There is not very much we as consumers can “do today” to help reverse the escalating fuel prices and it’s financial impact, short ofÂ reducing the consumption. Frankly, we’ve not reached thatÂ price-pain threshold yet to convince most Americans to take action yet.
McCain has floated an idea to have a “holiday” from federalÂ gas taxes (currently 18.4 cents per gallon) for this summer season.Â Â Hillary Clinton has stated that she supports such a plan. Barak ObamaÂ thinks it’s a bad idea. (Interestingly, ObamaÂ voted for a very similar bill for Illinois back in 2000.)Â
Source: Wall Street JournalÂ
In a new policy split in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama opposed a federal gas-tax holiday supported by John McCain, the likely Republican nominee. Hillary Clinton said she would be open to the tax break.
Sen. Obama, who voted for a temporary gas-tax break when he was a state senator in Illinois, rejected a federal tax holiday as bad fiscal policy. The federal gas tax raises money to repair and expand the highway system.
In Illinois in 2000, Sen. Obama voted for a six-month, five-percentage point break on the stateâ€™s 6.25% gas sales tax. The reduction of the tax, which goes into a general revenue fund, passed on a 55-1 vote and included measures designed to ensure that the benefits of the tax break reached consumers. At one point, Sen. Obama jokingly asked on the Senate floor whether it would be possible to install placards on gas-station pumps telling motorists he had helped win temporary price relief.
When some state legislators tried to make the suspension permanent before it expired, Sen. Obama spoke out against that measure but defended his vote for the holiday, according to transcripts posted on the legislatureâ€™s Web site.
â€œI originally voted for the suspension because I thought that it was extraordinary circumstances, given the huge hike in prices,â€ he said at the time. Gas prices averaged $1.52 a gallon in March 2000.
You can check what your state fuel tax surcharge is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon the federal government takes.
From The Independent
Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel
By David Strahan and Andrew Murray-Watson
Published:Â 16 September 2007
Lord Oxburgh, the former chairman of Shell, has issued a stark warning that the price of oil could hit $150 per barrel, with oil production peaking within the next 20 years.
He accused the industry of having its head “in the sand” about the depletion of supplies, and warned: “We may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware.”
In an interview with The Independent on Sunday ahead of his address to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Ireland this week, Lord Oxburgh, one of the most respected names in the energy industry, said a rapid increase in the price of oil was inevitable as demand continued to outstrip supply. He said: “We can probably go on extracting oil from the ground for a very long time, but it is going to get very expensive indeed.
“And once you see oil prices in excess of $100 or $150 a barrel, the alternatives simply become more attractive on price grounds if on no others.”
Lord Oxburgh added that oil majors must invest more heavily in developing viable alternatives to oil and gas. “If you look at it from oil companies’ point of view, effectively what they’re doing at the moment is continuing business as usual, and sticking their toes in the water in a number of areas which might become important in future.
There has been a quiet buzz growing around the world, from New Zeland to Brazil to America – and also Isreal.Â Seambiotic isÂ working on a process forÂ growing algae using power-production by-product carbon dioxide in large farms for eventual harvesting into biofuel stock.
…In Israel, as in the US and the rest of the world, it is estimated that power plants produce about 40% of all greenhouse gases. By employing tactics designed by nature, however, Seambiotic believes it can lock up carbon dioxide emissions through a process called biofixation.
…Studies have shown that algae may be one of the world’s most promising biofuels. It is capable of producing 30 times more oil per acre than the current crops used for the production of biofuels; algae biofuel is non-toxic, contains no sulfur, and is highly biodegradable.
The company’s prototype algae farm in Ashkelon uses the tiny plants to suck up carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Seambiotic’s eight shallow algae pools, covering about a quarter-acre, are filled with the same seawater used to cool the power plant. A small percentage of gases are siphoned off from the power plant flue and are channeled directly into the algae ponds.
A brief interview with Brien Seeley, the President of CAFE, about the PAV Contest that’s underway this week.
Last weekend,Â The Cafe FoundationÂ kicked off their own version of the X-Prize, challenging inventors and engineers to create a viable Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) that can be used to overcome the grid-locked traffic problem that plagues much of urban civilization and wasted 6.5 BILLION gallons of fuel last year…
The Cafe Foundation, a nonprofit group of flight test engineers, on Saturday will kick off its first NASA-sponsored contest of personal aircraft vehicles, or PAVs, which is being held at the Charles Schultz Sonoma County Airport in California. The goal of the challenge will be to test the fuel efficiency and speed of PAVs–high-tech two-seater planes–so they could one day serve as a more economical, environmentally friendly way for people to get around and circumvent auto gridlock, according to Brian Seeley, president of the Cafe Foundation.
NASA is involved, fronting the quarter-million in prize money.
