Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gasoline Usage

Here is a handy-dandy chart comparing gasoline demand this year vs. last year:

Demand has gone down by around 1%. Considering how dependent we all are on gasoline, this is a considerable drop and likely just the beginning if prices continue on trend.

Once again, where political will is missing, greed takes over. We could have avoided this entire energy mess years ago, but the price just wasn't quite high enough. As soon as the U.S. got off the ground and really began dealing with the energy crisis of the 1970's, OPEC managed the price down to a level that was just short of painful. OPEC has been managing it ever since .... until now. It looks like demand has outstripped the total available supply, leaving oil producers unable to increase output and manage prices.

Perhaps, if this is peak oil (and I think it's near if not now), we'll finally actually do something about energy? Oh. And there's also that little greenhouse gas problem .... It's unfortunate that the transition will have to be somewhat painful for consumers. Every time I see a media interview of a consumer bitching about gasoline prices, I chuckle and wonder who they voted for over the past 20 years. But painful it will have to be because that's how unfettered markets work.

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