Monday, June 09, 2008

Energy Hypocrisy (continued)

While listening to the radio on my way back from work this evening, I realized I completely forgot to mention one of the worst offenders in the insultingly high gas prices -- OPEC.

I heard an unsettling statistic on the radio. Although we are buying oil at over $135 per barrel, OPEC's oil production costs are less than $2 per barrel. You read that correctly. OPEC is hosing us for over $130 per barrel in profit. I knew it was bad, but wow... that is really bad. I'm gonna have to bump Congress down to the #2 worst offender spot, now.

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is a group of 12 states. These states are:

1. Algeria
2. Angola
3. Indonesia
4. Iran
5. Iraq
6. Kuwait
7. Libya
8. Nigeria
9. Qatar
10. Saudi Arabia
11. United Arab Emirates
12. Venezuela

There are a few thoughts that immediately come to mind, as I peruse this list.

Iraq -- where are our oil revenues? Rupert Murdoch, some time again, predicted that the oil from Iraq would result in $20 per barrel of oil. Yeah, that's really worked out. So much for the liberal claims that this war was about oil. If it was, the Iraqis "ain't payin up!"

Iran / Venezuela -- is it really a surprise to see OPEC screwing us on oil prices with these two countries on the list? They are led by total scumbags, Chavez and Ahmadinejad, who hate the United States and would do anything harm us.

I heard Bill O'Reilly talking on the radio earlier, and he was calling out the group of OPEC "thugs," citing the obvious notion that it's a national security issue to be relying on so many foreign sources of energy.

But he took it a step farther, arguing that government needed to mandate higher fuel efficiency standards and to require all kinds of hybrid and new technology vehicles. Last time I checked, people are feeling the crunch of higher gas prices, and the market already is figuring it out. Just a couple days ago, I heard that a major car maker (I want to say Ford, but I can't recall) is nixing a huge chunk of SUV and Truck sales in favor of more fuel efficient cars. We really don't need government getting into it and screwing around with the market. Market mechanisms are driven by supply and demand, with the largest factor being profitability. Unless you have spent that last few years living in an underground nuclear fallout bunker (I'm thinking that Brandon Frazier movie, "Blast from the Past"), it's impossible not to know that gas is expensive and that fuel efficiency is important. And the market reflects that. Car makers are touting the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, and many now offer a locked-in $2.99 per gallon gas price with a new vehicle.

But I will let you in on a little secret: the math has been done, and when you compare a normal gas-guzzling SUV to one of the new hybrid SUVs, it takes over 3 years for you compensate for the higher pricetag in gas savings. So, is it really worth that extra few thousand bucks? Only if you do a serious amount of driving.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw in that tidbit about those thieves OPEC.

You stay classy,


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