if Congress allowed drilling in ANWR region of ALaska. Congress caves to enviormental extremeists and hasn't allowed it.Call Congress and demand we be allowed to drill there. There are BILLIONS of gallons of oil there. Call (202)224-3121
That's the whole point. We are transferring our wealth to foreign countries because today, there is no alternative to foreign oil to produce fuel for our vehicles. Our dependance on foreign oil is the single reason that we as a country MUST compete in the world economy on the worlds terms rather than our own. Countries like Norway, who are energy self sufficient can effectively control their own standard of living. The USA has not been able to do that since the 1970s because we have to compete with the rest of the world for oil. It effects everything from the value of the US dollar to the wages of the US worker. It ties our governments hands to the use of tarrifs and tax incentives, and essentially puts others, including global corporations in full control of our domestic economy and ultimately our standard of living. My point is that the USA could be completely energy independant and stop the long term downward spiral of our standard of living if only congress would ensure that hydrocarbons produced from sources within our borders, (such as coal) remain profitable, even in a low global oil price environment.
Agreed. Anyone who burns oil is part of the problem. It seems to me that the west is still desperately trying to find ways to sustain its old way of life while the energy world changes around us. Eventually the realities of change will sink in. We can't maintain the old way of life, but surely that doesn't necessarily mean that we can't have a comfortable life in a new, less energy-intensive world.
> Sassol in South Africa have had a coal to gasoline plant in operation for over 10 years
Over 50 years, in fact. Apartheid South Africa built the original plant because the world refused to trade with them, for very good reasons. It's a nice irony that the process they used was perfected for the same purpose by another violently racist regime. Not that atoms have any sense of morality, I hasten to add. Anyway, SASOL simply wasn't subject to normal commercial pressures. I believe it's very profitable now, though it may never work off the negative NPV it accumulated during the cheap oil decades.
> ... stop the transfer of US wealth caused by our purchase of foreign oil.
Nonsense on stilts. $130 will buy you a barrel of oil that is worth exactly $130. You don't believe me? You can immediately sell it for exactly the same amount if you change your mind. Then you can use the proceeds to pay the $130 that SASOL will charge for a barrel of their own product.
If you don't want to give your dollars to other countries, why do you choose to buy their oil?
Gas prices could be driven down very quickly through competition if the US government (and governments of other oil importing countries) would pass the right legislation. Coal conversion to gasoline and other chemicals currently manufactured from oil is profitable when oil is at $40 to $60 per barrel. If our government were to pass legislation to provide price support to coal based hydrocarbons when the price of oil falls below $60 per barrel, companies would be willing to build coal to gasoline conversion plants. Sassol in South Africa have had a coal to gasoline plant in operation for over 10 years, so it's not a technology issue, its purely a market issue. The reason more plants are not being built is that when oil falls below $40 per barrel, coal to gasoline plants become unprofitable. OPEC know this and can control oil prices to stifle competition from alternate gasoline sources such as coal based gasoline. Oil is in effect a monopoly today. If we are going to take control of the the price of oil, subsidies have to be put in place for alternate gasoline sources such as coal. It's no different than providing subsidies to farmers for corn and other farm products to ensure their supply during low price environments. In the long run, subsidizing coal conversion to gasoline is a much lower cost to the US economy than continuing to export our wealth to the middle east. The cash generated from domestic coal based gasoline will stay within the US economy, create jobs, generate tax revenue etc. and will stop the transfer of US wealth caused by our purchase of foreign oil.