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At a time when Congress is looking to cut the budget, the DoD is pleading for $517M USD in extra funding to keep up with the soaring costs of crude oil.  (Source: Tatan Syuflana/AP)

Without extra funding, the U.S. Air Force could be grounded and unable to defend the nation.  (Source: USAF)

The U.S. DoD is hoping that biofuels will hold the key to safe, cheap fuel in the long term.  (Source: California Polytechnic State University's Controlled Environment Agriculture & Energy Working Group)
Soaring gas prices have hit defense budgets, and served as a reminder of the volatility of oil

Between Iraq and Afghanistan alone, the U.S. Department of Defense needed an enormous amount of fuel last year -- the U.S. government uses 20 to 50 million gallons of fuel every month in Afghanistan to support operations. In fact, of the $15B USD it spent on fuel, 75 percent went towards operations, such as the efforts in these Middle Eastern nations.  

I. Massive Demand, Soaring Costs

The thirstiest branch of the armed forces was the U.S. Air Force (USAF).  They used $8.1B USD in fuel, including $7B USD in costs for jet fuel.  The USAF burned through 54 percent of the DoD's fuel budget, sipping 2.5 billion gallons of fuel.

The aforementioned figures come courtesy of Air Force assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics Terry Yonkers.  Speaking at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, Asst. Secretary Yonkers expressed alarm at rising fuel costs and the impact they might have on the nation's ability to defend itself.

At a time when Congress is looking to slash the budget, the DoD is requesting an injection of $517M USD in extra cash to keep up with rising oil prices.  According to the request, the price per barrel of oil rose from $127.26 in April to $165.90 by June 1.

In reality, that $517M USD will likely not be nearly enough to cover the 30 percent higher costs, considering that 30 percent of last year's budget totaled almost $5B USD.  But facing a cuts-minded Congress, that may be the best the DoD can hope for. 

The DoD is running on empty and desperately needs a solution in the long term to secure the nation in the face of continually rising fuel costs.  Asst. Secretary Yonkers believes the answer lies in biofuels, like algae-based oil.  Currently biofuels are quite expensive, costing $40 to $50 USD per gallon.  Given that there's about 45 gallons of petroleum products in a barrel of crude oil, petroleum was at approximately $3.69 USD/gallon, or roughly 1/11th of the cost of biofuel.

However, as biofuel production ramps up, costs are expected to greatly decline.  Asst. Secretary Yonkers greets that possibility with optimism, stating, "If they'll produce it, we'll buy it."

II. Biofuels v. Domestic Drilling

New biofuels like algae have an advantage over other alternative fuels like ethanol, in that they contain the larger hydrocarbons necessary for jet fuel and other high-energy blends.  In that regard, they're quite similar to petroleum products.  Because of that, 98 percent of the USAF's aircraft can run on a biofuel blend (though the allowed amount of biofuel in the blend is application-dependent).

One obstacle is that while the DoD commands a substantial stake in the U.S. fuel market, it's still a small player in terms of total demand.  Last year it reportedly accounted for 2 percent of the nation's fuel budget.  That is a large amount, but it also represents how much the DoD needs the other 98 percent, which includes civilian and corporate use, to support biofuel development.

In the short term, the U.S. could look to domestic drilling options to try to drop fuel prices.  However, there are issues there too.  Most "easy" fuel in the U.S. has already been extracted -- much of the remaining fuel requires complex extraction procedures.

Some studies indicate that extraction from oil shales and their ilk can be done safely, with minimal environmental impact.  But as NPR's "This American Life" points out, this research is often biased by the fact that top petroleum research universities are dependent on petroleum grants for funding and are afraid to publish negative studies.

The actual impact of domestic drilling may be significantly higher than the oil and gas companies would wish the public to believe, as evidenced by recent environmental damage in Appalachian rivers, and the recent earthquakes that struck Arkansas when natural gas injection wells appeared to disturb local fault lines.

On the other hand, there may be cases where the costs outweigh the benefits, and domestic drilling makes sense.  After all, environmentalists often paint an equally biased picture, albeit with less financial resources.  The truth, as is typical in such debates, likely lies in the middle.

At the end of the day, though America faces the real issue that its domestic petroleum supply is a finite product and will run out -- sooner or later.  That leaves America dependent on foreign oil, which is volatile both in price and in politics.

The tough question is what to replace the oil with.  

III. The Long Term View

Biofuels seem an attractive alternative, given that they only require sunlight, typically (as most are plant based) and can produce high-octane fuel blends resembling petroleum products.  Further, these blends typically are cleaner, with less sulfides and nitrides than typical petroleum fuel.

Of course the DoD could also look to nuclear fission power, combined with EVs to greatly reduce its transportation related fuel consumption in the short term.  Such a suggestion might have trouble flying in nuclear fearful America, though.