The future of moto-cross is battery power.Â Â Meet the Zero – a 120-lb battery powered thrill ride. This is not a toy – it’s ability to delivery power almost instantly means it’s first off the line, and can do 50-mph for 40-miles – then switch out the battery pack, and keep on racing. Thanks to the ZDrive engine.
The ZDrive engine delivers breathtaking acceleration, unmatched reliability, and extreme durability. A revolutionary, brushed permanent magnet electric motor that delivers over 20 horsepower, the ZDrive operates for long periods without overheating and requires virtually no maintenance.
The ZDrive uses one-tenth the steel and half the copper of competing DC motors, and delivers the best power-to-size ratio in the industry.
Want toÂ help stop global warming? New Scientist has a new article with a simple proposition – stop eating meat.
…That means that 2.2lb of beef is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions which have the same effect as the carbon dioxide released by an ordinary car travelling at 50 miles per hour for 155 miles, a journey lasting three hours. The amount of energy consumed would light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days…
The vegitarians think it’s a swell idea.
…Su Taylor, the press officer for the Vegetarian Society, told New Scientist: “Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints, but one of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some 40 percent of Americans would curb their driving habits if retail gasoline prices shot up to $3.50 a gallon, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
Surging energy costs have already forced many Americans to consider cutting back on travel, retail, and entertainment spending to ease sticker shock at the pump, according to the poll of 524 people across the country.
Gasoline prices in the United States, the world’s largest energy consumer, hit a record average in late May of $3.23 a gallon but have since slipped back to just above $3 a gallon, according to auto and travel association AAA.
Find out how Tesla Motorsâ€™s cutting edge low-emissions technology stacks up against conventional gas-powered cars and hybrids.
Read about the design and safety systems for the Tesla Roadsterâ€™s lithium-ion battery pack.
ASHLAND – The limited edition Brammo Enertia is the worldâ€™s first zero-emissions, battery-powered, plug-in, electric motorcycle. Designed by Brammo Motorsports, the American speciality vehicle manufacturing company, it will cost $12,000 (Â£6,000). Daniel Wood, the brand director of Brammo Motorsports, in Oregon, said: â€œThe motorcycle is aimed at the urban commuter who is looking for a solution for getting to work, school or somewhere else where the car is not necessary and a bicycle wonâ€™t hold its own in traffic.â€
Â Jim Wooten writes in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and opinion where he fears that Congress meddeling with the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 will cause gas prices to increase to $6.00/gal by 2016…
The Senate bill, grandiosely and falsely dubbed the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, should come with a section prohibiting price gouging â€” by Congress. The legislation â€œcould result in significantly higher prices for gasoline consumers,â€ according to Heritage Foundation researchers. â€œA review of S. 1419, including the just-completed section on tax changes, reveals that the bill could increase the price of regular unleaded gasoline from $3.14 per gallon (the early May national average) to $6.40 in 2016 â€” a 104 percent increase,â€ write Heritage Foundation researchers William W. Beach and Shanea Watkins.
â€œGas consumers can expect to pay between $3.16 and $3.79 a gallon for gas in 2008 after adding in the estimated impact of the Senate energy bill. By 2016, all states can expect gas prices in excess of $6. As a result of S. 1419, consumers would spend an average of $1445 more per year on gasoline in 2016 than in 2008,â€ they write.Â
Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, has been a critic of global warming for several years. Now he responds to critical questions posed by readers of the Financial Times:
Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, argues in the Financial Times that ambitious environmentalism is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity.
Mr Klaus writes that â€œglobal warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problemâ€ and the issue â€œis more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature.â€
Here’s a short video from a like-minded guy.Â If you are goingÂ try this, make sure that you do all your homework first. Too much acetoneÂ may cause worse mileage, and may damage your engine or sensors.
By Patrice Hill
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published May 24, 2007
The House yesterday passed a bill that would make price gouging by gas stations and oil companies a federal crime as prices at the pump surpassed a 1981 record reached at the height of the Iranian oil crisis. The White House, which has threatened to veto the bill, warned the legislation amounts to price controls and would lead to gas shortages and lines like in the 1970s.
The cross over the threshold of $3.23 a gallon reported by GasBuddy.com equals the inflation-adjusted record high for gas prices and heralds a new era of high energy prices and scarcity of fuel as growing demand in China, India and the U.S. collides with scarce new sources of oil and sluggish increases in gasoline production worldwide. Economists say the House bill will not help to ease those shortages or bring down high prices.
Business groups said the bill would be difficult to enforce and would set a dangerous precedent by opening the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits, further driving away any hopes of increased energy production that would take the pressure off prices.
Gas prices are spiking again â€” to an average of $3.22 a gallon, and close to $4 a gallon in many areas.
And some oil executives are now warning that the current shortages of fuel could become a long-term problem, leading to stubbornly higher prices at the pump.
They point to a surprising culprit: uncertainty created by the governmentâ€™s push to increase the supply of biofuels like ethanol in coming years.
