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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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I'm intrigued to know.....
By jabber on 5/30/2011 2:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
I often visit the US and Canada. On my travels I see many high powered F150/250/350/Dodge Ram type trucks all with their whopping V6/V8 engines. Mighty impressive they are.

Why do folks need them? You see why I ask is, that whenever I see a truck over there....'s bed is always empty.

Ok I tell a lie, I have seen a garden rake in there a few times (and maybe a dog) but thats a lot of HP to cart a garden tool around isnt it?

Why would you need a truck to cart say bricks around? Why not just call the building material suppliers and get them to deliver them on a pallet with a proper flatbed and unload them with the crane in one go. Much quicker and easier. Job done.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Brandon Hill on 5/30/2011 2:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
Some people just like big vehicles. They like the "added room". Also, some Americans are just fatasses and can't fit in anything else :)

That being said, my dad has a hulking full-size pickup: a 2008 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Long Bed 4x4. It's like a friggin' aircraft carrier. It looks like this one, only his is silver:

Quit frankly, he doesn't need or even use all of the space it has, and he bought it when gas was cheap. He uses it to tow a trailer for my old Boy Scout troop every once in a while, but it sits in the back yard most of the time (he has a '02 Toyota Highlander as his daily driver).

But, whatever floats his boat. I've been trying to get him to sell both vehicles and consolidate on a newer crossover (something like a Chevrolet Traverse or a Mazda CX-9), but he's too stubborn.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 3:10:01 PM , Rating: 3
Quit frankly, he doesn't need or even use all of the space it has

And yet when others suggest such a scenario they are always voted down.

but he's too stubborn.

Luckily that's a really rare human trait.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:14:36 PM , Rating: 1
And yet when others suggest such a scenario they are always voted down.
Because Brandon isn't a fascist asshole. Not saying you are BTW but most people making these umm suggestions sure fit into that category.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By DerekZ06 on 5/30/2011 3:11:01 PM , Rating: 3
I'm an owner of one of these trucks. I maybe pull a trailer 300miles out of the yearly 14,000. The bed has something in it for maybe 800miles out of the 14,000. But now when I need it I need to have that functionality. Therefor I get a pickup as my daily driver.

The biggest thing is that it's cheaper to pay to fuel it up than to purchase and maintain two vehicles, one being a small car.

Second is that I drive 5,000miles a year on gravel, lots of times in poor wet conditions. We have an AWD Astro minivan that still has managed to get stuck 3 times this year all ready. The truck has yet to get stuck. A car also could not make it in a nebraska winter, which is probably about 7,000 miles out of the year.

3rd, I like the height and durability of the truck. I probably would have totaled a car 2 times over in 3 years by bottoming out on those roads or knocking the bumper off somehow. The truck can take this abuse as it has 11 inches ride height. That van only has 5 which is it's main problem, ive already collapsed the exhaust and ruined the front bumper. The roads in my area just don't allow for one of these street machines.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
So get a Tacoma.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By GruntboyX on 5/30/2011 9:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
it does about the same. The Tacoma doesnt get anywhere near its highway rated gas milage. Additionally, its not the Hi-lux version that Europe enjoys. Its been "car-afied" The suspension doesnt take the abuse and as such doesnt tow as well.

F150 gets you 18-22 MPG depending on configuration. Tacoma lists for 23. But, doesn't tow nearly as well through personal experience I get 17 to 20 if lucky, and due to lack of torque, its gas milage varies greatly. Add in the fact that a tacoma is way overpriced for its capability; for same price I can get a vehicle that does more.

Oh the 4cycl tacoma that you may be thinking about doesnt have the towing capability nor the ground clearance of the bigger trucks. Its super skinny bicycle tires also make it perfect for getting stuck. Perfect for the Suburbanized, hardly a work truck. They do last a while though!