In the long run fusion may also provide a possible alternative energy source for defense transportation.  But the problem of energy storage is likely to remain for some time.  Unless researchers can develop a fusion reactor small enough to fit in a jet, or a battery vastly more energy-dense than today's designs, the only solution is a chemical fuel.  And the choice for chemical fuel today are pretty much oil, ethanol, or biofuels.

The DoD thinks biofuels are the most attractive of those choices to use in defending the United States.





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Maybe I'm confused
By tastyratz on 7/11/2011 11:24:15 AM , Rating: 2
but when could we ever "afford" to keep blowing money in oversea operations?
With the defense budget taking up more tax dollars than anything else, we might be due for some re-prioritization.

Keep your "war on terror" and you might find those barrels are just full of pork not oil...




RE: Maybe I'm confused
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 11:53:46 AM , Rating: 1
"With the defense budget taking up more tax dollars than anything else,"

Another believer... sigh...

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_budget_pie_...

Next time, try not to believe everything you hear on T.V. Doing your own research and observation often times yields a better view of what's "really" happening.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 11:59:21 AM , Rating: 4
Try to know what you are looking at next time.

From the same site:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/piechart_2011_...

The single highest federal expenditure is defense, so his statement is true.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 12:04:25 PM , Rating: 3
With welfare being apart of the Health and Human Services Department, I am still right. So, please, don't take things at face value.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 12:09:45 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 12:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Way to move the goal post.

Trying to lot welfare in with health care because the department has the word "health" in it's name is academically bankrupt.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 12:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
I fail to see how it is "moving" the goal post when welfare is directly tied into HHS department? I never said anything about health care alone, you just assumed I was pointing that out from the pie chart on said website. HHS is a parasite, which eats more than the defense budget, so don't try to discredit me by claiming I'm moving the goal post by implying I was only talking about the healthcare proportion. If we're only looking at HHS from the healthcare standpoint, you and the other guy are right, defense does it up more, but not when you account for what other services (welfare) HHS provides.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Samus on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 2:07:28 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, cut it and make it more efficient. My idea, you need foodstamps, you also need norplant.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Solandri on 7/11/2011 10:14:38 PM , Rating: 3
It's off the mark too. As a percentage of GDP, military spending is the one budget item that's been consistently cut over the decades (though to be fair it's ticked up about 1% since 9/11).
http://www.cbo.gov/docimages/35xx/doc3521/352101.g...

The budget item threatening to sink the government right now is Medicare/Medicaid. The recent Democratic pledge to not allow entitlements to be touched in the budget negotiations is downright suicidal. Something has to be changed about entitlements if we want this country to survive. I don't care if we keep them, but allowing them to continue in their present form unaltered is a guaranteed path to fiscal ruin.
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10455/Figure1-...

If you think I'm some conservative shill, go read the CBO reports for yourself. Look at the raw budget numbers without any political rhetoric or spin, and decide for yourself. See where the problems really are, not where some politician wants you to think they are.
http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12212


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By FauxNews on 7/11/2011 10:42:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's off the mark too. As a percentage of GDP, military spending is the one budget item that's been consistently cut over the decades (though to be fair it's ticked up about 1% since 9/11).


Uh, not sure what you're smoking, defense spending has doubled since 9/11, both in real money spent and as a percentage of GDP.
Your "here's a bar graph with no labels" is nice but doesn't say anything.
And this is such a common fact you can google "defense spending doubled since 9/11" and find plenty of results to verify.

quote:
The budget item threatening to sink the government right now is Medicare/Medicaid. The recent Democratic pledge to not allow entitlements to be touched in the budget negotiations is downright suicidal.


Uh, you mean to say that the programs that have taxes funding them are going to sink us, but the military, which has no direct tax linked to it, isn't?

RIGHT.

In the past, wars have typically been accompanied by a tax to pay for the war. That hasn't happened this time.

And defense spending is the sacred cow of the Republicans.
While everyone's cutting, they're giving MORE money to the DoD. Heck, they're even buying planes the military doesn't want!!!

I think when you say they get "cuts", you mean "cuts to massive raises".
Sort of like getting a 25% raise and then having it "cut" by 5%... Sorry it's still a massive raise by anyone's definition.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By yomamafor1 on 7/11/2011 11:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well you know how these people believe... Constitution explicitly called for national defense, but didn't explicitly called for social welfare (which includes health, education, etc).

Seriously, people need to stop looking at a 250 year old document about how to run this country in the future.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By geddarkstorm on 7/12/2011 2:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
The Constitution is what -makes- this country this country. Don't want to keep looking at it at how to run this place? Then move to some other nation, you don't belong here. That simple.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 11:10:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And defense spending is the sacred cow of the Republicans. While everyone's cutting, they're giving MORE money to the DoD. Heck, they're even buying planes the military doesn't want!!!


