The Price of Transportation, by HorseDooty

As I write this today the price of a barrel is $136.56 as of today July 8th.  There are a lot of reasons we are told that the price is what it is.  Many say it is “supply and demand” and many say it is “the oil speculation marketers”.   The fact remains that the oil companies are racking in the profits like never before.  The oil companies are making BILLIONS (yes, with a B) but they refuse to offer any solutions to the crisis facing the US and the world.

On a web site (http://energytomorrow.org/economy/Market_Price_of_Crude_Oil.aspx) I found this:

“To put it in perspective, people gladly pay $3 a day for 20 ounces of coffee or bottled water. Consider the recent price per gallon of other items: coffee is about $32 per gallon; shampoo is nearly $40, orange juice is more than $7 and milk is about $4.

People constantly worry about oil costing $100 a barrel or more, but here’s what other things would cost per barrel: soda per barrel would be $126, mouthwash per barrel would be $682, and olive oil per barrel would be $2,370!”

What the above does not address is the fact that we don’t need to pay $3 coffee or drink a gallon of OJ at one time.   We need gasoline and diesel fuel to get to work and back home.  I know one guy that talks about what happens if it cost more to get to work and back per day than you make.  It ain’t pretty.  We can talk about alternatives for fuel and energy but it is going to take a while to get it in place.

Some of the things I would like to see happen in the mean time are for the price of fuel to be frozen by the oil companies at or around $3 per gallon.  The oil companies were making a very large profit there at $3.   THANK YOU VERY MUCH.  I would also like the car companies to make models that are energy green and affordable to the average middle income and below worker in this country.

I saw a TV show that featured the work of two young men that took a Prius (Toyota) and converted it to a car that used almost zero gallons of gas and was able to charge itself while in operation.  100 miles per gallon is not an unreasonable goal.  The point is if two young men can do this for about two thousand dollars, the auto industry should be able to do the same thing RIGHT NOW!

One of the differences across the US is the availability of public transportation.  In NYC where Backchannel blogger Brian lives, public transportation is readily available.  Subways and busses and taxis.  Here where I live there is a train to Dallas and a very poor Bus system and taxis that you have to call to get them to show up.  Over in Dallas there is a system called DART.  Dallas Area Rapid Transit.  That comes from the suburbs but only drops you downtown.  Dallas is much more than that.  I do understand that the ridership is up.

I hope we can find a way to be energy independent without laying waste to our nations shoreline.  I don’t believe we can drill our way out of this crisis.  And as I write this, my town is sitting over a gas field that several companies are going after.  The cost of this gas is the environment and roads.  The noise is pretty bad also.  The water table will probably not be able to sustain the drilling load.

I recently looked into taking a train to a town in West Texas.  I would have to leave here at 2 PM and arrive in the small town in West Texas the next day at 12 noon.  22 hours for a 7 hour car ride.  To be honest, I would not have to drive and use my gas but I would have to get a cab and find a motel at the layover and then find a cab in the AM and still have to pay about $150 each way.  Now when I get to the small town in West Texas, I have to find a ride to my friend’s house, which is 10 miles south of downtown.  I don’t think this is economically feasible.  So, I guess I will kill a few more petrols on that trip I take each March.

I don’t have the answers to this problem, but lets talk about it.  It is Friday and we could go fishing.

Adios para ahora, mis amigos

Yo soy un demócrata amarillo del perro.

¡yo soy Horsedooty

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81 Comments

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81 responses to “The Price of Transportation, by HorseDooty

  1. Horsedooty

    as an update today July 11, the price of oil is now $148 and change 10 bucks in 3 days

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  2. Chef Sheila

    Doots.

    A very smart comparison on the price of other comsumables. As a cook who goes to the store 3 to five days a week. I’m pretty stressed about the food increase and to see it in bulk is wild.

    But back to oil. The other comparison about a trip to your friends house is depressing and outrageous. While reading your piece, I began to think, “You need a horse”.

    great comments and very thought provoking.

  3. dnd

    Well, if we attack Iran and they shut down the Straits of Hormuz, oil will easily be over $200/bbl. Wheeee!

  4. Horsedooty

    Gee thanks for putting a happy thought on this issue d nd 🙂

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  5. Karolenna

    Hi Gang. Sorry for the length of this. What a breath of fresh air to come to this site unlike “the other site”. I went there Tuesday morning with some thoughts in mind to post and right away it got so negative I decided it’s not even worth it. Some on there will never change their minds. I’ve read your posts on here for a while, but I’m getting to the point where I don’t have the time to post much these days.

