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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Prices of Gasoline

What’s going on here? Gas prices are all over the map and the only thing they have in common is that they’re all going up. I paid 3.61/9 a week ago in Cecil County when the price here in Shrewsbury was 3.79/9. Today the price here was 3.86/9 and I bought gas in southern Anne Arundel County at 3.59/9. The price at White Marsh was 3.89/9. It’s crazy!

The administration insists none of this is their fault. I don’t believe it. At least some of it is. Oil companies are not allowed to drill where they think they should, the north-south pipeline has been delayed, which even if only a short-term job producer with some doubt as to what will happen to the oil at the U.S. terminus, is a symbol of how bowing to the greenies has problematic value for Americans.

Not only that but the pursuit of renewable energy sources has led to intended and unintended consequences. Using corn for ethanol contributed to a worldwide shortage of corn and a spike in corn prices (and the prices of everything using forms of corn). The emphasis on biofuels is a scam causing taxpayers to subsidize an industry that is causing poorer gas mileage now and possible engine corrosion problems down the road. The investment in wind energy has been cut back significantly due in large part to the vagaries of wind availability, electric storage problems, not to mention putative bird deaths. Chevy just announced its temporarily shutting down its Volt assembly line because it can’t sell them fast enough. This comes when people are finally beginning to realize that the electricity these vehicles use has to come from existing electrical generation including polluting coal-fired plants. Solar energy is closer to being viable but still has its limits as the Solyndra debacle has emblemized.  

There is no question that renewal energy is in our best long-term interests, but we really should pursue the goal realistically. It cannot and should not be forced beyond the limits of available technology.

In the meantime, we should be maximizing the safe and efficient use of our increasingly available fossil fuels. After all, without them, we aren’t going to be able to build solar panels, wind turbines or whatever so far unknown means we may discover.
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2 comments:

  1. You complain a lot but have no viable solutions. I suggest that young children have more energy than they know what to do with and get into trouble because of it. We should force all of the high energy children to spend one hour, daily, running on a tread mill that is attached to an electrical generator that feeds electricity into storage batteries that can be used for a variety of energy needs. This would eliminate juvenile delinquency and solve our energy problem! Also, it would keep kids from driving us nuts and reduce mental illness. Now, why didn't you think of that?

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  2. I thought I did. I said we needed maximize and the idea you posit is certainly within that rubric . . . or not.
    The biggest problem remaining is probably storage. So, what kind of batteries should we use when storing the energy created by our enslaved children?
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