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    Why $5 Gas Is Good for America
    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 @ 19:24:11 GMT by vlad

    General The skyrocketing cost of oil is sending pump prices soaring. But it's also subsidizing research into new technologies that can change the energy game (by By Spencer Reiss /Wired Magazine).

    At the climax of his book Twilight in the Desert, Houston investment banker and energy guru Matthew Simmons describes a visit to the world's most powerful oil company, Saudi Aramco, in Dhahran. Simmons listens in horror as a senior manager reveals the kingdom's darkest secret. The old ways no longer suffice. To keep their aging wells productive, the Saudis now rely upon one information age prop after another: advanced analysis of rock cores, 3-D seismic imagery, software for diagnosing underground oil flows - all integrated using something called fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic? The Aramco man tries to explain the science of complex systems and partial information, but Simmons hears only tidings of a bleak future. Obviously, the end of energy as we know it is nigh...

    Yes, a few billion newly motorized citizens of BRIC - that's economist-speak for Brazil, Russia, India, and China - have turned up unexpectedly at the filling station, pushing prices sharply north. And yes, the oil world has lately endured more than its usual share of ugly headlines: insurgency in Iraq, unrest in Venezuela, mayhem in the Gulf of Mexico. And, OK, all those air-conditioned Cadillac Escalades are thirsty beasts. A million extra barrels a day burned here, a million fewer pumped there, a little geopolitical instability, and suddenly the price of the stuff that makes the wheels go around is flirting with historic peaks...

    So rising oil prices are more than just an irritant or even an ominous nick out of the GDP. They're an invitation to corn and coal and hydrogen. For anyone with a fresh idea, expensive oil is as good as a subsidy - with no political strings attached. Indeed, every extra penny you pay at the pump is an incentive for some aspiring energy mogul to find another fuel...

    The cost of developing entirely new energy supplies is daunting, but the money is available - and we're not talking about the $14.5 billion porkfest served up by Washington's recent energy bill. The global oil industry will rake in three quarters of a trillion dollars this year. And when that kind of money is up for grabs, investors are never far away...

    So what's a price-shocked, carbon-afflicted highway jockey to do? Keep driving. In fact, drive more. The longer gas stays expensive, the higher the chance we'll see alternatives. Put that pedal to the metal. And smile when you see a big black $3 or $4 out in front at the gas pump. Those innovators need all the encouragement they can get. Shale oil, uranium, sunlight - there's enough energy out there for a dozen planets. Where we'll all park is another matter.

    Read the whole story here: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.12/gas.html



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    "Why $5 Gas Is Good for America" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

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    Re: Why $5 Gas Is Good for America (Score: 1)
    by ElectroDynaCat on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 @ 07:56:35 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    When the gushers begin to dribble, as we're seeing in Saudi Arabia right now we're going to see where Big Oil is putting that money that we give them at the pump.

    Its going to take a lot of $ to build another energy infrastructure to replace whats in place, and hopefully Big Oil is not investing in shoes or bicycles.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, slow but steady progress is being made on the conceptual barriers to unlimited energy from the vacuum fluxuation.

    Re: Why $5 Gas Is Good for America (Score: 1)
    by DoItDontJustWriteAboutIt on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 @ 08:32:49 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    The rest of the world has been paying over $4 per gallon at the pump for years, whereas pricing in the USA at times fails to keep up with general inflation.  It is no wonder everybody else just laughs whenever people in the US are whining about gas prices.

    Of course if one believes pricing and profits are unfair--in any industry--then the only rational thing is to buy and hold stocks in the most unfair of those firms.  Then take the resulting "excessive and unfair" profits personally, and do as you wish with them (including investing in alternative energy research, or just buying more gas).  No one can stop you, and it's more fun and effective than whining.


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