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View Diary: Obama administration to release oil from strategic petroleum reserve (96 comments)

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  •  High gas prices killed the Hummer... (4+ / 0-)

    and brought on a surge of hybrid purchases, an increase in the use of public transporation and high density housing around urban areas.

    In other words, what slowed the economy in the short term a few years ago prompted a natural - and very welcome - long term change in our behavior towards more efficient use of our resources. It was capitalism in action.

    And now here comes the government again, using emergency supplies to artificially lower prices. I understand people are hurting and the economy needs a jolt - just wish Obama would consider different tools in its arsenal other than manipulating market prices to do it.

    •  green will come (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dillonfence, GMFORD

      all by itself when it is the better economic choice.

      Trying to rush its birth via taxes and subsidies will just make us less competitive in the world.

      Let other governments force green. That will drive up their costs (and lower ours as oil demand is depressed).

      I expect we have a few humps before that really happens. Higher crude prices will make new sources of oil profitable to extract holding back price increases for a while.

      Things will get exciting when another tech becomes competitive with oil. When consumers start switching en masse, oil demand will fall as will prices. could be huge price volitilty when we get there.

      •  That was some serious wisdom there (0+ / 0-)

        "Let other governments force green."

        Breathe in some air man (and take it for granted).

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I cannot disagree with this line of thinking (0+ / 0-)

        strongly enough.  It's analogous to saying we shouldn't turn the Titanic until we see the iceberg or that we shouldn't prepare for an approaching Cat 5 hurricane until the winds are at least 85 mph in our neighborhood.

        The Hirsch Report said if we had 20 years to prepare for peak oil not much economic damage will result.  10 years and it will be difficult but doable if we have a real crash course in making the societal changes.  If we wait until peak we are really screwing ourselves.

        If you even think that that analysis is somewhere in the ballpark of reality than it becomes clear that we should shape markets now (well, years ago) to properly make the shift that we ALL KNOW has to be made.

        May I also suggest you bookmark theoildrum.com and get a lot better analysis from people a lot smarter than me.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:43:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  those analogies (0+ / 0-)

          might work if there was some specific moment/event to be avoided (an iceberg). But there isn't so i don't think they work.

          The transition away from oil will be a decades long process that will occur naturally as prices move and technology evolves.

          I think that there are also great costs to moving to green too soon.

          such as...

          the first green techs will be surpassed by later generations. Some of the earliest cars were steam powered. It would have been a colossal blunder to go all in on steam powered cars.

          If green doesn't become competitive pricewise with oil, people won't switch and the dollars spent will be wasted.

          •  We definitely view it differently (0+ / 0-)

            I think that what is represented in the top graph on this link is a tremendously important event in the history of mankind.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            But because we can't easily change cars, change jobs, change where we live, change what we eat and we can't fix an economy where our discretionary spending vanishes in an incredibly short span of time we can't just hope and pray that market economics carry us through.

            And as far as betting on a single technology to get us through, your point is taken and that is why you need broad macroeconomic changes in energy policy to promote a wide variety of new ways of approaching the coming energy crunch.  Don't bet just on CFLs but create a market where CFLs, LEDs, OLEDs or even newer technology can make work better than what we have now.  Taxes on electricity in combination with "X Prize" type incentives does that.

            Or on the transportation side, increase gas taxes so that EVs, EREVs, PHEVs, fuel cell, mass transportation and freight rail all are given boosts in the competitive market and let human nature and market forces guide us to the more efficient and sustainable way of doing things.

            Finally, PV and wind are nearly cost competitive and will be so within this decade.  They both could have been cost competitive years ago with the proper tax and subsidy policies and America could be the leader in both fields but we aren't and it's because they were both left to market forces.  The point being you need far-sighted policies to make green (long lead time) technologies cost competitive and simply waiting for a huge escalation in energy costs to fix this balance is a conservative (and frankly dumb, no offense) idea.

            Be well.

            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

            by theotherside on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:14:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  he's doing the right thing (0+ / 0-)

      Everybody knows that the reserves are a finite supply.  The gas prices got high enough before the reserves were tapped that people will think twice about mpg before buying their next car.

      It's clear that this is temporary and we have to get off oil.  A temporary respite may help.

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