    After reading HorseDooty’s piece it reminded of a something that was in the Columbus Dispatch last year. Most of you may have already heard about this car that ran on water. There was evidently a 1995 documentary about it, but I never saw that. In case you didn’t the story behind it that ran in the Dispatch sure is intriguing, especially with the sudden death of the inventor after having some Arabs and the military show up.

    I worked for a rocket scientist who was a part of the Apollo Moon mission for over 15 years and talked with him about the car that ran on water. He says it is impossible, but then he and I had some interesting conversations while working together. I mentioned many times to him about things that people have said are impossible only to have someone “make it possible” through research. Anyway, I thought because the piece was about oil, how oil controls the world today through war and struggles of the common person, you may find it interesting.

    The car that ran on water

    Belief in Meyer continues today. So does suspicion about plots to silence him.

    Stephen Meyer recalled a phone call to his brother’s home in the 1980s.

    “He turned to me and said, ‘They just offered me $800 million. Should I take it?’

    “I said, ‘Hell yes. How much money do you want?’

    “He had been playing outside when the driveway suddenly filled with limousines. Men in turbans stepped out. In “stern, thick accents,” they asked for Meyer. “I remember, because I was not allowed in my own house that day.”

    They left briskly. Charlie was about to go inside when the driveway filled again, this time with military vehicles. “Army brass,” he recalled.

    At dinner that night, Meyer told them: “The Arabs wanted to offer me $250 million to stop today. You and this lovely family can live in peace and prosperity the rest of your days.”

    The Army officials, meanwhile, had questioned Meyer about what the foreigners wanted, thinking that a deal might have been struck, Charlie recalled Meyer telling the family.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/07/08/hydroman.ART_ART_07-08-07_A1_4V77MOK.html

  6. Happy Friday….

    Great post….public transport here(Cleveland) also stinks…if you need a cab half the time they don’t even show up. You can ride a “circular’ (one of two red buses that drive in circles – one drive clockwise and the other counter clock wise) On this red bus, a 11 minute auto commute will take one hour.

    Mr. Doots, I think the answer is under your nose……

    giddy up!!! bring back the horse and buggy.

  7. Well actually there is a bright side this to story, gasoline consumption is dropping as are air pollution rates. This is a story that fills me with very mixed feelings. While it’s true my transportation costs are fixed, my food and utility bills aren’t, and of course I don’t like seeing people who are being hard pressed by the sharp rise in energy costs suffer. But maybe, just maybe (all fingers and toes crossed) the American people will finally get it! We have to ween ourselves off fossil fuels, especially the imported kind, the best way to stop terrorist, stop sending them so much money!

  8. never gonna get it…..

    keep singing…it’s Friday….off to the dog park—–woof

  9. Horsedooty

    Mr. Doots, I think the answer is under your nose……

    giddy up!!! bring back the horse and buggy.

    actually, there are some students near here in a smaller town that are riding horses to school. I live out to the east of downtown and there is a lot of green space around and some of it have stables to house horse owner horses. If I lived where I live and had to work downtown it would probably take me about 2 hrs by horseback each way. But I like that sort of thinking. Horse pulled SUV’s

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  10. Horsedooty

    never gonna get it….. Get what?

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  11. I think UB was referring to my post doots with her “never gonna get it” remark.

  12. Horsedooty

    whew, Brian I was concerned there for a little bit.

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  13. my zippo lighter fell apart this morning, thank god I have a back up while I send the broken one in for repair, zippo means it when they say guaranteed for life, they don’t even charge to ship the repaired lighter back.

  14. dnd

    The good news about the energy crisis is there are so many things we can do to solve it. The bad news is we need to get started NOW!

  15. well dnd nothing like hitting the American people in their pocket books to get them motivated!

  16. Karolenna

    How do any of you feel about off-shore drilling? Should Congress lift the bans? I know Obama says it won’t affect us for at least another seven years, but McCain seems to be pushing for it. There seems to be a bi-partisan group in the Senate pushing for it now. It is not a fix, and I believe we’ve got to have alternatives for the future.

    http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2008/07/11/todrill.ART_ART_07-11-08_A1_SPANO0L.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

  17. I’m dead set against it, beside the environmental issues, we have to stop taking these band-aid approaches to our energy problems and get serious about long term solutions.

  18. From your link Karolenna- “Environmentalists have reacted with alarm to the idea of ending a 1981 federal moratorium on drilling offshore, primarily along the coasts of California and Florida. The ban grew out of a 1969 disaster off Santa Barbara when 3 million gallons of crude oil from an offshore platform covered 35 miles of coastline.”

