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What do you think is the gasoline price tipping point? Or is there one?
Old 11-07-2007, 06:54 AM   #1
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What do you think is the gasoline price tipping point? Or is there one?

Starting to see the major worldwide spike in crude trickle down to the pump price, in fact its more of a waterfall price jump. We are seeing 40 cent rise in the price of a gallon of gas in the past two weeks and it could run up towards 4 dollars a gallon before Xmas. Is there a dollar price that shuts the economy down and runs it into a recession? I believe yes I know I always seem to be the sky is falling guy, but I have this gut feeling that the economy and our american way of life is just not what it was back in the 60s and 70s. technology the internet seems to be nothing more than fancy gadgets that make things run faster, but we were able to get all the same info albeit slower back in the day.

5 6 or 7 dollar gasoline will really cause major upheaval in the country and possible violence. I mean think about it. The dollar is 1.47 to the Euro, GM is showing an almost 40% 3rd quater decline, crude is just under100 a barrel no end in sight to the Iraqi adventure, bin laden is still alive, the countries that hate us, Venezula, Iran,We are not getting along with Russia much these days all are reaping the benifits of 100 a barrel oil, the middleastern countries are bank rolling all kinds of anti american stuff with these windfalls. What does the american congress do? Fiddle as things get ugly.

I dunno glad I am done with the rat race, much less driving in a less congested area, but I just don't feel right.

Oh then there are the wanna be presidents, it can want to make you sick listening to these well lightweights.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
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I don't think we would see large scale violence at $5-$7/gallon. However I am sure we would see more outrage at politicians, oil companies, hummer drivers and any hybrid drivers that act 'holier than thou'
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:28 AM   #3
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Nah, there is no tipping point. We already have $5/gal gas in Japan, resulting in a bit of whining on the nightly news, but no revolution imminent. (And don't give me any arguments about well-developed public transport -- that's only true in the cities.)

The frog can be boiled indefinitely.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:33 AM   #4
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I think that the oil prices being high in the short term is actually a good thing for the long term (of our county anyway). There are lots of alternative fuels out there waiting to go. Ethanol, Bio-diesel, etc. The reason they have not taken off, is because gasoline is still cheaper, and the infrastucture is there to support it. But if the price of oil stays too high for too long, then the economic impetus will be there for corporate america as well as other entrepeneurs to start "making it happen". After all... corporate america as well as most people, do not do something unless there are profitable reasons to do so.
I actually got curious, so I looked up the facts yesterday. Anyone can go to the Department of Energy website to confirm what I am saying. According to the facts and figures there, America uses less then 1/4 of it's oil every year from all the OPEC nations combined. The rest is either "home grown", or imported from other non- OPEC nations. It would make me VERY happy if at least in the short term, we could find a way to make up for that 25% shortfall ,and cut OPEC out of our equation all together. And curiously enough... the facts also say that we get more oil most years from Mexico then from Saudi Arabia! Never would have imagined that one...
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:59 PM   #5
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I remember the 1979 energy crisis. Lines at gas stations, and some nasty tempers. No rioting in the streets, but I do recall gassing up at a station in L.A. when some mofo cut in front of me at the gas station line.

He got out of his car carrying a big steel chain with a "whatcha gonna do about it?" look on his face. I happily let him gas up before me.

So, what price would cause another oil shock? One economist says $150/bbl or so:

Econbrowser: Well then, would $100 a barrel worry you?
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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So long as there is enough to fill the tank (at whatever price clears the market) I think we will chug along and people will react. Mad Max scenarios only arise if there isn't enough to fill the tank.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Time to hook up with Katie Mae

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Old 11-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #8
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I filled up the tank of my SUV today and paid less than $50 for a full tank of gas. My last fill-up was in September. Every other vehicle filling up was a bigger SUV than mine.

I don't think there is a tipping point. Our family just has to forego eating out one or two nights a month and we've got our gasoline bill covered.
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:10 PM   #9
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Frog in a pot. If it keeps creeping up we won't notice that the heat is gradually turned up until we get boiled to death. If prices triple almost overnight, then things will change.
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:17 PM   #10
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I just changed my driving, use the car much less. I don't fill it any more. Just $20 each time and play a game seeing how long it lasts. I decided to make it fun.
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kat View Post
I just changed my driving, use the car much less. I don't fill it any more. Just $20 each time and play a game seeing how long it lasts. I decided to make it fun.
I think that's what I will do at some point too. I have a gasoline budget and I will try to stay within that amount. Twenty dollars at a time in a Honda Civic should still get me around town quite nicely. I just won't go out for "fun" as much.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by armor99 View Post
I think that the oil prices being high in the short term is actually a good thing for the long term (of our county anyway). There are lots of alternative fuels out there waiting to go. Ethanol, Bio-diesel, etc. The reason they have not taken off, is because gasoline is still cheaper, and the infrastucture is there to support it...
There's an unanticipated bump in the road regarding ethanol. As oil prices have risen, so have corn costs, and it still isn't economical to make it without huge subsidies. Maybe it never will be. And increased ethanol production in the US comes at the expense of increased wild land clearing, increased food prices, more fertilizer and pesticide runoff. Ethanol (in the US) is not viable. Its only value would be as a temporary bridge to something useful, maybe another liquid fuel made of waste products, or methanol (the best bet it seems to me).

Regarding the source of US oil: It scarcely matters which nations we buy oil from, or what % of our consumption comes from where. "Energy Independence" has no intrinsic merit, it is a bumper sticker slogan. If oil is $150 per gallon the impact on the US economy is virtually the same whether we pump it from underneath Texas or buy it from Saudi Arabia. Only reducing consumption of fossil fuels can help to isolate the US economy from increasing fossil fuel prices. Even refusing to buy oil from oppressive regimes does no good as long as somebody buys from them--and China is not going to be fussy about where their oil comes from.
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