Falling to pieces, I am reminded of TV commercials featuring Patsy Cline's famous song.... the price of gas has dropped by almost $1/gal as of late in the USA. Where I live near Seattle gas prices are below $3/gal, and in some parts of the country the prices are just less than $2/gal.
With a yield of 9 million barrels per day today vs 5 million barrels per day in 2010, the USA has become a net oil exporter. With hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles now roaming the roads of America by the millions, the average fuel economy of the US private vehicle fleet has climbed to over 25MPG. Considering that the F150 Truck is the most popular vehicle in the USA, this is good news.
Oil prices have plummeted so hard that many companies producing low profit margin oil are going bankrupt. When oil was trading for more than $90 per barrel, it created an economic climate where very innovative but less profitable oil production was developed and commercialized. Now with oil trading at less than $50/ barrel, some of those operations are operating in the fiscal red, a trend that will cause wide spread economic problems in the carbon energy sector, especially here in America.
OPEC and the 12 countries that it represents have no plans of reducing their 30 million barrel per day output. This will continue to create an oversupply trend that will hold oil prices down, and they know and like this because if the price stays low enough long enough, the market forces will destroy some of OPEC's recent competitors.... mainly in North and South America.
Offshore shale oil was the big boon that produced huge increases in the USA's oil production capacity. The NEROI or net energy return on investment for these oil sources is far less than it was with easy oil from the golden age of oil. During the golden oil era, for every 1 units of economic power invested into getting oil out of the earths crust, the oil sector would realize 90 units of energy, or a %9000 net energy return on investment. Today we are at less than a 1:40 ratio, and as oil becomes harder to get, the NEROI ratio will be further reduced, this means a hard time for smaller oil operations, newer carbon energy companies, and anyone without deep pockets to weather the low price storm.
The big debate with corn ethanol is whether or not the NEROI is 1:1 or not. It remains a contentious debate whether the US economy stands to actually benefit from Corn Ethanol, not to mention the ethics of using arable food crop land for fuel production, especially when 7 billion people are all alive at the same time......
Over-population along with the industrialization of the Third world, should help to put long term price pressure on oil, steel, lead, copper, sulfuric acid and other industrial commodities needed for infrastructure development and maintenance.
Gas prices are heavily subsidized by externalities, this is where the oil sector offloads its operation costs in the form of air and water pollution onto the nature of earth that we all collectively share. Pollution is externalities, a way that corporations screw nature to improve their profits. Pollution makes people sick with diseases that are profitable to treat using job heavy USA style star wars last stage medicine. Preventative medicine means healthy people and if everyone was healthy the health care sector would decrease in size, cost and magnitude. Healthy people are usually more intelligent, something that corporations like Monsanto seek to prevent. Spending millions to keep the GMO label off of food reeks of corruption and evil, and its speaks to the efforts to keep people in the dark. This is back firing however, the internet the horn of people seeking to get others to think about it!
Together, agrochemical, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical companies are all the same at the supply line level. They share a tremendous amount of cross sector, economic and policy overlap, literally people from one group working for the other, its a big lets milk everyone collective of informal nepotism, bribery and corruption on a massive scale.
If gas prices stay low, more people will drive more often, air pollutant levels will increase, people will spend more on trips and vehicles and take money from their food budget, spend less on non-organic food, get sick with diseases from the non-organic food and from breathing more pollution, the negative feedback cycle of profit focused poison from food to fuel, your health and the future of our people, its an evil sick world out there, so keep your eyes and mind sharp, you have to be thinking about it to cut through the lies and fog of the sheep people. Wake up, unplug the TV, set your mind free, focus on the positive, and predict the future, the future is what we are making of today, today. The choice we make today affecting tomorrow, we are writing history with our choices as a people.
Here on Earth we are all in it together, like it or not. Lets focus on working together for a more sustainable, cleaner, safer and less polluted future. Let us focus on job creating clean technologies, health promoting organic and sustainable agriculture, and medicine that focuses more on helping people to heal, to stay healthy, and less on side effect heavy drugs that make people sicker.
Gas prices are always going to bounce around, the swings in that sector are the outcome of the unstable nature of globalization, of linking the economies of billions of people in more than 100 countries, all together with high speed internet, high speed air traffic, high speed shipping boats, and outsource and insourcing, the blending of ideas, economies and culture, the changes happening all around us.
US families stand to save between $500 and $1000 this year on gasoline, and this means good things for other parts of our economy. While the profits in the carbon energy sector decrease, consumers are saving their savings, and this means that a lot of people are thinking that gas prices are going to go back up soon.
Where did I place my crystal ball? Hmmmmmmmm