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Old 12-21-2010, 01:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A friend of mine sent me the Yahoo! news version this evening and I couldn't help but notice a few problems with the "logic" of the article.

First, the US is a nation of 305 million people with a lot of cars; China and India combined have 2.4 billion between the two of them and they're just starting the car craze, so no matter what you do to US demand over the next 20 years, global demand for oil will rise while supply has reached its peak.

Second, "Americans are burning an average of 8.2 million barrels -- 344 million gallons -- of gasoline per day in 2010, a figure that excludes the ethanol blended into gasoline. That's 8 percent less than at the 2006 peak, according to government data." Errm, there is no calculation of the amount of natural gas (for fertilizer) or diesel fuel for planting, harvesting, and transporting the corn to make that ethanol. The best calculations say it's a 1 part energy in for 1.3 parts energy out. The only reason ethanol is cheap is because the government subsidizes the hell out of it.

Finally, "By 2022, the country's fuel mix must include 36 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels, up from 14 billion gallons in 2011. Put another way, biofuels will account for roughly one of every four gallons sold at the pump." Right now it takes roughly 20% of US corn production to produce roughly 5-7% of our gasoline needs. There are global food shortages right now and with a global population of 6.8 billion and an expected peak of 9 billion by 2050, we're either going to have to make more people starve to death so we can keep driving or this projection is just a wild-assed number some politician completely devoid of any sense of reality pulled out of his ass.

This is oil company pulp fiction at its very best. This dip in demand is based on the recession and high gas prices. If it weren't for the rise in oil prices since 2005 and 9.8% unemployment, the demand curve would still be growing. Globally, strong demand continues and will continue for decades to come. If we don't see $5 a gallon gas this year, it'll be next. It's not like they're finding any new Saudi Arabias out there...
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