Right. Which is why Obama hasn't cut defense spending. Didn't pull us out of Iraq or Afghanistan, but actually raised the troop levels. And he also started ANOTHER new war.

Clearly it's all the Republicans, who weren't in power, making all these decisions.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By yomamafor1 on 7/11/2011 11:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
Iraq: US troop is set to leave by the end of 2011
Afghanistan: US troop is set to leave by the end of 2012

Both timetable set by President Obama, not "Mission Accomplished!" Bush.

Clearly, take your tinted glass elsewhere.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 11:29:09 PM , Rating: 1
Timetables shmimetables! He said in "day one" of his Presidency we would be out of the Middle East. He didn't say he would raise troop levels and start more wars did he?

How convenient to set the "timetable" for the end of his Presidency. Leaving a mess in the lap of the next President instead of following through with his campaign promises.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By yomamafor1 on 7/12/2011 12:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see the link where he explicitly said he will pull US troop out on the first day of his presidency.

Secondly, the point of the fact is that he set the timetable for troop withdrawl. If he needed a troop surge to meet the timetable, so be it. You can hark all you want when he significantly miss the deadline.

Lastly, you can be a conspiracist and hark about how Obama "conveniently set the deadline" for the next president to clean up his mess, but doesn't change a fact: he is following through with his campaign promise to end the wars during his presidency. Last I checked, Obama still have 1 year left to go.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2011 4:49:35 PM , Rating: 1
Oh also, let's add selling arms to foreign nationals to this list. After 20+ years of Democrats bringing up the "Iran Contra" affair, their savior Obama goes and does Operation Gunrunner. Wtf was he thinking!?

I think the only difference is the media reported the hell out of one, and then goes out of it's way to distort and bury the other.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By SPOOFE on 7/11/2011 3:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
do you think we should cut walfare and human services in our country

Now THAT'S moving the goalposts, and also an Excluded Middle fallacy.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 3:52:26 PM , Rating: 3
You took a related argument between someone else and I, and totally turned it into this? You've got to be kidding me, kid. You know what I think, though, speaking on your agrgument? I think we should start cutting people off of welfare, healthcare, etc, as it's not the government's damned job to provide such things to begin with. Please, before you try and use "provide for the common welfare" in the Constitution as a viable defense, that passage can have many different meanings.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Samus on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Manch on 7/14/2011 1:34:40 PM , Rating: 1
www.dfas.mil/dms/dfas/militarymembers/pdf/MilPayTab le2011.pdf

An E-1 gets an extra 252 per paycheck(bi-monthly) in Ramstein Germany
An E-6 gets an extra 282 per paycheck (bi-monthly)Ramstein Germany

72% of the Air Force are E-6 and below. The other services are similar:
http://www.usamilitaryjobs.com/2011/01/06/u-s-mili...

You can also see the housing data too on the first link.
Huge Salaries? hardly. and yes they do pay taxes


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By tastyratz on 7/11/2011 2:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I guess for some the 3% funding to education proves it's detriment more than others?

On a related note we really need to ditch the pension system too, no new jobs should be created with pensions. 401k's should be the ONLY option.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By SPOOFE on 7/11/2011 3:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess for some the 3% funding to education proves it's detriment more than others?

It's a redundant expense and it's caused education standards to plummet. If you throw more money at education and see dropout rates increase, you have a problem.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 4:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Now I know you are correlation does not imply causation so what exactly are you trying to accomplish with that statement?


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By SPOOFE on 7/11/2011 4:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
That if you spend money to achieve X, and X isn't achieved, then you wasted money, whether it's a penny or a zillion dollars.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 4:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That if you spend money to achieve X, and X isn't achieved, then you wasted money, whether it's a penny or a zillion dollars.


Spoofe, if you don't know what is wrong with that sentence, then there is something wrong with your thought process...


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By yomamafor1 on 7/11/2011 10:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
By that logic, then perhaps entrepreneurs should just quit and cut their losses, since majority, if not all, suffer heavy monetary losses before they get a product right?


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 11:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
By that logic, then perhaps entrepreneurs should just quit and cut their losses, since majority, if not all, suffer heavy monetary losses before they get a product right?


Umm entrepreneurs take risks with their OWN money. When the Government starts earning it's own money and stops spending ours, maybe your stupid comparison would make sense.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By yomamafor1 on 7/11/2011 11:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Right, students no longer feel like studying because we spend too much money on education.

That's your logic, not mine.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 11:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think you should stop using "logic" in all your posts, when none of your arguments actually exhibit logic.

He's not saying that. So no, it's not by "his logic".


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By geddarkstorm on 7/12/2011 2:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's not that money is causing it, it's that money isn't stopping it. In short, the issue -isn't- about money in the first place. Something else is broken, and all the money we are throwing at it is being wasted as the system continues to deteriorate. That's the point, and that's also the reality.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 12:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
What's more, I've debunked individual figure breakdowns on this website numerous times, but I am not surprised it keeps coming up.

