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Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal  (Source: Forbes)
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal wants oil prices in the $70 to $80/barrel range

Gas prices in the United States have been taking a decidedly downward turn in the past month (down 20 cents in three weeks from a national average of $3.97 per gallon to the current $3.78 per gallon). However, gas prices are still much higher than a year ago when the national average was $2.74 per gallon according to GasBuddy.

There are some that are calling for lower oil prices to help ease prices for consumers, and those calls are coming from an unlikely source. Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, whose country is one of the founding members of OPEC, wants to see oil prices drop dramatically. In fact, Talal wants to see prices fall down to roughly $70 to $80 per barrel (current prices are hovering around $100 per barrel).

Talal's reasoning for wanting lower prices comes from an increasing interest from countries like the United States and global auto manufacturers to develop vehicles that don't require gasoline or diesel fuel to operate. 

"We don't want the West to go and find alternatives," said Talal in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "Because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives."

President Obama is pushing for federal agencies to ditch large, fuel hungry vehicles like Suburbans and Tahoes for more fuel-efficient compact and subcompact cars wherever possible. The U.S. government fleet is also taking baby steps with purchases of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the partial electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

And for the full-size SUVs that are still needed in the government fleet, the Obama Administration wants increased use of E85 fuel that would further lessen our dependence on foreign oil sources to sustain our transportation needs. 

The overarching goal, however, is for automakers to develop vehicles that can travel much further on a gallon of gasoline, boosting CAFE averages to 35.5 mpg by 2016. This move will come by manufacturers producing more vehicles that achieve 40 mpg or higher, and by stepping up the efforts with electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric and the Tesla Model S

So it should come as no surprise that Talal doesn't want to see the U.S. gravy train come to an end.  If everyone is driving around in 50-mpg vehicles, there will be less of a need for foreign oil. If everyone is driving around in electric vehicles, well OPEC is in serious trouble. 



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RE: China ... yes US please use less ! Thank you.
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 9:50:08 AM , Rating: 5
OPEC does this to us everytime. As soon as americans feel the pinch and start buying more efficient vehicles they drop the price. Americans go back to gas guzzlers and they raise the price. The good thing for OPEC is americans have about a 5 minute memory.


By rudy on 5/30/2011 11:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
This time however I do not think it is within their means to do as they please. There are too many oil producers outside of OPEC now and it is no longer a case where the world can easily produce way more oil than needed. There are about 3 billion people in developing nations that are all wanting to drive SUVs too and as soon as they can afford to step up their consumption they will. I think OPEC could drive prices down short term, like maybe a year or 2 max. But over the next 5 years they are not in control. The price is just going to keep going up unless their is some very big event that changes things.


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