    I am also set against it. I believe less oil use is the answer, not producing more oil.

    Plus it breaks my heart when oil spills devastate any wildlife, and and water

  19. dog's eye view

    welcome Karolenna.

    I’m not into drilling off the coasts either, for just the reason Burrito noted.

  20. dnd

    Technology has changed since the 1969 oil spill. Witness the platforms that were wrecked by Katrina. Didn’t spill a drop.

    That said, it won’t make much difference in the price of oil. The addition to world supply won’t be much. And since oil is priced on the spot market the only savings is transportation costs.

    My guess is that the call for offshore drilling is because the reserve size is such that the oil companies can amortize the cost of exploration and drilling. Which means more profit. Otherwise they’d be poking around on existing leases.

  21. Demand is dropping, this argument that there is a supply issue is just bullshit! Certainly off shore drilling would help with our trade balance issues but to claim it will drive the price down is just a load of crap!

  22. Horsedooty

    the Gulf of Mexico has plenty of rigs still working in the water. A photography friend is a partner in an oil company. He told me that they lost 3 rigs to Katrina. The Gulf of Mexico off Texas and Louisiana are pretty bad and I would not swim in the water and certainly not knowingly eat any fish out of those waters.

    Every expert that I have heard says we can not drill our way out of this mess.

    BTW, welcome Karolenna.

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  23. Karolenna

    I am also not in favor of off-shore drilling, but it seems to be getting a lot of conversation from both sides. I remember a big tanker leak in FL several years back, and we were at Pompano Beach then. Went for a walk on the beach and when I returned I had to have hotel staff help me remove the mess from my feet with a solvent. Just think what it does to wildlife.

    Forgive me if someone else has posted this someplace else, but T. Boone Pickens details his plan on the white board. Even though it is not a fix-all he says we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 38%. And, it would seem be to be good for communities, unlike drilling.

    http://www.pickensplan.com/

  24. Karolenna

    Thanks for the welcomes.

  25. dnd

    Where are my manners? Welcome Karolenna.

    If a successful oil man like T. Boone Pickens says we can’t drill our way out if this, that says something.

  26. Horsedooty

    politically T Boone and I are diametrically opposed to one another but there is no doubt he is smart and successful.

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  27. dog's eye view

    Incidentally, great column Doots.

    A friend in NC refitted a diesel Mercedes to run on vegetable oil. Very comfortable, and no noticeable cooking smell.

    He especially likes used cooking oil from a local Chinese place, and heat processes it in some still-like contraption in his back yard. He’s tried Burger King oil — it turns to sludge soon after processing, and he says Dunkin Donuts oil was the scariest.

    One day he was not feeling well, and his wife declined to tool us around in the Mercedes. (“I’m not drivin’ that experimental vehicle!”) Minivan it was.

    Great guy with wonderful wife. He was the car whisperer. Took him out for a drive in my car and he was listening to everything it was telling him. “That shimmy there tells us….I’m hearing a subtle …”

    He was entranced with making my already ancient Honda last for the rest of my life, but that’s cruel and unusual to me! Desperately want a different car once finish with the volunteering!! The thrill is gone!

  28. Karolenna

    Good to see you here…. Welcome to the Back Channel

    😎

  29. dog's eye view

    Great comment by WaPost reader “motorfriend” on discussion thread appended to the Pearlstein column I put up a few moments ago. (Temporarily held by wordpress.)

    “I have a friend who is a veteran flight attendant for one of the major carriers. She voted for Bush twice, despite the obvious damage she was doing to her industry.

    Another friend in commercial real estate, who lost his job in the first Bush recession, made light of the torture policies and the unneccessary Iraq war that has again destroyed his industry. He voted for Bush, despite my pleading, twice.

    Several people I know in the auto industry warned in the 2000 election that if Gore were elected president, he would wreck their industry because of his support for environmental action and fuel conservation. They strongly supported Bush, and the domestic auto industry is in the worst shape in its history, with GM’s market cap below that of Mattel while Ford and Chrysler are in danger of liquidation.

    I have friends who voted for Bush because of his “values,” even though those values included military quagmires, torture, extraordinary rendition and Darwinian indifference to the poor. The only “value” that mattered to them was prevention of gay marriage. Now, some of these “values voters” are losing their suburban McMansions to foreclosure.

    I have friends who consider themselves “conservative” who supported Bush’s reversal of the budget surplus into the biggest deficit in American history and didn’t object to Bush running up the national debt to $9 trillion. Somehow, extravagant nation building and profligate spending fit into their “conservative” viewpoint.

