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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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By GruntboyX on 5/30/2011 9:10:48 PM , Rating: 4
ok, you are assuming this guy drives 60 miles to work one way.

We need to factor our living conditions. He may drive a 16mpg jeep, but if he lives in the country he probably only commutes an average 15 miles a day to work. Thus it makes no economic sense at all for him to change his vehicle, because its paid for and he uses less fuel than someone who lives in SoCal drives 90 minutes one way and uses a Prius. In the end the gentlemen in SoCal uses more energy because his commute is vastly greater than the poor redneck working at the local mill. Not to mention he gets out hits highway speeds and is at work in 15 minutes. The SoCal commuter, gets out crawls and idles. Now Hybrids and Plug in vehicles improve that to a degree, but in no way does it entitle you to be come an elitist and tell someone how to live his life.

This is America, we have fought wars over personal liberty, and fought against the actions for the "greater good". Let him drive his poor jeep. Lets face it... its a jeep at some point he will trade it in due to wear and tear. Even if he gets another "suv" the increase in CAFE standards will ensure that the gas mileage will be improved. And good for him if he can make it last 15 years. It reduces environmental waste from overproduction and lowers carbon emmisions in the end.

I hate comments like yours, because it does nothing to solve the problem and only feeds trolls, and polarizes individuals.

Lets talk about the environmental impact of 30+ million people living in the dessert if you want to continue to be smug.

The solution is not going to be one size fits all.

By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 10:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't make sense to get a new car to improve mileage. But people are buying new cars all the time so you phase in higher mileage cars.

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