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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: 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.

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