oregon and learn what it means to backfeed a meter.

Oregon is a wonderful state to use as an example of a community showing growth in interest and marketability of renewables technology and green industry. While they have their issues, they're working to overcome those admirably, as can be seen in the huge strides the wood harvesting industries have made in the conservation of natural resources and reductions in emissions and pollutants. Oregon is a leading community in the US in encouraging a strong renewables market. As both the local governments and the private industries adopt a greener stance on how they do business, the trickle-down effect leads consumers to appreciate the benefits of a more environmentally-driven economy. Green innovations from soy-based clothing to rainwater-based cooling systems are making leaps and bounds in an environment that fosters and encourages such breaks from the fossil fuels-driven markets box the majority of the US is contained in.

If I was going to entertain any fantasy of me in Congress and real legislation that has a chance of making a difference in this particular field, it would probably involve the rate at which states remove barriers to the production of alternative source fuels by individuals. Instead of demanding a whopping 10 mpg increase per fleet, it would make more sense to encourage the usage of clean-energy vehicles driven through power supplemented by individual suppliers backfeeding their meters, powered by incentives to assist individual homeowners in becoming part of the community supply grid. When backfeeding becomes an economical reality, thus reducing dependence on fossil fuels, then I will become more of an advocate for the plug-in.

If you could take some of those fuel taxes and channel it into the reduction of solar/wind barriers and the implementation of viable local systems, I'd be all for it.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/ ... 8-2012.pdf
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Lilira » Sat May 24, 2008 5:01 pm

Ashiwi wrote:I'm not a huge fan of plug-in vehicle technology, because it all boils down to a dependence on fossil fuels, but over the next fifty years we'll have to move in steps to get where we could have been today, had we only started working on the "fantasy" fifty years ago. China and India aren't going anywhere, and their fuel consumption isn't going to magically decrease. As those countries expand their resources and markets, their consumption will only continue to climb until it reaches the critical stage where necessity steps in. I'm at a loss to even consider how their differing cultures will impact the "economy vs environment" debate, but I'm not predicting a huge environmental win over corporate and government interests any time in the near future, and the heavier they play, the more we pay.


Hate to disagree, BUT.... electricity is generated from more sources than gas right? Gasoline has one source, electricity can be gathered as previously mentioned, from the sun, from wind, heck, waterwheels could generate some too. Natural, clean, processes. Anyone with some extra land can look at putting up a wind turbine if they want. Is it cost effective initially? Most likely not. But guess what? We have a luxury densely populated places like India and China are running out of.... land. How much land does our government hold onto? Between BLM and the USFS we have some just sitting around to protect our countries critters. I'm not saying hand it over or criticizing its existence, I'm merely pointing out that the US HAS it. (Don't shoot me, I like parks/camping/protecting wildlife too!)

Also... we have nuclear. Other countries have nuclear. Problem with nuclear? People hear nuclear and freak. Millstone in CT is a nice example of a nuclear plant. My stepson has worked there. Biggest problem? Spent fuel rods. Those go into storage in places like Yucca Mountain. But there are alternatives still using nuclear power. The technology to provide cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, so electricity is NOT dependent upon fossil fuels. Its just cheaper for the power companies. Hubby was telling me that there is wonderful fishing in the waters near Millstone in CT, because the clean water the facility releases is warm. Plantlife and everything loves it there. In NM, WIPP stores nuclear waste. The environmental teams there are sooooooo careful you aren't even allowed to kill black widows or brown recluses. *shudder* Bunnies, antelope, birds... they still live there.

Yeah, ran off on another tangent. My major point is, CLEAN electricity is far easier to produce than gasoline. Will people like going to 100% electric cars? Not unless they can come up with a way to make those babies run at 75+ mph... along with portable batteries you can charge and carry to 'fuel up with' on long car trips. Either that or trains need to become FAR more reliable/rapid for transport. We wanna save gas? Heh... shut down NASCAR. :P
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Ashiwi » Sat May 24, 2008 8:20 pm

Of course it is, Heather, but if you'll read the rest of my post, you'll see where I addressed that.

The link I posted covers a lot of the information regarding what was being done to address the issue with solar (which also addresses wind power, to some degree), and what it's going to take to get us to the point where it's viable.