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 10:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the new ford V6 does pretty amazing, it would be nice to see Toyota do direct injection and maybe add a gear. Its got about a 1500lbs weight advantage. I managed to get 24mpg driving LA to Phoenix with cruise set at about 63mph. I pumped my tires to 30psi and have a decklid on my bed. I can average 19mpg if there is not ethanol in the fuel and I pay attention to my driving habits.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By DerekZ06 on 5/30/2011 10:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
1. Not as big as an F150
2. Not as powerful as an F150.
3. Gets marginally better fuel economy.

4. Towing is not good enough. The trailer in tow is a 18foot enclosed. And even tho I only tow it 300 miles yearly in the city. We have used it on vacations with 1000's of miles. Last year we towed 1000 miles through the Colorado mountains. Tacoma will not be up to that task. Hell even the F150 lost speed and many times had to cling to 1st gear at 5000rpms and 40mph to go over the hills. If anything my next general purpose vehicle will be bigger.

5. Not worth trading for. I already have this truck and I don't have tons of cash to just be switching vehicles all the time. I can afford one vehicle so it needs to be all purpose. The 2003 F150 gives that and has never had trouble, most reliable vehicle owned. I could get a new truck that gets 20+mpg but I'm loosing money because that truck may cost 40grand.

6. The manufacturing of that new vehicle and the early retirement of mine will probably pollute more all together if that's what your worried about.

7. I forgot to mention this earlier. But there just isn't space for a fuel efficient car in addition to the truck, and we need the van with seating for 7. Theres just not room for 3 vehicles.

** Many other people probably are in the same boat and is why they made their decision to have a truck even if they may not use it for truck duties. You have to understand where they are coming from before you pass judgment.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
You have to understand where they are coming from before you pass judgment.
Nope, it's easier just to pass judgment. I have a 06 F250 diesel. Currently my wifes daily driver. We also use it haul hay every other week (7 bales a pop), once a month tow a 8200 lb 5th wheel trailer (about 600 to 800 miles), and to tow a 2500 lb horse trailer (200-300 miles) whenever my wife wants go riding (anywhere from 2 to 12 times a month). Next year we're going to get another car for her to commute in and for us to do long trips in (don't always need the extra room of the truck). Even with high gas prices, it doesn't make any financial sense to buy another car now. The only reason why were doing it is my car will be paid off at the end of this year. I DO think it's a little retarded to have three cars for two people but it WILL save us some money in fuel and maintenance costs.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By rudy on 5/30/2011 10:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Because in the US gas and vehicles have been cheap for years. But one thing has not been cheap, that is labor. This is why we are so heavily industrialized. Lots of people also own very expensive tool sets. You ask why not just hire someone to fix the door or build the porch. Well it is all the same it is about about the ability to do what you need when you need.

The only way that will ever change is if 1 of 2 things or both happen. Either personal wages start coming down heavily so people can no longer afford large powerful vehicles or gas prices go way up doing the same.

I mean people from out of the US look at it as wasteful but then again when I have been to any other country they all want the stuff we have. Most are unwilling to admit it, but you see them moving toward that those who can afford it anyway.

We will probably see a long term correction to our behavior and I am not saying what we do is right but all human populations will do it given the chance.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By kattanna on 5/31/2011 3:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:'s bed is always empty.

im betting your car has a trunk, is it always full? if not.. then why did you get a car with a trunk if your not using it everyday?

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By jabber on 6/1/2011 8:19:39 AM , Rating: 1
Actually it has two large bags of computing gear (routers/cables/external HDDs etc)that I use for work. They stay in there 95% of the time.

Its a trunk with about 2.5 cubic feet of space that fits my needs perfectly so yes I did buy what I actually needed rather than what my penis was telling me.

RE: I'm intrigued to know.....
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:33:16 PM , Rating: 3
Its a trunk with about 2.5 cubic feet of space that fits my needs perfectly so yes I did buy what I actually needed rather than what my penis was telling me.
So everyone buying a car bigger than yours buys it because of their penis telling them to? No other reason right?

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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