On numerous occasions I have demonstrated that the actual figures for past years on that website do not match those of the Government Accountability Office (US GAO).

In the past, numbers have been skewed as much as 23% to support the agenda of the sites conservative creator (Christopher Chantrill). He routinely comes under on defense figures and grossly overstates the cost of social programs.

The real shame is, most people simply take this independent website as "fact" despite it's numerous discrepancies biased towards supporting the conservative agenda.

If you are interested in the real audit figures from the GAO, they are all available on the offices site.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 2:12:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The single highest federal expenditure is defense


"Single highest" is quite misleading. We're talking total number of tax dollars spent and what it goes to, not the single highest department. If you removed the entire Department of Defense from the books, we're still looking at nearly a trillion dollar deficit.

Do you even know how to read a pie chart? If 50%+ of our budget was military spending, then yes, you would be right. But 25% is not a majority of tax money spent on the military, thus that argument is invalidated.

Your argument is made even weaker when put in terms of GDP. Military spending in 2010 for the U.S was only 4.7% of our GDP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_th...
I used the Wiki so you can't trump up some claim of "Conservative bias" like you did to the other site.

If you want to make the argument that we should reduce our spending levels, fine. But the claim that military spending alone is racking up these massive deficits we're facing is completely unfounded and false.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 2:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Single highest" is quite misleading. We're talking total number of tax dollars spent and what it goes to, not the single highest department. If you removed the entire Department of Defense from the books, we're still looking at nearly a trillion dollar deficit.

Do you even know how to read a pie chart? If 50%+ of our budget was military spending, then yes, you would be right. But 25% is not a majority of tax money spent on the military, thus that argument is invalidated.


Now you're just mincing words, and badly so...

Here are 7 numbers:

4
17
25
11
22
21

I am pretty sure you can figure out which is the "single highest" regardless of whether the appear in a pie or not.

Stop being stupid.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 3:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Iaiken read this quote, then look at your argument. Then realize how stupid YOU are being.

quote:
With the defense budget taking up more tax dollars than anything else


Notice he didn't say "single highest" department or budget item. He said "tax dollars". Total.

The military does not take up more "tax dollars than anything else". Not even close.

You. Are. Wrong.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 3:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
What he said:

quote:
With the defense budget taking up more tax dollars than anything else


What you read:

quote:
With the defense budget taking up more tax dollars than everything else


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By SPOOFE on 7/11/2011 3:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
So.... his statement was either wrong or insignificant. That's hardly a sound argument.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 6:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a break, you know exactly what he meant. We've seen the same Leftist talking point argued on DT for years, and it's wrong every time.

Of course military spending is higher than SOME government programs. Are you an idiot? How is that some kind of significant argument? How does that prove that "too much" is spent on it?

Spoof is right. Your argument is choosing between the irrelevant or insignificant.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 3:34:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But the claim that military spending alone is racking up these massive deficits we're facing is completely unfounded and false.


which is fine because I never claimed that...

In fact, I would argue that shoring up tax incomes is just as important as cutting funding across the board.

If you paid even so much as a penny in taxes for 2010, then you paid more in taxes than General Electric ($3.2B in refunds on $15B profit). The story repeats itself over and over with large multinationals raking in huge profits and paying effectively zero tax.

Figures out of the Harvard school of business suggest that under a simplified tax code the US government could have cut the corporate tax rate to 25% (a drop of 10% to be the lowest of the G20) and still have realized an increase of $60B in revenues for FY2010. Meanwhile, an estimated 78% of businesses, large and small, would have experienced an average tax cut of 9% and tax breaks for struggling companies would have remained entirely unaffected.

Just food for thought...


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By SPOOFE on 7/11/2011 3:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you paid even so much as a penny in taxes for 2010, then you paid more in taxes than General Electric

So half the country pays the same taxes as GE. I can live with that.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 6:50:54 PM , Rating: 3
So increasing the tax burden on those who create jobs is your key to cutting the deficit?

Boy if I didn't know you were a Liberal already that one would sure be a red flag.

By the way you guys are flat out wrong about GE. Of course they paid taxes. You and Jason Mick and everyone else puppeting the New York Times piece obviously can't be bothered to look up the facts for yourself.

What exactly are "federal taxes"? Well there are income taxes, I'm pretty sure GE employees didn't get away without paying those. No matter how good their tax department might be, pretty sure they couldn't work GE's personal liability to zero. State taxes? Yup, pretty sure those were paid. Fuel taxes etc etc? Paid.

GE also lost billions in the financial crisis, which gave them a nice NOL carryforward for the next few years. Again, completely legal. The article gives brief mention to the losses, but curiously, does not quantify how they might have contributed to GE's lower tax bill even though I'm sure GE would have provided those numbers. The treatment of the losses, moreover, is confusingly opaque, and rather buried.