Unfortunately, right now, it's not. At the level we are right this moment, our utilities still maintain a great deal of dependence on fossil fuels, and in many areas there's not going to be any attempt to change that any time soon.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Latreg » Sun May 25, 2008 3:02 pm

Teyaha wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK5-8MFC0Uc

Vetrix. electric scooter. 70 miles on a charge



yeah but it cost over $11000, too bad really I would probably buy one as my drive to work is about 15 miles and all speed zones of 30 mph.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Sun May 25, 2008 4:49 pm

Latreg wrote:
Teyaha wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK5-8MFC0Uc

Vetrix. electric scooter. 70 miles on a charge



yeah but it cost over $11000, too bad really I would probably buy one as my drive to work is about 15 miles and all speed zones of 30 mph.


depending on your size and weight, you could consider a small 250-400 cc motorcycle or (if shifting puts you off) a scooter

scooters in that range can hit 70 miles per gallon. the 400cc scooter from suzuki can hit 75mph comfortably and is freeway legal if you need it for such things. plus the under-seat storage holds 60+ liters - enough for two full face helmets - so you dont have to lug it around with you when shopping.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Sun May 25, 2008 9:22 pm

bought a 2007 kawasaki vulcan 900 classic today. $6200 out the door including taxes and fees. 55-60 mpg.

http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/detail.aspx?id=273

what with giong back to school in the fall and gas already at 4.15 at the cheapest in my area figured it was about time. and the lower back support is fantastic even for a cripple like me.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Shar » Tue May 27, 2008 1:55 pm

My local gas station just hit $4.01 this morning for regular unleaded. It made me vomit just a little.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Wed May 28, 2008 3:19 am

stations around me went from 401 this morning at 6am to 4.17 at noon. even costco went over 4.00
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby flib » Wed May 28, 2008 6:57 am

I filled my 30 gallon Dodge Ram last week it was more or less on e, it cost me $115.00.. Now that was, like hrmm.. last umm friday? I think ya.. and it was $3.87 a gallon.. at $4.00 a gallon my truck is going to cost umm.. hrmm like $120.00 to fill. That's just sickening, and more or less despicable.

I was watching the news and they had some guy with an rv that had a 100 gallon tank or something diesel and he filled up at a little over $500.00 if you can't say Wtf to that I don't know what you can to. truly disgusting.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Wed May 28, 2008 5:43 pm

gas is expected to hit $5 by the end of the year. it's already well over $5 for diesel

i'm not an economist, but i dont get it. nobody went anywhere for memorial day weekend. supply is DOWN, demand is UP and prices are still going up? is this really entirely because of the asshole future speculators pushing the price of oil up? so basically no matter how much we conserve it will simply not matter in the long run as long as people keep investing heavily into oil futures?
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Wed May 28, 2008 6:29 pm

Teyaha wrote: supply is DOWN, demand is UP and prices are still going up?



Err... you mean the other way around, right? Otherwise I'm confused...
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Thu May 29, 2008 5:26 am

doh yes i did mean the other way around.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Fri May 30, 2008 6:04 pm

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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Todrael » Fri May 30, 2008 11:23 pm

"The only way out is through."

Science, education, research, new technologies... we need to advance the human race beyond this whole 'destroy the planet' mode. Hopefully we pass the threshold before we've used up too much or done too much damage. Not sure how much I'm going to contribute, though...
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Osheara » Sat May 31, 2008 1:47 pm

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/sho ... p?t=104121


This is a very well explained reason for the concept that the supply is down and keeps falling, the demand keeps rising, and the prices going up.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby sotana » Sat May 31, 2008 6:09 pm

In my job I have to track the prices of ag commodities (Chicago Board of Trade) which are in turn affected by energy prices so I end up reading lots of various reports. The Sparks report noted that Americans drove 11 billion less miles (eesh that's a lot of zeroes!) in March 2008 than March 2007. It was the first decline in March travel since 1979 and the sharpest monthly drop ever recorded by the Federal Highway Administration. I'm rather anxiously awaiting the May report to see how travel was affected with Memorial Day factored in.

I don't think anyone is arguing that Americans aren't feeling the gas price crunch and there's bound to be several factors determining whether or not folks are choosing to hop into their cars, but given the topic of this thread, I found it interesting to see numbers looking at it from this perspective. I know I started a watered-down version of hypermiling last year but I have not yet begun to cancel travel plans because of gas prices. Then again, you likely have to have travel plans in the first place.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby teflor the ranger » Sat May 31, 2008 8:09 pm

There are several unspoken benefits to the rise in the cost of automotive gasoline to the regular driver.

- Reduced traffic from increased carpooling and mass transit use.
- Reduced numbers of large recreational (read as: SUV) vehicles on the road.
- Safer speeds on highways as people try to drive more sanely.
- Environmental benefits as those who do not need to drive adjust their routines and behaviors to higher gas prices.
- Easier daily commute.