In his State of the Union address in January, President Bush called for a sharp increase in the use of biofuels, along with some improvement in automobile fuel efficiency to reduce Americaâ€™s use of gasoline by 20 percent within 10 years. Congress is considering legislation calling for a nearly fivefold increase in the use of ethanol.
That has forced many oil companies to reconsider or scale back their plans for constructing new refinery capacity.
9:00a ET May 21, 2007 (Business Wire)
By THOMAS CONTENT
Posted: May 23, 2007
As gas prices hit another record last Friday, Jeff Curro couldn’t take it anymore.
He wasn’t a motorist at the pump fed up by the blur of numbers spinning higher as he filled his tank.
Curro is a gas station owner who has stopped selling gas to his own customers.
After selling gas at N. 124th and W. Burleigh streets for 20 years, Curro turned off his pumps at his Shell station in Brookfield when the price he was being asked to pay was just too much.
Including the wholesale cost of gas and other taxes and charges, he was being asked to pay $3.44 a gallon Friday, a day when the competing stations down the street were selling gasoline for $3.47.
“Three cents a gallon doesn’t cut it,” Curro said. “It doesn’t pay the bills.”
Add to that the money he loses every time a motorist uses a credit card at the pump, and there was no reason to keep selling gas, Curro said.
I’m dusting off the blog today.
I want to apologize for not posting more regularly recently. There is so much going on right now that I’ve not had the time to write. In fact, most of what’s going on is related to the very near future of Fuelishness! and FuelClinic.com – and I’m trying to keep it organized and remain focused.
My “real job” is keeping me occupied also, and promises to do so for the next few weeks until a major project is delivered. I wish I had the resources to devote all my time to FuelClinic, there is enough going on right now with fuel efficiency issues to keep me busy all week, but I have to keep the lights on so I can see what I’m doing…
The fuelclinic.com software isÂ still under development with version 1.0 in alpha testing (in the few spare hours between work and sleep), but I think version 1.0 beta will be available within a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.
Forget that frumpy Hybrid and go all-electric like a rock star. Tesla Motors is a California based company with a great idea, an aggressive business plan, and tons of style.
The Tesla Roadster sports an amazing figure, and amazing figures. It’s 100% electric, so you plug it into the wall at night to charge it. A full charge will take you 250 miles, for about 1 cent per mile (based on California electricity prices). Oh yeah, it goes 0 to 60 in around 4 seconds…
Tesla Motors is a forward thinking young car company. They are looking to change the way people think about all-electric cars. Next they will build a mid-priced family sedan, and after that they will be looking at the lower-priced variety of commuting vehicles. By starting at the top of the food chain (at $90K per Roadster) Tesla plans to use profits from higher-end early adopters, willing to pay a premium for one of the world’s quickest and greenest cars, to fund development into ways to reduce costs to make a more affordable second generation vehicle.
I’ll be keeping tabs on this technology, and will provide more details in the near future.
Welcome to my weblog Fuelishness!Our modern lives are saturated in fuels, yet many people are not aware of the impact fuels have on their personal lives, the impact of fuel production and consumption on our environment, or the power exercised by foreign suppliers using fuel supply and price as leverage to influence governments. Yet there are few subject as closely studied and widely reported as fuel.
There is a vast resource of fuel related information available online, from news outlets, official government resources, industry and trade organizations, and grass-roots technical, special interest, or environmentalist sources. There are also vast amounts of money and influence wrapped around fuels and their realted industries, and among those crowds they really arenâ€™t that interested in educating us about their profits.
With this blog, Fuelishness!, my goal is to wade through the sometimes confusing (and boring!) mire of information and bring to you the gems I find, the meat of the subject, and the most interesting and promising ideas for our future.
I am not a professional writer, Iâ€™m not even a particularly good writer, but I will do my very best to illustrate to you the important â€œtake-awayâ€ ideas that may help you understand your use of fuels more completely – and provide you links to the sources if you want to read more.
It is my hope, that through your understanding of fuels, that you will then have all of the information and resources you will need to decide how YOU wish to live in a fuel saturated lifestyle. Regardless what you decide to do in your life with what you learn here, you will have the information you need to know to make accurate decisions.
This weblog is the companion to FuelClinic.com – a website I am creating to help consumers understand their own personal use of fuels, starting with their vehicles.
These are tools I had built for myself, inspired by paper fuel-economy logs, to help me track and find trends in my own fuel consumption. When I plugged in the numbers for myself, I have to say, I was surprised by what I learned. I did not realize how much of each paycheck went to fuel my lifestyle (which by all accounts, is not a very fancy lifestyle).
If you have not yet created an account at FuelClinic.com, I recommend you do so. Itâ€™s free, easy, and eye-opening.
Okay – great – well, thatâ€™s mostly it for now! Iâ€™m glad to have you here, and I hope you enjoy your visit, and that you come back again to check in as often as you wish. Keep me bookmarkedâ€¦
PS: Comments and suggestions are always appreciated.