But to simply say "GE payed no taxes" is a gross lie. They generated billions in taxes, and they paid all taxes legally required of them to pay. You and the New York Times seem to think companies like GE have a moral obligation to maximize the taxes it pays. Outrageous!

Stop believing the Leftist media hype.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By abzillah on 7/11/2011 10:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
How come on one chart it says Education 14% and the other says 3%? Is the education budget that much lower this year than before?


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 3:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I take offense to it being called "defense spending" Invading the country of Iraq was in no way defense spending, call it what it is offense or colonial spending and that goes for Lybia to.


Not the entire US military is used for these offensive operations and the exact costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars will never be known so the apportionment will become one of the great mysteries of the decade.

Instead, you might want to focus on the mentality that makes this all possible. At last check, the GAO said that the majority of the DODs books were impossible to audit, but that they were meeting the needs of the war-fighter and so it was irrelevant.

One would expect that people from both sides could agree that this is wrong, but that just isn't the case. Hundreds of billions of dollars were unaccounted for and absolutely nobody was punished, the major news media didn't even bother to cover it.


RE: Maybe I'm confused
By gorehound on 7/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe I'm confused
By cmdrdredd on 7/11/2011 6:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Or *GASP*...

We could drill our own fucking oil and say "fuck you OPEC!" But no, Congress is ass backwards and our dumbass in chief is like an ostridge with his head buried in the sand


I have a crazy idea
By MrBungle123 on 7/11/2011 11:10:51 AM , Rating: 3
How about we drill for our own oil.




RE: I have a crazy idea
By homerdog on 7/11/2011 11:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
Stop making sense.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By ThatNewGuy on 7/11/2011 11:18:00 AM , Rating: 2
Brilliant!


RE: I have a crazy idea
By nick2000 on 7/11/2011 11:45:34 AM , Rating: 1
Who is this "we"? "We" do not drill for oil on our land, we lease the land to corporations that can then exploit it and sell it on the global market to reap the most money they can from it. I suppose that we could hope that this tiny addition to world supply would bring prices down... (I have a bridge to sell you).

The only way to keep this oil local would be to use specific contractual constraints or to have a government agency do it.
Maybe a branch of the military could do it just for military purposes (slippery slope right there)?


RE: I have a crazy idea
By quiksilvr on 7/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: I have a crazy idea
By thejedislayer777 on 7/11/2011 11:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
There are always risk involved when drilling for oil, especially now-a-days. I personally would rather find ways to minimize the risk, while also being able to reap the reward of obtaining cheaper fuel prices. Like one user here said, though, corporations can sell oil produced here on the world market, which would be largely unhelpful to Americans here, presumably.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By gamerk2 on 7/11/2011 1:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Because the amount we have left AND we can drill up per day [Remember: We could have all the oil in the world, but if we can't drill "X" barrels per day, it won't do any good] isn't enough to significantly affect prices, and would require hundreds of billions in extra infrastructure costs [Refinaries, etc], all of which to an industry that does NOT pay anything back in taxes?

How about this: Wait for the world to run out of oil, THEN open up Alaska/The Gulf, and export what we have at exorborent prices, and making a nice, tidy profit? Nothing better then sitting on the only remaining supply of a resource...

I really don't understand why people are so eager to use our remaining oil NOW, when ten years will be significiantly worse...


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 2:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Because they think that the sooner we get it all up out of the ground and burn it, the more independent we will be.

This notion of "strength through exhaustion" is idiotic since once your own reserves are gone, you are then left completely at the mercy of the global market.

This is why I find those who demonize those espousing efficiency and conservation. Neither is sole solution nor are they the combined solution, but are part of a wider complex solution that aims to stretch limited supplies and reducing expenses by reducing waste.

The three worst offenders (under-inflated tires, incorrect wheel alignment and missing or incorrectly fastened gas caps) are cheap and easy to fix and several estimates put the savings at 620 million gallons per year just for the US alone. Heck, missing gas caps alone were responsible for the waste of 150 million gallons of fuel to evaporation.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 2:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is why I find those who demonize those espousing efficiency and conservation so perplexing.


Fixed...


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 2:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because they think that the sooner we get it all up out of the ground and burn it, the more independent we will be. This notion of "strength through exhaustion" is idiotic since once your own reserves are gone, you are then left completely at the mercy of the global market.


Kind of an ironic statement from someone living where we import the most oil from out of anywhere...


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 3:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The three worst offenders (under-inflated tires, incorrect wheel alignment and missing or incorrectly fastened gas caps) are cheap and easy to fix and several estimates put the savings at 620 million gallons per year just for the US alone.


AHAHAHAA

The only one seriously claiming that is Obama. You sound just like him. "uuhhh why drill when we can inflate our tires".