    I had a “conservative” co-worker with two young boys who assumed the war in Iraq would be over by the time they were old enough to draft. She supported the Iraq misadventure because Bush was “keeping us safe.”

    Never have I seen so many Americans literally vote for their own destruction.
    Truly, the chickens are coming home to roost.”
    7/11/2008 2:10:03 PM

  30. About the price of gas: I was talking to my girlfriend, and the bus and how she could get downtown and save money both on gas and parking – – she had an immediate negative response.

    If I were in her shoes, I would have thought – how great! I don’t think the majority of people want to change their life-styles…..Gas will have to go up even farther before the close minded wake -up.

    My Guess @ 5.50 per gallon we will see increases in people carpooling, flex hours, and ride -share for errands.

  31. Dog that is so true….and with the recent tax rebate those same Bush voters walked in to Wal-mart and Costco and bought Chinese goods…

  32. You know another advantage of public transportaion, it’s a great place to read an actual newspaper or read a book!

  33. dog's eye view

    Here’s business writer Steve Pearlstein WaPost column; wordpress ate the prior submission, it seems.

    A Delicate Balance.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/10/AR2008071002420.html

    Considerations on bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  34. Karolenna

    During the 80’s I worked for Battelle, the world’s largest not-for-profit R&D institute. I was there for 20 years until my department was abolished. If some of you remember, that was during another energy crisis.

    Battelle bought about ten 16 passenger vans for many different areas of the city and countryside. Individuals, with a back-up driver, operated the vans like a business and were given a credit card to purchase gas. I operated the van into my area. My back-up driver was a patent attorney. I had 16 people, some Ph.D’s, department mgr’s, accountants, etc. riding with me. They liked it because they could relax and read while going to work. BTW, they said I was one of their best drivers. Their fee for riding was taken out of their checks each month. I drove and operated for free. It was a responsibility, but it helped me because my kids were very young at that time; and I remember it was the Reagan years…not a good time for my family. Another good thing…your boss knew you came to work at a certain time and you left at a certain time…no overtime.

    You might check out Battelle’s Energy section. They are usually at the forefront of major projects. I remember eating a Desert Storm Chocolate Bar before the soldiers had them.

    http://www.battelle.org/solutions/default.aspx?Nav_Area=Solution&Nav_SectionID=5

  35. dog's eye view

    Dog the economic innocent (ie. idiot) asks: aren’t we lucky it’s Friday and the markets closed for the weekend? Can you imagine a week of this turmoil were this Monday?

    (Although I suspect next week will be equally exciting.)

    =========

    Karolenna: interesting story about Battelle. Ppl here in DC area are taking the subway like never before. When I’m out driving during commuting hours, I will start checking if there are more commuter vans on the road.

  36. dog's eye view

    Awright! WSJ reports Chuck Hagel to join Obama on listening visit to Iraq. How audacious.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/07/11/hagel-to-join-obama-on-iraq-trip/

  37. dnd

    Smart to have the future SECDEF on the trip.

  38. dog's eye view

    testing. Is anyone out there? Am I in the Twilight Zone?

  39. We are are out here and yes, we are in the Twilight Zone.

  40. Do you think that there are huge numbers of Hillary supporters out there, who are really digging their heels in and saying no vote or they actually vote for MCain?

    Or do you believe that most of America, accepts that there is a process, and the choice in the GE is between McCain and Obama?

  41. No, just a small group that hang on blogs and draw too much attention from the media because the Clintons make for “amusing” press.

  42. Kathy

    hi-
    I agree with Brian- I think there is a “loud minority” sticking to HRC. But I also have heard a “discomfort” factor with Obama, that I predict will fall away as time goes by.
    I cannot believe how McCain fails to impress- so little there compared to 4 years ago. Did anyone see his response yesterday to the question of insurance companies paying for Viagra and birth control? It was just embarrassing.

  43. it’s like going to a restaurant, and they only have coke and sprite, and saying, “no I want root beer! ” – and then repeating that over and over again.

    I think it is a tiny group, also. No one around here has anything Hillary….no left over signs, stickers on cars….zip….It’s likeshe didn’t run. They are all in to the market and the gas, and summer……

  44. It took him forever to offer his non-answer the question….oh brother…. he should memorize that phrase or write it on a note card for future reference.

  45. Grape Nehi? Orange Crush?

  46. for the last time more time, coke or sprite!

  47. lol lol that sounds really disgusting…

  48. no I was kidding, it’s coke or sprite

  49. I wouldn’t know, I’m not a dew fan, too old, but my nephew lives on it. Not the diet though, I assume sometime soon he’ll develop the coffee addiction and start taking his caffeine like an adult!