I've been enjoying the reduction of traffic and the virtual elimination of young drivers from the roads. The air is cleaner and we are reducing our gasoline imports.


Granted, I could afford $5 a gallon gas... But at least someone is benefiting?
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Latreg » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:50 pm

sotana wrote:In my job I have to track the prices of ag commodities (Chicago Board of Trade) which are in turn affected by energy prices so I end up reading lots of various reports. The Sparks report noted that Americans drove 11 billion less miles (eesh that's a lot of zeroes!) in March 2008 than March 2007. It was the first decline in March travel since 1979 and the sharpest monthly drop ever recorded by the Federal Highway Administration. I'm rather anxiously awaiting the May report to see how travel was affected with Memorial Day factored in.


maybe less miles driven but are there more drivers? Only real comparison would be gallons used in 07 vs gallons used in 08. I love statistics....
Last edited by Latreg on Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Botef » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:30 pm

I can deal with gas prices being high and having to think twice about one-stop trips to places that are not essential. I'm all for people not driving SUV's to commute by themselves to work and I agree that these prices will force alot of people to think differently but it isn't a win in my book.

What really gets me pissy about the gas prices is the insane impact it has on just about everything else. I work in a penny shop (print shop) which means most of my profit margins are in the .0 range, and price increases on shit totally throws a wrench in the works. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice bread, milk, and everything else rising .10-.50 cents in the last few months alone, its just insane.

The biggest hit for me has been the cost of paper. In the last six months the cost for a case of paper has nearly doubled. In the previous 10 years of being in business the cost per case has at most gone up 5-6% a year and in many cases has stayed the same. 10 years ago to last year it went from about $3.89 per case to 5.49. Since January it has gone from 5.49 to 9.87. I can't keep raising the price for prints every week, people wouldn't pay it, so instead I'm just stuck making less and looking for other ways to increase income and productivity but with the cost of everything rising so drastically its a losing battle. A number of my suppliers are already going out of business because the cost of fuel is just too great and they can't move their product around anymore.

Regardless of the situation I'm of the opinion our government needs to step in and do something to try and set things right, be it adjust gas prices or implement ways for people to shift to alternative options, mainly in the transportation sector like freight companies. Just riding this out under the guise that rising fuel costs will force consumers into something else is going to cripple the economy in the process.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:39 pm

up nearly $11 a barrel today. projected $150 by july 4th - another $0.50 at the pump
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:55 pm

Botef wrote:I can deal with gas prices being high and having to think twice about one-stop trips to places that are not essential. I'm all for people not driving SUV's to commute by themselves to work and I agree that these prices will force alot of people to think differently but it isn't a win in my book.

What really gets me pissy about the gas prices is the insane impact it has on just about everything else. I work in a penny shop (print shop) which means most of my profit margins are in the .0 range, and price increases on shit totally throws a wrench in the works. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice bread, milk, and everything else rising .10-.50 cents in the last few months alone, its just insane.

The biggest hit for me has been the cost of paper. In the last six months the cost for a case of paper has nearly doubled. In the previous 10 years of being in business the cost per case has at most gone up 5-6% a year and in many cases has stayed the same. 10 years ago to last year it went from about $3.89 per case to 5.49. Since January it has gone from 5.49 to 9.87. I can't keep raising the price for prints every week, people wouldn't pay it, so instead I'm just stuck making less and looking for other ways to increase income and productivity but with the cost of everything rising so drastically its a losing battle. A number of my suppliers are already going out of business because the cost of fuel is just too great and they can't move their product around anymore.

Regardless of the situation I'm of the opinion our government needs to step in and do something to try and set things right, be it adjust gas prices or implement ways for people to shift to alternative options, mainly in the transportation sector like freight companies. Just riding this out under the guise that rising fuel costs will force consumers into something else is going to cripple the economy in the process.


The ideas presented by small profit margins highlights economies of scale. Shakeups that shift prices shift the balance of businesses towards large business, which can better weather smaller per-unit profit margins by combining businesses and diversifying their sources of income.

We're headed towards consolidation and an increase in economic efficiency in America. It'll be unpleasant for the poor and unskilled middle class until the influencing factors plateau and stablize. For the wealthy, it presents unique investment opportunities for those quick enough to react.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Sarvis » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:15 am

teflor the ranger wrote:The ideas presented by small profit margins highlights economies of scale. Shakeups that shift prices shift the balance of businesses towards large business, which can better weather smaller per-unit profit margins by combining businesses and diversifying their sources of income.


Because less competition is a good thing!