Your numbers are only accurate if all growth were to completely halt. But that's not going to happen. Energy demands go up year after year. We simply cannot inflate our tires and gas-cap our way out of this.

quote:
Heck, missing gas caps alone were responsible for the waste of 150 million gallons of fuel to evaporation.


LOL! I would really like to see how in the world you could possibly accurately estimate something like that. The Government tracks everyone's gas-cap now?


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 4:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We simply cannot inflate our tires and gas-cap our way out of this.


Where again did I say this was the only solution? I seem to remember saying something along the lines of: "Neither is sole solution nor are they [efficiency or conservation] the combined solution, but are part of a wider complex solution that aims to stretch limited supplies and reducing expenses by reducing waste." In fact, that is pretty much the exact caveat that I posted before citing specific primary culprits of fuel waste.

Again, you'll be an absolutist to the end and it's a pity because you're just not going to find a single miracle fix to the energy woes of America. Nor do you seem to have a healthy respect for the power of laziness/ignorance in aggregate except for when the government involved, then it's an evil that must be vanquished.

quote:
LOL! I would really like to see how in the world you could possibly accurately estimate something like that. The Government tracks everyone's gas-cap now?


Source: Service Tech Magazine, Sept. 2000
quote:
17 percent of the vehicles on U.S. highways have either misused or missing gas caps, causing 147,000,000 gallons of gas per year to vaporize into the atmosphere.


The 2000 study involved some 4300+ US dealerships and service centers over the course of one year that reported on missing or misused gas caps. This figure may actually be higher as unchecked cars were assumed to have gas caps and that they were properly fastened. Can't seem to find the entire study on the web, but it's a very interesting read.

A 2004 SUNOCO study found that a missing gas cap allows an average 199 lbs of gasoline (or 33 US gallons) to evaporate into the atmosphere. That is an average loss of $119.79 (using the current national yearly average of about $3.631/gallon). The average cost of an OEM gas cap is around $11 (or $14 if you a have a fancy one with a lock/key).

Source:
http://www.sunocoinc.com/nr/rdonlyres/12edbc06-a6b...


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 6:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, you'll be an absolutist to the end and it's a pity because you're just not going to find a single miracle fix to the energy woes of America.


We're fine with combined solutions. By why is it that tapping our massive domestic resources can never be a part of that "combined solution"? Who's being the absolutist now? Drilling and alternative solutions are always poised against each other as being mutually exclusive when they don't have to be. Use what we can now while also planning for the future. Is that so hard?

I think you people need to come to the realization that crude oil is going to be necessary and vital to our way of life for many decades to come. There is simply NO WAY around that. You also need to be reminded that gasoline is NOT the only thing crude oil is used for.

quote:
The 2000 study involved some 4300+ US dealerships and service centers over the course of one year that reported on missing or misused gas caps.


Not nearly a large enough sample. Myopic. Dismissed.

Again, there will ALWAYS be a segment of the population without perfectly maintained vehicles. No matter what the fuel source that is used. So why even bring it up? You're living in a fantasy land where gas caps and inflated tires are considered part of a solution. You're daft. This is NOT a solution, and it's not part of any combined solution.

Waste is a universal, physical, and economic constant. It cannot be avoided, and it's damned hard to account for accurately. You should accept that and move on.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 7:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
By why is it that tapping our massive domestic resources can never be a part of that "combined solution"?


Where did I say it wasn't? I was just pointing out that there were long term downsides to going drill-crazy.

quote:
Not nearly a large enough sample. Myopic. Dismissed.


Really now? Despite them inspecting an average 3800 different cars each over the coarse of a year for a total of around 16 million cars? They saw around 15% of the cars that were on the road in the country in 2000 and gave the cars that went unchecked the benefit of the doubt and that's not a large enough sample size for you? What the hell is wrong with you? What the hell would YOU say IS an acceptable sample size?

quote:
Waste is a universal, physical, and economic constant. It cannot be avoided


And yet it can be mitigated...

All of the examples I sited have significant long-term economic benefit on both the individual and aggregate levels that vastly outweigh the one-time costs to the individual. I can only wonder how many people would go drop $11 on a new gas cap if they knew it was costing them $100/year?

So the real question is, what is a cost-effective way to educate people on the facts?


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 7:21:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
All of the examples I sited have significant long-term economic benefit on both the individual and aggregate levels that vastly outweigh the one-time costs to the individual.


In theory, yes. But it's like me saying if we could eliminate all government waste, we could be out of this deficit. While it looks good on paper, and sounds cool to say, it's not freaking gonna happen is it?

quote:
So the real question is, what is a cost-effective way to educate people on the facts?


So you think telling people to inflate their tires and check gas caps is going to convince them that they'll actually see a tangible price reduction at the gas pumps? Come on, you know that won't happen even if every car on the planet was in top condition.