  50. lol coffee is better…… : )

    I love that first cup….hmmm, I want to go to bed just so I can get up and have some in the morning.

  51. Yeah I’m tired too, night all.

  52. dog's eye view

    anecdote about Afghani road builders by AZ congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

    … Politico: Fair enough. You went to Afghanistan back in May. What sort of story from that experience sticks in your mind?

    Giffords: We were meeting with the Canadians, talking about reconstruction. And they were talking about an area outside of Kabul where they had a massive economic development program going on. They were building roads. And the road could have been built in six months if we had hired a contractors to do it. But because it was a jobs program, there was about 80,000 people in this province, and they were employing several thousand of them to work on the road.

    They had a PowerPoint presentation, and they showed us images, and they had these pictures of Afghanis with shovels and they were all wearing yellow raincoats. And I thought that was odd because it was not raining outside, so I asked the Canadians why they were wearing yellow rain slickers. And they said that months ago it was raining and they passed out the slickers to the workers and the workers were so proud of having a uniform, or having something, that they wear them every day.

    =====

    Bravo to the Canadians for seeing the big picture with the jobs program.

    Giffords is an interesting politician to watch.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11677_Page3.html

  53. dog's eye view

    Sad to hear Tony Snow has died. Seemed like a genuinely nice man. He deserved a better administration to defend!

    Prayers to his family (young kids) and friends.

  54. dog's eye view

    It would have been interesting to get Tony Snow’s take on the Bush administration about 20 years out, since he appears to have been a true believer and an even better nice guy.

    Another life of note: Dr. Michael DeBakey, pioneering heart surgeon and inventor, died at 99. He made a great difference with his long productive life; Tony Snow was not granted many years but seems to have used them fully.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-debakey12-2008jul12,0,458909,full.story
    =======

    RE Snow’s death: sad but effective way for Fox and others to get the Phil Gramm “Nation of Whiners” story off the front burner. McCain’s had a terrible week.

    LATimes: Under new management, week one is a weak one

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-campaign12-2008jul12,0,6911401,full.story

  55. dog's eye view

    WaPost: story on an Iraqi bookstore owner, who rebuilt and reopened after a car bombing killed his only son and brother and destroyed the original store and some irreplaceable volumes and manuscripts. Bookstore has been family’s business and passion since 1957; family feels bound to stay and improve Iraq.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/11/AR2008071103219.html?hpid=topnews&sid=

    “But decades of dictatorship, war and international sanctions, followed by five years of occupation, insurgency and sectarian strife, have not defeated the Hayawis. “If you live with fears, how can you live?” said [Nabil] Hayawi, 60, seated at his desk in his spacious, book-lined home on a recent sun-dappled day …

    They belong to the fading but still influential group of middle-class Iraqis who are alarmed by their society’s sectarian fissures and emerging Islamic identity and determined to preserve its cosmopolitan, secular nature.”

  56. dog's eye view

    Steve Clemons of The Washington Note has an encouraging headline up today. “Hagel to endorse Obama.”

    However, he makes clear this is still rumor. (And post emailed in from Asia!) So might be an overenthusiastic staffer.

    But one can hope…

    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/07/hagel_to_endors/

  57. dnd

    Yeah, it’s sad news that Tony Snow died. Way too young.

  58. dog's eye view

    former aide to Henry Waxman has political blog in Sydney Morning Herald; might be fun to follow his work.

    Comments by the Australians (and others) are interesting and sometimes sobering.

    http://blogs.smh.com.au/whitehouse08/archives/2008/07/the_big_one_the_realigning_ele.html

  59. dog's eye view

    Thank goodness someone else is here! Good morning dnd.

  60. Horsedooty

    good morning dog and d nd.

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  61. dog's eye view

    Checking in on our buddies at The Crossed Pond.

    http://thecrossedpond.com/

  62. dog's eye view

    hola sr. doots. A Virginia hello to you. On the deck, getting bombed by those propeller-blade looking seedpods from the maple tree. As long as they miss the coffee, am fine.

  63. dog's eye view

    Good Crossed Pond post evaluating the McCain and Obama campaigns for clues to governing ability.

    http://thecrossedpond.com/?p=3528

    Here’s the Obsidian Wings post on “Obama as a Manager” linked to within Crossed Pond entry.

    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/07/obama-as-a-mana.html

  64. dog's eye view

    Here’s the Michael Kinsley TIME column um, under discussion, on C List.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1821662,00.html

  65. jhon boat site google sea

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