We're headed towards consolidation and an increase in economic efficiency in America. It'll be unpleasant for the poor and unskilled middle class until the influencing factors plateau and stablize. For the wealthy, it presents unique investment opportunities for those quick enough to react.



Funny how those who already have tons of money can now get more, while the rest of us get the chance to worry how much our groceries will cost next week. Yay progress!
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby teflor the ranger » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:19 am

Sarvis wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:The ideas presented by small profit margins highlights economies of scale. Shakeups that shift prices shift the balance of businesses towards large business, which can better weather smaller per-unit profit margins by combining businesses and diversifying their sources of income.


Because less competition is a good thing!

We're headed towards consolidation and an increase in economic efficiency in America. It'll be unpleasant for the poor and unskilled middle class until the influencing factors plateau and stablize. For the wealthy, it presents unique investment opportunities for those quick enough to react.



Funny how those who already have tons of money can now get more, while the rest of us get the chance to worry how much our groceries will cost next week. Yay progress!


It should come as no surprise. Money makes money, that much is pretty clear. Furthermore, reality and progress are two seperate things. Reality: the world. Things change. There is no good or bad to the truth.

Also, this is part of an expected business cycle. Small businesses boom. Then big ones. This too is no surprise.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby avak » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:14 pm

This is a prime example of where strict capitalism fails the general populace and our overall quality of life.

We've known for a long time that there are a myriad of reasons to ween ourselves off of crude...environmental, rising price, foreign relations...etc. We've also known for a very long time that there are viable alternatives to crude that address all of the above issues and probably benefit the economy and the society greatly in the long run. Sadly, capitalism is concerned with near-term profits and cannot pursue abstract, long range strategies in the face of conflicting profit making capacity.

That is one of the main reasons we have a government, imo. It's shame that we've waited until now to be alarmed to the point of action. Wind has been developed at a snail's pace, but only developed at all thanks to government incentives. Same with solar and biodiesel and ethanol.

It's all well and good to take a traditional republican capitalist viewpoint that the weak deserve to be weak and the strong deserve to be strong, but it is way more complicated than that. I own two businesses with almost thirty employees. I've been in business now for almost three years and am just starting to see the light of day. All of my costs are skyrocketing and at the same time my employees are demanding more money so that they can pay their bills. So, while we, as a society, 'figure this out' some of us may fall by the wayside. In fact, a lot of people are going to suffer greatly. Based on several other threads on the board, I doubt my calls for moral obligations will be heard by many, but that is exactly what we are dealing with. Live for yourself or live for a purpose bigger than yourself...your choice.

A gas stimulus package is like pruning a tree while the rest of the forest burns down.
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby Teyaha » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:56 pm

some are blaming part of rising food costs on the development of biodiesel and ethanol
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Re: gas stimulus package?

Postby teflor the ranger » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:50 pm

avak wrote:This is a prime example of where strict capitalism fails the general populace and our overall quality of life.

We've known for a long time that there are a myriad of reasons to ween ourselves off of crude...environmental, rising price, foreign relations...etc. We've also known for a very long time that there are viable alternatives to crude that address all of the above issues and probably benefit the economy and the society greatly in the long run. Sadly, capitalism is concerned with near-term profits and cannot pursue abstract, long range strategies in the face of conflicting profit making capacity.

That is one of the main reasons we have a government, imo. It's shame that we've waited until now to be alarmed to the point of action. Wind has been developed at a snail's pace, but only developed at all thanks to government incentives. Same with solar and biodiesel and ethanol.

It's all well and good to take a traditional republican capitalist viewpoint that the weak deserve to be weak and the strong deserve to be strong, but it is way more complicated than that. I own two businesses with almost thirty employees. I've been in business now for almost three years and am just starting to see the light of day. All of my costs are skyrocketing and at the same time my employees are demanding more money so that they can pay their bills. So, while we, as a society, 'figure this out' some of us may fall by the wayside. In fact, a lot of people are going to suffer greatly. Based on several other threads on the board, I doubt my calls for moral obligations will be heard by many, but that is exactly what we are dealing with. Live for yourself or live for a purpose bigger than yourself...your choice.

A gas stimulus package is like pruning a tree while the rest of the forest burns down.


Of course, capitalism has seen gasoline producers become the number one producers of many alternative energy sources. Furthemore, it is also a cycle. As muh as it 'fails' the general populace, it benefits them as well - in fact, as the cycle has an overall upwards trend, it benefits the populace more than it fails it.

Mostly, the populace fails itself. People should know when their savings aren't enough, and a government cannot magically pull a constant economic growth out of it's collective behind, unless America is paying for it.

Just ask the communists.
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