Drilling for oil and mitigating foreign oil use WILL have a positive and tangible impact. Your solutions are all theoretical.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Iaiken on 7/11/2011 8:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Drilling for oil and mitigating foreign oil use WILL have a positive and tangible impact.


Actually no, the solution is still only theoretical and the last time it was tried, it had zero appreciable impact.

Dr. Albert Bartlett of the University of Colorado has demonstrated that the procured oil is steadily on a downward trend even with provisions for an equal amount of undiscovered oil to that we have ever used. He also demonstrated that the previous tapping of the Alaskan pipeline as a function of production vs. consumption vs price and all it did was allow for an increase in consumption and the rate of production ultimately declined to it's previous trend and the price continued up on it's historical 7.07% trend the entire time in spite of the increased availability because it was more expensive to procure.

So there is likely no proven positive and tangible impact to be had...


RE: I have a crazy idea
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/11, Rating: 0
RE: I have a crazy idea
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 1:45:49 PM , Rating: 3
Because we don't have enough to meet our own demand for any significant amount of time.


RE: I have a crazy idea
By name99 on 7/11/2011 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
How about we drill for our own oil.


And that will keep us going for exactly how many years, MrBungle?
And what is your plan for when those years are up?


Brilliant
By VenomXTF on 7/11/2011 11:02:20 AM , Rating: 5
The US/World economy is about to collapse and we're concerned about how to get more funding for fuel, to continue operations in Afghanistan and Iraq? By the time we leave the middle east, living in the states will be worse than living there.




RE: Brilliant
By inperfectdarkness on 7/11/2011 3:25:00 PM , Rating: 2
although parts of me sentimentally want to agree with you, i certainly must say that if you honestly believe that--you've never served there.

i have. we'd have to endure a nuclear holocaust before the USA becomes like afghanistan. seriously.


RE: Brilliant
By VenomXTF on 7/12/2011 9:37:53 AM , Rating: 2
At least people living in Afghanistan do not rely on a financial system like we do in the US. What do you think will happen when the economic system collapses? Where and with what "money" would people buy food? How many homes will be destroyed in the riots? What unpaid police/fire department would help the citizens? My only point was that we completely rely on the current economy and government, while the people in Afghanistan much less so. They know how to survive with what they have and will continue to do so.

But lets just keep spending (throwing away) trillions of dollars a year on "fixing" the middle east. Sounds like a better plan.


RE: Brilliant
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 10:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Na, it will never be better then living here. Its freaking hot there.


Cost per barrel
By FITCamaro on 7/11/2011 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 1
Where does the $165 per barrel come from? Current costs are almost half that.




RE: Cost per barrel
By Dr of crap on 7/11/2011 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
I agree - where do they buy thier oil from at $165 a barrel?

Maybe it's that special oil that the military needs that can withstand some great temp or some high fall and so the oil campanies charge more - like those $150 hammers!

And don't forget that about 2 months ago on this web site was a story that some branch of the military was paying $25,000 a barrel for biofuel. Why? Because it was some new algea produced thing and you know the US govt has money to burn!


RE: Cost per barrel
By corduroygt on 7/11/2011 1:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's probably stored in some special barrels that have to resist a nuclear explosion or something :)


RE: Cost per barrel
By gregpet on 7/11/2011 1:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that...
quote:
Unless researchers can develop a fusion reactor small enough to fit in a jet, or a battery vastly more energy-dense than today's designs, the only solution is a chemical fuel.

Will someone please show me one of these electric jet planes? Jet planes HAVE to run on chemical fuel. No fusion reactor or super battery is going to change that!

Lazy reporting...


RE: Cost per barrel
By Bad-Karma on 7/13/2011 1:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
They proved that a nuclear powered aircraft could work, but it was never practical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Nuclear_Prop...

That and you wouldn't want to be anywhere near the exhaust when it went by!


RE: Cost per barrel
By mmc4587 on 7/13/2011 8:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
The true cost of Biofuel from CORN does cost that much (it is heavily subsidized by US Tax Dollars so that it appears price competitive to fossil fuel costs).

Sugar cane Biofuel does not cost nearly so much to make BUT the CORN LOBBYISTS have coerced congress into imposing HUGE tariffs on said imports...

Actually, congress just voted down legislation attempting to bring our fuel costs down by removing the ethanol tariff.

No one knows this because BOTH PARTIES VOTED THE BILL DOWN...
...BUT a hooker in congress? (pun intended) now that is newsworthy!</sarcasm>


Take off the tinfoil hats already
By karndog on 7/11/2011 12:44:25 PM , Rating: 1
"the U.S. government uses 20 to 50 million gallons of fuel every month in Afghanistan to support operations"

Yet people will still continue to believe that the U.S. are only in the Middle East for oil. With the staggering amount the U.S. has already used in the last 10 years fighting these wars, plus the cost of wages, equipment and aid etc, it would have to be the dumbest investment in history if true. The U.S would have to get all their oil at cost price for the next 100 years just to break even, by which time we will have found a cleaner alternative (baseless exaggeration, but you get my point)




RE: Take off the tinfoil hats already
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 1:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
If you have heard the latest Al-Qaeda is moving back into Afghanistan to make our withdrawal impossible. Keep us stuck fighting these wars we can't afford and can't quit, say what you want but these guys are brilliant.


By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 1:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
I guess these searches to get the correct spelling for Al-Qaeda are going to mean the FBI will be watching my internet. :)


By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2011 11:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about "brilliant". Strategically and logistically, Al-Qaeda has suffered staggering losses that no same military commander would abide. Of course, problem is, they aren't sane or military. They're religious nuts too stupid and fanatical to realize it.


By name99 on 7/11/2011 7:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Performing stupid acts that don't pass any sort of cost benefit analysis is pretty much standard military behavior. I mean, WTF would any rational person have held onto the South? Let them go and good riddance.

Or, to put it differently, what's YOUR explanation for George's grand adventure in the land of the Moors? To bring democracy? Which explains why we've been falling over ourselves to help out in Yemen and Bahrain and Syria?


Get use to it...
By Beenthere on 7/11/2011 12:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
The war on terror is forever unless someone knows a means to kill all terrorists now and forever.

As far as fuel costs, unless bio fuels can be produced for less than the market price of petroleum fuels, what's the point? There is no shortage of fuel, there is just a Cabal that controls the price. As long as the petroleum Cartel exist and the oil companies are reaping windfall profits, getting massive U.S. financial incentives and tax breaks, for price gouging, WTF would they stop price gouging?




RE: Get use to it...
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 10:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
And that Cartel is more than willing to knock the US off from being a world power.


RE: Get use to it...
By Dr of crap on 7/12/2011 9:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
OMG -
OPEC has not had control of oil pricing for a number of years now. Have you been paying attention?
The oil companies are making record profits only because of the high barrel prices. And the oil companies are not setting the price of oil either.
Right around 2005 the price of oil went up. We all thought it was because of Katrina and the refineries out there. It was more than that. And just before that Goldman Sachs and it's buddies sent a letter to the govt that they wanted to be able to speculate in commody futures. They got the green light to do that. And now their traders have control of oils price.

If you don't believe me look it up! OPEC is not in control of the barrel pricing of oil. The ones benefiting in the high price of oil is the oil future traders - Goldman Sachs and it friends!


Jet Engines
By shabodah on 7/11/2011 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
Jet Engines are the least picky of any engine design about the type of fuel they burn. You can tune the RPM to the fuel very easily. This is why very small jet engines are being designed to run generators in prototype hybrid designs.




RE: Jet Engines
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 3
uhm, steam engine? Pretty sure you could run a steam engine on unprocessed cow patties.


SWEET! An angle I didn't see!
By MartyLK on 7/11/2011 8:16:29 PM , Rating: 1
OMG...this is excellent! The Repubs, who are highly in favor of high fuel prices and sticking it to the common citizen, got the hell screwed out of them over it. When their monarch was still in dictatorship (Bush and Cheney) I had not considered the impact of their befriending the oil companies and allowing said oil companies to run rampant with sky-high fuel prices would have on their beloved military.

If the citizen has to suffer the Repub's tyranny, the military also has to suffer it! :D

Suck on that you single-celled apes! We now have a president that will make sure you Repubs suffer for making the nation suffer. You wanted astronomical fuel prices for no other reason that to line your pockets with cash and didn't give even the slightest thought to how it would hurt the common citizen, you got it! Now you get to feel the pain!

Moral of the story? Don't screw anyone and you, yourself, won't get screwed.




By Dr of crap on 7/12/2011 9:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
Ummmm,
Reps and Dems are all alike dumbo!
One is not better than the other.
Get your head out of the sand and look around!


What a Con Job.
By Uncle on 7/11/2011 11:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
What happened to "The Nations Of The Willing". Oil companies rake in billions when the Middle East could contribute to the war effort with oil, free of charge. All these Nations and companies in the so called war on terror are reaping billions from the taxpayers. Destroy then rebuild, why does the money from the taxpayers only flow one way, into the pockets of the mega corps. We usually don't go to war, so our politicians have another way of sucking the taxpayers dry, create mega projects, like dams, energy development and so on. On a smaller scale, in our city, council used taxpayers money of 55 million dollars to build a convention centre , arena ,pool etc,then the city turned it over to a corporation to run. The corporation didn't put one penny into the project but are now going to reap the profits and share with the city lol.Probably happening in a city near you. If the corporation fails it walks away,the taxpayer is still footing the bill. This is the new way of doing things.




fads
By weiwei1 on 7/11/2011 8:55:01 PM , Rating: 1
Free transport
http://www.benzlogo.com/




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